Siphon –Shortly after I got into specialty coffee I read this New York Times article about a “$20,000 cup of coffee” and I went to Blue Bottle to see what the fuss was about. Using glass bulbs and gas/halogen heating elements, it’s the most intimidating of all brewing methods, reminding me more of a chemistry experiment than a brewing procedure. The result is a coffee with less body but a lot of clarity in the flavor. Because of this, you will be rewarded with changing flavor as it cools.
Invented in Germany in the 1930’s, it’s now popular in Asia. Last fall I got to see the World Siphonist Championships in Tokyo where “siphonists” are rated on their ability to vacuum brew a cup of coffee and create a siphon-based signature drink.
The competition got me interested, so I bought myself a Bomac TCA-2, which uses a cloth or paper filter. I heat using a butane burner. I brew with both paper and cloth filters.
Hario V60- One of several single-serve pour-over devices. I like this one since it has channeling in the brewing cone and a large opening at the bottom for filtered coffee to exit easily. Coffee doesn’t pool over the grounds, waiting to be filtered.
Chemex – This seems to be the favorite pour over devices of my barista friends. The large cone shape filter acts as an agent to actively disperse the coffee’s fragrance, making for powerful aromatherapy. The thick paper filter gives the coffee a very clean crisp taste so that the nuances of the coffee stand out. Mine can hold up to 30 oz, yielding multiple servings.