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How to Use a Siphon Coffee Maker

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If you’re shopping for the best coffee maker, you may wonder about vacuum coffee makers. They are a strange type of coffee maker that might seem intimidating to most coffee drinkers. In addition, making a cup of coffee via a siphon brewer isn’t as straightforward as using a drip coffee maker. Luckily, the siphon coffee maker’s beautiful design allows for a brewing process that reveals a unique coffee flavor that isn’t possible in most brew methods. If you want to know how to use a siphon coffee maker, read this guide.


  • Install your coffee filter, and fill the bottom chamber with water.
  • Apply heat and let your water boil before installing the upper chamber.
  • Once your water rises to the upper container, add your coffee and let it brew.

If you are used to using a standard drip or single-serve machine, you may wonder, “What is a vacuum coffee maker?” Brewing siphon coffee is possible due to atmospheric pressure differences between the upper and lower vacuum pot. As the water temperature rises in the lower chamber, it is pushed into the upper coffee siphon. Then, ground coffee is added directly to the hot water and is caught by the damp siphon filter as your brew drips back into the lower siphon pot. The process isn’t as simple as using a single coffee maker, but the results might be worth it if you’re a coffee fanatic. If this method sounds appealing, be sure to check out our article on the best siphon coffee makers.

If you know how to use a drip coffee maker, you may also want to know how to use a smart plug with a coffee maker, as this is better suited for a more traditional brewing method than vacuum coffee makers. Alternatively, if you want to learn how to use a brewing method that doesn’t need a power source, check out our article on how to use a Vietnamese coffee maker.

Insider Tip

Use a damp cloth when removing the top chamber from the coffee maker. The glass will be scorching after the brewing time.

How to Use a Vacuum Siphon Coffee Maker

Tools: butane burner, reusable cloth filters, coffee grinder, coffee beans, stirring paddle, siphon coffee brewer, brewing water

STEP 1 Soak Your Coffee Filter and Install It

If you’re using a cloth coffee filter, soak it in warm water to expand the fibers. This ensures that grounds stay out of your finished brew. Then, slide the filter into place and clip the chain to the rim.

STEP 2 Fill Lower Glass Chamber with Water

Fill the bottom chamber with hot water. Think about how many cups of coffee you want to get the coffee to water ratio correct.

STEP 3 Apply a Consistent Heat Source to Glass Chamber

Turn on your heat source. Experts recommend a gas burner, but you can use a stovetop on some model vacuum coffee machines.

STEP 4 Slide the Upper Chamber in Place

Insert the upper chamber into place, but make sure the seal is tight before letting go.

STEP 5 Let the Water Boil and Kick Up

Let your water boil, and the vapor pressure will cause the water to fill the upper chamber.

STEP 6 Fill Upper Chamber with Coffee Grounds and Stir

Now that the upper chamber is complete, now is the time to add your coffee grounds. Make sure they are a medium-coarse grind so that your filter can easily catch your spent coffee grounds. Lastly, use your stirring stick and agitate the coffee for a few seconds. We recommend a brewing time of 2 minutes before moving to step 7.

STEP 7 Remove the Heat and Let it Brew

Slide the butane burner away from the bottom chamber and turn off the flame. Your coffee should start falling back into the base glass, revealing a fresh, dark coffee.

STEP 8 Remove Upper Chamber and Let it Cool

Once the upper chamber is empty, you can slide it away from the bottom section, revealing your fresh coffee. Let it cool for a couple of minutes and serve.


If you use an open flame to heat the siphon coffee machine, never leave it unattended, and make sure to keep a fire extinguisher on hand.


What does siphon coffee taste like?

Siphon coffee is a complex flavor. You get the full flavor spectrum from the immersion method, but the health benefits of using a filter.

What coffee to use in the vacuum brewing method?

Dark roast beans will give you the boldest flavor, but make sure to use a medium grind to maximize the extraction.

How to clean siphon coffee brewer?

Keeping a clean coffee maker is as essential to your flavor as the beans you use. That said, you need a cleaning brush and possibly some espresso cleaning detergent if you have tough stains.

STAT: A recent survey from Gallup revealed that nonwhite Americans drink 63% less coffee on average than whites. (source)

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