Cocktail culture has made its way into the coffee world with great success due to a rise in popularity over the recently redefined pour-over. It has given baristas the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of audiences as opposed to hiding behind a large boxed espresso machine where very little, if anything, is truly witnessed. As palettes develop and a desire for single-origin beans increase, café’s that truly wish to raise the bar are designing highly tuned menus that incorporate alternative brewing techniques and unique selections of seasonal beans.
There are so many things that go into a cup that is suited to ones particular tastes – from the consistency of the grinder, to the bean and ultimately to the device that is used to brew that perfect cup. We decided to ask Vancouver’s very own craft coffee house, Platform 7, to give us a walk-through on what goes into the perfect pour-over using the dramatic and sinfully glamorous Japanese Hario Siphon.
The Siphon or vacpot as it is sometimes referred to due to its vacuum brew design, is traditionally heated by a flame or butane lighter – Platform 7 however felt that wasn’t enough so they decided to go with a halogen beam. There are two compartments used in the siphon, a top chamber, which includes the siphon tube, and a lower globe where the water is initially poured. This is a good starting place for beginners looking to experiment with unique brewing alternatives or to simply get more insight into your barista’s brewing chops.
To save time and energy, remember to boil the water before pouring it into the lower globe of the siphon. Next, apply heat through your choice of flame, butane, or in Platform 7’s case, a bright red halogen beam if you’re looking to present with extra flare. At this point, place the top chamber into the bottom bowl and start to see water rising into the top chamber.
As the water rises, take out your stirring utensil and give it a gentle stir to keep the temperature at a suitable brewing range.
The brewing process is one that is quite delicate and must be handled with care, which is why grinding the bean is integral and could easily make or break your perfect cup.
While the Siphon works with various grind settings, a finer grind than what is used for a drip coffee is recommended.
Once your grind is ready to go, add it to the top chamber and gently stir to saturate all the grinds evenly. After 45 seconds, stir gently to break crust. After brewing for 1 minute 45 seconds, pull siphon from heat. Once coffee starts to descend into lower glass chamber, gently stir once more. Once all the coffee has descended into the glass chamber, decant into cup. Total brewing should be approximately two minutes 30 seconds.
Alternatively, five single-origin beans are currently being featured starting with the Torres Villalobos from Costa Rica, the Alto Del Tigre from Colombia, the Finca El Injerto Bourbon from Guatemala, the Indonesia Bies Penantan, and finally the El Nevado from Colombia, all roasted by Stumptown Coffee.
In order to give an opportunity for customers to develop their palettes, Platform 7 has introduced two separate tasting experiences: the tasting flight and the brew flight.
The tasting flight gives you the opportunity to taste three different beans from three different parts of the world – which is then brewed using one single pour-over method. The brew flight on the other hand, takes one bean and brews it using three different pour-over methods giving one a glimpse into how these various devices truly change the flavour of the bean.
If you are just getting started, we recommend going to Platform 7 and testing out the various flights to get your palette tuned and hopefully that will fuel you to start experimenting with your own luxury home pour-overs.
This article is sponsored by Platform 7 Coffee.