Balancing siphon coffee makers, also known as vacuum coffee makers, are becoming increasingly popular amongst coffee specialists in the United States, where French press machines were once king. The vacuum brewing process may seem unusual or even intimidating at first glance.
Still, it’s simple and produces rich flavor and aroma in your morning cup of joe that’s hard to beat. If you haven’t yet tried one of these specialized coffee makers, you’re missing out on something truly special.
5 Best Belgian Style Balancing Siphon Coffee Makers
1. Bialetti Venus
The Bialetti Venus is an old-school, manually operated balancing siphon. This style of coffee maker has been around for years, but it’s still a favorite among coffee aficionados because of its Italian craftsmanship and classic styling. A traditional Bialetti design can make up to 10 cups of coffee, though some enthusiasts prefer to use smaller carafes.
It takes about five minutes to brew each cup of coffee so that you won’t rush out in a hurry. If you’re looking for a way to slow down your morning routine, or if you want something that looks like it belongs on your grandmother’s stovetop, consider adding a Bialetti Venus to your kitchen.
You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a fresh cup before work! After all, a quality machine doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to do its job well!
Our top pick is a great choice for anyone who wants their morning cup of joe delivered quickly and with flair. This Bialetti Venus model is made in Italy by Bialetti.
2. Bodum Santos Stovetop
The Bodum Santos is a stovetop model, which means you’ll need to heat water in a separate vessel, then pour it into your coffee maker.
It’s worth noting that while you can make good coffee with an inexpensive grinder, an inexpensive burner, and less-than-ideal brewing equipment, it’ll never taste like a cup made with an expensive grinder on top of an expensive burner on top of quality brewing equipment.
If you’re not willing to invest in those three things, we’d recommend looking at other options. That said, if you’re serious about great coffee at home and are ready to invest some money into making it happen, we think the Santos makes a great choice.
For example, if you live alone and make just enough coffee for yourself in a stovetop siphon, you’ll pay about a dollar per cup.
On the other hand, if you are brewing for a crowd and need to make more than one cup at a time, an electric model is your best bet because it doesn’t require that your water boil before it brews. You may also want to consider an electric model if you’re entertaining or have limited counter space.
3. GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
The GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip is a lighter version of a traditional drip coffee maker. This means you can bring it backpacking, and your coffee will still taste great. Another benefit of having a filtering device that isn’t made from plastic is that it can easily be cleaned with soap and water.
If you don’t mind giving up some heat retention for weight savings, we highly recommend getting one of these. They are extremely light and packable, so they won’t take up space in your backpack or take up too much room on a campsite table.
Plus, it is affordable as well. If you are looking for an ultralight way to make your coffee backpacking (or even just camping), check out our top pick: GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip.
4. Handpresso Wild Hybrid
The Wild Hybrid combines two of our favorite things: a portable espresso maker and a stovetop pressure cooker. In addition to making espresso, it also comes with a cooking sleeve that transforms it into a pressure cooker for stews, chili, soups, and more.
The result is delicious coffee and food wherever you may roam. You can even use it at home on your cooktop or induction burner when guests come over, remove the heating sleeve so they can see you’re brewing coffee (and not alchemy).
It’s a winning combination of form and function, especially if you’re an avid camper looking for an easy way to make a mean cup of joe while roughing it in nature. The Wild Hybrid packs a serious punch. Its high-quality parts and construction brew up thick and flavorful espresso shots.
Just keep in mind that it only brews one serving at a time, so prepare to share or keep plenty of extra beans around if the company stops by unexpectedly.
5. Kuissential Slider 2.0
With a large capacity and small footprint, Kuissential’s Slider 2.0 is one of our favorite options for brewing up to 16 ounces of coffee at a time. The double-walled glass is dishwasher safe, and an insulating silicone sleeve reduces heat loss during brewing meaning your cup will stay warmer longer.
Another thing we love about Kuissential’s product is that it comes with its mesh filter, allowing you to control how finely or coarsely ground your coffee gets brewed. And unlike other products on our list, Kuissential’s mini brewer also allows you to steep loose leaf tea and hold enough water for even a full pot of drip coffee.
If you’re looking for a high-quality option that won’t break your budget, Kuissential’s Slider 2.0 is a great choice. A limited lifetime warranty also backs it.
How does the Belgian balance siphon work?
Also known as a Belgian balance or simply a siphon, it is an ideal coffee maker for people who like to spend time in their kitchens. Since its creation in 1865, these gadgets have made their way into homes and offices worldwide.
They may look complex, but they are very easy to use and brew excellent coffee that stays hot for hours after brewing. Understanding how it works can give you an edge when choosing one of these brewers for your home or office. It also helps you understand what goes into making your favorite cup of coffee using a siphon brewer.
Here’s how they work:
A siphon relies on simple physics to make delicious coffee. The device consists of two glass chambers connected by a tube, with only one main ingredient: water. The chamber on top holds water that has been heated with either a stovetop burner or an electric heating element.
When it reaches boiling point, steam rises through the tube into the lower chamber, containing cold water at about room temperature. As more steam enters from above, it meets cool water below and turns back into a liquid, this causes gravity to pull down on both liquids, causing them to merge with any extracted flavors from ground beans resulting in brewed coffee without electricity.
This might sound not very easy, but once you start brewing with a Belgian balance siphon, everything becomes second nature.
How long does a Belgian coffee maker take?
The longer it takes to make your coffee, the more flavor will be extracted. The time it takes depends on many factors, such as grind coarseness and water temperature.
If you like your coffee on the lighter side, aim for a brewing time of 8-10 minutes and if you prefer a stronger brew, shoot for a 10–12-minute period.
It might take some practice, but once you get down to your desired strength (and have tried all of our recommended variations), you’ll know what works best for you.
How do you use a Belgian coffee siphon?
The coffee siphon has two chambers, one for water and one for coffee. To start, you fill both chambers with water and heat them on a stove. Then you put your ground coffee in a special filter at the bottom of the coffee chamber.
As both chambers heat up, the air is forced out of a valve at the top of each chamber, filling it with rich aromas from your brewing coffee.
Once all of the water has been heated, you remove both chambers from heat and let gravity do its thing: as the hot water in each chamber cools down, it creates a vacuum that pulls more hot water into each chamber through a valve at their base.
Once all of your coffee is brewed, remove one or both chambers from their stands to serve. If you’re using just one bowl to brew coffee (recommended), place an empty cup under its spout before removing it from its stand so that none of your perfectly brewed coffee goes to waste!
Is siphon coffee better?
One of the great things about a balancing siphon is that it requires minimal contact with hot water, making it one of the best ways to make coffee.
Many people who use a brewing machine (such as an espresso machine) will tell you that they still use their siphon for daily brews because it makes such delicious coffee.
There are many different kinds of balance siphons, and not all are created equal; some will be more effective than others at extracting flavor from your beans.
Balance siphons and vacuum coffee makers are very similar, though balance siphons rely on air pressure to function. They can be made of glass or plastic, but they require more complex techniques to brew properly.
Some owners say that a nicely-made balance siphon brews coffee as good as a traditional espresso machine, while others complain that they make too much fuss and too little liquid and cleaning one require more effort than most people would like. That said, it’s important to remember that all these methods create what many consider to be among the best-tasting coffees; all you need is patience and precision to get good results from any of them. The trick is finding which one fits your needs best. We hope our guide helps you do just that.