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Old 29-11-2022, 05:35   #1
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An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

Or perhaps I just don't understand it yet.


I bought a Chinese vacuum pot from Amazon.


It looks like a piece of lab equipment -- very cool. A bit fragile-looking for the boat, but let's see -- I'm testing it out at home so far.


So this contraption has an upper and lower pot connected by a siphon tube. You boil the water in the lower pot, and it is pushed out by the expanding air and steam into the upper pot. You mix the coffee into the upper pot, and then it's sucked back into the lower pot, through the filter, as this one cools.


That's the principle of it.


In practice, however --


As soon as you take the heat off (an alcohol burner), the water flows right back into the lower pot, giving you scant time to mix the coffee, or for the coffee to brew. You can't leave the heat on, or it will boil the lower pot dry.


The supplied alcohol burner can't be regulated at all, except by adjusting how much wick is out, which can only be done when it's off and cool.


Even with a regulateable burner, I can scarcely see how you can control how long the water stays in the upper pot.


I'm drinking my first cup -- brewed twice since I had to put the heat back on and push the water/coffee back up to brew. Despite the botched procedure, it tastes surprisingly good. So maybe there is something to this.


Anyone have any tips?
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Old 29-11-2022, 05:40   #2
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

A picture would make this more entertaining. Good post.
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Old 29-11-2022, 05:44   #3
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

Here you are:


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Old 29-11-2022, 06:21   #4
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

In college that would have been considered "paraphernalia"!
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Old 29-11-2022, 06:36   #5
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

I'll stick to the French press of I can't run the Mr Coffee. A lot simpler.
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Old 29-11-2022, 06:47   #6
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

Interesting and yes it does look like a piece of lab equipment.

Seems a bit too fragile to have on board. Will stick with a simple pour through filter that is bullet proof and can be prepared in the confines of the sink while underway.

For better flavor, we run a super fine grind (burr grinder) that was very similar to our old German grinder fresh before every brew.
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Old 29-11-2022, 07:19   #7
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

I used a stainless steel one once with a built in electric element. As you point out, the problem with the glass ones is that you can only drop them once.



You're supposed to put the coffee in the top at the beginning, before the water boils. The idea is that it's sort of a set-it-and-forget it thing. The electric one I had, had a thermostatic switch, and would trip from "boil" to "keep warm" once the water had more or less all boiled out. With a burner you have to shut it off yourself.


Conceptually you're supposed to be able to make coffee as good as with pour-over or french press but without having to have a separate kettle to heat water.


They enjoyed a brief period of popularity in the 1960s when they were seen as an improvement over the percolator, but before electric drip coffeemakers became widely available.
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Old 29-11-2022, 07:34   #8
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pirate Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

I would prefer the original Italian version.. same principle but a lot more rugged..
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Old 29-11-2022, 08:16   #9
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

Not sure why you call it stupid. You'll find similar setups at many specialty coffee shops in Japan. They love their Blue Mountain.

tips
https://acquiredcoffee.com/japanese-...ewing-methods/

Japanese legacy
https://coffeebeanroad.com/the-best-...coffee-makers/
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Old 29-11-2022, 08:26   #10
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

@boatman61 beat me to it. That's just a fancy percolator. Used to be one in every church function hall.

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Old 29-11-2022, 08:28   #11
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

A siphon isn't quite the same as a percolator. A percolator recycles the coffee through the bed of grounds multiple times. A siphon doesn't. Percolators also tend to brew at a somewhat too-hot temperature.
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Old 29-11-2022, 08:51   #12
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

In the 70's we were given a Cona vaccuum coffee maker, no filters and makes good coffee actually. Used to add coffee to upper chamber before putting on the heat so it brewed while the water was bubbling up.
https://www.cona.be/
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Old 29-11-2022, 09:19   #13
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

I've always done pour-over, except I have a cheap setup from Oxo that includes a reservoir to hold the water while it drips.

Usually with a pour-over you need to stand there holding the kettle.

With this you simply pour the water into the upper reservoir.

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Old 29-11-2022, 10:13   #14
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

My recollection of the old Cona we had way back was the glass stopper that was carefully designed so it let water pass but not coffee grinds. I doubt that a cloth filter can do that job as well.
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Old 29-11-2022, 10:21   #15
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Re: An Apparently Stupid Way to Make Coffee

Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
My recollection of the old Cona we had way back was the glass stopper that was carefully designed so it let water pass but not coffee grinds. I doubt that a cloth filter can do that job as well.


French press or nexprressoo.
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