The Chemex Coffeemaker has been around since 1941. It is a manual, pour-over style glass-container coffee maker manufactured by a family owned company in Western Massachusetts. The coffeemaker is usually described as elegant, and this may be due its visually pleasing simplicity. It is made in a one piece hourglass shape from high quality, heat resistant, non-porous borosilicate glass. Its design also features a cool-to-the-touch collar in the middle of the coffee pot which serves as its handle. The collar is made of polished wood and decorated with a leather tie.
The Chemex Coffeemaker produces clear, pure, flavorful coffee without bitterness or sediment. The purity of the coffee means that it can be covered and stored in the refrigerator without loss of flavor.It takes a little practice to perfect how to use a Chemex Coffeemaker to make your ideal cup of coffee to suit your particular taste. If you are just starting out, here is a guide to help you make great-tasting coffee with the Chemex Coffeemaker. These instructions produce two cups of coffee – you can adjust the amounts to suit both your taste and the number of cups you wish to prepare.
How To Use A Chemex Coffeemaker
You will need the following:
- Chemex Glass Coffee Maker
- Chemex Pre Folded Circle Coffee Filter
- about 45 g (or 6 flattened tablespoons) of medium coarse ground coffee – using a burr grinder will give a fairly consistent ground size, allowing for better flavor extraction
- kettle – the company makes a unique looking hand-blown water kettle, if you’re so inclined
- scale (optional) and can be eliminated after you have got the hang of things
Fill the kettle and heat water to boiling. Open a filter into a cone shape and fit it into the neck of the coffeemaker, ensuring that the three-layer side covers the pouring spout. Wet the filter thoroughly with the warm water.
This serves several purposes:
- rinses the filter of any residual flavors from its manufacture
- seals the filter against the side of the coffeemaker
- warms the coffeemaker so it does not lower the temperature of the brewing mixture by absorbing heat from it
Pour out the water and set the coffeemaker on the scale.
Pour the coffee grounds into the filter, zero the scale and wet the grounds with a small amount of water (about 150g). Stir gently, making sure not to puncture the filter. This stirring action guarantees that all the grounds are moistened and there are no dry clumps resting in the middle of the filter.
Let it sit for about 30 seconds. This allows the coffee to “bloom”, becoming saturated with water and releasing all of that great coffee goodness into the water. You can see it happening as air bubbles are released and the volume of the coffee slur expands.
4. Add water
Slowly pour more water (to a reading of roughly 450 g) over the mixture to about half inch from the top of the Chemex coffeemaker. Let it sit for another 45 seconds approximately, then slowly pour more water to fill up to the top of the filter. At this point the scale should be reading about 700 g.
5. Dry out
Leave the mixture to “dry out” – not literally, of course! There are those who enjoy sitting by the coffeemaker to watch the “liquid heaven” drip through and bask in the aroma of the brewing coffee. But you can leave it for a few minutes to produce the required amount of coffee while you get other things done.
6. Toss the filter
Once you have collected the required amount of coffee in the bottom of the coffeemaker, simply fold the edges of the filter in and carefully remove it from the coffeemaker. Toss it into the bin and that’s that – talk about no messy cleanup!
7. Enjoy great tasting coffee
No need for instructions here. You already know how to do that!
- Allow the boiling water to cool for about 30 seconds before pouring it over the coffee grounds. This helps to prevent a bitter taste to your brew.
- When pouring water over the coffee grounds always use a circular motion. This ensures even wetting of the grounds.
- As you pour the water take care that you are pouring onto the coffee and not the filter. You want all the filtered water to have passed over the grounds on its way to the bottom of the coffeemaker.
- Fold back the edge of the filter paper where it rests in front of the spout. This guards against spilling of liquid as you pour out the brew.
- Avoid using fine ground coffee since this will slow the filtration time by clogging up the filter.
- You can heat the Chemex Coffeemaker on a glass top stove or over a low gas flame to keep the coffee warm. If you have an electric stove with exposed coils you may purchase the company’s wire grid to place between the coffeemaker and the stovetop. Same holds true for their water kettle.
- For iced coffee you can allow the mixture to cool then place it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready, just pour over ice for a great refreshing glass of strong iced coffee.
You can rest assured that the Chemex Coffeemaker will never malfunction or produce bitter coffee (the filters keep back all the oils and residue that could make the coffee bitter). Well, there you have it – a very manual, electricity free way to brew the perfect cup of coffee. You’ll be using it like a pro in no time flat, and maybe even handing out a few tips of your own.