A barista and a chemist walk into a cafe… At least that’s how I’d imagined a siphon, or sometimes called a vacuum pot, was invented. I’d seen the occasional Instagram post that looked as though Walter White was making his morning brew, but up until about a month ago, I had never got the opportunity to try one myself.
I was visiting Brighton at the end of March and found myself at Small Batch Coffee Roasters. I’d only had their coffee once before when a friend made me a Blue Note V60 (a 50-50 mix of El Salvador Finca Patagonia and Kenya Kiaga Peaberry). As I was browsing their menu, I noticed they had that filter blend as well as an Easter blend on batch brew, but what I was really happy to see was their brew bar, which included Hario siphons. I thought I’d take the opportunity to try one.
Their siphon brew((Although spelt “syphon” in Small Batch’s menu, I decided to go with the more common “siphon” spelling. More info here.)) was made using Ecuador (Rosa Cotacachi’s farm) beans and are described as “super sweet pineapple, cheery and almond flavours with a clean and crisp mouthfeel”. After ordering the brew from their till, I made my way to their brew bar to have a seat and watch my coffee being prepared. I really enjoyed the atmosphere at Small Batch; sitting by the EK43 and seeing a barista measure out the beans, grind them, and get the rest of the equipment ready felt like a special occasion. I think this played a big part of what I enjoyed about the experience as it’s not an everyday one.
“Fully washed Caturra varietals grown at 2300m above sea level. Super sweet, tropical fruit acidity up front with clean crisp mouthfeel” read the descriptive card that came along with a filled Hario Server and coffee cup. I liked the presentation and must say that it did feel more special than drinking an average cup of coffee. The drink itself delivered on taste; it was fruity and delicious as many third wave coffees are but with a distinct taste that perhaps the siphon method is to be thanked for.
There’s so many things I still want to discover when it comes to coffee, and I’d like to one day taste test V60, Chemex, Siphon, etc. side-by-side to see what each brew method brings to the final product. That being said, I throughoughly enjoyed my first siphon experience and would recommend Small Batch Coffee Roasters to anyone who would like to try this too. Their knowledge about their coffees and friendliness were much appreciated!