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The Vacuum Pot

If you get a chance, be sure to stop by The Hub located in Springfield, Missouri, just north of Boonville and Chestnut. The Hub is a unique coffee shop in several ways. The owner, Jason Strother, focuses on manual coffee brew methods. One of the Hub’s brewing methods is the Vacuum Pot, which brews a very clean cup of coffee.

The vacuum pot method (also called the siphon or syphon method) involves the simple science of creating a vacuum, thus the name vacuum pot. The apparatus employs two glass bulbs sitting vertically connected with a glass tube. Hot water is poured into the bottom bulb and coffee grounds are added to the upper bulb. A small burner heats the water to the boiling point. As the water heats, water vapor is created and expands. The water vapor is now taking up more volume and has nowhere to go. As more heat is applied, steam is created and the water vapor pushes on the water, forcing it up through the top hole. The water and steam move up into the upper bulb. Once there, the hot water is in contact with the coffee grounds for a specified period of time. When the bottom burner is removed, the bottom bulb cools to a temperature lower than the upper bulb. This causes the water vapor still left in the bottom tube to contract. It contracts so much that it creates negative pressure and thus a vacuum. The coffee is then sucked back down the glass tube to the bottom pot with only a cloth filter left to hold back the coffee grounds.

If you get a chance, stop by The Hub, check out the bikes next door, and have Jason or Joe brew up some single origin coffee in their vacuum pot brewer.