Something there is about brewing coffee that’s deeply satisfying to the mad scientist within. It’s a sort of alchemy — brewing black gold from unassuming, roasted beans. And there is likely no method of brewing that better manifests the gee whiz chemistry-set aspect of brewing than a vacuum pot. With it’s stacked glass globes, tubes and spirit lamp, the vac pot looks right at home on your favorite science fiction movie set. Sure, there’s the Chemex brewer — which looks ripped straight from the pages of a science-supply catalog — still, it lacks the gravity defying performance aspect of the vacuum pot.
Vacuum pots are seldom used today, which is a shame. A vacuum pot offers the deep flavor and body of a coffee press, with the sediment-free clarity of a drip-filter. Its elegant brewing system — a combination of water-vapor pressure and gravity — can wow the uninitiated today just as it did in the royal courts of France and Vienna in the nineteenth century. It doesn’t require a royal purse to take one home… vac pots range between $40 and $90 for the most part, while balance syphons worthy of his majesty’s banquet table can be had for $200 to $300.
Next time you want to make a production worthy of a really good single-origin bean, consider wowing ’em with a vacuum pot. Creepy music and lightning effects are, of course, entirely optional.