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Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

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  • Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

    I recently received a Hario Coffee Syphon for Christmas and would like to know what type of grind I should use.
    I know the grind of coffee can vary from place to place.  I purchased my favourite blend and it was ground as a 6 however I find I end up with too much silt in my coffee when using the syphon.
    What does everyone else suggest?
    There is nothing mentioned about coffee grind type in the instructions.

  • #2
    Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

    Welcome to CS Nattles.
    If have the option to grind your own this is best. Make sure you are getting your beans fresh from a local roaster (with a nice clear roast date on). Like I say if you can grind your own not only will the coffee be much better but you can have a play with grind settings. I grind my syphon beans quite course, but to give you a number might not help as different grinders have different numbers and settings.

    What beans are you using?


    ps: thats not your syphon in the picture is it? ;D


    • #3
      Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

      Hi Chris,
      As yet I dont have a grinder, but I agree this will probably be the best option.
      At the moment, I purchase my ground coffee from a speciality coffee merchant at the Queen Vic Market in Melbourne.
      I quite like the Colombian Mix and Dominican grind I buy, but Im also trying others. Mocha Kenya is another favourite.
      You are right about the pic, its my Ottoespresso.
      I purchased this beauty mid 2009. It is very similar to the old Atomic coffee makers from the 1950s.
      I love it.

      Thanks for the tips.



      • #4
        Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

        You are welcome Nattles.

        Traditionally the syphon community tend to lean towards single origin coffees, one reason being that syphon makes a tea like coffee quite delicate. Usually lighter roasts are recommended with more fruit type flavours etc noticable. However you may well enjoy the blends you are buying but they are more than likely darker roasted and therefore the lighter flavours are likely to be roasted out.
        I do try blends in mine and sometimes put darker roasts through so dont be swayed by the masses saying it has to be this or that, I am just sharing my own journey so far.

        Most of all have fun enjoying different things



        • #5
          Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

          When I wanted to an answer to the grind question a few months ago,
          I searched this site and others and came up with -- guess what --
          several different answers. Nonetheless its worth doing the search
          to get some insight into how the syphon operates at different
          settings. Then experiment yourself with the different tradeoffs.

          In our personal experience with a similar syphon, my wife has used
          a fine grind at close to espresso setting and got reasonable results.
          Personally I prefer a bit coarser but still a long way from plunger
          grind. Maybe ask for something in that region as a starting point.
          As suggested, using your own grinder is a much better option (eg a
          hand grinder, theres a lot of discussion of that option here).

          Not sure why you have a lot of "silt" -- never had that problem to
          any significant extent with the cloth filter.


          • #6
            Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

            hello nattles,

            i would recommend using a very course grind, from a flat burr grinder. Personally, I think should be coarser than plunger, similar to a "cupping" grind. The grind will vary from bean to bean, ie. kenyans use a slightly finer grind for the best results.

            to reiterate hazbean, experiment to see what you prefer.


            • #7
              Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

              I use a grind size around white sugar grain granules...

              I have also got good results going a little finer. Recently I visited some syphon bars in taiwan. I saw a real specialist who has been making syphon coffee for more than 20 years. He used a medium fine grind- with a 45 seconds steep- two stirs- one at the start and one at the end. stunning coffee he made.


              • #8
                Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                I thought it might be a good idea to try  Ashleighs suggestion.

                First try was to just change the grind to what I use for cupping, which is fairly coarse, and keep the brewing time the same ie about 50 seconds. Drawdown was about 40 seconds, only a few seconds faster than usual. I thought the result was a little lacking in body compared to previous efforts, but pretty good otherwise. So second attempt had the brew time at 90 seconds, an improvement. Then another go at 2 minutes, not so good, so last couple of attempts have been at 90 seconds. Must admit to being impressed, close to some of the best syphon brews Ive done in fact. Will continue to experiment though as Im not very far up the syphon learning curve yet.

                So now we have tried syphon brews at grinds from very fine to very coarse. Drawdown time has varied from about 40 seconds to about 60. A surprisingly small variation considering the differencce in grind. This is with a TCA-2 syphon, 20g coffee.


