The Chemex coffee brewer is absolutely beautiful in it’s simplicity and in it’s ability to make outstanding coffee. It was invented in 1941 by German inventor Dr. Peter Schlumbohm and has been on permanent display at MOMA NY and the Corning Museum of Glass and was also selected by the Illinois Institue of Technology as one of the 100 best designed products of modern times.
The Chemex has been seen in popular culture for years. Most notably (for me, anyway…) we discover in Ian Fleming’s From Russia, with Love James Bond uses an American Chemex with coffee from De Bry’s in New Oxford Street for his breakfast coffee when stationed in London. If it’s good enough for Mr. “Shaken – Not Stirred” it’s good enough for me.
Using a Chemex couldn’t be simpler. Here’s the quick run-down of how to make coffee in a Chemex:
|Weigh out the beans. In our 6 cup brewer we use 48 grams of beans. For the 8 cup use 64 grams and for the 10 cup use 76 grams (yeah – use slightly less as you make more)|
|If you have unfolded filters, fold them in quarters. Open it up and put the filter in the Chemex brewer. Make sure the side that has 3 layers of filter paper is against the spout portion of the brewer.Heat water in a kettle to boiling. Pour a little water in the Chemex brewer to rinse away any of the nasty paper taste from the brewer. Empty the water out of the brewer. Don’t remove the paper filter at this point – it’s very difficult to get it back in if you do.|
|Grind your beans to a medium consistency. Similar to what you would do for a drip coffee. On my Baratza Virtuoso grinder I set it to about 19 or 20. Add the ground beans to the brewer.|
|Put the Chemex brewer on your kitchen scale and tare to zero.Pour about 50 grams of water over the beans making sure they get completely wet. Let the beans “bloom” for about 30-45 seconds. Don’t skip this step!|
|Slowly pour water over the grounds until the scale reads 710 grams. (945 for the 8 cup, 1180 for the 10 cup). Let it sit until it stops dripping into the bottom part of the brewer.Timing is the key here – it should take about 4 minutes for you to brew 710 grams of water. If it takes longer, your grind is too fine. If it takes less time, your grind is too coarse.|
|Remove the filter, pour and enjoy!|