As a true coffee enthusiast, I tried siphon coffee in Luang Prabang in Laos.
If you are interested in what siphon coffee is and how does siphon coffee taste like, keep on reading.
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My caffeinated journey around the World goes on. So far I’ve sipped Vietnamese coffee in Vietnam, had authentic Italian espresso in Italy, tasted Kopi Luwak coffee in Bali, visited most famous traditional coffee houses in Vienna in Austria … and got familiar with siphon coffee taste in Laos.
SIPHON COFFEE IN LAOS: WHAT IS SIPHON COFFEE AND HOW DOES SIPHON COFFEE TASTE LIKE
Coffee in Laos is a heritage of French colonial rule. In the 19th and 20th century, Laos was a part of Frech Indochina when French colonists planted first coffee seeds and grew first coffee plantations in Laos. Although the coffee industry in Laos never got developed as in neighboring Vietnam, where France also introduced coffee, Laos has been producing some extraordinary good tasting coffee with a robust, strong and bold taste.
After all, modern Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the World, and today only Brazil produces more coffee than Vietnam.
Nonetheless, I especially indulged in the caffeinated delight during my stay in Luang Prabang in Laos. Once the royal, cultural and religious capital of the mighty Kingdom of a Million Elephants (Lane Xang Kingdom) on the Silk Route, Luang Prabang was added to the Protectorate of French Indochina in the 19th century. The town of Luang Prabang is dressed up in a unique fusion of traditional Lao architecture and French colonial architecture and as such was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Gorgeous Luang Prabang is one of the most beautiful places in Laos.
That said and having in mind that first commercially successful siphon brewer was patented by a certain French lady known as Madame Vassieux, Luang Prabang was a perfect place for sipping coffee siphon.
WHAT IS SIPHON COFFEE
Siphon filter coffee is coffee prepared by a special coffee brewing method called the syphon method in a device called siphon coffee maker. Because it uses vacuum effect, siphon filter coffee maker is also called vacuum pot and vacuum pot maker.
Is siphon coffee better?
Vacuum brewed coffee is believed to be one of the best-tasting coffee. In fact, the siphon method is an advanced coffee brewing method that uses techniques of french press coffee and drip coffee brewing. Furthermore, the coffee siphon method uses full immersion and low-pressure extraction. Siphon coffee brewing is considered by many coffee aficionados to be the best coffee brewing method. And siphon coffee is well-liked by many coffee devotees.
WHAT IS SIPHON COFFEE MAKER
Syphon coffee maker is a special device looking like out of a school chemistry lab. Yes, this is the coffee maker that looks like a chemistry set. It uses pressure, gravity, and vacuum and that’s why is also called vacuum coffee maker or vacuum brewer. And gravity coffee maker as well.
How does siphon coffee work?
Vacuum pot siphon coffee brewer is made of two chambers and a heater (usually a small butane burner for syphon coffee). The bottom chamber is filled with water and the upper chamber is filled with coffee. As the water heats, vapor pressure forces water into the upper chamber where the water immerse with coffee grounds. When the heat is turned off, the vapor pressure disappears and the water drops back with pure and clear coffee with no coffee sediment through the filter placed at the bottom of the upper chamber. It uses phenomena of gravity and vacuum and therefore is also called vacuum brewing. This immersion coffee brewing method produces one of the best-tasting coffee and a coffee with full aroma.
On Amazon.com you can find a wide range of great Siphon coffee makers you can choose from. There you can find the best Siphon maker for yourself in line with your needs and budget.
BEST-BUY SIPHON POTS:
HARIO Technica Three Cup Coffee Siphon, 360ml
Yama Glass Siphon Vacuum Coffee Maker, 20-Ounce, Clear
Hario Glass NEXT Syphon Coffee Maker with Silicone Handle, 5-Cup
BEST-BUY MINI BUTANE BURNER:
Mini Butane Burner for tabletop Siphon Coffee Maker
Zippo Butane Fuel 75 Milliliter / 2.5 Ounces (2-Pack)
HOW TO MAKE SYPHON COFFEE & HOW TO USE SIPHON COFFEE MAKER
If you wonder how to use a siphon coffee maker, here is a complete visual guide to making siphon coffee with the photos I took at Cafe de Laos in Luang Prabang in Laos.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to travel to Laos to taste siphon coffee. You can prepare syphon coffee at your home following the next steps.
How to make siphon coffee:
Put water in the lower chamber and coffee grounds in the upper chamber. Set up a siphon, the device while locking tight the filter.
Set a butane burner for syphone coffee under the device. Turn on the heater and heat the water to boiling.
When the water is evaporated into the upper chamber, stir the mix of coffee and water in the upper chamber. Let the coffee and water steep a few minutes (up to 5 minutes).
Turn off the heat. The pressure from the upper chamber will start getting down. And the coffee will drain down into the lower chamber through the filter. When all coffee is drained, pull the siphon apart and pour the vacuum pot coffee in a cup.
