Pour over and siphon coffee are both popular ways to brew coffee in Japan. These hands-on and elegant brewing methods require focus and attention throughout. But once you’ve mastered the technique, they will give you a high degree of control and a crisp and clear filtered finish. This makes them perfectly suited to Japanese coffee culture – where coffee is often served black, to focus on the flavour of the bean.
The difference between pour over and siphon coffee
When brewed correctly, pour over and siphon coffee methods will both produce a crisp, clear, and smooth finish – with no grounds left in your cup. The main difference is that a pour over uses gravity extraction, while siphon coffee uses immersion to extract the flavour from the ground coffee (similar to a cafetière or AeroPress). It is this combination of immersion and vacuum brewing that makes siphon coffee unique, resulting a full-bodied flavour but with a smooth finish.
How siphon coffee is made
The siphon uses two chambers to create a vacuum and brew the coffee. Coffee grounds are placed in the upper chamber, while hot water is added to the bottom chamber. The water in the bottom chamber is heated further. As the water boils, it rises into the upper chamber to mix with the coffee grounds. The heat is then lowered, which creates a vacuum – pulling the coffee back down and through a filter into the lower chamber.
As theatrical as it is precise, siphon coffee gives the barista control over the entire brewing process – the longer the grounds are steeped, the stronger the end result. To brew siphon coffee at home you’ll need a siphon coffee maker, filters, and paddles – and some premium quality ground coffee, or whole beans to grind yourself.
Watch our Coffee Master, Takahito Mizokami, make siphon coffee:
Try siphon coffee at our Coffee Bar in Westfield London:
If you’re curious about trying siphon coffee but aren’t ready to invest in everything you’ll need to make it yourself, pop into our Coffee Bar in Westfield White City, London.
How pour over coffee is made
Also known as drip coffee, the pour over extraction method involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds that sit in a filter – resulting in a coffee that is clean, smooth, and rich.
Although not quite as smooth or dramatic as siphon coffee, the pour over method is a convenient way to enjoy a similar coffee at home – but without investing the sort of time and money you’d need to master siphon brewing.
For more tips to help you in your pursuit of coffee perfection, visit our coffee blog.