barismo coffee

Syphon (Hario TCA-2 Model)

The syphon is a unique brewer in that it combines full immersion brewing (similar to a press pot, where all your coffee and all your water is in contact for the full brewing time), cloth filtration, and enhanced temperature stability. We prefer to brew syphons with a higher brew strength than we do with other brewers, but you can vary the dosage to achieve different results.

We use the Hario TCA-2 syphon to produce an ~8 ounce brew. While the syphon comes with an alcohol burner, we highly recommend upgrading to a butane burner (commonly sold as fondue or chafing burners) in order to better control temperature. You can use the same method for larger syphon brewers, just scale your coffee dosage with the brewer size.

 Syphon Brew Method

  1. If this is your first time brewing, you'll need to tie your cloth filter onto the filter holder. Make sure the filter is centered, and avoid having ruffles around the edges. Poorly tied syphon filters will be prone to failing to seal against the glass.
  2. Hook the filter to the top glass chamber, and ensure that it's centered. Rinse your filter with hot water until it runs totally clear.
  3. Fill the bottom glass globe with just off boil water to just above the "2" mark on the side. These are little numbers inside a cup logo near the "Hario" mark. This should be about 270mL.
  4. Insert the upper chamber into the lower globe. Make sure it is straight and centered, and seal it very lightly; if you use too much pressure, it will be very difficult to remove later.
  5. Grind your coffee on a medium-coarse setting. We prefer to brew closer to 70-75 grams per liter (for 270mL, ~19 grams).
  6. Turn your burner on high. As the water begins to rise to the top chamber, adjust your burner to as low as you can go without water falling back to the bottom globe. Place a thermometer in the top chamber, and adjust your burner until your temperature stabilizes near 92C.
  7. Have your stirring paddle, timer, and coffee ready to go. Dump the coffee into the top chamber. Immediately start your timer and stir your coffee. To stir, you want to move your paddle in a "N" motion (up/down/up, left to right). You want to create "waves" that crash into each other, so the coffee is fully saturated with water, but you don't end up with a vortex/whirlpool afterwards.
  8. When the timer hits 30 seconds, stir again in the same style.
  9. At 45-50 seconds, turn off your burner (in a colder room, wait closer to 50 seconds). 
  10. At the 55 second mark, stir your coffee and apply a cold, damp towel to the top section of the bottom globe. This will create a rapid change in temperature & vapor pressure, causing the coffee to be drawn back down through the cloth filter.
  11.  The draw down should be around 35 - 50 seconds. When finished, gently rock the top glass chamber in circles until it comes free of the bottom globe.

Cleanup & Filter Care

  1. Cover the top chamber, and give it a vigorous shake to free the coffee on the bottom. Remove the filter, rinse it free of grounds, and clean the glass chamber.
  2. Attach the filter back to the top glass chamber, and rinse it with copious amounts of hot water, until the rinse water runs clear.
  3. Store the filter in a container of cold water in the fridge. It's important that the filter stays wet, and isn't allowed to dry out.
  4. We recommend boiling the filter in a pot of water every few weeks to keep it clean. You can boil it with a tiny amount of JoeGlo or other coffee detergent, just make sure to rinse it well afterwards.

Cheat Sheet

Water volume:  270mL
Time:      2:00

Insert coffee & stir.
Start timer.
0:30     Stir coffee again.
0:45        Turn off burner.
0:55   Stir & drain coffee.
1:40 - 1:55  Drawdown finishes.