An excellent combination of neutral glass brewing, “unfiltered” taste, with excellent flavor separation and clarity all at the same time.
Positive Product Points
Non-reactive glass brewing, "coffee oil" flavor notes like press, clear, "unmuddied" flavors like filtered, fun to watch. Wide mouth model is easy to clean.
Negative Product Points
You have to enter a zen-like state to make the coffee and clean the pot since one false move and you'll bust the thing. You'll need a special brush or a regular pot cleaner routine to keep the siphon tube free of oil.
Silex vac pot
I recently got one of these 50’s vintage glass vac pots, something I wanted to try for a while. This version has the wide mouth, and the spring loaded glass rod filter. I use it on the stove - no heater included.
The gasket was in pretty good shape – slightly dried out and shrunken but no cracking. A little silicone grease, sold for use with water faucets, dressed the gasket nicely.
I made what I thought was a good guess at the grind level, and brewed a first pot.
I locked the rod, poured in the measured coffee, filled the lower pot with measured hot water from the tea kettle, and attached the upper vessel. I put the pot on the stove over a medium flame and the water went up quickly. I saw that , unlike the electric/metal Sunbeam automatic, these glass manual pots will not agitate the grounds very much, unless you really crank the heat, so stirring is pretty much required whether you like it or not.
I slid the pot over to a cold burner when the bubbling wait time (70 seconds for trial one) was over and the pot drained the top vessel smoothly.
A big surprise was not the taste so much as the clarity of the coffee. I had expected a coffee with some coffee oil taste, and I got that, but there was also a clear flavor separation reminiscent of paper filtered coffee – a really nice combination. I also expected significant mud in the cup. Mark Prince described how all of his glass pots let some fines into the cup, and he singled out the glass filter as practically being designed to do so. My experience with this particular pot is the opposite. There is a very small degree of turbidity to the coffee - it’s not like paper filtered of course, but close to it - much, much clearer than press pot – even press pot with a fine mesh filter brewed the traditional way with a coarser grind.
There are barely any detectable coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup – virtually none – pot after pot.
Why is this glass rod so effective? Is it unworn and new? Is the grind particle size profile for my commercial grinder unusually well suited to the task for some reason? I can’t say – but this is a very, very good coffee pot.
e-bay is e-bay
Three Month Followup
If you make a 18 oz pot and pour the whole thing into a big mug, you do get a little mud. At least with my grinder.