Chemex brewed coffee is known for its clarity and total lack of bitterness. This brew brings out good flavors in good coffee, but would expose bad coffee.
Let's talk equipment first. You don't have to have all of this, you can still make good coffee without some, but the stars align when you have a good setup. And it gets easier.
A burr grinder. No single piece of equipment will improve any method of coffee more than a good burr grinder. EVEN grind is crucial. Fortunately this is the most expensive piece. It's an investment.
Chemex pot. It allows for a larger batch and supports the filter. Easy to clean because of non-reactive glass.
Chemex bonded filters. These are extra think chemistry grade filters. This is what makes Chemex method unique. These filter out bitterness and oils that taste bad.
Pouring kettle with long spout. You need to control the flow of water and a Pyrex liquid measuring cup just doesn't cut it. In a pinch though... This is Hario Buono kettle. Worth the $60 promise.
Yeah you can boil water on the stove and if you have gas it's faster but a boiling kettle does the job in 5 min and really helps if you want to do this before you leave for work. This was $20 Costco.
A kitchen scale that does grams. Don't get this one it auto shuts off after 3 min no matter what. Annoying in the middle of a pour. Why a scale? Repeatability. Science.
Now make with the coffee.
Set the water to boil. We'll use 730 grams or 3 cups. Need more for rinsing so boil 4 cups.
Whilst its boiling measure 52 grams (7Tbsp) of whole bean coffee. Please not Starbucks. Go somewhere, a shop or roaster that does smallbatches that have the roast date stamped on it. Yes this matters.
Take one Chemex filter and open it so three layers are on one side and one layer on the other.
Position like this. I like to put the three layers on the spout side.
When the waters boiling put about a cup in the kettle and rinse the filter out thoroughly. This gets rid of any papery taste. DUMP THIS WATER. Ive made that mistake. Re-boil the water if needed.
Grind your beans now. You didn't grind them before right? As soon as they are ground they start losing deliciousness quickly. A pretty coarse grind. A little thicker than sand.
Close up of the grind notice the evenness. I would pull out the chunks of dust in the lower left.
We're ready. Coffee just ground. Filter rinsed. Water just off boil in pouring kettle. Chemex on top of scale.
Grounds go in then pour in 75g of water. Start a five minute timer as soon as the water hits Just enough to wet all the grounds. Not much water should go through below.
Looks like this. Fresh coffee and nice hot water makes the coffee "bloom" (not boiling, 200 degree) this is crucial to evenly wet the grounds (something Mr. Coffee knows nothing about)
Let it bloom for 90 seconds. Once it starts to fall you can move on to pouring in the next step.
Pour in a circular motion slowly.
Don't go to far out to the edge.
Don't go over the top edge of the glass. Wait a little, not too long, to continue adding water.
I wait til about here to start pouring again. I try to do as close to a continuous pour as possible.
When you hit 730g stop and let the magic work.
Mmmm look at that.
Just enjoy this moment. It helps build the anticipation.
After the 5 min timer dings. Pull the filter and discard. Don't go past 5 minutes. The coffee will over-extract and taste yuck. If you didn't get thru the water or got thru too fast, adjust the grind.
Look at that clarity. This coffee is so clean it can be enjoyed later as well. (just dont reheat in microwave) sometimes I let it cool and make an iced drink out of it later.
Pour in a preheated white mug to enjoy the color. Let it cool for a couple minutes. Enjoy.
- 52.0g Whole bean GOOD coffee
- 730.0g Filtered water just off boil
- More hot water for rinsing
- Burr grinder
- Pouring kettle
- 1.0 Chemex bonded filter
- Chemex pot