How To Make Great Chemex Coffee

How To Make Great Chemex Coffee

In our humble opinion, Chemex coffee is as good as black coffee gets.

It's remarkably better than the burnt Americano you'll get from your local chain and while it isn't as fast as a Nespresso, that's what makes it better again.

Find out how to carve the time out of your morning to relax as your coffee filters. Read on.

  1. Get what you need

  • 1 grinder, like a Hario Skerton
  • 1 paper filter, best bought in batches of 100, or a coffee sock for Chemex
  • 1 Chemex coffeemaker — we're using a 6-cup here so adjust up or down for various sizes
  • 1 litre of water
  • >50 grams of coffee beans, like Wanderer
  1. Boil & grind

Fill your kettle with a litre of water and bring it to a boil. A gooseneck kettle is best for a Chemex but you can get a more chaotic brew with a regular old Westinghouse.

While that heats, grind all 50 grams of coffee beans. You want a medium-rough grind with a texture like sea salt. Use this time, set to the coarse rhythm of the grinder, to relax. Use this time to think ahead, reflect, ponder whatever you must. For best results, use a hand grinder.

  1. Apply your filter

Once your water’s boiled and your beans are ground, open your paper filter up and place it into the top of your Chemex. Face the thick side to the groove so the groove stays clear during the brew.

Saturate your filter until it’s stuck to the glass and the water is soaking up the sides. Take the wet filter off, empty the Chemex of hot water, and replace the filter so it fits well.

  1. Pour your ground coffee into the bottom of the filter

Shake the coffee as you do so it’s all as even as possible for a smooth brew.

  1. Have a gander

Into the centre of the coffee bed in your filter, pour twice the amount of water as you have coffee — 100ml water for 50 grams coffee as per this guide. Pour in circles, working outward, not pouring down the sides of the filter. Watch as this water ‘blooms’ the coffee. Let it do so for another 45-55 seconds. Think back on what’s in your mind after the grind. Ponder some more.

Once your grinds have bloomed, pour 200ml of your boiling water around the grinds in an outward spiral. Let this water filter through until the grinds rest. Repeat this process in 200ml increments until all of your water’s been filtered through. As you do, hold the thoughts you’ve been entertaining and explore them. Let the pour be mechanical, your body free to think as progress filters through from grind to brew.

  1. Enjoy

When your brew’s done, when the last of the water’s filtered all the way through, remove your filter and compost it. This should have all taken a bit under five quality, self-reflective minutes. Then sit and enjoy. Now the day can begin.

Too fast? Too slow?

For a slower brew, use a finer initial grind for your whole beans. Also try pouring a little more slowly.

For a faster brew, use a coarser grind or just pour more quickly.

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