Latest Posts

  1. Choosing a Pour Over Brewer

    Choosing a Pour Over Brewer

    Three questions you should ask yourself.

    Read More
  2. Aeropress Plunger Cleaning

    Aeropress Plunger Cleaning

    If your Aeropress plunger is excreting some sticky stuff. Don't worry, it's harmless but you probably still want to know how to clean it off, right?

    Read More
  3. Video: Metal Aeropress Filters

    Video: Metal Aeropress Filters

    Have fun pushing coffee through these metal Aeropress filters.

    Read More
  4. Moka Pot Brewing (Stovetop Espresso)

    Moka Pot Brewing (Stovetop Espresso)

    These are some basic instructions that you will, undoubtedly, adapt and refine to suit your purposes...

    Read More
  5. Espresso: Choosing the Right Coffee for Espresso

    Espresso: Choosing the Right Coffee for Espresso

    Usually, an espresso blend must be blended for balance, or particular varietal qualities that would be favorable in a drip coffee might overwhelm the espresso extract.

    Read More
  6. Espresso: The Grind

    Espresso: The Grind

    It's often said that a good grinder is the most important piece of equipment for making espresso, and I tend to agree.

    Read More
  7. Espresso: Almighty Crema

    Espresso: Almighty Crema

    The presence of crema, the foam on your espresso, means you are in the ballpark ...

    Read More
  8. Cona Vacuum Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    Cona Vacuum Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    Cona brewing is a wonderful visual experience that just happens to result in perfect coffee.

    Read More
  9. Chemex Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's

    Chemex Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's

    The Chemex Coffee Making System was developed by a chemist to achieve one result: brew a perfect cup of coffee every time.

    Read More
  10. Ibrik Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    Ibrik Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    These are intended as a "starting point" for Ibrik brewing - ultimately you will figure out the best and most convenient ways to use these brewing devices, so please remake, twist, turn, distort, decompile, torch, grind and brew these instructions to suit your own needs!.

    Read More
  11. Bodum Santos Brewing Instructions

    Bodum Santos Brewing Instructions

    Here are Bodum's instructions for using the Santos.

    Read More
  12. Clever Cleaning

    Clever Cleaning

    Here are a few ways to give your Clever Coffee Dripper the proper care it deserves

    Read More

Sweet Maria's Tip Sheet: Yama Vacuum Brewing (also works for Bodum Santos Vacuum Brewer

Sweet Maria's Tip Sheet: Yama Vacuum Brewing (also works for Bodum Santos Vacuum Brewer

These are intended as a "starting point" for the respective type of brewing. Ultimately, you will figure out the best and most convenient ways to use these brewing devices, so please remake, twist, turn, distort, decompile, torch, grind and brew these instructions to suit your own needs!


Check out our Yama Vacuum Brewing Pictorial!

Download and Print this Tip Sheet in a Single Page .PDF Format. And please look at the Brewing Fundamentals page for some basic parameters and approaches to brewing.


Please note that because of the design of the vacuum brewers, there is always a small amount of water that does not ascend to the funnel. This means that brewing less than the full capacity of the brewer makes more diluted coffee. With the Yama you can make a 2/3 pot without much of a problem, but brewing a 1/2 pot doesn't work too well.


Vacuum brewing is a wonderful visual experience that just happens to result in great coffee. While these instructions may make it sound like it requires a lot of time and dedication, after several times you will find it is only slightly more laborious than other brewing methods, but much more fun! The following is meant to supplement the instructions that come with the Yama --please read them too!

  • Before you use the Yama for the first time, wash it thoroughly. I would perform a mock brewing with no coffee just to condition the filter, or soak the filter in very hot water for a minute or two.
  • Heat some fresh water until it nears the boiling point in a kettle or pan.
  • You can prepare the coffee in the funnel (the top glass piece) while the water is boiling. Install the filter in the funnel by pulling the chain through the funnel shaft and hooking the end of the spring on the lip. Place the funnel in the inverted plastic lid that doubles as a funnel stand.
  • Add the correct amount of fresh coffee, ground as fine as you would for filter-drip brewing. This is medium fine, not to the point where it clumps when you pinch it between your fingers. What is the correct amount? For all brewing it is 7.25 grams per 6 oz/ 150 ml water. Of course, you should brew coffee to your taste, but most people use too little coffee, and it is ground too coarse. This will make weak brew in a Yama.
  • Fill the bowl (bottom globe with handle) with hot or boiling water. It is 20 oz if you fill to the 5 Cup mark, but I use 22 oz. because there's no reason not too. Don't use any more water than that! (Note: you can start with cold water -the process will take much longer though and we have found that the coffee is not as good.)
  • Make sure the outside of the bowl is dry (or it can crack when you turn on the flame). Pour your near-boiling water in the bowl, slowly to condition it to the heat.
  • Push the funnel onto the bowl. Not too hard, just snug. The Yama flanged rubber gasket makes the airtight fit with no effort.
  • If you have a gas burner set it to the LOWEST flame you possibly can. On an electric range, use the wire grid provided with the Yama and set it on a low heat, on a small burner. On my stove the water is starting to be syphoned upward within 15 seconds. When all the water, (with the exception of a small amount which must remain in the bowl) has been drawn into the top, wait 30 seconds to 1 minute for the coffee to infuse. Some people like to give it a stir with a spoon. (When you see vigorous boiling in the top, try to lower the heat next time. The boiling you see is water vapor pressure releasing from the bottom. Your coffee is not actually boiling!)
  • Extinguish the heat. When all the coffee has drained into the bowl, remove the funnel with a slight twist. Place it in the stand, serve up your wonderful coffee ...you have earned it!
  • 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.
  • The Yama is a stovetop model but you can use the Bodum Santos spirit warmer if you want, or some other type of alcohol lamp provided it can put out enough heat and has a flat platform for the brewer.
    *Please note that the bowl and handle are not microwave safe! Do not try to reheat the coffee in the bowl as there are metal parts in the handle that will cause it to melt!

Additional Comments:

  1. A note on grinding for vacuum brewing – As with any brewing process,  a finer grind makes more of the surface of the coffee available to the water to dissolve. So you want to use the finest grind you can without clogging up the filter drainer. If your coffee takes a very long time to siphon down to the bowl (longer than 1 to 2 minutes) then use a coarser grind next time.  If the coffee siphons down quickly but the flavor is weak, then use a finer grind.
  2. The only things that will cause the coffee not to siphon back down to the bowl are a.) too fine a grind of coffee is blocking the filter (see above); or b.) the vacuum seal did not form properly, so be sure you place the funnel into the bowl snuggly, giving the funnel a slight twist into place. You can also wet the rubber seal slightly which can help form a better seal.
  3. If you choose to use a glass filter rod (like the glass Cona filter drainer) as a replacement for the filter assembly in the Yama 5 and 8 cup stovetop models, be very careful to watch that the coffee siphons correctly; the glass drainer can get clogged and if the pressure is not released, it can cause the glass bowl to implode! Whenever you are brewing with the replacement glass drainer, be sure to watch the brewer, and if it stalls (i.e. the coffee does not pull down to the bowl), wiggle the drainer to release the pressure or pull up on the funnel to break the vacuum. If it does not release - relight the flame on the bottom bowl, and the increased temperature ought to equalize the pressure.
  • Vacuum pot coffee is very clean, and so may taste “weak” if you are used to French press or very strong coffee. You may need to increase the amount of coffee you use relative to the amount of water used as a result.
Comments