KitchenAid KCM0812MS Siphon Coffee Brewer (Medallion Silver)
- Automatic siphon brewer is safe, easy to use and requires no open flame, 8 cup capacity.
- Uses vacuum technology to brew a delicious velvety, complex cup of coffee with fuller body.
- Distinctive glass globe design offers a dramatic view of the siphon brewing process.
- Choose your level of filtration with a reusable stainless-steel for full-bodied coffee or a cloth filter for a lighter brew, both included.
- Automatically turns off after water reaches ideal heating temperature.
Savor the rich, bright flavors of siphon-brewed coffee the easy way. This electric siphon brewer operates with the flip of a switch and no guesswork.
It’s fascinating to watch as vapor pressure pushes water upward to brew coffee in the top globe, and then as filtered coffee cascades back down into the carafe. Item Model KCM0812
Specification: KitchenAid KCM0812MS Siphon Coffee Brewer (Medallion Silver)
|Dimensions||17 × 15 × 10 in|
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If you read the reviews regarding this pot, you quickly realize that the positive reviews are from people with expectations that differ markedly from those who write the negative reviews. To decide if you want this pot, you have to decide what you want from a coffee pot. This review will (hopefully) help with that.HERE’S THE SHORT ANSWER –If you want the kind of EXCELLENT coffee that only a vacuum pot can provide (and don’t mind the little bit of extra clean-up that comes with that), this pot is a steal! If you want to do little more than put pre-ground supermarket coffee and water into a machine, push a switch the night before, and eventually stumble into the kitchen for something hot and brown that will wake you up; you won’t be happy with this pot.HERE’S THE LONG ANSWER –A History Lesson:This coffee maker is a type of coffee maker known as a vacuum pot (AKA a syphon pot). Originally, vacuum pots were complicated mechanisms made with balance beams, fragile blown-glass receptacles, alcohol burners, and the like that could only make 8 ounces or less of coffee at a time. Introduced in the 1830’s, they made excellent coffee. However, they were needlessly complex and didn’t become popular until heat resistant borosilicate glass allowed stove-top “double boiler” units to appear in the early 1920’s. Vacuum pots lasted until the 1950’s but were eventually completely replaced by the percolator due to the percolator’s more robust and (much less expensive) construction.Percolators made bitter coffee due to the continuous “boil, boil and then re-boil” brewing method it used. But, the pots were cheap and the poor quality of the pre-ground “convenience” coffee available in new-fangled “SUPER-MARKETS” beginning to dot the landscape, hid many of the differences between good and bad brewing methods. Percolators lasted through the 1970’s. That’s when the drip coffee maker could be made as cheaply as percolators while doing away with the worst bitterness associated with percolators. Besides, they were new and EVERYONE wanted one in in the 1970’s!Unfortunately, drip coffee makers almost never get hot enough to properly extract the best flavor. That wasn’t an issue with the not-very-flavorful robusta-type coffees (“Maxwell House,” “Folgers,” “Yuban” etc) available in the1970’s. However, with the growing availability of arabica coffees that were actually worth tasting in the 1980’s, people rediscovered the vacuum pot. Old pots from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s began trading on the new-fangled “internet” and people began rediscovering the excellent flavors extracted with vacuum pots. The problem with old pots is that there’s only so many available and the gaskets were all made of rubber. Scarcity makes for high(er) prices. Rubber hardens, cracks, begins to fail as a seal, smells bad when it gets old and can affect the taste of the coffee. I have personally used vintage vacuum pots (after replacing the gaskets and other repairs) and am a fan of what they produce. That’s why I was so excited to try-out this newest version from Kitchen-Aid.Construction:First, for a glass coffee pot it’s built like a tank. Well, the bottom half is built like a tank. The top glass chamber is a bit thin (although actually thicker than most vintage pots or current coffee carafes). It could easily break if you strike it against the sink while cleaning it. A nylon “gasket” placed around the rim of the top vessel would have been a cheap addition providing a little added insurance against accidental breakage. That said, it’s unlikely you’ll break it if you wash carefully.The connecting tube between the upper and lower chambers is metal and that’s a good thing. The filter positively locks in place (although a little later I’m going to suggest something better than the provided filter for just a few bucks) and the two chambers fit together with a magnetic seal. This last part works brilliantly. However, you still have to make sure the two chambers are correctly together before you start brewing.The heating element is sealed the body of the lower pot. That means you can’t immerse the lower pot in water while cleaning it. It really doesn’t matter since you just need to rinse the lower pot when done and periodically descale with vinegar if you have hard water. All in all the construction, fit, and finish of this pot is top rate and does Kitchen-Aid proud.Operation:Anyone reading this far