If you like your coffee you should really head down to the syphon bar at Brighton's fantastic Small Batch Coffee Company. Far from being a gimmicky punter pull in, coffee syphons have actually been around since about 1830 and create a rich yet clean flavour due to the stable temperature the process can maintain. But yeah, taste-aside, the chemistry style equipment is pretty cool to watch!
Now for the science part. Concentrate…
Using a very hip Japanese halogen heater, water is boiled in the bottom glass chamber which is then pulled up a tube to the top chamber as it expands. Freshly ground coffee (ground coarser than normal due to the longer brewing time) is then added to the water in the top chamber. It is carefully teased into the water with a spatula rather than mixed to bring out the best of the flavours rather than all of them. It is then taken off the heat and as it cools, the vacuum created pulls the coffee through a filter back to the bottom chamber. It's then decanted and left for a few minutes to open up the flavours. You can see a video of the process here.
Best bit is the prices are not far off a standard cup of coffee ranging from £2.95 to £3.50. The coffees they had on that day (these change on rotation) were India Balmaadi, Guatamala Finca Santa Clara and Kenya Gethumbwini Peaberry.
I really like Small Batch, they are a local family-run company, starting out as a small roastery, expanding into a little espresso bar and now have a couple of coffee shops. You may know how I feel about the identikit big boy coffee chains smothering the city, but with local heroes like this you don't need to frequent them. I particularly like the design of their interior with custom wooden stools, fat industrial lamps and slick vibe, somewhere I could easily pass the time nursing a cup or two.
For more details about Small Batch, their locations or to buy their blends visit www.smallbatchcoffee.co.uk
For a syphon coffee go to their coffee shop at MyHotel, Jubilee Street, Brighton.