Siphon coffee makers have been all the rage lately among long-time coffee lovers and newbies alike, and we can see why.
These Japanese and European-inspired coffee machines have an incredibly unique design that will make it an instant talking point in any kitchen. But do siphon coffee makers have any value beyond the interesting aesthetics? Is siphon coffee worth ditching your pods or tried-and-true drip method coffee?
To help coffee lovers navigate this trend, we have created a comprehensive guide that answers all of your burning questions about siphon coffee, and features reviews of the top siphon machines on the market:
- Single cloth filter
- Plated in classic gold
- Ridged fulcrum and tea handle
- Makes 3-5 cups
- BPA-free glass and stainless steel
- Beautiful gold design
- Measuring cup and scoop included
- It was easier to clean
It came with more than one cloth filter
A lot of Siphon newbies are attracted to the appearance of these coffee makers, and this Diguo model is a perfect example of why. This crisp, shiny, gold-accented design is certain to make this machine the next conversation starter in your household.
While it is not exactly cheap compared to many drip brewers, it is a reasonable price for a siphon machine. On top of that, the machine comes with a couple of freebies such as a measuring cup and scoop, helping you save money on accessories.
Our only wish for this machine is one that is fairly general among Siphon machines: we really wish these machines were as easy to clean as traditional coffee makers are.
- Five cup capacity
- Heat-resistant glass and polypropylene
- Alcohol burner
- Comes with a wood stirrer, plastic spoon for coffee powder, cotton wick and cloth filters
- The considerable capacity in comparison to other siphon machines
- The free goodies it comes with
- The affordable price
- It had a more sleek design
Some people find Siphon coffee makers to look like a lab experiment from a mad scientist, and in complete honesty, this offering from Boeng certainly matches that description. It does not have the elegance of other products on this review list, but it wins in one area: price.
This machine is not only cheaper than competitors, but it comes with loads of additional tools that are usually sold separately. If you want the best bang for your buck, this machine is the way to go, but if a regal design is your top concern, it might be worth the extra money.
- Golden design
- Brown wooden base
- Stainless steel and heat-resistance glass
- Filter cloth, measuring spoon and cup
- User manual included
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed
- The gorgeous gold design
- Instructions included
- Satisfaction guarantee
- The instructions focused a little bit more on cleaning
Another absolutely stunning siphon coffee maker, this siphon coffee maker is admittedly hard to beat. It comes with both instructions and additional accessories, it has a beautiful design with posh gold accents, and it has a satisfaction guarantee.
We loved the brew that it produced, and we would recommend this machine to first-time siphon users, although it is important to note that, even with clear instructions, it will be a little bit of a learning curve to set up and clean this machine.
- 5-cup capacity
- Heat-resistant borosilicate glass
- Cotton filter
- Pour-friendly carafe
- The low price
- The generous capacity
- The design was a little more elaborate and elegant
This is yet another siphon coffee maker that presents shoppers with an age-old question: is a more attractive design worth the extra money?
This Amarine machine is a great, budget-friendly option for most coffee lovers, but we will admit, it is considerably smaller and blander in design than many competing machines. With a five-up capacity, it cannot be beaten in terms of value, but if you really want a machine that will get people talking, this might not be the choice for you.
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- 3 cup capacity
- Heat-resistant glass and polypropylene
- Alcohol burner
- Unique design
- Easy to use and personalize your brew
- It had a larger capacity
Unlike the European-style machines that seem to go for a regal, lavish design, this Japanese-inspired siphon coffee maker embraces a more scientific look. The globe in particular resembles an Edison bulb, which will go well in any kitchen embracing the recent interior design trend.
However, we were displeased with the fact that this machine had a capacity of only about three cups, which is considerably smaller than other competitors.
Although siphon coffee making is not for everyone, it is a unique and interactive experience that we recommend every coffee lover try at least once. In fact, once you learn to get the hang of it, you might just agree that the highly sensory process and unbeatable taste will leave you hooked for life.
Why People Love Siphon Coffee
Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to coffee, but plenty of people find siphon coffee to blow drip brews out of the water.
While a drip brewer boils water, a siphon machine heats water until just a few degrees shy of its boiling point (although it definitely looks boiling!). Although this is less a scientific fact and more a subjective opinion, many coffee drinkers believe boiling water will “burn” away some of its taste.
So can siphon coffee makers truly produce a stronger, sharper tasting brew? Only giving it a fair shot will give you your answer.
Just as siphon fans will insist that the taste of their coffee is incomparable, they also maintain that the aroma gets “trapped” within the machine, creating a stronger scent.