into a review has probably already seen several YouTube videos bout how to operate the pot. But, for those of you that haven’t;1) Fill the lower pot with as much water as you want coffee, up to 40 ounces. (Please be aware that when a coffee pot says it makes 8 cups, those are 5 ounce cups!) You can make less, but I recommend not using less than 20 ounces of water. If you do, it may not function well or brew properly.2) Place the filter into the top chamber and twist to lock into place.3) Hold on to the handle of the upper chamber and place the upper chamber on top of the lower chamber. The metal tube will go into the lower chamber. As you place the upper pot, make sure its handle is a few degrees to the right or left of the handle on the lower chamber. The two should fit together snugly and the magnetic lock should then rotate the upper chamber until the handles are aligned. (Sounds complicated, but you’ll understand when you do it.)4) Double check to make sure the filter is tight in the upper chamber and the upper chamber is sealed to the lower chamber.5) Put the appropriate amount of ground coffee (regular, drip-coffee-maker grind is fine)6) Put the lid on the upper pot.7) Flip the switch on the lower pot and wait…The Spectacle:OK, this is the best part and the reason the pot is made of glass. When you flip the switch, the water in the bottom pot will start to boil. When that happens, the steam creates pressure. Since there is now more pressure in the lower pot than in the upper pot, that pressure forces the water in the lower pot up the metal tube and into the upper pot. This wets the grounds. When almost all of the water has left the lower pot, the small gap between the metal tube and the bottom of the lower pot is exposed. This allows steam to “boil” into the upper chamber mixing and further heating the ground coffee and water. When all the water has evaporated, the lower pot automatically turns off.Things just sit there for a little while. Then … WHOOSH. All of the liquid in the upper chamber is sucked back down into the lower chamber as the cooling steam condenses and creates a vacuum. (Thus the name, vacuum pot.) The filter captures all the grounds and the coffee is now in the lower pot. Twist off the upper chamber, place it in the handy-dandy “upper-chamber-rest-receptacle” so thoughtfully provided by Kitchen-Aid, remove the cover from the upper chamber and place it on the lower chamber. (You have to twist the lid front to about the 10 o’clock position to put it on and then turn it to the 12 o’clock position to lock it into place for pouring.) Pour yourself a cup of some of the finest coffee God has gifted to man. As you can see, it’s a little more complicated than your average drip coffee maker, but the coffee it makes is far superior (in my opinion) to any other method including pour-over, drip, percolator, French press, etc. (NOTE: I’m speaking of “coffee” here and not espresso. The Coffee vs Espresso vs. Espresso-based drinks is a different question, altogether.) You get great coffee and a show!Cleaning:Come on, you know how to clean a coffee pot! Just don’t dunk the lower pot in water (because of the electronics in the base) and don’t bang the upper pot against the edge of the sink when you clean. Descale with white vinegar when necessary to remove mineral build-up inside the lower pot.Substitute a Cory Rod!!!:If you don’t know what a Cory Rod is, look it up on the internet. It’s the best coffee filtration device ever devised by man or beast.Can you use one in this pot instead of the filter provided by Kitchen-Aid? YES! It works much better than the steel or cloth filter provided by Kitchen-Aid and provides the best tasting brew.However, there are a few caveats.1. This isn’t a Kitchen-Aid approved substitution. Using a Cory Rod will probably void your warranty and may lead to a catastrophic failure of your upper chamber. (That means if you use it wrong, it could cause the upper chamber to shatter and send extremely hot water and grounds where it will cause the most damage to you and your kitchen.) Having said that, I use a Cory Rod exclusively and have had no indication it will cause any problems. But, if you use one and it breaks your pot causing injury and death to you or those you love, don’t blame me.2. Using a Cory Rod with very cold water will sometimes cause a very sloooooooow return of the brewed coffee back into the lower chamber. No biggie. Either preheat the water first by running a cycle with no grounds in the top pot, or push the switch again if the liquid in the upper chamber seems stuck up there for an unusually long time.3. The bubbling in the upper chamber is more violent with a Cory Rod than with the filter provided by Kitchen-Aid. This actually makes for a much better mix of the water and grounds (thus, better coffee). However, if you make much more than 1/2 a pot, some of the hot water will jump out of the upper chamber from the pour spout on it’s lid. No big deal, just a) put a towel over the lid to stop the water from coming out, OR b) don’t worry about the water coming out because it isn’t that much anyway, OR c) don’t make much more than 1/2 a pot with a Cory Rod.4. The “WHOOSH” isn’t nearly as violent as with the more open Kitchen-Aid filter.This pot isn’t perfect, but nothing of this earth is. If I could give it 9 stars out of 10 I would. However, since I’m limited to the 5 star system, I give it 5 for my needs. YMMV. HAPPY COFFEE EVERYONE!
