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 most 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
- Sturdy paper filters
- A decent burr coffee grinder (a few suggestions here)
- Whole bean single origin, medium roast, or organic coffee
- Chemex brewing system
- Hot water (205-degrees Fahrenheit is preferable)
Step by step Guide – How to brew coffee in a Chemex
- Take the paper filter and seat in upper portion of the hourglass
- Pour some hot water over and around the filter in order to coat it to the sides of the glass in preparation for the addition of the coffee grounds
- Take whole bean coffee and grind to a medium fineness, or like that of a capsule coffee maker or AeroPress
- Place the four tablespoons of coffee in the filter and boil 16-ounces of water
- Take the water and begin by depositing a dollop in the middle followed by concentric circles outwards watching for a blooming effect and crema; pause when there is still half of the water left and allow the filter and coffee to ‘digest’ this first pass
- Take the remaining water and, again, pour in concentric circles watching for a bloom
- Note the length of time it takes for each pour to pass through the filter basket and coffee taking care not to exceed either two minutes on the low end or eight minutes on the high end as this can drastically impact the final flavor profile of the subsequent cups of coffee
- Remove the basket or filter, dispose, pour coffee into a carafe, and serve
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