Cona Vacuum Brewing Tip Sheet

Cona Vacuum Brewing Tip Sheet
Cona brewing is a wonderful visual experience that just happens to result in perfect coffee. These
instructions may make it sound like it requires a lot of time and dedication, but after several uses you will
find it is only slightly more laborious than other brewing methods, but much more fun! Due to the design
of the vacuum brewers, there is always a small amount of water that does not ascend to the top (the
funnel). This means that brewing less than the full capacity of the brewer makes more diluted coffee.
Recommended Cona Vacuum Brewing Method
1. Fill the spirit lamp with denatured alcohol (aka "camp stove alcohol"). This is commonly sold in
hardware, paint, camp, marine supply and gourmet food stores. Liquid Sterno is denatured alcohol, but is
more expensive generally. Gelatinous Sterno will generally not burn hot enough to work properly.
2. Place the wick and wick holder in place. Allow time for the wick to absorb fuel. (I get about 6-8 uses
from one filling of the lamp, so you do not have to refuel every time you brew.)
3. Put the spirit lamp in place and the funnel (top glass globe) in its aperture on the stand. Fill the bowl
(bottom globe with handle) with hot or boiling water to within about 1/2 inch from the base of the neck.
Make sure the outside of the bowl is dry. (You can start with cold water but the process takes longer.)
4. Place the glass drainer rod into the funnel , making sure it is loose. Put the required amount of very
even medium to fine grind coffee (--fine but WITHOUT powder!--) into the funnel. If you chose to use
coarser grinds, compensate by allowing longer infusion when the coffee and water are together in the
5. Light up!
6. When the water in the bowl shows the very first sign of coming to a boil, place the funnel into the bowl
and twist the rubber gasket into the bowl neck to ensure an air-tight fit.
7. When all the water (with the exception of a small amount that must remain in the bowl) has been drawn
into the top, wait 45 seconds to 1 minute for the coffee to infuse. Some people like to give it a stir with a
spoon. If so, don't bump and dislodge the drainer / filter.
8. Place the snuffer on the lamp.
9. When all the coffee has drained into the bowl, remove the funnel with a slight twist. Place it in the
aperture on the stand, serve up your wonderful coffee earned it!
10. There are other techniques that involve allowing the water to rise completely to the top and then
adding the coffee. There are YouTube videos of vacuum brewing techniques, some of which can get
pretty elaborate! Vacuum brewing is as much about the show as anything - though we tend to focus on
how good the coffee is.
*Please note that the bowl and handle are not microwave safe! There are screws in the handle that will cause it
to melt in the microwave. Please note that your results may vary if brewing at altitude where water boils at a lower
More general brewing comments:
Sweet Maria’s Coffee - 1115 21st Street Oakland CA 94607 -
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