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The Food Shop: Georgio's Roasterie in Huntington

A siphon coffee maker at Georgio's Roasterie in

A siphon coffee maker at Georgio's Roasterie in Huntington Station. (Aug. 25, 2009) Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus


146 W. Jericho Tpke.

Huntington, 631-470-7797

When Georgio Testani opened his coffee emporium in 2007, the small store was already pretty crowded with merchandise. Two years later, the shelves are stuffed with new coffee accessories for sale, as well as antique coffee equipment for show.

On the floor are sacks of unroasted beans, as well as boxes of merchandise for which there's no shelf space.

Fighting for space on the service counter are four mostly glass contraptions that would look at home in a medieval apothecary. These are coffee siphons and, according to Testani, they produce a cleaner and more nuanced brew than coffee made with a drip maker or a French press - let's not talk about percolators.

Basically, a siphon is composed of two glass chambers connected by a tube covered by a paper filter. Testani spoons freshly ground coffee into the top chamber, then pours filtered water into the bottom chamber, which sits over a butane flame.

As it boils, it evaporates up into the top chamber, mingling with the grounds. As the coffee cools, a vacuum is created, and the liquid is sucked through the filter, back into the bottom chamber.

First it drip, drip, drips until - with Testani's audible urging - it froths down spectacularly in one healthy burp. The whole process takes less than a minute. It took Testani about six months to figure out the right proportions of coffee to water, the best grind, the right filter. He is very happy with the product now. A 12-ounce cup of "regular" coffee is $2.50; 16 ounces is $2.75. Every day, Georgio's also siphon-brews a few "exotic" coffees, a 12-ounce cup of which ranges from $4 to $6. The day I stopped by, I sampled the Kenya AA Gethumbwini Estate and was blown away.

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