Mastering Your Chemex
There's a reason Chemex coffee makers are universally loved, and it's not just because they look great. A Chemex consistently turns out balanced brews, and can easily brew enough to share. Chemex has such a good thing going, they haven't changed the design since 1941. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? (Seriously though- glass breaks so be careful.) Time to brew your Chemex? Set it on your counter and behold its unique shape. Be sure to get your Chemex filters, kettle, scale and your favorite mugs ready for a smooth and balanced cup. You might also want to phone a friend that likes coffee and have them over. The Chemex is great at brewing for two!
Don't worry if you don't have all of the gear. You can approximate and still get a really good cup of coffee.
The "Golden Rule" for Chemex measurements is one part coffee to sixteen parts water. For today, take about 17g or 3 Tablespoons of your favorite bean in stock and grind to a medium texture. Don't worry too much about getting the perfect grind on your first go, part of the fun of coffee is tweaking brew elements and seeing how they change the resulting cup.
Measure about 285g (on the scale) or 10oz of water into your kettle and set it to boil. Once the kettle has finished boiling let it stand for about one minute. Pour some water into the Chemex, saturating the filter to seal it in place and rinse away any papery taste. This water also pre-heats the Chemex for making hot coffee. Be sure to pour the pre-brew water our of the Chemex before placing the grounds in the filter. Your Chemex will be hot, so be sure to hold the wooden filter instead of the glass.
Put your freshly-ground coffee into the filter, and shake gently to level. Take your boiled water and pour enough water to wet the grounds. You will notice the coffee “bloom” up into a dome and then slowly recede after 30 seconds. A healthy "bloom" indicates fresh beans, and is important to ensuring an even brew.
Once your coffee bloomed, resume pouring your water -starting from the inside and spiraling outward. The idea here is to make sure you're evenly saturating all the grounds. Once your scale reads 285g or measurements are at about 8oz, stop your pour. Let the water settle, fold the filter back from the spout (or remove the filter/grounds all together), pour your coffee, and enjoy!
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