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How to brew delicious coffee with a Chemex

by Dom Majdandzic 05 Jan 2018
The Chemex is a delicious way to brew coffee and is perfect for charming your guests with a smooth, full-flavoured coffee which highlights the stunning nuances of where the coffee was grown. Just quietly it’s one of our favourite ways to enjoy coffee at home. But don’t just take our word for it, the simple sophistication of the Chemex was also loved by James Bond in From Russia With Love, and Don Draper in Mad Men. How could these two cool cats be wrong! It was invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm and due to its timeless design was included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1958. The Chemex is literally dripping coolness and delicious coffee. Here’s how we brew it.

Dom 12

What you need

  • Chemex 900ml Classic 6 cup
  • Chemex Filter Papers
  • Grinder
  • Scale
  • Kettle with hot water just off the boil
  • Bamboo paddle
  • Timer (use your phone)
You can get all the brewing gear from our store

Grind and weigh on demand

If you start with whole bean coffee and grind just before making your brew you will enjoy your coffee a lot more. If you grind your coffee too soon it will quickly lose many of it's delightful aromas and flavours. Using a scale actually makes brewing easier by taking any guesswork out of the equation which further improves your repeatable cups of coffee at home. You can grab one here for $25.

Dom 11

When brewing on the 6 cup chemex for two large or four small cups

Step 1

Heat your water to 94ºC by bringing it to a boil and letting it sit for 30 seconds.

Step 2

While your water is boiling, weigh out your whole bean coffee and grind it on a medium setting, similar to the coarseness of sea salt. On your porlex hand mill start about 6 clicks from closed. All Chemex recipes are based on a specialty coffee standard ratio of 6g of coffee to 100ml of water. For the 6 cup chemex our recommended recipe is 36g of ground coffee to 600ml (or 600g) of hot water. This will make 2 large or 4 small cups of coffee. We recommend adding 1g to 2g per 100ml of water to increase strength and subtracting 1g per 100ml to make the brew weaker.

Step 3

Place the filter in the Chemex with the triple folded side lined up against the spout, without it getting in the way when pouring. Pour hot water on the filter to create a nice even seal and to warm the Chemex. Pour out the hot water ready for the ground coffee.

Step 4

Place the ground coffee (36g) into the filter and give it a gentle shake from side to side to flatten it. Then place the Chemex onto your scale and tare to zero.

Step 5

Beginning in the middle gently pour approximately 100g of water into the grounds. Pour your way outward in a gentle circular motion. The water causes the coffee to bloom or expand. Stir gently with your paddle (or chopstick) to make sure there are no dry clumps of ground coffee. This is to ensure full extraction and will allow the water to fully permeate the coffee. Let it sit 45 seconds, this will further ensure an even saturation.

Step 6

After 45 seconds start adding the remainder of the water (about 500g). Pour in a circular pattern starting from the middle. If the chemex is now full to the brim, wait a while, then add remainder of the water until the scale reads 600g. Allow the water to drip through the grounds .

Step 7

When the water has dripped through the grounds remove the filter and serve into preheated cups. Note: On Average the brewing time is about 4 minutes. I personally don't believe a one size fits all brewing time for the method, but if you find the coffee a bit intense or bitter, try grinding coarser, and if you find the coffee lacking and light, grind finer.

Dom 9

Get the gear

I hope you like the experience of making and savouring a Chemex brewed
coffee. Dom

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