Last update:September, 2022
Brewing coffee with a Belgian-style balancing siphon is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous ways to make coffee. But, compared to other brewers like pour overs and French presses, they require an investment of both time and money. So you want to make sure you’re spending your money on the right coffee maker.
First, a word of warning: you’ll find a lot of knock-off style items on Amazon but beware of those. They tend to be cheaply made and I wouldn’t trust them.
We still recommend either of the Diguo or Nispira models presented below. They are the most reputable and reliable available. In our opinion, this is not a product where you go for a budget option. If you’re looking for a coffee maker under $150, go for a different kind, not a Belgian balancing siphon.
In this guide you’ll find out why we like these models, and we’ll also explain the differences between the Belgian style coffee maker and a traditional siphon coffee maker, and how the balancing siphon actually works.
Yes, these require more effort than an electric machine or the french press, but once you’ve got to grips with it, making coffee with one of these becomes a meditative, relaxing process with a great cup to reward your efforts.
In This Guide:
- Our 3 Choices
- Diguo Belgian Luxury Royal Family Balance
- Diguo Gen-2 Belgian Luxury Royal Balancing Coffee Maker
- Nispira Belgium Luxury Royal Family Balance Syphon
- Kendal Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
- Royal Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
- How does the Belgian balance siphon work?
- Are balancing siphon coffee makers worth getting?
- What’s the difference between a balance siphon and a stovetop siphon?
Our 3 Choices
We have 3 top choices currently. The fourth is currently unavailable, and there’s a newcomer to mention but we can’t fully recommend it yet!
Diguo Belgian Luxury Royal Family Balance
- FLAVORFUL and CLEAN – The coffee brewed with Balancing Siphon Coffee Maker is described as clean, great purity of flavor, aromatic and with no bitterness from many coffee connoisseurs
- BOLD AND GREEN – This environmentally friendly reusable filter is made of natural cloth for better filtration. They let in the tiniest coffee ground particles and other flavors into the final product. The result is a bold tasting cup-a-joe. Easy to use and wash, a single filter will last you for many months
- SOPHISTICATED – Be a proud owner of this polished art piece. Rose Gold plated, hook handle and wooden base. A real conversation starter and center of attraction for it elegant retro-design, brews in style and drink delicious coffee
- MATERIALS AND CAPACITY – 304 stainless steel Vacuum Flask, Siphon Pipette and Filter Head. Borosilicate Brewing Flask. Medical grade silicon seal. Capacity 500ml- about 17oz, for 3-5 Espresso Cups
- PACKAGE – Balance Siphon Coffee Maker set with cloth filter, coffee scoop and water measuring cup
If you want a coffee maker that produces a cup that’s both flavorful and clean, this could be the machine for you.
This device helps to ensure the purity of the bean stays intact so you can enjoy all of the beautiful aromas that accompany a sterling mix of coffee. In fact, many coffee connoisseurs report this machine to be one of the best around for ensuring coffee doesn’t turn bitter- so, if you prefer a smoother cup, you’re good to go!
We love that this machine’s also environmentally friendly. The reusable filter is a real selling point, not only will it last you months but it’s also made from natural cloth to guarantee a better filtration process. Even the tiniest coffee grounds add to the final flavor of the cup.
Just like the Kendal Balance Siphon, this model is also easy to use and clean. Similarly, it also produces between three and five espresso cups and comes with a coffee scoop and a water measuring cup.
It doesn’t just produce fantastic coffee; it also looks incredibly sophisticated. Rose gold is all the rage in interior design right now, so adding this piece to your kitchen is a surefire solution to injecting a splash of modern flair while maintaining a retro vibe. Its beautiful hook handle and wooden base only add to the attraction. Some even say that the luxurious combination of black and gold gives this coffee maker an exotic Egyptian vibe.
Reviewers say that for the quality of the brew and its beautiful aesthetic, the machine is incredibly reasonable in price, especially in comparison to the pricier models on the market.
All of the following features are included:
- A stainless steel vacuum flask
- Siphon pipette
- Filter head
- Borosilicate brewing flask
- Medical-grade silicon rubber seals
- Built-in alcohol burner
Plus, it shouldn’t easily break as the majority of the coffee maker is made from stainless steel. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t handle it carefully- this machine certainly deserves your utmost respect!
There are next to no negative reviews about this product. However, one user did report that their machine suffered leaks where the pins hoist the water tank over the burner. Consequently, the coffee maker now drips water everywhere and can’t suck the coffee back into the device.
From what we can tell, this sounds more like a faulty device rather than a general complaint about the model. However, it’s an issue worth looking out for nonetheless, so you can nip it in the bud.
