Brewing

The Chemex – An Icon for Coffee Brewing

What is a Chemex?

The Chemex was invented in New York City way back in 1941 and hasn’t changed much in the decades since. The inventor, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, a chemist, wanted to create a coffee maker that was attractive and functional. Among his many patents, he also created the Chemex filter, a double-bonded paper filter, which is thicker and sturdier than most paper filters.

The Chemex is a memorable coffee maker, with an elegant glass design and stylish wooden handle. But the benefits of this pour-over device go beyond aesthetics. This brewer has a double-whammy reputation as both a beautiful kitchen tool and a high-quality coffee maker, and is a near-perfect balance of aesthetics and performance.

With a wide range of size options and two different styles to choose from, the Chemex can satisfy just about any appetite. Handled properly, the coffee it makes is smooth yet full of flavour.

Appearance 

Got any arty friends who like coffee? There isn’t a more suitable gift.

This is a coffee maker you’ll want front and centre in your kitchen. Its design is part playful, part modest, yet 100% functional. However, a pretty coffee maker that can’t brew good coffee is no more than a dust collector. Luckily, the Chemex is more than decorative, it can produce some of the most delicious coffee.

No matter how large your coffee needs, Chemex has got you covered. With these coffee makers, you have the choice of either a 3-cup, a 6-cup, an 8-cup, or even a 10-cup brewer.

(Note: Chemex uses a 5 oz. standard for their “cup” sizes, so for some people (Americans in particular), the 10-cup brewer may brew only 8 cups.)

Once you’ve decided which size coffee maker best suits your needs, you can then choose between two different styles. The style most people are familiar with is the Chemex Classic series, with a wooden collar tied around its waist by a leather cord. The combination of glass, wood, and leather is what makes this model such a classic.

Brewing Process

To brew using a Chemex, you’ll need to purchase Chemex’s specially-designed paper filters.

  1. Just put a filter in the top section, add your Coffee House Lane grounded coffee,
  2. Pour hot water in a circular motion. (The coffee brews into the lower section of the carafe.)
  3. When you’re done brewing, lift the filter out of the top and discard.
  4. Now your coffee is ready to pour into coffee glasses!

What’s the Best Chemex ratio?

To brew a great pot of Chemex coffee, start with a 1:15 coffee to water ratio. That’s about 3 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water.

Coffee Quality

If you like clear, well-filtered coffee that showcases the unique flavour of your coffee beans, you’ll love the Chemex. On the one hand, these thicker filters slow the drawdown, which helps extract tons of flavour when you brew coffee. They also filter out some of the polyphenols, the components of brewed coffee responsible for bitterness. These Chemex filters contribute to the deep, rich coffee flavour the Chemex is known for.

On the other hand however, the paper filter does remove some of the coffee’s natural oils, so your coffee will be slightly less rich.

Cleaning

The Chemex is a smooth glass brewer, so it’s pretty simple to wash …. as long as you have a bottle brush. The hourglass shape can be difficult to scrub, and you’ll want to remove the collar and leather tie before cleaning. This brewer’s technically dishwasher-safe, but you may want to extend its lifespan by handwashing. We recommend using soap and water to gently scrub your Chemex.

Conclusion

No other pour over brewer has been around as long as the Chemex coffee maker. Its timeless design has lasted not only because is it a pretty sight, but because the Chemex is also a damn fine brewer.

It is a flexible coffee maker that allows you to perfect each step of your process. With a range of different models to choose from, including the all-glass Chemex Handblown with its arc-shaped integral glass handle, plus a number of accessories, it allows you to tailor each brew to your specific tastes. Once you settle on the right level of medium-coarse ground coffee, you can enjoy something truly special.

It’s an essential weapon in any home brewing fanatic’s arsenal. If you don’t own a Chemex, you are not a true home barista.

The Chemex by James Hoffmann

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