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How To Use A Chemex Coffee Maker: 6 Easy Steps

How to use a Chemex

How to use a Chemex

How to use a Chemex: Why settle for mediocre coffee when you can become a master of the Chemex brewing method? If you’re here, we assume you’re ready to elevate your coffee game.

Brewing with a Chemex isn’t overly complicated, but it’s definitely a step up from the simplicity of pressing a button on your coffee machine. Don’t worry, though, because we’ve got you covered with this detailed step-by-step guide filled with useful tips!

Continue reading to discover our comprehensive Chemex brew guide.

What You Need:
– 55 grams of whole bean coffee
– Filtered water (approximately 1.20 liters)
– Chemex
– Chemex filter
– Pouring kettle
– Digital scale
– Burr coffee grinder
– Timer

At a Glance:
Brew time: 5 minutes
Yield: Three 8-oz cups

How to use a Chemex: While mastering the Chemex brewing method may require some practice and experimentation, it’s well worth the effort. The recipe provided here is a great starting point, but feel free to adjust it to your taste preferences. Remember, becoming proficient with the Chemex involves both art and science.

For this Chemex coffee recipe, you’ll want to use the traditional Chemex filter. These filters come in the form of unfolded circles and are available in both bleached and unbleached versions. Additionally, pre-folded square or round Chemex filters can be found.

What sets the classic Chemex filters apart is their double-bonded design, making them considerably thicker than most other coffee filters. In fact, Chemex paper filters are 20-30% heavier than standard filters. This thickness allows them to retain more of the suspended oils during brewing, ensuring that solids cannot pass through the filter.

The additional thickness of the filter results in a crisp and clean cup of coffee. It also enables you to brew a stronger cup with less worry about overly acidic or bitter flavors.

For this recipe, we’ll be using the original Chemex filter. However, feel free to experiment with other options listed in our guide to the best Chemex filters. Each type offers a slightly different coffee experience.

How to use a Chemex to Make Coffee

Now, let’s dive into the simple instructions for making great coffee with a Chemex.

Step 1: Measure and Grind Your Coffee Beans

How to use a Chemex: Using a coffee scale, carefully measure out 55 grams of coffee beans. The ideal grind size for the Chemex falls between medium-coarse, akin to the texture of sea salt or regular sand. Use a burr grinder to achieve this grind consistency. It may require some experimentation to find the perfect grind size. If your coffee tastes overly bitter, try adjusting to a coarser grind. Conversely, if it tastes weak, watery, or sour, consider grinding finer.

Step 2: Prepare Your Filter

How to use a Chemex: The traditional Chemex filter typically arrives as an unfolded circle. Begin by folding the circle in half once, creating a half-moon shape. Then, fold this half-moon shape in half again. This should result in a triangular shape composed of four layers.

Separate the third and fourth layers of the triangle using your fingers, then open up the folded filter. You should now have a cone-shaped filter with one side featuring a single layer of paper and the other side with three layers.

Step 3: Rinse the Filter

Position the filter inside the top of the Chemex, ensuring that the three-layered side is aligned along the pour spout of the Chemex. This orientation is crucial for optimal ventilation and extraction.

Once the filter is in place, pour some of your boiled water through it before adding the coffee. This process serves multiple purposes: it removes any paper taste from the coffee, creates a seal between the filter and the Chemex, and preheats the brewer for optimal brewing conditions.

Don’t forget to pour off any excess water.

Pro tip: This rinsing step is especially crucial if you’re using unbleached filters, as they tend to impart a more pronounced paper or woody flavor.

Step 4: Fine-tune Your Ratio

The coffee-to-water ratio is almost as critical as the grind size when aiming for a superb cup. However, like the grind, finding the perfect ratio may take some trial and error. Recommendations typically range from 1:14 to 1:19. Personally, I prefer a brew ratio of 1:15, equating to 1 liter of water for every 55 grams of ground coffee. If you don’t have a scale, this translates to about 7 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 25 fl. oz. of water.

Pro tip: Consistency is key to brewing great coffee, so investing in a coffee scale is highly recommended. Even budget-friendly models should offer accuracy to 0.1 grams, with many including convenient built-in timers.

Step 5: Begin Pouring

Position the Chemex on your scale and zero it out.

Heat your water to a temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association. If you lack a thermometer, bring the water to a boil and then allow it to sit for 30 seconds. Start your timer.

How to use a Chemex: For the initial pour, create the bloom by adding roughly 100 grams of water, ensuring the coffee grounds are evenly saturated. Allow the coffee and water to stand for 30 seconds. With your second pour, initiate from the center to break the “crust” formed during the bloom, then pour slowly in concentric circles outward toward the edge of the Chemex. Maintain the water level just below the rim, pouring until the scale reads 750 grams.

Allow the coffee to steep until all the water has filtered through. Check your timer; the total brew time should be approximately 4 minutes.

Pro tip: The overall brew time is directly influenced by the grind size. If your brew is too swift, consider a finer grind, or vice versa.

Step 6: Savor!

Once all the water has passed through the filter, discard it, pour your coffee, and relish in the finely-crafted Chemex brew.

Final Thoughts:

How to use a Chemex: Once you’ve mastered the art of making coffee with a Chemex, you’ll embark on a journey through a realm of coffee flavors you’ve likely never encountered before. Exceptional Chemex brews unveil subtleties and flavor nuances that may surprise you. Get ready to view your favorite coffee beans in a whole new light – and it’s a delightful one!


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