In the 1840s, engineer James Napier developed a method for brewing coffee via a siphon and vacuum system. His method was extremely popular, as it resulted in a cup of coffee that contained no sediment. His apparatus was expensive and fragile by the standards of the day, but modern manufacturing methods mean that vacuum coffee makers are still in use and readily available today.
Napier’s original design was manufactured into the early part of the 20th century, when it began to be overtaken by electric coffee machines. Beautiful versions were created, bound with silver and mounted in metal, to try and counteract the fact that the glass had a tendency to crack when carelessly heated.
The machine consists of two glass globes sitting one on top of the other with a filter in between, water in the lower globe and ground coffee in the upper. When placed on a heat source such as a hob or spirit lamp, steam is forced into the upper chamber and through the coffee. When the machine is removed from the heat, a vacuum is created which draws the now-brewed coffee into back into the lower chamber.
Coffee connoisseurs consider this method superior to many others, as it extracts the full range of flavour from the coffee. Results vary a little according to the type and grind of the coffee, but on the whole there’s less margin for error than with cafetieres and other methods.
If you haven’t tried the vacuum method of brewing fresh coffee, why not give it a go? Aficionados claim it gives a richer, fuller flavour, there’s no sediment or bitter ‘boiled’ taste and no need to buy paper filters. Don’t forget we can supply all your coffee bean needs at great wholesale prices from the coffee pages of our website at www.wholesalecoffeecompany.co.uk.