Chemex is just a flat out awesome pour over coffee maker.
When it comes to pour overs, Chemex is probably my favorite. It’s way up there anyway.
Since the art of pour over takes some practice and effort to master, I wanted to give you the perfect way to brew coffee with a Chemex coffee maker.
That way, you’ll be making completely perfect coffee right off the bat. No flaws, no mistakes, just absolute perfection right from the start.
Ok that’s totally a joke. Is there such thing as a perfect cup of coffee? These are philosophical matters which my finite mind can neither answer nor comprehend.
I’ve written a general, basic how-to for pour overs. But this is specific for Chemex, as Chemex has unique features which other ones don’t. I hope this tutorial helps you in your home coffee brewing, let’s get into it!
Step 1 – Heat Water, Grind Coffee
If you’ve read my other “how tos”, you may notice I’m sounding like a broken record with this first step.
Always start with heating the water, and grind your coffee while the water is heating. Badda bing, badda boom.
You’ll want your water temperature to be around 200° F (93° C) when you pour it. For the grind size for your coffee beans, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most coarse, grind them at 4 – 5.
A great water/coffee measurement is 2 tablespoons of coffee (grounds) to 6 ounces of water. Or if you use a scale, 1:17… that’s 1 gram of coffee to every 17 grams of water.
Step 2 – Rinse The Filter
Pour hot water over the filter for a few seconds (no more than 10) without any coffee in it, to just give it a quick rinse.
This will help take away any paper residue from the filter, giving your coffee a cleaner taste and helping it stick to the Chemex.
Discard the rinse water from the Chemex before proceeding!
Step 3 – Fit The Filter Onto The Chemex
Chemex uses a special filter.
The best way to fit the filter onto the Chemex is with the 3-layered side of the filter lined up with the spout. Unfold one layer of the filter and place the other side with three layers directly over the spout.
What this does is it allows the more stable 3-layered side to rest over the spout and allow air to flow through that passage, helping with the pour.
Step 4 – Put The Coffee In The Filter And Bloom
Bloom your coffee by pouring just enough hot water on your grounds to get them wet, but don’t fill the dripper.
What you want is to see bubbles coming from the wet grounds. This is the signature of coffee bloom.
Let the coffee sit like this for 30 seconds before you pour the rest of the water.
Step 5 – The Pour
This is where the absolute perfection shines through. (Again, that’s just a joke)
Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds, starting in the center but immediately going into a spiral motion. You’ll want to pour in a circular motion but avoid the rim of the coffee or pouring it onto the filter for the pour.
I recommend alternating with smaller and wider circles as you pour.
Pour your desired amount of hot water, or fill until the water almost reaches the rim of your Chemex. You don’t want it to spill out of the Chemex, of course.
If you add more water after the initial pour (which we usually do), I’d recommend that you not wait until all the water has drained out.
Add more water while there’s still some left in the filter, when it’s halfway or just below halfway would be ideal.
It should then take between three to four minutes for the hot water to drain. Any more or less and you should adjust your grind size accordingly.
The last step is to enjoy!
To do this, simply fill your cup with coffee, raise it to your mouth, take a whiff of the aroma, then tilt your mug back so that its contents are emptied into your mouth and enjoy that savory black liquid which we call… coffee 🙂
Practice Makes Perfect!
Ready, set, go!
It does take a bit of practice to feel that you’ve got a good handle on making pour over. But on the other hand it’s really not the hardest thing ever.
If you’re sure to follow these techniques you’ll make a very fine cup of coffee.
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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you have any questions of comments please feel free to let me know in the comments section below, and I’ll be happy to hear from you.