Yama Coffee Siphon

7.9

Price

6.0/10

Coffee Quality

8.5/10

Coffee Maker Quality

7.5/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Cleaning Ease

9.5/10

Durability

7.0/10

Appearance

10.0/10

Brew Speed

5.5/10

Pros

  • Makes good-tasting coffee
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Fun to watch

Cons

  • Plastic parts don't hold up well to heat on the stove
  • The glass is prone to cracking
  • The plastic parts sometimes fall off
  • The siphon can sometimes leave water in the bottom of the pot and dilute the coffee
  • Only makes a few cups

The Northwest Glass Yama Coffee Siphon is marketed as a stove-top coffee maker, but it's probably unlike any coffee maker you've ever seen. Instead of a metal pot on top of the stove percolating coffee, this model is made of glass and is molded into a curious hourglass shape. It's definitely aesthetically pleasing, but you also get a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee through a very simple brew process. At $46, this is one of the most modern-looking coffee siphons on the market.

The Review

No product is perfect, even if it gets very high user ratings. Also, no one product is right for every person. What may work for most people, may not be suitable for everyone. Before you buy the Yama, it's important to know if it's right for you.

Don't Use High Heat!

Most of the negative reviews on Amazon came from users who experienced the glass pot cracking while brewing coffee. The instructions on the Northwest Glass Coffee Siphon clearly state to only use medium or medium high heat. Glass can and does crack when exposed directly to high heat. It seems most of the people who had their glass pots crack were likely brewing their coffee using a high heat setting that is inappropriate for this kind of pot.

Further, the pot should not be placed directly on an electric stove top. It comes with a wire grid to set it on with these stoves so as not to expose the glass directly to the stove. It is all right to set the pot directly on gas stoves. Those who had problems with breakage may not have been using their wire grid on electric stoves. This coffee maker works really well, but you have to follow directions if you want it to hold up while you're brewing with it.

The Ratings

Here's a breakdown of each of the rating categories for this coffee maker.

The Price

At $46, this is an excellent buy. When compared to the price of other siphon coffee makers, it can't be beat.

Score: 5 stars

The Coffee Quality

Out of the 229 reviews for this coffee maker (at the time of writing), none said the coffee tasted bad, and only three said it tasted weak. The rest of the reviews either raved about the taste, complimented it highly, or didn't mention it.

Score: 4 stars

The Coffee Maker Quality

The biggest complaints about this model of coffee maker seem to be the glass cracking when exposed to high heat and the plastic parts being substandard in manufacturing and reliability. The problem of the cracking glass is easily solved by following the directions and only using it on medium to medium-high heat and using the wire grid on electric stove tops. The plastic seems to be a bigger problem. The instructions do say all parts are dishwasher and microwave safe. The parts should also hold up on a stove under appropriate temperatures. However, this does not seem to be the case for all customers. Many have experienced melting, burning, and loosening of the plastic parts when using the coffee maker on the stove or in the microwave. This seems to indicate cost-cutting measures were taken with the plastic. It's probably best to avoid using the pot in the microwave and to always make sure you're using appropriate temperatures on the stove. No users have reported problems with the plastic after running the pot through the dishwasher, however.

Score: 3 stars

Ease of Use

Nearly every review stated that the coffee maker is easy to use, even if the reviewer had never used a siphon-style coffee maker in the past. Only a handful of people complained about too much water remaining in the bottom of the pot and diluting the coffee, and only two reviews stated problems with getting the siphon to work properly. It seems that this is a very user-friendly coffee maker.

Score: 5 stars

Cleaning Ease

It's dishwasher safe and no problems have been reported in that area. Only one reviewer said they experienced difficulty getting the coffee grounds out of the pot. This coffee maker seems to be very easy to clean.

Score: 5 stars

Durability

As long as the appropriate heat intensity is used on the glass, this coffee maker is very durable. It will hold up to direct exposure to heat on a gas stove and can be used on an electric stove with a wire grid to keep it just off of the stove's surface. The only problem seems to be with the plastic parts, which are prone to damage under high heat and to falling off at inopportune moments. Be careful with the plastic, use the appropriate heat levels when brewing coffee, and the Yama should stand up to years of heavy use.

Score: 4 stars

Appearance

This is a very aesthetically pleasing coffee maker. Its hourglass shape gives it a modern appearance that is quite attractive. There are no complaints from users on its appearance.

Score: 5 stars

Brew Speed

The Yama takes about as long to brew a pot of coffee as a drip-style coffee maker. Depending on the strength of coffee you prefer and the amount you're brewing, this could take 10 to 20 minutes. That's not long at all for a cup of coffee that most reviewers say tastes terrific. However, there are certainly faster ways to brew your coffee.

Score: 3 stars

Final Thoughts

This coffee maker is easy to use, makes delicious, restaurant-quality coffee, and is extremely inexpensive. It's perfect for people who want a quality cup with all the ease of a traditional filter-based coffee maker. Treat it right, and the Northwest Glass Yama Coffee Siphon coffee maker won't disappoint you.