David Jackson –
I just made my first pot of French Roast in my new coffee pot and I have to say, this is a pretty amazing cup of coffee. I had a few concerns from some of the other reviews, but it turns out they were unfounded (at least in my case). I found the filter does actually lock into place, but you have to turn it clockwise. I was also concerned that if I only used the metal mesh filter without the cloth that is provided, it would be sludgy like a French Press (which I own and do enjoy occasionally), not at all. In fact, it filtered so well, there was only a tiny bit at the bottom of the cup. The French Roast was flavorful without that burnt taste. I am impressed. The ease of use is much better than I read. It’s a one touch button. I’ve attached a video showing my experience. Clean up is not bad at all. There are 4 parts (5 if you count the lid) and it took me literally 2 mins to wash and rinse everything. If you read the instructions, they tell you the best way to clean and it works like a flash. Not having a “warmer” to keep the coffee hot, I thought would bother me, but not really. I drink a large cup anyway and it takes care of what I will have and if I want something later, that’s what microwaves are for or Iced coffee is pretty tasty too! 🙂 I’m just happy to have a percolator type coffee maker that brews in that vein of quality and of course looks like something they would make in the lab of Breaking Bad. ha! (It will only let me post one video per review, so I decided to post the 2nd one because that shows how it operates, the 1st one I had was the set up which is very easy to do).
I’ve been an exclusive vacuum pot coffee drinker for well over 20 years and have been through so many pots, both vintage and the newer versions including this product’s evolutionary predecessor, the Bodum Santos electric. I even used a Twin Bird for a time from Asia (pretty but teensey, tiny and fussy). I’m now using a Yama stove top (perfectly fine). The reason for the long intro is to explain that I’m really over the drama of the process it self and I think I am in a good place to do a cross comparison with MULTIPLE pots without getting googly-eyed over the technology. So here we go.Biggest positive for this machine is the fact it is built like a tank. If you know these pots, you know it’s only a matter of time before the constant heat and vacuum process weakens the glass (or the seals, as is the case with the electric Santos) and it breaks. I have no such concerns with this one. It is a bit unwhieldy to clean, all vac pots are that way, this one a bit more so due to its bulk. But I don’t feel worried that I will tap the side of my porcelain sink and shatter it.Now for the biggest negative. It terribly under brews. The point of these pots is to have a controlled mixing in the upper vessel for a period of time, with a particular temperature. That leaves you with a rich, nutty mixture, slightly oily from the lack of a paper filter. The electric Bodum Santos managed this feat well. (The Santos just had multiple technical issues such as leakage and vessels that stained, making it eventually look like a used oil container from a garage) Sad to say, Kitchen Aid fails and its brew is thin, lacking character or depth. I find myself committing the ultimate coffee crime to get a better cup, I send it up twice, risking a boil in the bottom and too hot temp in the top.I’m thrilled that this method is finally coming into its time, I’m waiting for someone to get it right. Maybe there will be a KitchenAid version 8.1…we can only hope.
Matt S. –
I have two antique siphon coffee makers from the 1930’s. I use them on weekends (long clean up time afterwards) to enjoy a better cup of coffee than the Americano that my Saeco Vienna churns out on weekdays (time efficient). I considered buying some modern day siphon maker but the show stopper was that all the new ones have a very narrow opening on the carafe (hard to clean). Once, Sunbeam made a stainless steel version of siphon maker which was tempting. Then, entered the KitchenAid.The KitchenAid Siphon is very well thought out. Biggest benefit so far is a lot easier to clean. Comparing to the antiques, the KitchenAid has a handle on the upper bowl which makes taking the top bowl out much easier while it is hot. The provided stand supports the bowl while the coffee is served. The stainless steel tube under the bowl is a big plus. The antique glass ones are very easy to break. Clean up of the antiques is always stressful on worrying about breakage.On brewing, with the KitchenAid, the water is completely boiled to vapor while the antique always have half an inch of water remaining. Once the water starts vaporizing, I timed that after 2 minutes, the heater stops and the coffee will return to the bottom carafe. The trick to get consistent coffee is to slowly stir the coffee in the top bowl once the water starts rising up just before this 2 minute time frame. The quality of the coffee is at par with the antiques. And clean up takes far less time.The KitchenAid allows the antiques remain antiques now that I use it instead. Most notable features are the top bowl with a handle, a stand, and the magnetic seal (the antique rubber seal hardens over time). On the down side, personally, I think the carafe is somewhat big and heavy (heating element within). Overall a very good product.