In our experience, this is true-- siphon coffee smells unbelievable, and if you want your kitchen to linger with the aroma of your morning coffee well into the evening, we definitely recommend trying it yourself.
There are a lot of variables behind every cup of coffee, with two important ones being the strength and temperature of the coffee.
Siphon machines give you a sense of control over both, as you can choose how many grounds to include, and control the temperature as well. Although more control means a more personalized coffee, it also means more skill is required to perfect your brew, so do not worry if you have to try once or twice (or a few more times) to get things perfect.
The Visual Intrigue
We will be honest with you: siphon coffee makers simply look very cool!
As any true coffee lover will attest to, brewing the perfect cup of coffee is both a science and art. Now, you can watch both unfold before your eyes, in a much more visually interesting way than a traditional drip brewer.
If you want to make your morning cup of coffee a more sensory experience or want to treat your friends to a unique visual feast, a siphon coffee maker is the way to go.
Disadvantages Of Siphon Coffee Machines
Despite their booming popularity, not everyone is sold on the idea. If you have been clinging to your usual pods or Starbucks espresso, you might have some valid reasons not to jump on this latest trend in the world of coffee.
Of course, it is important to remember that everything is subjective when it comes to coffee. While these disadvantages are very real, whether or not they outweigh the benefits outlined above it up to you.
The Long Wait
Given the fact that siphon coffee makers do not boil water, you can expect slightly longer wait times for your coffee. In some cases, a fresh cup of coffee might take fifteen to twenty minutes.
If you love your automatic coffee dispenser that produces an espresso pod in seconds, this might be a hard adjustment. This is especially true if you are less of a make-breakfast-and-read-the-paper kind of person in the morning, and more of a hop-in-your-car-with-a-cup-of-coffee-do-your-make-up-in-traffic kind of person.
The Limited Usage
Make no mistakes, you can make fresh, delicious coffee all day long with a siphon machine if you have the time and patience for it.
However, this machine is not ideal for any other hot beverages. Some people have, anecdotally, found some degree of success making other hot drinks like tea or hot chocolate with their siphon coffee makers.
As a general rule, though, you should not try to use anything but coffee grounds under any circumstances. Tea leaves, hot chocolate mix and other common drink ingredients can easily clog the machine, either making it a pain to clean or a very expensive paperweight.
Obviously, pod machines have a leg-up on siphon coffee machines in terms of versatility. Not only do some pods provide hot chocolate, french vanilla or other flavored drinks, but some pod machines can even make iced drinks.
If you are a versatile beverage lover, a siphon coffee maker might not be sufficient to meet all your daily brewing needs.
The Lack Of Portability
Stovetop espresso machines have long been lauded for their travel-friendly nature, and portable single-cup machines are also very popular right now in the coffee community.
Sadly, you will not be able to bring a siphon machine on your next cabin getaway or business trip-- at least not without a bit of hard work. Siphon machines have many small parts and some even involve open flames, meaning it is ideal for stationary use. If you are looking for something to take with you to the office or travel with, you might want to stick with a smaller manual machine.
The Hard Clean-Up
Once you get the hang of it, siphon coffee machines are fairly easy to clean, but it is a learning curve for sure. Siphon coffee makers can have a lot of smaller parts, and the machines are not always designed for functionality.
If you are used to simply wiping down a stovetop espresso maker or countertop pod machine, you should be prepared to put in at least a little extra effort to keep your siphon machine clean and high-functioning.
The Confusing Set-Up
We will be honest with you: part of the appeal of a siphon coffee maker is that most people look at it and have no idea how it works. This creates an appealing fascination, but can be a stressful challenge when it comes to setting things up.
If you are feeling particularly lost, keep your eyes peeled for machines that come with instructions. If the machine you really want does not have instructions, or does not specify whether it will come with a pamphlet, you can find helpful video tutorials and informative articles online that can help you.
The Higher Cost
Some traditional drip brew machines are very expensive. Some siphon coffee makers are super affordable. Both of these things can be true, but in general, siphon machines cost a little bit more.
Part of the cost difference can be chalked up to the fact that siphon coffee makers are very trendy at the moment, and the increased demand has meant a lot of companies feel comfortable boosting their prices.
The silver lining in all of this is the fact that siphon machines do not need to be hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in order to be of decent quality. You can find great options under one hundred dollars (and in fact many of the machines that we have reviewed below are within this price range).
Ultimately, higher prices is not an essential sacrifice you need to make when switching to siphon coffee makers, but being a patient shopper is a virtue that might pay-off well in the long run.