Last updated on November 27th, 2023

Why Does Siphon Coffee Taste Better? Vacuum Coffee Explained

a picture of a siphon coffee brewer, introducing the article: is vacuum coffee better in flavor?

SUMMARY: There’s no doubt that siphon brewing (aka vacuum brewed coffee) has captivating visuals. I used to watch YouTube videos of it with my morning brew! But, Besides the fascinating science of how it brews, is vacuum coffee better than other methods? If so, why does siphon coffee taste better? The short answer is that siphon brewing combines the intensity and flavor depth of full-immersion coffee with the clarity of filter coffee. It is intensity and delicate acidity all at once!

I’ve owned a siphon brewer at home for some time now, and there’s no doubt that it has a special taste. It’s also incredibly fun to brew for people with its exciting visuals and the geeky science behind how it works.

So in this article, I dive into the rabbit hole of siphon coffee brewing. I explore its distinctive flavor profile, discuss its merits compared to other brewing methods, and uncover what makes it so coveted amongst specialty coffee enthusiasts.

So let’s go into coffee geek mode to learn why people love siphon coffee!

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What Does Siphon Coffee Taste Like?

So, what about siphon coffee’s taste makes it so coveted? Is siphon coffee good, or is it just hyped up?

Siphon brewing marries the fullness and depth of flavor you tend to get from immersion brewing with a delicate and tea-like acidity. Imagine combining the intensity of French Press coffee with a subtle and silky extraction.

Basically, it is a more refined coffee experience. But for those who’ve never seen a siphon brewer before, let’s understand the basics of what siphon coffee is.

What Is Siphon Coffee?

Siphon coffee, or vacuum coffee, is an immersion brewing method involving two glass chambers connected by a tube. The process blends science and art, and people love the theatrics of watching the brewing process take place.

Is siphon coffee good? What does siphon coffee taste like? A graphic explaining what siphon coffee brewing is and what flavors it makes.

At its core, siphon coffee uses water vapor pressure and gravity to move the brewing water up and down. This vacuum coffee pot looks more like something you would see in a chemistry lab than a coffee shop.

The lower chamber is filled with water, while the upper one holds ground coffee. A heat source on the bottom causes a temperature differential, and the resulting vacuum siphons the water in the lower half into the upper chamber, mixing with the coffee grounds.

This intricate dance of temperature, pressure, and time determines the extraction. Upon turning the bottom heat source off, gravity will slowly draw the coffee slurry down through the cloth filter (why it’s sometimes called a gravity coffee maker.)

Siphoning coffee dates back to the 19th century, when Loeff of Berlin first conceptualized this brewing method around 1830. But a French woman Madame Vassieux of Lyons commercialized this brewer in 1840 and helped propel it into a household novelty.

Today, coffee lovers enjoy siphon coffee brewing not only for its taste but also for its artistic and scientific appeal.

Is Vacuum Coffee Better or Is it Just Hype?

Anything in a specialized/craft sector can be over-hyped. And the visual appeal of siphoning coffee can certainly raise suspicions that this process is more of a gimmick than anything else.

But after brewing on a Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker a few times, I can tell you that the excitement is justified. If you find yourself in a specialty coffee cafe that offers vacuum brewing, I highly recommend trying it.

Whether or not vacuum coffee is better might ultimately be a preference. And sure, the visuals are certainly a factor. But there’s no denying that the blend of aromatic and full-bodied coffee with clarity and smoothness is why people love it.

Is Siphon Coffee Good For All Situations?

Is vacuum coffee good for all types of coffee beans and roast levels? You can brew on a siphon coffee maker with any bean or grind, but the brewer is not ideal for all situations.

Firstly, since it takes focus and preparation, I don’t recommend wasting your time siphoning old coffee more than a month past its roast date. Secondly, darker roasts will miss the unique balance of richness and delicate acidity. Lastly, I would say avoid the siphon method if you’re in a rush…this method is all about taking your time!

So use fresh coffee with lighter roasts to get the most out of a siphon brewer. The ideal grind size is a bit finer than a drip grind. And hopefully, you will be grinding coffee beans at home to get the freshest flavor.

Is Siphon Coffee Worth It?

I would say ordering siphon coffee at a shop is definitely worth it. You can focus on the unique flavors and skip the equipment/technique details. But for home use, it might be tougher to decide whether siphon brewing is something you can see yourself doing regularly.

  • 600ml capacity (5 Cup Capacity)
  • Made of heat resistant borosilicate glass from Hario
  • Stand, burner cover, and filter are made of stainless steel
  • Imported from Japan

These brewers, like the Hario Technica Glass Syphon Coffee Maker, are not the cheapest coffee setups. Plus, you’ll have to devote more focused energy to brewing each time you want to make siphon coffee.

But if you’re a specialty coffee geek like me, it’s probably worth it. I’ll give more detail about the siphon flavors below if you’re still on the fence.

Why Does Siphon Coffee Taste Better To So Many People?

Now that we’ve explored the basics of siphon coffee brewing, let’s turn our attention to the primary question: Why do so many people rave about the flavor of Siphon coffee?

Here is a breakdown of what makes siphon coffee flavor so unique:

Why Does Siphon Coffee Taste Better? A graphic explaining the superior flavors of siphon coffee
  • Aromatics: Siphon coffee is renowned for its aromatic qualities. So much of the specialty coffee experience is about the smell as you brew and drink, and siphon extraction releases a particularly intense and complex aroma.
  • Full-Bodied Complexity: As an immersion method, siphon coffee brewing is full-bodied, rich, and deep in flavor. The full immersion at tightly controlled temperatures ensures the water extracts coffee grounds in an ideal environment.
  • Tea-Like Elegance: Despite the robust body, vacuum coffee has a tea-like quality, something you might have experienced with certain light-roasted Ethiopian coffees. Unlike some immersion methods that can produce a heavy, sludgy cup, siphon coffee maintains a lightness and clarity in its flavor profile.
  • Clean and Crisp: People familiar with Chemex coffee understand the value of clean and clear coffee flavors. Yet those methods often miss the flavor depth of total immersion brewing. But siphon coffee passes through a cloth filter, removing the sediment and giving a crisp flavor clarity.

