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What is a Vacuum Coffee Maker

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you’re shopping for a premium coffee maker, you might wonder what is a vacuum coffee maker. Also called a siphon coffee brewer, a vacuum machine uses vapor pressure and multiple brewing chambers to make an excellent cup of coffee.


  • A vacuum coffee brewer combines the benefits of an immersion brewer and filtered coffee flavor.
  • The atmospheric pressure difference between the two globes pushes the boiling water from the water globe to the top chamber.
  • While flavor extraction results in great cups of coffee, the vacuum brewing process is more hands-on than standard coffee machines.

Coffee connoisseurs love the coffee siphon brewer for its beautiful design and how it highlights expensive coffee beans. While this type of coffee maker involves multiple glass globes and a naked flame, it isn’t as intimidating as you might think.

The Basics of a Vacuum Coffee Maker

A vacuum siphon coffee maker consists of a few parts. First, there are the glass globes: an upper chamber and the lower water chamber. Between these two parts is a reusable cloth filter that you’ll want to soak with hot water. The cloth filter is held in place by a stainless steel filter holder that clips to the bottom stem of the upper chamber. Even if you’re learning how to use a vacuum coffee maker, you might be interested in learning the differences between a drip coffee maker vs a siphon machine.

Insider Tip

Always use pre-heated water to start the brewing process because it will cut down your 2-3 minute waiting time.

Lastly, the rubber seal protects the glass from breaking and helps the water vapor travel from the water container. Some models have an internal heating element, but most use a butane burner to make boiling water.

If you’d like a simplified standalone brewer, check out what an auto-drip coffee maker is.

For more coffee tips, you’ll want to read our guides to keeping coffee warm in a coffee maker and what to do when you have no filters for the coffee maker.

How a Siphon Coffee Maker Works

Begin by boiling water on a stovetop or in an electric kettle and add it to the bottom globe. Install the cloth filter holder and slide the upper vessel into the bottom globe. Apply a consistent heat source, like a bunsen burner, to the bottom of the water chamber.

Once your water rises to the top chamber, pour in your coffee grounds and remove your source of heat. The top vacuum pot will start to empty back into the lower section, and your filter will catch the coffee grinds. In the end, you’ll have a fantastic cup of coffee with rich flavors.

The entire brewing process takes longer than a semi-automatic coffee machine would. Still, you get the flavor benefits of an immersion brew with the health benefits of a filtered brew method.


Never leave the naked flame of your heat source unattended. In addition, keep a fire extinguisher and heat-resistant flame guard within reach at all times.


How coarse should I grind coffee beans for vacuum brewing?

For the perfect siphon coffee, you should use a medium-fine grind size. If you go too fine, you may get bits of ground coffee in your drink.

What does siphon coffee taste like?

The vacuum brewing method extracts all the flavor notes from your favorite coffee. The rich flavor comes from mixing immersion brewing and filter-brew coffee. There’s a reason tons of coffee aficionados choose a vacuum coffee pot for home coffee.

Is vacuum brewing feasible for everyday coffee drinkers?

While a finished brew will take longer than a standard coffee machine, the entire process is only a few minutes longer. So, if you value coffee quality, a siphon brewer is a fantastic piece of equipment for your daily cup.

STAT: A recent survey from Gallup revealed that 19% of Americans drink two or more cups of coffee per day. (source)

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