SIPHON COFFEE TASTE
Vacuum Siphon Coffee is smooth, full-bodied, crisp, clean and rich in flavor coffee thanks to the sophisticated coffee making method.
Types of coffee brewing: Taste of coffee differs with coffee brewing methods. In other words, different coffee-making methods lead to different tastes of coffee.
Siphon Coffee Taste vs Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is strong black coffee, very thick with sharp flavor. Turkish coffee uses boiling as the coffee brewing method. Coffee powder and water are cooked in a coffee pot until boiling and until the foam is made. Turkish coffee is a ‘muddy’ coffee with lots of coffee sediment and very heavy. Unlike Turkish Coffee, coffee syphon is clear and smooth coffee.
Siphon Coffee vs French Press
French press is full-bodied coffee with coffee sediment and oily body. French press uses the brewing method via steeping as the coffee making method, the same as sifon coffee pot. But, unlike the French press, vacuum pot uses additionally low-pressure extraction making a clear coffee with no coffee sediment.
Syphon Coffee vs Espresso Coffee
Espresso coffee is a very concentrated coffee with lots of coffee oils and coffee sediment. Espresso is made by using pressure as the coffee brewing method.
MAYBE YOU ALSO WOULD LIKE TO READ: The Best Traditional Viennese Coffee Houses in Vienna in Austria
Siphon Filter Coffee vs Vietnamese Coffee
Vietnamese coffee is a smooth and strong coffee. Vietnamese coffee is made by using dripping via a drip filter called ‘Phin’ as the coffee-making method. Traditional Vietnamese coffee in Vietnam is bitter and therefore is usually sweetened with condensed sweet milk.
MAYBE YOU ALSO WOULD LIKE TO READ: Where to Have the Best Vietnamese Coffee in Vietnam
SHORT HISTORY OF VACUUM POT COFFEE
Siphon coffee history
In the end, let me conclude this story with a short history of vacuum coffee brewer.
First coffee brewing methods included boiling the coffee with water and then optionally filtering the coffee grounds which resulted in too bitter coffee. In the 19th century emerged an idea that boiling coffee kills the taste of coffee and therefore coffee should not be boiled.
First vacuum coffee pot was invented by a German man called Loeff in 1830. But the first commercially successful siphon coffee brewer called the French Ballon was designed and patented in 1841 by Madame Vassieux of Lyons. Her invention took the coffee brewing out of the kitchen into the dining room and served for entertaining guests.
Soon the idea of vacuum coffee has spread around the world and simultaneously new advanced vacuum coffee makers were invented in different parts of the World. In the 1850s Parisians enjoyed sipping coffee prepared in so-called Balancing Siphon. At the same time, London indulged in a similar invention made by Scottish inventor James Napier, while new versions of the Balancing Siphon coffee maker occurred in the U.S., Prussia, Russia …
Today many trendy coffee bars around the World offer siphon brewed coffee. Drinking coffee made in vacuum pot coffee maker is not only about enjoying the siphon coffee taste but more about the sensory experience of watching the process of making coffee, entertaining and socializing.
If you want to treat your guests and yourself with siphon coffee, click here to check out some amazing vacuum coffee makers on Amazon.com.”>
MAYBE YOU ALSO WOULD LIKE TO READ: Tasting Authentic Kopi Luwak Coffee in Bali
Have you ever tried siphone coffee? Do you like the taste of siphoned coffee? Do you like the looks of 19th century coffee maker? Would you like to entertain your guests with a chemistry coffee maker? In any case, no one can deny that a coffee chemistry set is a cool device!
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY
Friday 19th of June 2020
Hi, I really enjoy your coffee discussions, I learn something new every time! 😃 Keep posting like this. Thanks again, have a beautiful day.
Thursday 11th of April 2019
So many ways to drink coffee, so little time. ;-) I like Siphon Coffee, but it is not my favorite. A cup of coffee using beans from Ethiopia and brewed with my Italian Bialetti ... heaven sent.
Mirela | The Travel Bunny
Thursday 11th of April 2019
I have seen siphon coffee on the menus of several coffee houses, but haven't yet tried it. I might just give it a go next time.
APRIL KEY RODE
Wednesday 10th of April 2019
I am not a coffee drinker, but I enjoyed reading how this Siphon Coffee was made and how it started its nice to hear the history of it. I'll surely remember this and might go back in your page when we're ready to go to Vietnam. My hubby is a sucker of coffee and can't start his day without drinking one. Thanks for sharing.
Wednesday 10th of April 2019
I have never tried siphon coffee, but from what you have described, I think I would like it. I like strong coffee, but not bitter and I especially dislke the powdery sediment you sometimes get in filter coffee. I am going to search some out to try, but am hoping I dont have to travel to Laos!Actually, I can see you can buy the kit on Amazon - or I am sure we have an old chemistry set somewhere!An interesting article. Thank you.