Another user reported lots of soot accumulating in the coffee server, which leads them to believe that the burner might either be too big or placed too close to the brass vessel. As such, the machine isn’t always easy to clean at the manufacturer claims. Using a cleaner fuel source should help with this problem.
Another complaint is that the lever doesn’t go all the way up like it’s supposed to. So, to turn off the flame, you have to give the bar a real push. This is something worth remembering.
Some users also claim that replacement parts are hard to come by which could be a problem later down the road.
Lastly, we’ve seen a few reports that the majority of the instructions provided with this model weren’t in English. So if you’re new to using balancing siphon coffee makers, this could pose an issue.
Diguo Gen-2 Belgian Luxury Royal Balancing Coffee Maker
- FLAVORFUL and CLEAN – The coffee brewed with Balancing Siphon Coffee Maker is described as clean, great purity of flavor, aromatic and with no bitterness from many coffee connoisseurs.
- BOLD AND GREEN – The cloth filter will only let in the tiniest coffee ground particles and all the flavors into the final product. The result is a bold tasting cup a Joe. Easy to use and wash, a single filter will last you for many brews.
- CLASSY – Plated in classic silver, ridged fulcrum with Tee handle, decorative holed balance lever and matching black wooden board base. A real conversation starter and center of attraction for it exquisite design, brews in style and delicious coffee.
- MATERIALS AND CAPACITY – 304 stainless steel Vacuum Flask, Siphon Pipette and Filter Head. BPA-free borosilicate glass Brewing Flask. Medical grade silicon rubber seals. Capacity 500ml or 17oz, for 3-5 Espresso Cups.
- PACKAGE – Balance Siphon Coffee Maker set with cloth filter, coffee scoop and water measuring cup.
The Diguo Gen-2 machine is another coffee maker reported to produce an end-result that’s both clean and flavourful. It’s great fun to use, fans of the product say it’s just like watching a science experiment in action. You can see the entire coffee brewing process unfold before your eyes. The elements of heat, pressure, and gravity, combine together to produce a delicious cup of coffee, which for many, is a fascinating spectacle!
Plus, you can save money in the long run while doing your bit for the environment by using this model. It comes with a permanent filter that can be used time and again. So, you won’t have to keep forking out for new filters. It’s made from a delicate 18/8 stainless steel mesh which is caged within a BPA-free shell. This remarkable filter ensures all the delicious flavors and nutrients of the coffee beans pass through to create a cup that’s full of flavor.
Not to mention, cleaning this coffee maker is more accessible than most. Both the filter and water retainer can be dismantled so you can give them a deep scrub.
Similar to the other models listed in this review, this machine is nothing short of stunning. Some even liken it to displaying a piece of art in their kitchen! With its sparkling silver body and dark base, this bad boy is a surefire conversation starter with guests.
Again the English instructions that come with this model are reported to be, well,…not great. There’s a lot of broken and misspelled language. This can make the advice in the manual challenging to understand. As such, some users report being unable to find the correct instructions to work essential parts of the unit.
So, you might already need to have an understanding of how these coffee machines work before you can get to grips with this specific model. Alternatively, just hit YouTube- there’s bound to be an online tutorial somewhere!
You’ll have to run the machine as many as four to five times through to achieve the perfect taste. Although doing this is a faff, the quality of the coffee is certainly worth the wait.
Nispira Belgium Luxury Royal Family Balance Syphon
- Nispira luxury balance siphon coffee maker in copper
- Brown wooden base. Stainless steel water retainer and plug
- The set consists of heat-resistance glass, Plated balancing shaft and handle It also comes with filter cloth, measuring spoon and cup.
- User manual is included. Easy to use. Please check out product review and see why people like the Nispira coffee maker
- 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed. Quality meets or exceeds leading national brand
Just like most other machines in this review, the NISPIRA Syphon Coffee Maker also produces between three and five espresso cups.
It’s no wonder the royal family used to use models like these during the late 1800’s…and it’s certainly no surprise that coffee lovers still enjoy using them today! This machine is as elegant as it is practical; it’s the perfect tool for any home brewer looking to master the art of handcrafted coffee.
Not to mention, the stainless steel water retainer with carafe is made from heat resistance glass, so rest assured you won’t find a pool of shattered glass all over your kitchen floor anytime soon.
This model also includes a plated balancing shaft, a handle-operated alcohol burner, and a measuring spoon and cup. So, everything you need to hit the ground running!
Last but not least the aesthetic is nothing short of beautiful — the gold-chrome colored bodywork goes incredibly well with the brown wooden board base. If you’re looking for a coffee machine to add a touch of extravagance to your home, this certainly won’t disappoint.
As balance siphon coffee makers go, this one’s a tad expensive. So, if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider an alternative model.
