The 5 Best Vacuum Coffee Makers (Siphon): Brew Coffee Like A Chemist!

What exactly is a vacuum coffee maker? Nowadays, the technology that you can get for your home is astounding. You could potentially watch TV on your refrigerator or control your lights and appliances with your smartphone. So, if I told you that you could use your vacuum cleaner to brew coffee, would you believe me?

Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you thought that this was true but sadly that’s not the case. Still, a vacuum coffee maker (also known as a siphon coffee maker) is without a doubt one of the most ingenious coffee brewing devices out there.

Editor’s Favorite Vacuum Coffee Maker: Bodum K1218-16 Pebo

Price – 5/5
Craftsmanship – 4.5/5
Brew Quality – 4.5/5
Design – 4/5

Bodum might not have created the most extravagant vacuum coffee maker, but the K1218-16 Pebo will consistently deliver an exquisite tasting brew into your cup, at an affordable price.

Vacuum Coffee Makers: What You Should Know

Generally speaking, it is safe to assume that a vacuum coffee maker is not going to be someone’s very first coffee machine – nowadays, that’s usually an automatic drip coffee maker. Seasoned coffee lovers and coffee aficionados are definitely the primary target audience of this brewing method.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the vacuum brewing method is an immersion style brewing method – like the AeroPress or the French press. This means that the water and the coffee are in direct contact with each other although the brewing process. Many coffee drinkers will cite clearer flavors as the main reason why they prefer immersion brewing.

The namesake “vacuum” in this style of coffee maker is actually created when heat is applied to the apparatus. The heat forces water into the top chamber while creating a vacuum in the bottom one. The coffee grounds and the water intermingle in the top chamber and then the brewed coffee drains out into the bottom chamber.

How We Ranked These Vacuum Coffee Makers: Criteria Breakdown

Even though for many people, a vacuum coffee maker is definitely a pseudo art piece, we first and foremost considered the primary function – how well did they make a cup of coffee.

This was then contrasted with their retail price; after all, would you pay twice as much for the exact same cup of coffee.

The next step was to then weigh the coffee quality and the price against the durability and overall craftsmanship. Was the coffee maker more affordable because it was made from subpar materials? Would it potentially break or lose its integrity after just a few uses?

Lastly, after all of this was taken into account, we then looked at aesthetics. Did the vacuum coffee maker feature a minimalist design or was it intricately crafted? Was it potentially a great conversation piece or just another coffee brewer?

The 7 Best Vacuum Coffee Makers: Side-By-Side

Name & Price


Bodum K1218-16 Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker

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+ Relatively affordable
+ Minimalist design
+ Consistently produces a rich tasting brew

Handle could be sturdier

HARIO Technica Three Cup Coffee Siphon

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+ Affordably priced
+ Sturdy craftsmanship

* Not everyone will love cloth filters

Yama Glass 8 Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon

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+ Compact design
+ 32 ounce and 20 ounce versions

* Not everyone will love cloth filters

Not as durable as some competitors

Kendal Glass Tabletop Siphon Coffee Maker

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+ Affordably priced

* Almost identical in appearance to the HARIO Technica
* Not everyone will love cloth filters

Not as durable as some competitors

Nispira Belgian Luxury Balance Siphon Coffee Maker

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+ Exceptional craftsmanship
+ Great conversation piece
+ Metal parts instead of plastic

* Luxury price for a luxury design
* Higher price doesn’t mean better tasting coffee

Vacuum Coffee Maker In-Depth Reviews

Now that we’ve shown you what we consider to be the 5 best vacuum coffee makers, let’s go into detail about what’s so great (or not so great) about each of them.

Bodum K1218-16 Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker – Our Top Pick

As we said before, the Bodum K1218-16 Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker is definitely our top pick. Still, all things considered, it just barely managed to edge its way above some of the other vacuum coffee makers on our list.

