When I first saw it set up, I thought someone had pulled it off the set of Star Wars. Modern and sleek, the Hikari Siphon Bar is truly a beautiful thing. Covered in bright halogen lights and shiny glass bulbs, it is something that needs to be seen to be believed. There are only two of these in the United States, the first belongs to the west coast, and I was standing in front of the second one; the one that had just found its home on the east side if the country.
The coffee siphon is a science teachers fantasy, it works on the principles of pressure and temperature; bright halogen lights cause water to boil up from a bottom chamber through a filter and the coffee grounds. Then, when the heat is removed and the light is turned off, the resulting vacuum in the bottom chamber pulls the coffee back down through the filter, resulting in a clean, smooth cup of coffee.
Coffee siphoning is an interesting and personal way to brew coffee for customers. Each time it is brewed to order, and only makes enough for about two people. The training to operate such a machine is extensive, involving time and temperature control, technique, and nailing down a complicated process, but watching someone who knows what they are doing is as exciting as the machine itself. Let’s just say that my training is still in progress.
The coffee siphon has been around for quite some time, being developed into what it is today by coffee drinkers all over the world. Today, it is enjoying a place in the Japanese coffee world though the overwhelming majority of American coffee drinkers have never heard of the process.
This weekend, Jaho’s second location and the only Siphon bar on this side of the United States is opening for business. Not only is the presentation interesting, but the resulting coffee is fantastic, and hopefully the siphon will gain a fast following of loyal coffee drinkers. Come see us in action as we save east coast coffee, one neighborhood at a time.