So you probably all know by now that Peter and I are completely OBSESSED with coffee. It's a bit of a hobby for us, we like learning about it and trying out new methods and devices. I've briefly gone over how to use the Aeropress here, as well as the French Press here. However, our favourite way to make coffee by far has been the Chemex.
Not only because we appreciate its simple, science-lab like style - it's on display at MOMA New York and other museums because of it's design, by the way. But also because it has consistently provided the best cups of coffee we have ever had.
It makes what is considered to be "pure" coffee - free of bitterness or sediment. Because of it's purity the company states that you can store the prepared coffee in the fridge and reheat later - and it will still taste great. Im skeptical about this, we have not tried it yet, although we do keep our prepared coffee on our stove warmer - and its usually good for at least a few hours.
Peter likes to weigh his coffee/water ratio - which is what most experts tell you to do. If you are just starting out with this then that's probably wise. However I think I have done it enough now that I can usually just eyeball the amounts with pretty good results. Peter's measurements are roughly 17gms of coffee to 300gms of water. I usually do about 2tbsp of beans per cup of water.
The beans should be ground medium-coarse. About the consistency of kosher salt. I know that by now you all have fresh beans yes?
We boil our water and then use a Hario Kettle to pour it into the Chemex. Yes, its an extra step but we find the long thin spout makes it easier to control the pour. There are also Hario stovetop kettles you can buy to eliminate a step, here.
When the water has boiled we usually pour a little into our mugs so they're pre-warmed as well as over the filter to clean it off.
There are a few different Chemex branded filters you can use - although I never recommend using your own, the filters are just as important as the glass container. We like the unbleached ones shown here.
Pour any water out of the Chemex and dump in the ground beans.
Add a little bit of your boiled water over the beans in a circular motion - just enough to wet all of them but not drip too much - and wait for 30 seconds. You should see whats called a "bloom". The beans rise and expand as the water extracts flavour from them.
After the 30 seconds are up continue to pour the water in a circular motion - pouring more in the middle until there is about an inch left to the top of the glass and then let water drip through before repeating.
You should see the coffee dripping through to the bottom now - the speed and amount of the drip are good indicators of the coarseness of the coffee - too fine and the coffee will drip really slowly and be much stronger, too coarse and it will pour right through and be weak.
So depending on its flavour you can adjust it in the future to get your desired taste.
Then, take your filter and put it in your compost/garbage - and thats it! The easy clean up of the Chemex is another reason to love it.
I wish I could send you some coffee through this computer screen so that you could taste the deliciousness that is Chemex Coffee. With a French Press (although also delicious) the coffee is "hearty" it goes down more like a meal, which is why there is usually some sludge at the bottom of the cup.
The Chemex gets rid of all that stuff, plus the oil that is naturally present in coffee - so the cup is light and bright and full only of the coffee flavour. If you get any new device for coffee making my number 1 recommendation is the Chemex .
Do you guys use a Chemex? Do you love it as much as I do?