Review: Siphon Coffee at All Chocolate Kitchen

My favorite local non-dinner spot is All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva. It is my Heaven on Earth – a place dedicated to chocolate. Good, dark, beautiful, orgasmic, European chocolate. And don't forget about gelatos. They make everything in house, there is always something new to try (like the three new additions to the Aroma line for fall, of course they had to come home with me).

In 2012, Chef Roby introduced us – mere mortals – to Siphon Coffee. Terry and I have been dying to try it even since, but since it is quite an elaborate presentation have not been able to do it until a couple of weeks ago. Terry had a day off and our first order of business was Siphon Coffee.

By the time we made it over to All Chocolate Kitchen (or ACK for the locals), it was around lunch time so we also ordered a linguette, a hand tossed pizzette that they make in-house. One is enough for two, they serve it on a special long wood cutting board, cut into triangles.

We had a wonderful server named Ashley that did our Siphon Coffee presentation. She even has a pin that states that she is an expert in siphon coffee. Ashley inquired if we would like Caf or Decaf (caf for us), and shortly after walked over to our table holding an enormous tray with the siphon system and a silver service. You get a brief history of siphon coffee while the water is boiling (siphon coffee was originated by Loeff of Berlin in 1830s, and was popularized by Mme. Vassieux of France in 1840s. The apparatus was designed for show and display in dining rooms, not to be hidden in the kitchen. In the early 20s century the siphon brewer made it to America, but eventually the convenience over ritual won over and we were left with Mr. Coffee). The siphon combines the techniques of french press and drip coffee brewing to produce a smooth, full-bodied coffee without any bitterness.

It is essential to pay close attention because once the grounds are poured into the top part, the process can go very quickly and you will miss the water going up into the grounds and then suddenly flowing down into the bottom vessel. It is like a cool and delicious science lesson! Once coffee is brewed it is poured into a silver carafe that is specially crafted in a way so the handle stays cool. Your cups are then poured and a request is made by the server to taste the coffee black before adding any sugar or cream in order to fully appreciate the process and the result. I don't drink black coffee without anything in it, but this one I will. It is silky, smooth, delicious, and perfect temperature.

Final result.
(A note on the silver serveware – it is the family silver of Esther Roby and might be as old as the siphon method. It is quite exquisite and adds an extra touch to already special experience.)

On the way out fill a box with Aromas to bring home for some midnight indulgence, and grab a beignet for the kids.

Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-10pm
Sun: 10 am-6pm
Call ahead for Siphon Coffee