Brew A Chemex Like A Champ

 
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These Chemex guidelines are not by any means scientific or perfect, but they will lead to a damn good cup of Coffee.  Before you jump to it, here are a couple rules of thumb; 

Only use Whole Bean Coffee. When ground, coffee particles can lose their vibrancy within minutes. Just imagine if it has been sitting on a shelf for months... Ew. 

Know your Coffee ratio. Most roasters will recommend a 16:1 Water:Coffee gram ratio. Get as precise as you would like. I'm definitely guilty of being a 'just eye it' kind of person, but I'm perfectly happy with my over-extracted Coffee. 

 

I've had an 8-cup Chemex brewer for the past few years, and it is by far my favorite brew method. This is a nice option when you are brewing for a group, or just have a really busy day ahead of you. I've found that it creates a pretty clean, but also powerfully flavored cup. This method is basically a hybrid between pour over & immersion - You get that clean & bright brew flavor of a Pour Over with the punchy-ness of a French Press brew. It also just looks cute, who doesn't like a nice Coffee vase?

Anyway, here we go with a Chemex brew...

1.) If you're like me and lazy about cleanup, be sure to rinse your Chemex thoroughly to get rid of any lingering flavors from past brews. I've found the best way to clean a Chemex is to add hot (almost boiling) water and swish it around for about a minute. Just make sure you have a good handle on it so you don't chuck your Chemex across the kitchen.

2.) After the rinse, place your Chemex filter (I use the square folded filters, there are also half-moon filters) in the top of the brewer with the thicker 3-layer side facing the spout & rinse again thoroughly. Chemex filters are pretty stiff, so if you don't rinse your coffee will taste like notebook paper. If you're feeling frisky, fold under the corner of the thicker side to create a stronger air flow bridge. 

3.) Get some Coffee and grind it on a coarse setting. All grinders are different, but if you think of it on a scale of 1-10 (1=Powder, 10=chunky chunks) I would go for about an 8. The ground coffee should look like a coarse sand when finished, and the particles should hopefully be pretty consistently sized. 

4.) Pour your coffee grounds into your rinsed & dumped Chemex, then give the brewer and gentle shake shake shake to even the grounds. 

5.) Now for my favorite part, the BLOOOOOM! Boil your water, let it rest for about 10 seconds then pour about a quarter cup slowly & evenly over the coffee grounds. Watch as the grounds expand & soak in the water. You may see a few mini explosions of gas (basically a coffee fart, how cute), releasing some awesome aromas. 

6.) After about 30 seconds you will see the bloom come to a stop. Start to slowly pour water over the grounds in a circular motion starting from the middle, and try to avoid hitting the outside filter directly with water. Fill the top of the brewer about 3/4 full then wait for some drainage. You should pulse pour in this way about 3 rounds until your chemex vessel is almost full. 

6.) Let the rest of the water drain then toss out the filter and grounds. And well what are you waiting for? Drink it! 

If your brew tastes too strong or bitter, lower your Coffee volume on your next brew. It is weak or overly-acidic, increase your coffee volume. 

 

It's as easy as that, folks!