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KitchenAid Siphon Review

Great if you like your coffee to taste very mellow, but requires extra effort to clean
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Price:   $250 List | $199 at Amazon
Pros:  Visually entertaining, very smooth tasting coffee
Cons:  Coffee so smooth it lacks some flavor, difficult to clean
Manufacturer:   KitchenAid
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  May 13, 2017
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45
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 16
  • Taste - 50% 5
  • User Friendliness - 20% 4
  • Convenience - 20% 4
  • Ease of Cleaning - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The KitchenAid Siphon adds all the entrancing visuals of a campfire to your morning coffee routine. One tester called it a, "…coffee volcano that I can't take my eyes off of." Its unique brewing style made the smoothest and least bitter coffee in our testing, but that smoothness came at the expense of some strength and flavor. Overall the Siphon is a fun machine, but it is very expensive and difficult to clean, and there are other less expensive machines that make better tasting coffee. If you're looking for a high end coffee maker we would recommend the OXO Barista Brain, because the novelty of a coffee volcano eventually wears off, but great tasting java lasts forever. However, if you value smoothness over strength in your coffee (and are willing to pay extra for it), the Siphon may be a worthy addition to your kitchen.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
KitchenAid Siphon
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $250 List
$199.00 at Amazon
$200 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$300 List
$199.95 at Amazon
$100 List
$79.95 at Amazon
$200 List
$98.99 at Amazon
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Pros Visually entertaining, very smooth tasting coffeeGreat taste, well designed interface, easy cleaning for a drip machineGreat taste, almost endless adjustabilityGreat taste, relatively inexpensive considering its taste qualityGood taste for a pod machine, incredibly easy to use and clean
Cons Coffee so smooth it lacks some flavor, difficult to cleanExpensiveSurprisingly loud, very expensiveNot as thoughtfully designed as other high end machinesCan be expensive if not on sale
Bottom Line Great if you like your coffee to taste very mellow, but requires extra effort to cleanPerfect for people that like manual brew coffee but want the convenience of a drip machineMakes and excellent brew, but other models can match that quality for lessGreat if you want something with high quality taste, but don’t want to pay a lot for the OXOThe convenience of a single serving pod machine with less of a sacrifice in taste quality
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories KitchenAid Siphon OXO Barista Brain... Breville Precision... Cuisinart 14-Cup... Nespresso Vertuoline
Taste (50%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
5
User Friendliness (20%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
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6
10
0
9
Convenience (20%)
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
8
Ease Of Cleaning (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
9
Specs KitchenAid Siphon OXO Barista Brain... Breville Precision... Cuisinart 14-Cup... Nespresso Vertuoline
Capacity (cups) 8 9 12 14 1
Automatic Brewing No Yes Yes Yes No
Dimensions 8.75" x 14.25" x 6.75" 15" x 8.3" x 17.2" 12.4" x 6.7" x 15.7" 14" x 8" x 9" 9" x 12.2" x 12.3"
Weight (pounds) 9 11.4 13 9.5 12.3
Warranty 1 Year Limited 2 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 3 Year Limited 2 Year Limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

The KitchenAid Siphon is the most aesthetically charismatic of the coffee makers we tested, but its difficult to clean design can be a bit of a drag in the long run.


Performance Comparison


The KitchenAid Siphon's overall score was below average in our testing, mostly because of its difficult to clean design and average tasting brew. Below we discuss the Siphon's performance, pros, and cons in each of our individual testing metrics.

Taste


The Siphon earned a fairly mediocre 5 out of 10 in our taste testing. This was right in the middle of a metric where scores ranged from 2 to 9. The coffee it produced was wonderfully smooth and almost completely devoid of bitterness, but it also missed out on a lot of the taste and flavor that other machines produced. If you're a big fan of mellow, softer brews than you will likely love the coffee that comes out of this machine. If you're looking for the bolder flavors of a dark roast, however, you'll be disappointed by the Siphon's offering.



User Friendliness


The Siphon again had the worst score of 4 out of 10 in our user friendliness testing. This was far off the top score of 9. Since the coffee brewing method isn't exactly common, you'll probably have to read the manual before brewing. That is a minor sacrifice to make for the spectacle of watching the Siphon brew, so we didn't dock it too many points for that. The Siphon did lose a lot of points because it had our testers' least favorite carafe. The lip around the opening is quite awkward, requiring you to tip the carafe almost upside down to get the coffee out, and even then it's a somewhat slow pour. This lip is clearly there to accommodate the eccentric brewing process, but after the awe of watching a few coffee volcanoes wore off were left wishing the carafe was easier to pour.

The Siphon's unique brewing style and filter make for very smooth  not bitter coffee  but it also doesn't have too much flavor.
The Siphon's unique brewing style and filter make for very smooth, not bitter coffee, but it also doesn't have too much flavor.

Convenience


The Siphon again earned the worst score in this metric, notching a 3 out of 10 in our convenience tests, which saw scores as high as 9. Due to extra required prep and cleaning time it took us 14 minutes to makes 6 cups of coffee with the Siphon. This was the slowest time in all of our testing. The Siphon is also not programmable, so none of the prep time can be completed the night before. Overall we wouldn't consider this a good machine for making coffee quickly in the morning before work.

That glass orb is quite a pain to clean.
That glass orb is quite a pain to clean.

Ease of Cleaning


The Siphon got low marks in our cleaning tests. It earned the worst score of 4 out of 10, well behind the top score of 9. The reusable mesh filter saves waste but does require a bit more cleaning than paper filters. However, this is a fairly minor annoyance. The Siphon mostly lost points because both the glass orb and the long, narrow siphon that protrudes from it must be hand washed. Due to the odd shape this washing felt difficult and, because you have to be super careful not to knock the glass orb into the sink, rather precarious.

Value


At a list price of $250 the KitchenAid Siphon is the most expensive coffee maker we tested. If you like mellow tasting coffee and don't mind paying for the Siphon's enjoyable spectacle, this is a decent value. However, machines like the OXO Barista Brain make much better coffee and cost less. Most of our testers even preferred the coffee made in the BLACK+DECKER machine we tested, which costs 1/10 what the Siphon costs.

Conclusion


The KitchenAid Siphon is an enjoyable novelty, but the coffee it produces caters to those that like very soft, mellow brews. Those who enjoy dark roasts will be disappointed. Plus, it is very expensive and was the most difficult to clean of the machines we tested, so most people will be better off looking elsewhere.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata