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Cona Vacuum Coffee Maker - Brewing Guide



Learn How to Brew with a Cona Vacuum Coffee Maker (Siphon Coffee Maker)

Brewing with a vacuum coffee maker (also known as a siphon coffee maker) results in a smooth, clean tasting cup without bitterness or sediment while providing a wonderful visual experience. Using a vacuum/siphon coffee brewer does require slightly more effort than many other methods; however the final results combined with the unique and interesting presentation are worth the effort. Although this guide was detailed specifically for Cona brand pots, the general procedure outlined applies to most other brands of glass vacuum coffee makers.

Step 1 - Prepare the Vacuum Pot for brewing

Cona Vacuum Coffee Maker Brewing Step 1
Cona Brewing - Step 1
  1. Fill the spirit lamp with denatured alcohol. This fuel is commonly available in department stores, hardware stores, paint stores, camping supply and marine supply stores. In the Cona factory instructions that come with the pot the fuel is referred to as "methylated spirits"; however, this name is not normally used in the USA. Customers commonly ask us if they can use Liquid Sterno; however, based on testing at Espresso Zone the Cona pots do not perform properly with Sterno.

  2. Place the top funnel into the holder aperture in the stand, install the glass drainer rod into the funnel, then place ground coffee in the funnel. As a starting point we recommend using approximately 1-tablespoon medium ground coffee (similar to a drip grind) per each 4-oz. of water used.

  3. Fill the lower bowl with very hot (near boiling) water to approximately 1" below the base of its neck. Make sure the outside of the bowl is perfectly dry and light the spirit lamp.

Step 2

Cona Vacuum Coffee Maker Brewing Step 2
Cona Brewing - Step 2

When the water shows the first sign of boiling, install the funnel into the bowl giving it a slight twist to ensure an air-tight seal. A mild pressure is created in the bowl, forcing water up into the funnel and brewing commences. Once all of the water is in the top funnel (a small amount will remain in the bowl) allow it to percolate for approximately 1-3 minutes then extinguish the spirit lamp with its cap.

Step 3

Cona Vacuum Coffee Maker Brewing Step 3
Cona Brewing - Step 3

As the air in the lower bowl begins to cool a slight vacuum is created and the brewed coffee is slowly drawn back into the bowl. Effective filtration is accomplished as the coffee flows through the tight clearance between the funnel and the glass drainer rod.

Step 4

Cona Vacuum Coffee Maker Brewing Step 4
Cona Brewing - Step 4

Once all of the brewed coffee is in the lower bowl remove the top funnel and place it back in its holder. Now simply enjoy some of the smoothest, purest tasting coffee you have ever brewed.

Cona Vacuum Coffee Maker - Brewing Tip Summary

Fuel: The only correct fuel to use in a Cona pot is denatured alcohol. This fuel is commonly available in department stores, hardware stores, paint stores, camping supply and marine supply stores. In the Cona factory instructions that come with the pot the fuel is referred to as "methylated spirits"; however, this name is not normally used in the US. Customers commonly ask us if they can use Liquid Sterno; however, based on testing at Espresso Zone the Cona pots do not perform properly with Sterno.

Heat Source: Cona pots are designed to be used only with the provided spirit lamp; they are not to be used on a stovetop or in the microwave.

Coffee Grind and Amount: Just as with all other brewing methods increasing the amount of ground coffee used and/or using a finer grind will increase the strength of your brew. Espresso Zone recommends using approximately 1-tablespoon medium ground coffee (similar to a drip grind) per each 4-oz. of water used as a starting point. This amounts to 7-Tbsp. for "C" model, 10-Tbsp. for "D" model.

Important Note: If the coffee is ground too fine it can clog the filter drainer and prevent the brewed coffee from siphoning back down into the lower bowl. If this process takes longer than two minutes after the lamp is snuffed the coffee you are using is probably ground too fine.

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