The first things that initially drew our attention to this coffee maker was it fell into (what we considered to be) a reasonable price range. Initially, this wasn’t all that significant to us; however, our opinion changed after we had tested various vacuum coffee makers. The Bodum Pebo manages to brew coffee that tastes just as good (and often times better) that vacuum coffee makers that are two or three times more expensive.

When it comes to coffee makers and other appliances, we have to wonder what the manufacturer had to sacrifice in order to make their product cheaper for consumers.

In this regard, the most noticeable thing about the Bodum Pebo is the fact that it has one of the most minimalist designs out of all of the vacuum coffee makers that we looked at. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, sometimes simple is better. However, if you’re purchasing a vacuum coffee maker to be a brewer and a conversation piece, then the Bodum Pebo might not be the best choice.

The only other nitpick that we could make about the Bodum Pebo is that maybe the handle could be a bit sturdier. All in all, if you want a relatively affordable way to make an exceptional tasting cup of vacuum brewed coffee, then you can’t go wrong with the Bodum K1218-16 Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker.

HARIO Technica Three Cup Coffee Siphon – The Runner-Up

The HARIO Technica Three Cup Coffee Siphon is the runner-up in our vacuum coffee maker ranking and it definitely gave our top pick a good fight. In fact, we can definitely understand if the HARIO Technica is someone’s top pick.

One of the things that the HARIO Technica has going for it, is the fact that it is affordably priced compared to similar devices in this niche. Since we love it, you know that there are obviously a slew of great things about it. The most evident ones are its sturdy craftsmanship, its simplistic design, the great tasting coffee that it makes.

There is one polarizing feature that it has that definitely contributed to it being our runner-up – the cloth filter. Not to brag or anything but we’re coffee aficionados, so we definitely know that reusable cloth filters do have their benefits. However, these benefits don’t exist in a vacuum (no pun intended) and so they have to be weighed against the negative factors.

Since they are reusable, cloth filters are more economical than paper filters; however, they also absorb more of the delicious coffee oils compared to a metal or plastic filter. Perhaps one of the main reasons why people love cloth filters is the fact that they drastically reduce the amount of “coffee mud” in the bottom of your cup. On the other hand, one of the main reasons why people dislike cloth filters is because they are annoying to clean.

Yama Glass 8 Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon – The Compact Choice

“Small’ is definitely the keyword whenever you’re talking about the Yama Glass Stovetop Coffee Siphon.

It comes in two sizes; a 32 ounce version and a smaller 20 ounce version. It is small in stature, being more compact than the small Bodum Pebo. Last but not least, it also has a relatively small price tag.

This is another vacuum coffee maker that has a relatively simplistic design; however, we found that it didn’t seem to be as sturdy as our top pick or the runner-up. This was perhaps most evident in the seal between the chambers. It didn’t fail us while we were using it but it is safe to assume that it would cause problems before the HARIO Technica and the Bodum Pebo.

Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that it uses a cloth filter – it’s up to you to decide if that is a positive or a negative.

Kendal Glass Tabletop Siphon Coffee Maker – The Other Runner-Up

Yes, technically the HARIO Technica is the vacuum coffee maker that we gave second place to but if we’re being perfectly honest, that title could have easily gone to the Kendal Glass Tabletop Siphon Coffee Maker.

This isn’t really a surprise, since design-wise, the Kendal Siphon Coffee Maker seems like a carbon copy of the HARIO Technica. In fact, we first thought that we had made a mistake and were brewing with the wrong device during our testing!

This is part of the reason why the Kendal Siphon Coffee Maker couldn’t beat the HARIO Technica in our ranking, it just doesn’t do anything better than its twin. Granted, it is noticeably cheaper than the HARIO Technica but we can’t give it extra points for that because the materials are noticeably cheaper and the craftsmanship doesn’t seem up to par.

Still, if you like the HARIO Technica but it is out of your price range, then the Kendal Siphon Coffee Maker may be what you’re looking for.