A simple takeaway: the duality/balance of robustness and delicacy is the primary factor that gives siphon coffee its fantastic taste. Imagine the upgrade of AeroPress compared to the French Press but even more extreme.

Siphon Coffee vs Other Methods

Visual spectacle aside, the primary advantage that siphon brewing has over other methods is temperature stability. The heat source, typically a gas or electric burner, keeps the water temperature constant throughout brewing. Plus, if you have a good thermometer, you can measure the water temperature in the top chamber and only add the coffee grounds once it stabilizes at the ideal range of 195-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Compared to other standard methods like French Press or pour over, in which the slurry temperature more wildly fluctuates, siphon extraction is stable.

Does Siphon Coffee Taste Good To Everyone?

Is siphon coffee good for everyone? Firstly, coffee taste preferences vary widely from person to person. So, while siphon coffee has earned its high place among many coffee lovers, not everyone is bound to adore the flavor. If you usually shy away from immersion methods like French Press because of intensity, try a siphon brew. It blends immersion and filtered coffee beautifully.

Also, people who enjoy really dark roasts and usually add milk or sugar might not find anything too special about siphon brews. Again, this method works best for light to medium roasts. And as black coffee, it highlights the subtle flavors best.

What Is the Best Siphon Coffee Maker

If you’re intrigued by the description of siphon coffee and want one at home, this section will describe the top siphon brewers you can get. The most popular three models are:


Hario "Next" Glass Syphon Coffee Maker, 600ml

  • Heat-resistant borosilicate glass
  • Stainless steel stand, burner cover, and filter
  • 5-cup capacity
  • Imported from Japan


This model is user-friendly and an excellent choice for beginners. The butane burner gives you easy heat control, and the durable structure is aluminum and brass.

Yama Glass Stovetop Siphon Coffee Maker
Large Capacity

Yama Glass Stovetop Siphon Coffee Maker

  • Premium hand-crafted, hand-blown borosilicate glass
  • Works with gas or electric stoves
  • Large 8-cup capacity
  • Includes reusable, washable cloth filters


A fantastic choice if you want siphon brewing in a more compact form. The other standout feature is that you can use this model directly on your stovetop, eliminating the need for butane or electric heat.

Hario Technica Two Cup Coffee Siphon, 240ml
Compact Brewer

Hario Technica Two Cup Coffee Siphon, 240ml

  • 2-cup capacity (240ml)
  • Made with Hario heat-resistant glass
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Designed in Japan


The Hario Technica is ideal for brewing smaller amounts while also getting that classic scientific look of a siphon brewer. This vacuum coffee pot holds 240ml (2-cup capacity,) and you can wash and reuse the filter indefinitely.

Why Use a Vacuum Coffee Maker

What does siphon coffee taste like if you brew it at home? Will it be as good as what you tasted at a specialty coffee house? I think if you have the motivation to learn the method, it will eventually be your go-to brewing technique. I definitely struggled with my first few brews, but after some practice, it was worth it. Plus, if you already understand the basics of coffee brewing/extraction, you’re more than halfway there.

If the delicious flavor wasn’t convincing, the fancy visuals and geeky science are other solid reasons for using a vacuum coffee pot. Just like latte art improves the experience of drinking a latte without altering the flavor, the beauty of preparing vacuum coffee enhances the experience.

Sure, the flavor is better. But vacuum coffee brewing also connects you to a cornerstone of the specialty coffee approach: appreciating the small details and beauty while having a patient dedication to extracting the best flavor from the coffee.

And especially if you regularly make coffee for friends and family, this brewing process is sure to impress.

Siphon Coffee: FAQs

Hopefully, you are starting to understand why siphon coffee tastes better. But as a review and to ensure you fully understand siphon vacuum coffee, let’s answer the most common questions people ask.

Why does siphon coffee taste good?

Siphon coffee’s exceptional taste comes from several factors, including its immersion brewing method, the use of a cloth filter, and stable brewing temperatures. These elements harmoniously extract complex flavors from the coffee beans, giving a rich, balanced, and aromatic cup.

Is vacuum coffee really better?

Whether siphon coffee is “better” depends on your personal preferences. It offers a unique and complex flavor profile that blends immersion and filter brewing, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts. However, the best brew method ultimately comes down to individual taste.

Is siphon coffee the best brewing method?

Siphon coffee is considered one of the best brewing methods for those seeking a rich and full-bodied coffee experience with a clean and clear taste. Imagine the perfect blend of French Press and Chemex coffees. However, the “best” brew method varies from person to person.

Is a siphon coffee maker worth it?

Investing in a siphon coffee maker can be worth it if you value the art and science of coffee brewing. It offers a unique and visually captivating brewing process, along with the potential to unlock the full flavor potential of your coffee beans. It depends on your passion for coffee and your willingness to learn.

Siphon Coffee Flavor: Final Thoughts

So, does siphon coffee really extract way better flavor than other methods? The short answer is yes, at least in my opinion. You might end up disagreeing, but I hope this exploration of vacuum brewing gave you a better understanding of why people love siphon brewing: the combination of visual beauty and delicious extraction is hard to match.

Whether or not you’re curious enough to purchase a home siphon coffee maker, I highly recommend trying it at a coffee shop next time you see it!

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