Hard to believe from its looks but it's a vacuum coffee maker that works pretty much like any other vacuum coffee maker with a few fillips.
The design has been around since at least the early 19th Century in exactly this form. From it's looks, you can guess it wasn't the method of the hoi polloi. If you want to drink coffee the way Thomas Jefferson, Talleyrand, and Metternich did it, here's your pot.
Alright it's gorgeous, it's a gimmick, it looks fantastic. The thing of it is though -- like any competent vacuum coffee maker -- it makes extraordinarily good coffee. The brewing method makes for a very smooth, very clean, round and edgeless cup.
Put the grounds (medium grind, strong blend) into the crystal goblet. Pour hot water into the copper vessel, balance the vessel on the spirit burner's top, and light the burner.
When the water boils (about five minutes), steam pressure forces it through the siphon into the crystal goblet. There it steeps the coffee.
When the water has left the copper vessel, the counter weight lifts it, and the burner's top snaps shut -- extinguishing the burner. The air in the vessel cools, creating negative pressure. The steeped coffee is drawn back through the siphon, returning to the copper vessel.
Here's a link to the manufacturer's home page -- make sure you look at the video.
Coffee -- did I mention how good it was? -- is served into your most elegant cups by way of the spigot. Don't forget to hold your little finger out when you drink.