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The Hario Syphon Brewer

The Hario Syphon Brewer: the coolest, and most complex way we know to "make a coffee"

 

The Hario Syphon Brewer, also known as a syphon or vacuum pot, not only creates great coffee but gives you the opportunity to put a bit of theatre into your brewing process. Amaze your friends with a bit of scientific flair - when all they were expecting was a cup of Mellow Birds* and 2 sugars. In this blog, we will dabble into the history of the syphon brewer, explore its pros and cons, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to brew the perfect cup of coffee using a 2-cup syphon coffee brewer.

 

*other instant rubbish coffees are available


History of the Syphon Brewer


The syphon coffee maker dates back to the 1830s when it was invented almost simultaneously by a German housewife named Loeff of Berlin and a Scottish marine engineer named James Napier. The device was designed to harness the scientific principles of vapour pressure and vacuum pressure to brew coffee. Despite its complex appearance, the syphon coffee maker quickly gained popularity in Europe due to its ability to produce a clean, crisp cup of coffee.


In the 20th century, the syphon brewer experienced a resurgence in Japan, where it was refined and embraced by coffee aficionados. Hario, a Japanese glassware company founded in 1921, became a key player in this revival. Hario's syphon brewers are well known for their high-quality borosilicate glass, precision engineering, and stylish design. They do look rather lovely, don't you think?

hario brewer all ready to go
The Hario Syphon Brewer looking rather cool

 

Pros and Cons of the Syphon Brewer


Pros

  1. Unique Brewing Method: The syphon brewing process is as much a visual spectacle as it is a method for making coffee. Watching the water rise and fall through the chambers creates a sense of wonder and appreciation for the science behind coffee brewing.

  2. Flavour Clarity: The syphon brewer produces an exceptionally clean and aromatic cup of coffee. The immersion brewing method extracts a full range of flavors, while the cloth or metal filter prevents sediment from entering the final cup.

  3. Temperature Control: The syphon brewer allows for precise temperature control, ensuring that the coffee grounds are brewed at the optimal temperature for maximum flavor extraction.

  4. Aesthetic Appeal: With its elegant glass chambers and sleek design, the Hario Syphon Brewer is a cool addition to any kitchen or coffee bar. It also serves as a great conversation starter. If you see a Hario Syphon Brewer in your local coffee shop - you're amongst friends.

Cons

  1. Complexity: The syphon brewer is not the most straightforward coffee maker to use. It requires practice and patience to master the brewing process, which can be a deterrent for some.

  2. Fragility: Made primarily of glass, the syphon brewer can be fragile and requires careful handling to avoid breakage.

  3. Cleaning: Cleaning the syphon brewer can be a bit more involved compared to other coffee makers due to its multiple parts and the presence of a cloth or metal filter.

  4. Cost: High-quality syphon brewers, like those made by Hario, can be relatively expensive compared to other brewing methods.

  5. Hot Coffee! Beware: Because the syphon brew method requires you to keep heating the water - the temperature of the resulting coffee is very hot! It's not like the filter process where you pour hot water into the grounds and wait as the extraction happens - and thus the water cools during the time it takes to extract. The extraction process in a syphon brew keeps the heat source and so the coffee is scalding hot as it is poured out.


How to Brew Coffee with a 2-Cup Hario Syphon Brewer


Equipment Needed

  • 2-cup Hario Syphon Brewer

  • Freshly ground coffee (medium-coarse grind)

  • Filter (cloth or metal)

  • Butane burner or alcohol burner

  • Water

  • Stirring paddle

  • Timer

  • Scale

 

Step-by-Step Guide


  1. Setup: Place the filter in the upper chamber of the syphon brewer and secure it with the chain. Ensure the lower chamber is clean and place it on the stand.

  2. Boil Water: Fill the lower chamber with 300 ml of water. Light the burner and place it under the lower chamber. The water will begin to heat up.

  3. Assemble the Brewer: Once the water starts to boil, carefully insert the upper chamber into the lower chamber. Ensure the seal is tight. The water will rise into the upper chamber.

  4. Add Coffee Grounds: Add 20 grams of freshly ground coffee to the water in the upper chamber. Stir gently to ensure all the grounds are saturated. Be sure to use the correct

  5. Brew: Let the coffee brew for 1 minute and 30 seconds. During this time, maintain a consistent temperature by adjusting the flame as needed.

  6. Remove Heat: After the brewing time is up, extinguish the burner. The coffee will begin to filter back down into the lower chamber due to the vacuum effect.

  7. Serve: Once all the coffee has filtered into the lower chamber, carefully remove the upper chamber and place it on its stand. Stir the coffee in the lower chamber and serve immediately.

  8. Clean Up: Disassemble the syphon brewer and rinse all parts thoroughly. Clean the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it is ready for the next use.



So in other words, the Hario Syphon Brewer is more than just a coffee maker—it's an experience that combines art, science, and bit of a circus ringmaster craft about it. It may require a bit of practice and patience but the the result is a cup of coffee that is rich and exceptionally clean. It's worth the faff and effort - and is particularly good for fruity, light-bodied coffees such as our Uganda Mount Elgon or our Rwanda Liza Carbonics





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