Nispira Belgian Luxury Balance Siphon Coffee Maker – The Real Conversation Piece

The Nispira Belgian Luxury Balance Siphon Coffee Maker definitely has one thing over the rest of the coffee makers on our list, it is absolutely the best conversation piece.

Remember when we mentioned that some vacuum coffee makers have price tags that are double or even triple the cost of our top pick (the Bodum Pebo)? Yeah, well the Nispira Siphon Coffee Maker is one of those.

Still, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that you aren’t just paying for the flashy (and arguably gaudy) design. The Nispira Siphon Coffee Maker is a well made piece of equipment that will definitely last for a long time if you take care of it.

In addition to this, many of its components are made of metal – a lot of the vacuum coffee makers on the market use plastic instead. So it can definitely stand up better to general wear and tear.

All in all, the Nispira Siphon Coffee Maker brews a great tasting cup of coffee and it is great to look at. However, it is a bit sad to see that cheaper and less complex machines can easily brew up a similar tasting or even better cup of coffee.

A Buyer’s Guide to Vacuum Coffee Makers: Here’s What to Look For When Buying

If you want to shop around for the perfect vacuum coffee maker on your own, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  • Brew size will vary between brands and models. This is perhaps the most obvious thing to keep in mind because this can be said for any type of coffee maker. We found that the average range from vacuum coffee maker brew sizes was 3 to 8 cups.
  • Standalone or stovetop is definitely something that you should keep in mind. Far too many buyers have unknowingly purchased stovetop devices when they actually wanted a standalone version. We haven’t found any significant difference in flavor between these two styles, so we just recommend that you go with the one that suits your needs best.
  • Coffee maker or conversation piece; which do you want more? Vacuum coffee makers are definitely not in the running for cheapest brewing method but even then, there are some models that are way more expensive and intricate than others. Do you just want a simple device that can brew a great cup of coffee or do you also want a conversation piece that you can brag about?

Vacuum Coffee Maker – FAQs

What Type Of Filter Is Best For Vacuum Coffee?

The correct answer will vary depending on what you want in your cup. Paper and cloth filters have the benefit of greatly reducing the amount of residue that make it into your cup. However, they also absorb a lot of the oils from your coffee beans and the oils are what give your coffee most of its flavor.

On the other hand, metal and plastic filters won’t stop those oils from making their way into your cup. However, your coffee will most likely have some residue in it.

What Does Vacuum Coffee Taste Like?

Like we said before, a vacuum coffee maker uses immersion style brewing. So, you can expect to get rich flavors in your cup, especially if you use a medium-coarse grind size for your coffee.

Like we stated previously, you should also keep in mind that the type of filter that your vacuum coffee maker uses will also affect the final taste that you get.

How to Brew Coffee With A Vacuum Coffee Maker

Here’s a simple, easy to follow guide on how to brew coffee with a vacuum coffee maker.

  1. Preheat the water that you are going to be using for brewing. This step is optional if you’re using a stovetop brewer. However,  if you’re using a standalone brewer that has alcohol wick burner, we highly recommend that you don’t skip this step.
  2. Using your scale or other measuring device, determine the necessary amount of water and ground coffee. For your first time, we recommend a ratio of 100ml of water for every 7g of ground coffee.
  3. Place the water in the bottom chamber and apply the heat. The water will start to boil and then make its way into the top chamber.
  4. Then add the coffee to the water that is in the top chamber. Make sure that all of the coffee grounds are submerged, give the mixture a light stir once all of the water has made it way into the top chamber (we recommend using a wooden spoon or stirrer).
  5. Start a timer for one to one-and-a-half minutes and wait until it has elapsed. Then, turn off the heat source and then give the mixture a few quick (and careful) stirs.
  6. Now watch as gravity and that cool vacuum effect draws the coffee back down into the bottom chamber.
  7. That’s it! Once the coffee has finished filtering through, all you have to do is pour it into your cup and enjoy.

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