Author: Julie Terebkov
Welcome back to home brewing! I hope you guys are ready to make some damn good coffee in your homes because, that’s what we’ll show you how to do this week. The Chemex brewer has been around for quite some time, and has even been in the background of some famous shows. What show you ask? Well, I was watching Friends for the hundredth time when, I finally noticed them using a Chemex, and using it as their main way to brew coffee outside of the coffeehouse they frequented. The Chemex was invented in 1941 by, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, and is considered a great work of art. It sits in many modern art museums around the US, and can be found in many people’s homes. Other than being a fine work of art, the Chemex, brews a great cup of coffee that comes out tasting “clean” in flavor, body, and aftertaste. You can read more about the different tastes of coffee and how to differentiate between brew methods HERE.
Hot Water (try to use filtered water if possible)
Kettle or other way to pour hot water
Timer (you can find scale’s with timers built in or just use your phone)
Spoon (or anything to stir your hot coffee other than your finger)
Coffee (Ground to about the same consistency as kosher salt. Courser than a pour over setting and a bit finer than a French press setting, around the medium-course setting. Ask your local barista if you’re unsure how to correctly grind your coffee)
Let’s start with our favorite first step, which is to place the filter in the Chemex. If your filter is a square shape and has a side that has more layers, face that on the side of the spigot (This allows proper air flow and no bubbling to occur when you pour the hot water). Then let’s pre-wet the filter in the Chemex, which allows your Chemex to warm up and for your filter to lose any taste it held. Go ahead and dump the water from the Chemex once it drips through. Then you can add your coffee and make sure it’s evenly distributed; we use a 1:15 ratio for this brewing method (32 grams coffee to 480 grams water). Then we follow the same steps as a pour over: a bloom pour, and two other pours after that.
For your bloom pour, you’ll want to pour 60 grams of hot water (slowly and evenly, in a circular motion) over all the ground coffee. Try to get all the grounds covered in hot water. Let your coffee bloom (it should look like it's expanding or rising) for 45 seconds. During this time you can "agitate" the grounds with the spoon (which just means to stir the grounds to get them all covered in water).
After the 45 seconds are up, your second pour will be 200 grams of hot water poured slowly, in a circular motion. Once there is enough room for the third pour go ahead and add the last 220 grams. This last pour should be more aggressive as to agitate the coffee once more. So, pour in the circular motion but, you'll want to add this water faster, which will create a whirlpool in your coffee.
All the pours should add up to about 3:45-4:15 minutes. If it's taking longer or shorter, the grind may be off and should be changed accordingly. The pour over should yield 480 grams of freshly brewed coffee.
If you’re trying to make iced coffee with a Chemex, take a look at our iced section of the pour over method blog post.
Stay classy coffee tribe.