                • #9
                  Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                  Originally posted by 4C504D4D5A514B56515E5C5059595A5A3F0 link=1263360133/6#6 date=1263617615
                  Recently I visited some syphon bars in taiwan.
                  Im visiting Taipei soon, can you recommend some of these with directions?

                  Newbie here. Ive been brewing syphon for the past month and loving it. I have the TCA-3. Currently getting my beans from St Ali.


                  • #10
                    Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                    Hello Sprae,

                    the places I visited were in Tainan- on the other side of the Island. One of them is an amazing emporium with every type of brewing device ever made... The other places were small- but one of them had a Kees Van Der Western Speedster- but made me an Aeropress instead... If you are going to Tainan let me now and I will look up the details of a few good places there. Syphons are fairly common in Taiwan so I am sure you will find some in Taipei...

                    I may post a thread about the Taiwan coffee scene...


                    • #11
                      Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                      Ive had syphon coffee in Japan, Hong Kong and Taipei. 2 out of 3 was absolutely terrible. The good one was in one of Tokyos alley cafe.

                      I was only recently converted when St Ali opened Sensory Lab and had one there. Fresh, subtle and pure taste of Kenyan coffee.

                      Got my Hario TCA-3 for $100 shipped online.


                      • #12
                        Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                        Hi Nattles,
                        Some good suggestions here. I know the specialty coffee place you are talking about at the Vic market - i think there will probably be some better options for getting coffee for your syphon than there.
                        A roaster who supplies some of the cafes doing syphon and pour-overs might be a good start. PM me if you would like some recommendations.

                        Happy brewing,


                        • #13
                          Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                          er, this thread has gone cold for awhile... so i wonder if theres any point in posting.

                          nattles i hope your syphons have improved, just a thought but what kind of filter is on the syphon youre using?

                          a good cloth filter really should leave a very clean brew, but i know the glass cona/cory type rod filters can leave some silt.
                          one of my old corning pyrex models came with a cory type glass filter rod, but an identical one i have uses a metal insert covered with cloth, and the brews are quite different. the cloth filter has recently sprung a hole along the lower edge, it really needs replacing as alot of grind makes it through, but a hario drawstring replacement filter cloth will fit. site sponsor sorrentina stock them, as im sure a few others, maybe even st ali.
                          the glass rod however is a nice idea and looks nice, but the resultant brews take longer to draw down and are muddier. so it tends to stay in the cupboard. i know some of the glass rods like cona are somewhat better but cloth tends to provide a cleaner coffee.


                          • #14
                            Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                            i have just started on this syphon thing, but the question i have is, does the grind effect the drawdown? surely that is more to do with the filter. the coffee grinds see to float on the surface, and once stirred, they head back up, so when the heat is taken away, the only thing effecting the time taken to drawdown, is the filter.
                            the grind will make a difference to the result in terms of surface area etc, but not for drawdown.



                            • #15
                              Re: Grind type for Syphon coffee maker

                              Originally posted by 5B4245434449300 link=1263360133/13#13 date=1280291401
                              does the grind effect the drawdown
                              YES if you grind to fine then the filter no matter what one it is will clog and stall the drawdown (creates implosion risk ). The Glass drainers are much worse for this than the cloth ones as they are only using a very small surface area to draw through.

                              Sounds like you are only doing one stir?? Normal for me at least is as the water rises make sure you gently wet all the grinds by gentle movement, gentle stir at 25-30 seconds followed by a final stir as the heat is withdrawn. Some people dont do the middle stir but generally they adjitate more at the first one than I do.

                              As to refloating bean mass it shouldnt happen if you are doing it correctly. At the withdrawel of the heat the final whirlpool stir is normally done and if it is done correctly you will finish up with a nice looking smooth dome of spent coffee covering the cloth at the end of drawdown (coffee is drawn past the increasing bean mass). Syphon contests actually award point for the shape of the dome amongst other things.

                              Also worth trying is break open the dome with a stirrer and make sure the grounds look uniformly wet if some seem drier than others up the stirring.

                              Keep playing