The Chemex brewing method derives its name from the hourglass, or beaker-like, device that was originally designed in 1941 so as to better explore drip coffee processing. The Chemex brewing process allows the coffee connoisseur to improve the blooming of a coffee bean, or seed, through a two-step pour over. The Chemex uses an especially robust paper filter that fits in the upper must portion of the hourglass, but which can also be replaced with a suitable mesh or metal basket so as to prevent day-over-day waste. Similar to a French press the process should take upwards of two to four minutes (even eight) so that the medium-ground and medium-flavor profiled coffee reaches its maximum bloom before going cool.
The best type of coffee to explore with the Chemex brewing method is one a consumer might normally shy away from due to acidity or fear of cafestol, or a bad-cholesterol compound often associated with coffee. This ability to explore true, single-origin blends is due primarily to the strong paper filter, which strips away many of the oils seen on top of a more traditional cup of coffee.
What You Will Need To Brew Coffee In A Chemex
Step by step Guide - How to brew coffee in a Chemex
Step 1 - Prep Filter
Take the paper filter and seat in upper portion of the hourglass and soak the filter with hot water until its completely wet. When this is done just dump the water out.
Step 2 - ADD COFFEE
Start by grinding some coffee at a medium - medium/coarse setting with a burr coffee grinder if possible.
The amount of coffee you'll need to add is down to personal preference. As a rule of thumb you should add one heaped tablespoon of coffee for each 5oz cup that you're brewing.
So if you're using an 8 cup Chemex use 8 tablespoons (if you're going for a full container) and adjust based on your preference.
Step 3 - FIRST POUR
On your first pour you'll want to fully saturate the coffee grounds so they can expand and bloom - This will take around 30 - 45 seconds to happen.
Step 4 - SECOND POUR
On the second pour you'll want to pour in a slow circular fashion until the water reaches just below the top of the Chemex.
If you're brewing a full container be sure to keep topping up as the water drains down.
On a 6, 8 and 10 cup Chemex - The button on the container represents the container being half full.
Step 5 - REMOVE FILTER AND SERVE
Remove the filter, dispose, pour coffee into a carafe, and serve.
⸙ Barista Tip 1: again, this method allows for a great deal of exploration and experimentation with organic, single-origin, or less processed coffee beans, or seeds, since the robust paper filter or metal basket removes unsightly oils.
⸙ Barista Tip 2: tips to brew better coffee with the Chemex are a dime a dozen, but many of the classic rules should still apply, meaning: take care not to oversaturate grinds on either pass, grinding the whole bean just prior to use, and use exceptionally hot water to maximize the bloom
Brewing Coffee With A Chemex - Conclusion
The Chemex brewing process is an excellent adaptation between more traditional drip coffee methods and difficult to achieve pour over methods. Once mastered, however, there are a plethora of other devices in which to experiment around to include the Hario, Kalita, and Clever.