One of the most challenging aspects of syphon brew preparation is handling the glass parts, especially when they are hot. Syphons are difficult to clean and can make commercial workflows very slow — and expensive if breakages occur. In the Syphon Baseline test, we require baristas to handle the equipment carefully and safely. When the top chamber of the syphon is removed in order to decant the brewed coffee, care must be taken to avoid spills and breakages. We recommend use of a watertight container or stand on which to place the syphon top at the conclusion of brewing.
We have found that success in syphon brewing is dependent on having the syphon at the correct temperature at the moment the grinds are added. Before they commence brewing, baristas are required to state the target starting temperature for their brew water and to wait until this temperature is attained before they add the coffee. If a barista’s target temperature is too low or too high, it may not be achievable with a syphon. It can be quite time consuming to wait for the water to reach the proper temperature. For this reason, coaches can deduct from the total exam time limit (15 minutes) the time required to heat the water to the target temperature.
Note: Brewed coffee from syphons is notoriously hot, so we recommend that baristas do not preheat the cups when they serve the beverage, and should recommend to customers to let the coffee cool down to a safe temperature before tasting it.