Revisitting the Vaccumn Brewer!

Today, I have sometime to myself and decided to dig out in the coffee toy pile this," width="185" height="240" />

This is the Yama vaccumm pot coffee brewer (also known as siphon brewer) that I have purchase a while ago when I was just started to get into coffee.  I remembered quite clearly that I purchase this brewing device from the Inteligentsia store in Chicago along with one pound of their medium roated coffee (could not remember which origin) and that night I was very excited to head home and try to make coffee with it. At that time, I was still using a blade grinder to ground the coffee yet I remebered that I enjoyed the coffee  I made from it tremedously. I was able to experiment with it quite a bit, using different methods of brewing with it. After a while, I got tired with the device and put it back into its box until now that is!

As most coffee enthusiast know, vaccumm pot coffee maker enjoyed a revival of interest from the coffee enthusiast community a few year back. There were very fancy equiptment made such as the much sought after (and expensive) halogen burner for this vaccumn brewer. In fact, the Japanese hold competition specifically for picking out who can make the best vaccumn pot coffee! Of course, one of the thing that inspired to to get into vaccumn pot coffee was this excellent video from Inteligentsia:


Because I have not used this vaccumn pot for a long time, I do not know the ideal grind setting for it; therefore I just use the same setting as the Aeropress on the Baratza Vario grinder. I follow the dose of 60 grams of coffee for one liter of water and decided to make 0.5L of brewed coffee (thus using 30 grams of beans);  I decided to use my medium roasted Costa Rican which lately has become a stable in my household.

I'm using the method of allow the water to be fully pushed up into the upper bowl and reach proper brewing temperature (approximately 200F) before adding the ground coffee. I allow the ground coffee to be saturated and brewed for about 1 minute before removing it from the heat to allow drawing down process to begin. I try to minimize agitation to prevent extraction. The drawn down process completed in about another minute. So, after two minutes, I would have coffee to drink!

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One of the reason that I do not use the vacumm pot too frequently is because of the clean up that is involved. It take even more time than the french press to clean! The upper bowl and the lower bowl must be meticulously cleaned so that it do not impart bad taste for the next brewing session. Additionally, the cloth filter is also a pain to clean as well. After cleaning the coth filter, I place it inside a small water-filled container in the refrigerator so that it do not get moldy or develop a bad taste. Because of the amount of work that is involved in cleaning the filter, I'm seriously consider purchasing the mesh filter for this, we will see about that!

Now about the coffee, I find that for my first attempt, it was not bad! The body is definitely not as heavy as something that comes from a french press or an aeropress. The flavor are there but more delicate, more deliniated. However, it seem to be a bit over-extracted because it has a hint of bitterness; as the coffee cool, the astringentcy and bitterness become more prominant. I'm thinking that the coffee are grounded too fine; next time, I will definitely ground much courser. Overall, I'm very excited about this brewer and planning to do more experiment with it!


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