This is the Siphonysta. I’ll admit, I was skeptical.
From the promo video showing some really dark coffee to the marketing materials making some really bold statements like “for generations, siphon coffee makers have been hailed as the source of peak coffee flavor.”
And after spending some time with this product, I’ll admit - I’m still skeptical, but very much impressed. Is impressed the right word? No. Maybe, charmed?
This product was sent to me for review, although I am not being compensated by them and all thoughts and opinions remain my own, and I will be sending this unit back to them after my review period.
So in full disclosure I’ve never had a cup of siphon brewed coffee before. So I’m not exactly comparing this brewer to traditional siphon brewed coffee, more so I’m judging whether or not it can produce a consistently good cup of coffee.
But before getting to that, let’s go through the build quality.
So this machine was originally supposed to have a $700 MSRP but has since been reduced to $500. At the time of checking this brewer out, it even had a 30% off coupon you can clip on Amazon effectively bringing this down to $350. But while filming, it seems to have been brought back to $500.
For the advertised price, I really do wish better materials were being used. This machine uses a lot of plastic parts and components.
From the brewer itself to the body of the machine, everything just feels a little on the budget end of the spectrum, to put it kindly.
The touch sensitive buttons are surprisingly responsive and work well, and weirdly enough I really enjoy the tactile clickyness of the components. The lever to actually dispense your brewed coffee is also an odd joy to use.
There are some metal components like this odd holder device thing that honestly doesn’t feel like it was thought through very well, and it’s also just sort of rough with no smooth edges or seems. Essentially a bent sheet of metal with a reflective coating.
While the build quality is unimpressive, let’s move onto what is.
So this brewer is intended to brew similarly to a Syphon coffee brewer, using steam and pressure to brew with a really interesting effect that occurs with the pressure build up.
Grounds are dumped on top of this metal mesh french-press like filter. Water is added to the upper chamber which is then heated up and poured over the grounds. The pressure then builds up and the chamber itself gets steamy, like a sauna.
Speaking of grounds, I’ve been using a fairly coarse almost french press like grind with a 1:15 ratio.
After a few minutes, the coffee is filtered through the metal mesh, up the tube, and into the upper chamber, in a very satisfying and cool way to observe.
Then for the interesting part, the coffee is dispensed on this right side of the machine through a tube with a little lever.
Now there are different ways you can brew the coffee and the instruction booklet sort of tells if to use certain selections for either more or less body and more or less acidity or bitterness - which is a nice dumbed down way to explain it but at the same time, I found made minimal differences in the cup.
But - It does brew great coffee.
Now about the actual brews I’ve been getting.
The coffee profile I’ve been getting out of this machine is very comparable to something like an Aeropress with a metal filter - which makes a lot of sense given that the Aeropress is mostly an immersion brewer that then pushes the coffee with pressure out the bottom.
They are definitely delicious, full bodied cups, with good levels of sweetness and a decent amount of clarity. The machine feels satisfying to use and is very fun to watch. It’s fairly consistent with brews as well which is great.
But, that’s where the fun ends and I have a few key problems with this machine aside from its price point. First, it’s really annoying to clean and keep clean.
Cleaning this device and prepping it for another brew, is a major piece of work. You have to remove the now very hot plastic bubble shaped device. The top piece needs to come off and sit on a towel or mat to prevent your work surface from getting wet. The same for the middle and bottom piece.
And because of the rounded bottom, you also need to now carefully balance this bottom half without spilling coffee grounds or immediately go and clean it out in the bin. It’s easy enough to remove 90% of the grounds but never perfectly clean inevitably leading to some grounds going down the drain. Although this is a similar problem with some french presses and Aeropress brews.
Then each component needs to be cleaned thoroughly, and you need to clean the tube within the device so you have to re-hook up the device with water and run one pass without any coffee through, just to get it to be clean.
Because there are so many parts and pieces and gaskets, I would also be worried about potential for any of these components breaking or wearing over time.
Second, this brewer requires a lot of work for essentially one cup of coffee, so it’s not great for a crowd and time consuming to brew back to back.
The very very small brewing capacity is annoying to say the least. While a good cup of coffee, it’s a small cup of coffee.
And finally, it’s incredibly expensive, so let’s talk about that.
Who is this wildly futuristic coffee brewer for? I…don’t really know. With some of my other more recent reviews like the Comandante C60, that device was kind of viewed as a “this is great to flex on friends or someone with money” kind of thing.
In this case, I don’t even really know. For $500, I simply can’t justify anyone buying this machine when you can so easily snag an Aeropress for under $50, combine it with the metal filter, and get a very similar cup profile or better since you can really fine tune your brews with an Aeropress.
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