If you want 3 cups of really good coffee in the morning and don’t mind hand cleaning your coffee maker every day, this is the coffee maker for you! It’s also not heated or insulated so you have a short window to get it hot. We bought this because we saw a similar system at one of the worlds biggest coffee companies stores. To be sure, it makes great coffee, but it’s not dishwasher safe and it requires thorough hand cleaning to maintain coffee quality. If you need to load up a couple of people for the commute in the morning, this coffee maker will make about 1 and 2/3 of a travel mugs worth. You decide who gets the 2/3. If you want to sit on the veranda and watch the sun come up over mountains and the city come to life, this things great. The overall coffee quality is 5 stars. The Value and Ease of Use unfortunately 1 and 2 stars.
Amazon Customer –
Its a fantastic coffee maker, the coffee has amazing flavour and the science and beauty of each pot being made is a real pleaser.I love and hate this machine though; the main downfall is cleaning it.Its difficult getting all the grounds out of the dome and then trying to carefully wash it without accidentally breaking it. Definitely a pain.If there was an easier way to clean it, 5 stars all the way!
Moderno diseño, que parecería frágil, pero no lo es; el método que usa para preparar el café no solo permite obtener un buen café, sino que es todo un espectáculo ver el proceso de preparación. Creo que por eso hicieron sus partes transparentes.
Sebastian Sanchez Ramos –
Aunque parece una máquina complicada de usar, en realidad es muy fácil ya que solo tiene un botón. La limpieza nos ha parecido sencilla ya que la hacemos justo despues de cada uso.Sobre el sabor, es bueno aunque mi esposa sigue experimentando con las cantidades de café y el tipo, eso ya depende de cada quien.En general la cafetera se siente de buena calidad y durable.
Unlike some reviews I have read, this coffee maker is easy to assemble, clean, and use. We have always had a bitter, burned taste with regular coffee makers – not so with this one. The only reason I gave it a 4 star was how quickly it cools. I prefer very hot coffee and it’s only drinkable for about 20 minutes after making it. We put a tea cozy around it which seems to prolong the heat a little longer. Still, a minor issue for great coffee!
Súper cafetera! Me gusta que se vea todo el proceso y que prácticamente no haya partes invisibles.A diferencia de las demás cafeteras todas de plástico y con miles de piezas que pueden descomponerse, esta me da más seguridad de que todo está bajo control y difícilmente pueda fallar, o en dado caso que sería evidente que es lo que estaría fallando.
Amazon Customer –
It makes good coffee, but the clean-up is an awful hassle compared to a regular filter. For the price, I don’t find that the coffee is that significantly better. But it does look cool while it is brewing, but that wears off quickly!!
Kevin B Basto –
I have been making coffe for 5 decades, this coffee maker is fantastic in my opinion, coffe is hot, smooth, nice conversation piece……Aug. 2019-Problem developed, …handle is now compromised. Poor handle material for a $300. Coffee maker!!!KitchenAid service dept is atrocious, website parts does even have this pot listed. Hour and forty minutes on hold, Allegedly a handle is not available, so I would need to purchase a $180 carafe, just to replaceable $10 handleI’m not happy KitchenAid
Rob Edwards –
I love how easy and FUN to watch this superb coffee maker and great tasting coffee! Just wish it made 12 cups… but it’s so easy to clean and did I mention how good the coffee tastes?! I definitely recommend this Coffee Maker!!! I
Excellent coffee maker. Tastes better and is faster than a drip machine. Would not go back to filters and baskets.
Prairie Gal –
This makes the best coffee I’ve ever had. It’s a little bit more trouble than a regular drip coffee maker, but the extra time and steps are worth it for the flavour. Also it’s pretty entertaining to watch.