Chemex is the preferred coffee brewing method of James Bond, Mary Tyler Moore, Don Draper, and a group of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. in New York. It is timeless in its design, as well as in the simple process in which it aids in producing a tantalizing cup of coffee. The Chemex coffee maker was created by German inventor Peter Schlumbohm in the late 1930s and patented as a “filtering device.” Along with a few other investors, Schlumbohm set up The Chemex Corporation in 1939 in the state of New York. From 1939 to 1941 the filtering device took on a few revisions, which finally culminated into its current iconic hourglass-like design. Today Chemex is available in a variety of sizes and forms, including the brand new Ottomatic of which the company can’t seem to keep in stock.
To show you how easy it is to make your daily brew with a Chemex, we will demonstrate the classic 8-cup model using our Ethiopian Yirga Cheffe coffee, adhering to SCAA dosing parameters. Here is a list of supplies you will need for the brewing process:
Burr Grinder (recommended)
Kettle (gooseneck works best)
Heat double the amount of water to be used for the brewing process, to 195°-205° F. We will be using 672 grams of water for our brew, so boiling a little over 1,300 grams of water should suffice.
Tare the scale and measure out 41 grams of coffee while the water is heating.
Coarsely grind the coffee to the size and consistency typically used for a French Press.
Place the unfolded Chemex paper filter into the Chemex brewer. Make sure the triple-folded section is facing the spout of the brewer. Pour some of the water just off the boil to saturate the filter and warm the glass decanter. Once it has strained through the paper filter and warmed the glass for about a minute, you can add this water into your waiting cup to heat it as well.
Add the coarsely ground coffee to the filter and slightly shake it so the coffee levels off, or level off with a spoon, to allow for a more uniform pour.
Tare the scale again, and from the center outward, begin pouring the water over the coffee grounds. You will want to use a 2:1 water to coffee ratio for this pour; therefore 82g of water to 41g of coffee. Once the scale reads 82g, start the timer to allow the coffee to bloom for 30 seconds. This de-gassing expansion of the coffee allows for an even distribution of water, which will provide a full flavored cup in the end.
Slowly and periodically continue to pour water over the grounds. The filter should remain half filled with water during the brewing process, which should take between 4 to 5 minutes.
Once a slow drip occurs after all of the water has been deposited over the coffee grounds, remove the filter and discard.
Swirl the coffee in the Chemex brewer to allow the full flavored oils to evenly disperse, and pour into your warmed and waiting cup.
Repeat as many times as needed until there is a permanent smile on your face.
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