Welcome to our Chemex Brew Guide, the first in our new Coffee series! Chemex is one of our favorite brew methods because the coffee that comes out of a chemex makes for a clean and very enjoyable cup. Rather if you’re doing a tasting or just wanting to enjoy a cup in the morning, the chemex is a great method to start with.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Kettle w/Temperature Control
- Coffee of Choice
- Chemex Filter
- Digital Gram Scale
Now the first step is what I call the ratio debate, how many parts of coffee to water. I typically start with 45 grams of coffee to 700 grams of water or a 1/15.5 ratio. Now each bean is a little different, so you may find you prefer some beans with a 1/17 ratio and some with a 1/14 ratio, I just start at 1/15.5.
You’ll want to find the cleanest water available if you’ve got filtered and tap, use the filtered. The better the water the better your coffee will be, I enjoy using spring water in my coffee. Now take the water to 205 degrees. (If you find that your coffee tastes too bitter drop the temperature down to around 198 if that’s not enough then go a little lower, just no lower than 180.) While that heats up go ahead and weigh out your beans and grind them, this is also a variable you can play with, I start with a medium grind (like the texture of kosher salt) and take it a little finer if I wish that bean was a bit stronger and take it a bit courser if I wish it was a little lighter.
Place your filter in the chemex, what you’ve got with a traditional chemex filter is what looks like a square, open it and you should have three layers on one side, and one on the other side, you want the side with the three layers to be against the spout of the chemex. Now that the filter is in the chemex take a bit of your water and rinse the filter, this does two things, it heats the glass of your chemex so that cool glass won’t cool your coffee it also washes any paper flavor out of the paper filter so you won’t have that taste in your coffee. Dump the rinse water out before continuing.
Add your ground beans into the filter, place the entire chemex on your scale and reset it to zero. Take your water and begin a slow pour, with a slight wiggle in a circular motion. If you’re right handed pour counter clockwise, if left handed then pour clockwise. The goal of the circular pour with the wiggle is too wet all of the beans, with no more than 150 grams of water, if positive that all the beans are wet then you’re all set! If not positive than give it a little stir with a wooden spoon. Once all beans are wet, allow it to sit for thirty seconds, this allows oxygen to get to the bean and releases the flavors locked in the bean. This process is known as “The Bloom”.
After the bean has had its time to breath, start your pour again in the same manner as before. this time take it from 150 grams of water to about 450 grams. Once you’ve hit 450, allow about 1 minute until you continue the pour.
Take the pour back up, this time from 450 grams to 700 grams of water.
Allow the coffee time to drip and this will take about another 2 minutes.
Once the coffee has reached the bubble on the side of the chemex, you’ve reached 20 ounces of greatness (coffee). Take the filter out and the coffee is ready! All that is left is to pour the coffee into a heated cup and enjoy, with a friend of course(:
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