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How To Make Coffee: Using a Chemex

How To Make Coffee: Using a Chemex

In addition to making food and listening to music, brewing my morning cup of coffee is one of those rituals that I hold most sacred. After all, for me, a good day starts with a mug of perfectly-brewed hot coffee. We’ve previously sung the praises of pour over coffee brewing. Compared to an automatic coffee maker or pod brewer, home brewed coffee just tastes better. Pour over brewing allows you to control every aspect of the preparation. It’s the difference between cooking something in the microwave versus cooking that same thing on the stove top or in the oven.

There are many options for pour over brewing. You can use a V60 Ceramic Dripper, a Hario Woodneck Drip Pot, and so on. I absolutely love a bright and full-bodied cup prepared in a Hario Woodneck Drip Pot, but it has a significant disadvantage. Specifically, the Woodneck’s size makes it perfect for brewing a single cup, but less ideal for brewing a morning pot for multiple people. For that reason, we tend to favor the Chemex on most mornings in our home. It produces a bright, sweet cup of coffee that’s hard to replicate with other brewing methods.

Here is how you can make coffee in a Chemex in your home:

1. Heat

Heat water to approximately 200 degrees.

2. Grind

Grind 45 grams of fresh coffee at approximately a medium grind. We recommend using a burr grinder for the best results.

3. Rinse

Place a Chemex filter in the carafe. You’ll notice that the filter is folded into fourths. When using the filter you separate one outer layer from the other three layers to create your cone. The thicker side with three layers is placed against the pour spout of the carafe. Once placed into the carafe, rinse the filter thoroughly with hot water. Once all of the water has dripped down into the carafe, pour it out. Rinsing the filter eliminates some of the papery taste the filter might otherwise impart and also preheats the carafe.

4. Pre-Brew

In a slow, controlled manner pour about 90 ml of water over the grinds in a circular motion moving from the center of the grinds circling outwards. Do not pour the water onto the very edges of the grinds. The coffee should appear active and begin to “bloom” slightly. Let the hot water interact with the grinds for about 30 seconds before proceeding to next step.

5. Brew

Slowly pour an additional 530 ml of water over the grinds in a slow, controlled pour using the same circular motion as before. It’s important not to flood the grinds, so pause as necessary. Total brew time should be 3:00 – 3:30 minutes. Allow water to continue to drip from the filter for another minute or so. Remove the filter and grinds. Give the Chemex a few swirls to distribute any tiny coffee particles that seeped into the coffee. Pour coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy!

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

MattNekoRecords

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

  • Katie

    Impressive. I’m not a coffee drinker, but if I were, I’d want you to brew it for me. Beautiful photo.

  • Kate Ramos

    Mornings are done right in your house!

  • Heather Christo

    I seriously received on elf these as a gift 2 days ago and wasn’t sure what to do with it. THANK YOU!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Aw, thank you Katie! All credit goes to Matt – he’s the coffee brewer at our house :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thanks, Kate! I like to this so.. :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    It’s the perfect way to start a weekday…though, if you ask Matt, everyday needs to start with a Chemex..

  • http://honestlyyum.com/ Todd @ HonestlyYUM

    I agree with Matt, can’t go one day without my Chemex…

  • Chris

    I like my Chemex, but sometimes find coffee brewed by this method to have a weird, chalky… uhm “mouthfeel”, I guess is the word I’m looking for? Any suggestions?

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    It’s hard to know exactly what’s causing that “mouthfeel” without trying the coffee in person. However, my best guesses would be that a lot of infiltrates are seeping through the filter into the coffee. I’d guess that it’s possible you need to adjust the grind a little. Another, potential solution could even just giving the carafe a few good swirls before pouring the coffee to better distribute the coffee sediment that seeps in.

  • Benn

    make sure you pre-rinse the filter if you are not doing so; it will leave a chalk feel otherwise. Hope it is that simple :0

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    That’s another good point. Not pre-rinsing the filter could have that result. Thanks Benn!

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