How to Brew Coffee in a Vacuum Pot (A Complete Guide)

Last Updated on January 30, 2022 by John Moretti

The Vacuum Pot or Siphon Pot has stood the test of time. It dates back to the 1830s and is still widely used today. There is a slight learning curve but nothing you can’t overcome with practice and perseverance. In no time, you’ll learn how to brew coffee in a vacuum pot.

So I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you achieve your goal of brewing coffee in a vacuum pot.

Prerequisites for a Vacuum Pot Brew

Before you start, gather the following items:

  • Your favorite roasted beans in a medium grind
  • Kettle
  • A stirrer
  • Scale, for consistent measurements
  • Timer, for accuracy
  • A Burner
  • Metal or cloth filter
  • A Vacuum Pot aka Siphon coffee maker

Now you can jump right into the brewing process.

The 7 Steps to Brew Coffee in A Vacuum Pot

Making coffee using a vacuum pot or siphon coffee maker is not your run-of-the-mill brewing method. It takes relatively longer and needs you to be assiduous.

But again, it’s not an impossible task. Follow these steps to make the perfect brew:

1. Getting Ready

Preheat the filtered water in the kettle before pouring it into the pot. Doing this cuts down the brewing time slightly. Next, ensure that your coffee beans are medium ground. 

2. Put On the Filter

Dop the metal filter into the upper container and pull at the metal string through the siphon tube. If you’re using a cloth filter, soak it in hot water for at least one minute. This allows it to fit well into the holder.

3. Pour Water and Add Coffee

The next step you can take is pouring preheated filtered water into the pot. Turn on the burner and place it under the pot. 

Next, place the upper container into the pot. As you do this, you’ll notice the water push up through the funnel into the upper container due to the heat.

4. Add the Coffee Grounds

Once all the water is in the upper container, do a temperature check to ensure that it is at 200℉. If the temperature is right, add the medium ground coffee and reduce the heat. Stir well to fully saturate.

5. Allow it to Sit

After stirring, allow the coffee grounds to steep in for at least 70 seconds. Once the 70 seconds are up, turn off the burner and remove it from under the pot, if possible. Now stir gently in a circular motion. The coffee should start flowing down into the lower chamber. 

6. Final Step: Enjoy

It should take about a minute for the coffee to completely drain into the pot. Once you notice that all the coffee is in the lower chamber, remove the top container gently. Allow the coffee to cool down for 4-5 minutes.

Once it has cooled down, pour into a cup and enjoy!

Tips to Make the Perfect Siphon Coffee Brew

1. Maintain the Right Ratio

To truly enjoy the rejuvenating taste of coffee, the balance between water and coffee has to be perfect. The recommended ratio for a vacuum pot brew is 1:16 (1 gram of coffee for every 16ml of water).

Moreover, the amount of coffee and water will depend on how much coffee you want to make.

2. Keep the Consistency

The kind of coffee you make is directly proportionate to the volume of ingredients added and the brewing techniques employed. 

Any deviation from the prescribed method can result in a flavor that is a far cry from your ideal cup of coffee (or it could lead you to discover and develop new tastes). Thus, you must be consistent in the heating, stirring, and timing.

3. Preheat the Water

preheat water

By taking this small step, you can control your brewing time and even reduce the total time taken. 

You can either preheat the water in the recommended kettle that we suggested, or you can do the same in the lower chamber. You don’t want to use water that is at a lower temperature. It’ll take longer and most likely affect the final result.

4. Proper Grind

When brewing a cup of coffee in a vacuum pot, you should ensure that your coffee beans are ground to a medium level of coarseness. 

This would be finer than what is normally put in an automatic drip machine. Again remember that even the coarseness of coffee affects the kind of coffee you’ll be drinking at the end of the brewing session.

5. Help with the Cooldown

At the end of the brewing time, you can expedite the cooling process by putting a cool, wet cloth around the lower chamber. 

Or you can blow on the pot to cool it down. Also, ensure that the burner is moved from under the pot. Don’t try to cool it too quickly by putting an ice pack around it. You risk breaking the glass.

Vacuum Pot – How It Works

1. What is A Vacuum Pot?

A vacuum pot, also known as a Siphon Pot, is an appliance that has two major components – the upper container and the lower chamber. And also, don’t be confused with the word syphon. It is an alternative word but seldom used.

Both containers are simultaneously used to brew coffee. Apart from the upper and lower containers, two other components are integral to the setup. These are the funnel and the burner (or any other heat source).

2. How does A Vacuum Pot Work?

Two naturally occurring phenomena are foundational to the success of the vacuum pot. They are the force of gravity and water vapor. 

As the water in the lower chamber is set to boil, the vapor pressure forces the water to pass upward through the funnel into the upper container.

This boiling water is greeted by the coffee grounds at the end of the funnel and proceeds to mix (with a little help from your stirring). Once the heat is lowered, the newly brewed coffee passes through the funnel back into the pot. The filter ensures that the coffee grounds remain in the upper container, thus allowing you to enjoy a hot cup of coffee.

3. What does A Vacuum Pot Brewed Coffee Taste like?

Brew Coffee in A Vacuum Pot

It tastes like coffee, we can assure you of that! 

But not just any coffee, it has a fuller and rich taste of coffee. Using the vacuum pot to make your coffee will bring out the best in the coffee beans. It will surely satisfy the cravings of a palate that longs for a specialty coffee.

4. How to Maintain A Vacuum Pot?

Maintaining a vacuum pot is easy as long as you avoid any delay in cleaning. 

Once you’re done with a brewing session, immediately get to cleaning the upper container. First, remove the filter and throw away the used coffee grounds. Rinse the filter in hot water for a thorough cleansing.

Next, wash the upper chamber with hot water as you did with the filter. It’s important to clean the upper container immediately after brewing to avoid drying up any of the coffee grounds. The pot also requires a good washing with your good ol’ hands. Just avoid using soap to wash the funnel. 

To finish, dry with a towel before stowing it away.

5. What are the Benefits of A Vacuum Pot Brew?


There are several benefits to brewing coffee in a vacuum pot. The foremost benefit is the quality of coffee

The special brew that is a product of the vacuum pot has very few that rivals it. There is hardly any flavor wasted when you brew it in a vacuum pot. It has a unique appeal, especially to coffee lovers. 

Finally, you don’t need any electricity to brew coffee in a vacuum pot. Sounds pretty neat to us!

6. What are the Disadvantages of A Vacuum Pot Coffee Maker?

The main criticism is the amount of time spent making the coffee. 

If you want to make coffee using a vacuum pot, you must be prepared to be vigilant and constantly attend to the pot to ensure that you don’t overshoot the prescribed parameters. 

It is a more labor-intensive method since every stage needs you to work for your hands. In addition, it involves higher maintenance through extensive cleaning. Lastly, vacuum pot coffee making is relatively harder to master than other methods.


The entire vacuum pot apparatus is certainly appealing to the naked eye. Those who are well versed with the way of the coffee beans are especially impressed. Using a vacuum pot in front of friends and family will have them appreciating the reality that they are in the presence of a person of culture.

However, taking out the vacuum pot every time you want your caffeine fix will prove a hurdle. So this coffee-making method is set apart for special occasions only.

It takes diligence and dedication to make a cup of coffee through the centuries-old method. However, by following each step and practicing, you will see the fruit of your endeavors soon.