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!