The $20,000 Japanese Coffee Maker

Out with the cheap coffee maker, in with the …. WHAT WHAT!? I just read this article at the New York Times website and had to share. The Japanese siphon coffee maker at the Blue Bottle Café in San Francisco was imported from Japan and cost more than $20,000 USD (That’s 2,130,399 Yen at the time of this post. See the conversion at Yahoo). It’s halogen-powered and looks like a chemistry set. That’s a ton of cash for the Japanese coffee maker. Are they serious about coffee? I’m going with “Yes” but are they a bit crazy about coffee? I’m going with “Yes” on that one too. Hmmm, I wonder if that cost included the shipping as well.

Ready for some pictures? Click the picture to see the slide show of images at the New York Times showing the step-by-step process of how coffee is made using the siphon bar.

Japanese Coffee Maker Siphon Style

And an awesome quote from the article:

“The whirlpool, it messes with your mind,” said Mr. Freeman, who practiced stirring plain water for months to develop muscle memory before he brewed his first cup of siphon coffee. “There’s no way to rush it.”

Here’s another interesting quote:

“Siphon coffee is very delicate,” he said. “It’s sweeter and juicier, and the flavors change as the temperature changes. Sometimes it has a texture so light it’s almost moussey.”

Here’s an informational siphon coffee machine video I found on youtube which you might find interesting.


And finally a video I found showing a siphon coffee maker in action at some shop in Tokyo.


Now I’m craving coffee. But instead of taking the time to make some I’m off to the local Starbucks… which is across the street from a Starbucks… and about 3 blocks away from another Starbucks… (I am not making this up).


8 thoughts on “The $20,000 Japanese Coffee Maker

  1. It was only a matter of time before coffee pots became art. A bit expensive for me…but I am sure someone out there was looking for this exact same item to fill a place in their luxurious house..

  2. “Not only is each cup brewed to order, but the way each cup is brewed can be tailored to a particular bean”. Has this coffee fad gone too far? Reminds me of tulipmania in the 17th c when Europeans would pay the equivalent of $44,000 for a handful of bulbs:
    Me, I’m waiting for a machine than brews coffee by lasers, with diamond filters, served in a hologram mug. Thanks for sharing the slideshow.

  3. It looks like they are conducting chemical lesson rather than brewing coffee. It gives me a weird feeling to buy/drink coffee that is brewed from “chemical” glasses. Do you know how much they selling per cup?

  4. @Marsha: Maybe an art, but at what price?

    @Marilyn: HAHA! YES! Laser brewing and diamond filters, that made me laugh.

    @HT: I don’t know how much it costs per cup, but if it’s a comparable price to other cafes it would be a fun place to go.

    @Kali: Thanks for subscribing!

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