• Say the word Chemex and you may get a blank stare in return. Say the words Pour Over and you may see recognition on a few faces. A really "hot" brew method right now in the coffee industry is pour over. Pour over is a method of drip coffee that was developed in Japan. The water is poured using a long spouted kettle in a thin, steady stream over a filter cone. Chemex is a type of pour over method; the container is all glass.

    So, let's talk about Chemex coffee! In 1941, Peter J. Schlumbohm, Ph.D in chemistry developed the Chemex. Science experiment? Well, kind of. One of the great features is that this brewing method doesn't impart any flavors of its own because of the materials of which it is made. The resulting cup is clean, bright and smooth.

    Currently, we do not brew using this method at O'Henry's because of the time it takes to get the coffee brewed and in our guests hands in a reasonable amount of time. We do encourage you to try out this method at home though for a different taste from your favorite coffee! 

    I, personally, use a Chemex at home when brewing coffee. It is interesting to see how the same coffee tastes differently between brewing methods. A few coffees I have found that taste especially good using this method are Guatemalan Guayab and Guatemalan Antigua. These two coffees taste light in the cup with a nice light chocolate in the finish. If you are looking for a darker roast, the Tanzanian Peaberry is a great coffee to try. Smoother than being brewed as a regular drip coffee, the earthy richness of it comes out in a pleasant way. 

    How to Brew Chemex Coffee:

    You will need a few items to get started - coffee (of course!), a kettle with a long spout, cone shaped paper filter, Chemex brewer, and either a grinder or coarse ground coffee. Note: The total process should take about 4-5 minutes.

    Step 1: Fill your kettle and set it to boiling. The water temperature should be about 200 degrees F.

    Step 2: Weigh out 42-44 grams of coffee.  Coarser than drip, not as coarse as french press.

    Step 3: Take your filter and place it in the top compartment of the Chemex. The side with 3 folds should face the spout.

    Step 4: When your water is ready, pour a good bit over the filter to get out any "papery taste". This also helps to seal the filter.

    Step 5: Once the filter is completely pre-soaked gently tip the Chemex over a sink and release the water you used to rinse. Do not take out the filter because you will break the seal.

    Step 6: Place your pre-weighed grounds into the filter and pour just enough water completely over all the grounds to allow them to bloom.


    The fresher the coffee the bigger the bloom. Wait 30 seconds before adding more water.

    Step 7:  Pour the water in a circular motion over the coffee, avoiding pouring along the sides of the filter, until the water is over halfway up the filter. As the level decreases slowly add more water in a circular motion.


    Step 8: Continue adding water until the coffee reaches the glass button on your Chemex. When it stops dripping through discard the filter and serve. 

    Step 9: Enoy! 


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  • If you’ve been a guest of O’Henry’s for a number of years you may remember some time back that we carried a coffee from Guatemala Antigua. We actually still roast this particular coffee, but only use it in our French Roast blend these days. Starting February 24, and running through the end of March, we have decided to feature this single origin coffee once more.

    This Guatemala Antigua comes from the Beneficio Bella Vista, owned by the Zelaya family. The Zelaya family uses a combination of traditional washed processing and sun drying processes for their coffees. Guatemala Antigua coffees are best known for their distinctive rich aroma, full body, and fine acidity with flavor characteristics of chocolate, caramel, and orange. I have found that the taste is well rounded and satisfies even the most discriminating coffee drinker. Enjoy it while it lasts!

    - Mike 

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  • Name:  Anthony

    Length of Employment: 3 months  


    Q. What drew you to apply with O'Henry's? I have a friend that worked at the Brookwood O'Henry's.She told me about the new store opening and I was sold! At the time I was looking at apartments in the Highland area. It's definitely one of my favorite places in Birmingham. 


    Q: Were you a guest of O’Henry’s prior to being hired? I went to the Homewood store a few times; I always ordered the Turtle Deluxe.


    Q: What did you do prior to working for O’Henry’s? I was, and currently am, a student at UAB. Fall 2013 was my first semester.


    Q: If you could trade places with someone for a week, and live their life, who would it be and why? Jack Johnson. The guy has made it. He travels the world playing music and making people happy. In his free time he surfs. Sounds pretty great to me. #simplelife


    Q: Is there one guest that has made an impact on you? Explain. 

    I'm going to say that every guest has made an impact on me. Honestly. The people of Birmingham are so welcoming and friendly; I feed off of that.


    Q: What are some of your career goals? I hope to graduate from nursing school, work for a year, then go back to school and a get a masters degree. Eventually a doctorate.


    Q: Describe yourself in 3 words: Brilliant. Gorgeous.Humble.


    Q. If your house were edible, what would it be?  Ginger Crunch bars, Nuff said.


    Q:  What is your most embarrassing moment while working at O’Henry’s? The owner came in one day and ordered a Gibralter Quad Shot. I forgot the steamed milk. Way to go, messed up the owners drink...


    Q: What is your favorite coffee and why? Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. It's super smooth and I like its herbal and fruity characteristics.



    Q: What is one thing none of your co-workers know about you? Before I was hired I was in a dark place. I watched all six seasons of Breaking Bad in a little over a month.  


    Q: If you could have coffee with anybody today, who would it be? Nicolas Cage. There isn't a "why" part to this question, so I'm going to leave it at that.

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  • Located in East Africa near the Indian Ocean, Kenya has an ideal climate and altitude to grow great coffee. Ironically enough, Kenya was mostly a tea-drinking nation. But then coffee was planted in the late 1800s and British settlers assumed control of the coffee industry. It wasn't until the 1930s that the British lost control, Kenya took over the coffee trade and the Coffee Board of Kenya was established. This allowed the spread of the coffee industry throughout more regions in Kenya, not just the colonies the British had set up.

    Coffee is one of the most important cash crops in the country and the industry employs hundreds of thousands of people. The main growing region is Mount Kenya, which stretches from the mountain all the way to the border of the capital city, Nairobi. The coffees produced from Kenya are well-balanced in the cup, yet very complex. They bring both a winy acidity and sweet fruit notes to the cup. Other Kenyan coffees also bring berry undertones and citrus undertones.

    The Kenyan AA that O'Henry's carries is the top grade of bean in Kenya. The AA stands for the size of the bean. The bigger the bean, the better the grade it gets. All coffees are hand picked and sorted to determine the size as well as if there are any deformities of the bean. Look for a clean, complex and berrylike taste in the cup.  

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