Shopping Cart

The cart is empty

Shopping Cart

The cart is empty
Menu

How to: Chemex

February 04, 2013
Category: in Skill-Building: Extraction
Originally invented in 1941, the Chemex is a classic in the world of brewing devices.  With its hourglass shape and classy wood collar and tie, it’s simple and attractive.  It’s also all-American, made by a family-owned business in western Massachusetts.   But does handsome and timeless translate into a good brew?  I decided to check it out using our Chemex guide.

Image

The Process




  1. Fill your kettle three-quarters full with boiling water.

  2. Weigh and grind the coffee: I used 16 grams for 8 oz. of water and ground it on the “drip setting”

  3. Set up and rinse the filter:  One of the most unique parts about the Chemex is the extra-thick filters.  This allows the water to flow through slowly, making it hard to pour too quickly.  I folded the filter into a cone, then placed the 3-layer side toward the pouring spout.  I rinsed it with the water, then poured out the excess.

  4. Add the coffee:  About as simple as it sounds.  I placed the Chemex on the scale and tared it afterwards.

  5. Pre-infusion:  I poured water in to wet the grounds, then let it drain for about 30 seconds.

  6. The pour:  With the Chemex, the rate of the pour is less important.  Still, you want to pour it steadily in stages for a good extraction.  Since the Chemex drains more slowly, I just monitored the amount of water instead of the time.

  7. The result: It produced a solid, flavorful cup.  While it didn’t have the complexity of the Hario V60, the method is much less finicky.  Like the minimalist design, it produces a no-frills cup that’s great for daily drinking.


Tips 


Unlike the Hario V60, the individual factors are less crucial in the brewing.  Since the filter is so thick, I didn’t have to pay as much attention to the time and speed of my pour.  As long as you have a scale and use the proper coffee to water ratio, you’ll get a good brew.

The Verdict


I now understand why people are crazy about their Chemex.  It looks good on your shelf, is easy to use, and produces the kind of coffee you want on a daily basis.  I doubt I would have the patience to make coffee with the Hario V60 every morning, but the Chemex is more manageable.   Lets just say it’s now on my wish list.
Last modified on
Tagged in: brewing