Blue Bottle Café in San Francisco is now serving coffee from the only halogen-powered coffee machine which looks like a machine from a Jules Verne novel.

Called a siphon bar, it was imported from Japan at a total cost of more than $20,000.

The New York Times reports that a cup of coffee from this contraption, which is described as the USA’s first halogen-powered model, includes a “kaleidoscopic” range of flavors.

This is basically how the Japanese siphon bar works:

“A siphon pot has two stacked glass globes, and works a little like a macchinetta, that stove-top gadget wrongly called an espresso maker by generations of graduate students.
As water vapor forces water into the upper globe the coffee grounds are stirred by hand with a bamboo paddle. (In Japan, siphon coffee masters carve their own paddles to fit the shape of their palms.) The goal is to create a deep whirlpool in no more than four turns without touching the glass. Posture is important. So is timing: siphon coffee has a brewing cycle of 45 to 90 seconds.”

The machines are imported from a Japanese company that owns a chain of coffee shops called UCC Cafe Plaza.