Chemex, one of our favorite pour over methods, has been around since 1941. Invented by Peter J. Schlumbohm, a chemist from Germany, who set out to make a coffee vessel that was attractive yet simple.
Step One: Bring Water to a Boil
Bring 1L of water to a boil. (Be sure to wait a few minutes before pouring) The ideal brewing temperature is 200 F (93 C).
Step Two: Weigh Out 50 Grams of Coffee
We like a 14:1 brewing ratio. To figure out how much water you need, simply multiply the coffee weight by 14 (or your preferred ratio). For stronger coffee, try a 12:1 ratio. For lighter/tea-like try 16:1.
Be sure to leave about 100ml extra for rinsing the filter.
Step Three: Grind Coffee
We cannot stress enough the importance of a good quality burr grinder. If you’re considering brewing with a Chemex but don’t have a burr grinder, stop what you’re doing right now and order one. A quality burr grinder is going to produce a consistent grind size. Why is this important? Blade grinders produce course and fine particles. The fine particles over-extract and make your coffee taste bitter. The course particles under-extract and taste sour. Dialing in the perfect grind with a burr grinder ensures your coffee is properly extracted and tastes fabulous every time.
Set your grinder to a medium/course setting, almost as course as french press.
Step Four: Rinse Filter / Pre-Heat Vessel
Shape and place your Chemex filter in the brewer.
Rinse the filter to remove any residual paper taste. This also serves to pre-heat the vessel.
Before adding the coffee, remove the excess water from the Chemex. Simply fold one end of the filter over and pour into your mug to preheat that as well.
Step Five: Add Coffee, Set Timer for 4 Minutes
Step Six: Begin Brewing with 700ML of Water
Pour just enough water to wet the grinds. Ideally about 50ml (equal to the coffee weight). Start by pouring in a clockwise motion from the center, outward. Let coffee expand or “bloom” for 30-45 seconds. If coffee is a week or 2 from roasting, bloom for 45-60 seconds to bring out more flavor.
Continue pouring in a clockwise motion, from the center, outward. Keeping your pour 1-2 cm away from the outer rim. Pour about 100-200 ml at a time. Allow the coffee to rise and subside in between pours.
Your final pour should happen around 3 min into brewing.
Now that you’ve poured all 700ml of water, wait another minute for the coffee to finish flowing through the filter. Take a deep breath and anticipate the rich, sweet, vibrant cup of coffee you’re about to enjoy.
Step Seven: Enjoy. Repeat as Necessary.
Remove the used filter and grinds and place in a compost bin. Give the Chemex a swirl and pour into your pre-heated mug.