Brewing Guide: Chemex
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
It’s known for being “a synthesis of logic and madness,” the Chemex remains a must have in every coffee enthusiast's collection. Designed in 1941 by german inventor Peter Schlumbohm, the Chemex has remained unchanged with its heatproof wooden handle, leather cord, and tapered glass. It grants you the opportunity to engineer the kind of cup you’d want to drink. Enjoy the freedom of flavor movement, and consistency with every sip. Each Chemex brew can be reproduced as a result of its thick filter. This filter, the thickest on the market, collects the most dissolved particles, letting the most flavor through without the excess oils and tint found in coffee. If you’re looking for the cleanest, clearest, and brightest cup of coffee, the Chemex is for you. To guarantee the best results, grind your beans more coarsely than you would for a regular pour over drip. Also pay close attention to your pouring rate, as this will determine your overall brew. The key to a delicate and nuanced cup is in the details, and this brew will leave you with plenty to go around.
What you'll need
3.5 - 4.5 minutes
The coffee to water ratio you use will determine the strength of your cup. If you’re brewing a darker roast like Nicarao, we recommend 40 grams (or 5 tablespoons) of coffee to 700 grams of water. For a lighter roast like Estelí, you might want to use 50 grams (or 6 tablespoons) of coffee and 700 grams of water. Feel free to adjust according to your desired taste.
Weigh your coffee and grind the beans to a coarseness resembling sea salt.
Take your Chemex filter, unfold it, and place it inside the vessel. Make sure the triple-fold portion faces the pour spout and lays across without obstruction.
Prepare your filter and vessel by saturating the filter and heating the Chemex with hot water. Discard this water through the pour spout.
Place your ground coffee into the filter and gently shake the vessel. This will flatten the grounds creating a bed, and guarantee a more-even pour.
The Chemex requires a total of four pours.
For the first pour begin at the bed’s center. Gently pour twice the amount of water to coffee ratio. If you have 40 grams of coffee inside your filter, pour 100 grams of water. Slowly work your way outward, and avoid directly pouring onto the filter. You’ll begin to see the coffee expand, we call this the “bloom.” During the bloom the coffee releases gases and breaths. Allow this to take place for 30 –45 seconds. The blooming process allows for even saturation. Once the coffee bed ceases to bubble out, the blooming process has ended.
Begin the second pour from the center, and work your way outward continuing in a circular pattern. Spiral out toward the edge, then spiral back to the middle. Allow the water to drip through the grounds. You should use about 200 grams of water for this pour.
Repeat Step 6, adding water in 200-gram increments. Allow the water to percolate through the grounds until the water level drops 1 inch from the bottom of the filter before beginning the next pour.
Allow the water to drip through the grounds entirely.
Aim to complete the brewing process in 3.5–4.5 minutes. If the brew was too fast, try using a finer grind or a slower pour rate next time. If the brew was too slow, try using a coarser grind or a faster pour rate.
Warm-up your serving cup with hot water, and pour.
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