Users report this machine to be incredibly challenging to clean, making it an impractical choice for regular use. Plus, finding replacement parts are apparently hard to come by, which could pose a potential difficulty year’s down the line.
Again, the instructions included with this model are mainly written in Chinese and the little English there is, is incredibly poor- making it difficult to understand how to set up and use the machine (unless you already have the know-how).
More concerningly, one reviewer said the knob on the spout which is used to pour the coffee, broke after only two months. Unfortunately, this revealed an ugly handle made of plastic beneath.
Kendal Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
This is currently unavailable and it’s not clear whether it will return. We’re keeping it here because it’s a good one if you can get your hands on it!
- Manual Syphon Coffee Maker for 3-5 Espresso Cups (500ML- about 17 OZ)
- Beautiful Gold/ Chrome Color body with wooden board base
- Stainless steel water retainer,and plug
- Heat-resistance glass, alcohol burner. Plated balancing shaft,and handle, measuring spoon and cup.
- Easy to use，Easy to Clean
This beautiful gold-chrome colored siphon coffee maker is sure to make your friends green with envy. It’s the perfect thing to perch on your kitchen sideboard if you want to add a touch of elegance to the room.
But, more importantly, the coffee it makes is to die for! This machine produces anywhere between three and five espresso cups, which is ample for satisfying your morning coffee fix.
Plus, when first use this machine you only have to run it through twice to get a premium cup of coffee (this may sound like a lot of effort, but in comparison to its competitors, it’s pretty good going).
The wooden board base only adds to its charm, but despite its good looks, safety isn’t compromised. The glass is heat-resistant, so there isn’t a danger of it shattering.
This machine comes complete with an alcohol burner, a plated balancing shaft, handle, and a measuring spoon and cup.
Last but not least, it’s relatively easy to both use and clean. Pretty and practical- what more could you want?!
Some users report that the wood forming the base of the machine isn’t the best quality. However, in comparison to the overall glamor of the product, this doesn’t seem like a big deal!
Like any other balance siphon coffee maker, this machine is slow to brew. If you use cold water, there’s a good chance you’ll be waiting half an hour for the magic to happen! However, you can switch out the burner to something more efficient. Many have reported that doing this helps speed the process up.
Royal Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
The most high end, luxury balance siphon comes from Royal of Paris.
We have not tested these ourselves because they start at $8,250 and range up to models that are $24,000. That is not a typo!
Their coffee makers are crafted using gold, copper or silver; “with a choice of black obsidian, azurite or malachite to form the machine base.” All finishing is done by hand. These coffee makers are truly beautiful and works of art.
How does the Belgian balance siphon work?
The mechanics are very similar to how a typical siphon brewer works. The main difference is that in a typical siphon brewer, there are 2 chambers, arranged vertically. But with a Belgian balancing siphon the chambers are positioned next to one another, horizontally.
The chambers are suspended by a balance beam that crosses a focal point, and the heated chamber (usually the lower) has a counterweight.
Typically one chamber is metal and the other is glass. After placing the water in the metal chamber, light the flame of the heating element. There is a pipette, or tube, going from the water chamber to the brewing chamber. At the end of the tube is a filter head which is covered with a cloth filter. Brewing proceeds as normal, as pressure forces water vapor into the pipette and into the brewing chamber.
Once the water has entered this chamber, however, the counterweight functions as a spring-loaded snuffer and extinguishes the heat source (a flame) when the water has gone into the brew chamber. This lets the first chamber cool, so brewed coffee is drawn back into it via vacuum.
The whole process may take around 10-12 minutes.
There is a spout on the metal chamber from which you then release the coffee into your cup.
Are balancing siphon coffee makers worth getting?
This is 100% down to your personal preference. It’s unlikely you would use this for your regular morning cup of coffee, but if you do a lot of entertaining, it could be worth it. Since the coffee you get from a balancing siphon is similar to other methods, it’s not imperative to add to your collection. But if you value the theatrics of it, this could be for you.
What’s the difference between a balance siphon and a stovetop siphon?
The primary difference between the two types of machines is their heat source.
So, a balancing siphon coffee maker uses an internal heat source to blend your coffee beans- usually either an alcohol or butane gas burner.
Whereas a stovetop brewer, requires you heat the machine using a stove (as you probably already guessed!) You’ll also need to use a diffuser to control the level of heat exposure to the gas line connecting your coffee maker to the heat.
Additionally the chambers of a balance siphon are arrange side-by-side, whereas those of a stovetop siphon are arranged vertically.
Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things lifestyle. You can also find her published on 2Caffeinated, Cake and Lace Blog, and Love You Tomorrow. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.