Manual coffee-brewing methods are becoming increasingly popular options in coffee shops and for home baristas. Chemex is one of the most popular and time tested pour-over alternatives, and you should consider switching even if the regular auto drip is more convenient. The ability to control every aspect of the brewing process, create a coffee cup that’s perfectly suited to one’s preferences, and highlight the unique character of the coffee beans has convinced many to make the switch.
Many of us just can’t go a single day without a fresh cup of joe in the morning. Some make their coffee in the classic carafe, some have taken to Keurig’s quick and easy K-Cups, but others like to stick to a more ritualistic and rewarding coffee-making experience. Pour-over […]
The market explosion with various manual brewing devices might look like pour-over coffee is a recent fad. However, the Chemex is one of the devices that has truly withstood the test of time.
What is the Chemex?
Image by “Fletcher6 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons”
is a manual coffee brewing device that was invented in 1941 and is still widely popular today. Its fame is due not only to the extremely good coffee that it brews, but also to its elegant looks. The apparatus has an hourglass shape, with a bowl-like bottom and funneled top. The classic design features a classy wooden handle around the midsection. A more recent design has a glass handle. The Chemex is one of the few, if not the only, coffee maker to be displayed in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.
Here are some advantages of the Chemex:
- The Chemex pour-over coffee maker is one of the most widely recognized pour over coffee makers and can be found in most coffee and kitchen stores.
- This brewer has a great reputation as both a beautiful kitchen device and a high-quality coffee maker. It is a near-perfect balance of aesthetics and performance.
- The Chemex Coffeemaker is simple in appearance and in use, but its extraordinary engineering is designed to brew the best cup of coffee possible.
- This coffee brewer is a beautifully crafted, simple to use, organically shaped vessel made of high-quality borosilicate, a heat-resistant glass that imparts no flavors of its own.
- The Chemex, when paired with the original Chemex paper filters, makes a perfect beverage that’s clear, pure and flavorful without bitterness or sediment. The coffee only comes in contact with the scientifically designed filter and non-porous glass.
- With this brewing device, you can make coffee as strong as you like without bitterness. It’s also perfect for making iced coffee drinks, and it does not contain any coffee oils, because of the perfect paper filters.
Here’s how to make a cup with the Chemex:
- Ground some coffee beans immediately before brewing coffee.
- Use 2 tablespoons medium ground coffee per 5 ounces of water.
- Do not ground too fine, otherwise, your brew will pool for minutes over the grounds, and not drip through.
- Pour some water on the stove to boil. Once it boils remove it from heat and allow it to cool a bit. The best temperature to brew coffee at is around 200F.
- Place a Chemex coffee filter over the brewing carafe, and ensure the thick side of the filter is covering the spout.
- Rinse their filter with hot water before using.
- Pour your coarsely ground coffee in.
- Pour a little water over the grounds to saturate them and wait for about half a minute.
- Pour the remaining water over the grounds.
- Once the water has made its way through the filter, discard the filter and enjoy!
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Where To Buy A Chemex Coffee Maker
I have this 6 cup Chemex but there is an 8 cup, and a 10 cup Chemex option for those with larger families. My favorite is the 3 cup brewer that you can use while at work if your work coffee is bad. Don’t forget to get some coffee filters, too!
Who Should Consider the Chemex?
The Chemex is well-suited for coffee aficionados who understand that coffee is an art and are interested in learning about all aspects of the brewing process. As is the case with all manual pour-overs, brewing coffee with the Chemex takes a few minutes. Thus, it’s not an ideal choice for coffee drinkers who are in a hurry. For people who don’t mind spending some time making coffee, though, the Chemex lets the brewer adjust any part of the brewing process.
The brewing style of the Chemex and its special paper filters produce clean, crisp brews. While any good coffee brewed in the Chemex will produce a decent cup, the coffee maker is especially suited for light and light-medium roasts.
What Else Do You Need? Accessories and Ingredients
To brew great coffee with the Chemex, you’ll need a few accessories and ingredients.
- Some great Guatemala Geisha roasted coffee, which is an Ethiopian coffee origin but adapted in Guatemala
- A scale for weighing, so you can achieve an accurate coffee-to-water ratio
- a burr grinder, so you can grind your coffee right before brewing
- a gooseneck kettle, so you’ll have complete control when pouring water
- Chemex’s bonded filters, which are specially designed for the coffee maker
- You may also want a thermometer if your gooseneck kettle doesn’t have it
- A timer, if you don’t want to use a clock
Some people prefer to have a bolder cup, and paper filters for them retain too much of the coffee oils and the micro fines that give the coffee its strength. If this is you, (you love French press coffee), you can adjust your Chemex brewing by using a permanent metallic filter. The best we know is the Kone.
Drop us a line in the comment area if you use a Chemex, or if we inspired you to switch to one. Ask us any question about brewing a pour over cup.