The best coffee I’ve ever tasted was brewed by using the Chemex method in one of my favorite coffee shops years ago. This cup of coffee was so delightful and inspiring that I now incorporate Chemex brewed coffee into my morning routine a few days a week.
To get started you’ll need a few items.
- A pour over coffee maker – I have and highly recommend the 8 Cup Classic Chemex. It’s perfect for two full size mugs of coffee.
- Filters – I prefer these Natural Filters
- Kitchen Scale
- Coffee Grinder – This one is important quality wise. You’ll want a burr grinder for a consistent size. This is the one I use (and the best out there in my opinion): Handground Precision Coffee Grinder
- Gooseneck Kettle – This type of kettle allows the best control for where and how fast your water falls. I recommend: Hario VKB Pouring Kettle
- Coffee Beans
The most important aspect you’ll need are the coffee beans. After coffee beans are roasted, the beans are in peak condition and will yield optimal flavor within about a month of their roasting date. I always try to purchase locally roasted beans to ensure freshness. Or I like to order online from my favorite roaster, Crema Coffee Roasters.
The brewing method will vary depending on the amount of coffee you want to make. I’ve based these steps on the Eight Cup Chemex.
- Weigh 42g of beans and grind to the size of Kosher salt. I love the Handground grinder because it comes with a numbered setting. It will size your grounds for every type of coffee – espresso to French Press.
- Place filter in the top of brewer. The thicker portion should cover the spout.
- Add filtered water to kettle, then heat. I bring my water to a slight boil and let it rest for a minute. If the water is too hot it will yield a bitter taste after brewing. You’ll want about 510 grams of water for every 30 grams of coffee.
- Pour a small amount of hot water over the filter to saturate and rid any paper-type taste. I usually swish the water in the Chemex after it filters to warm the brewer, then pour it out.
- Pour your weighted and ground beans into the filter. Saturate the ground coffee with enough water that you notice the coffee starting to “bloom.” Pour water carefully avoiding any lumps in the saturation process.
- After about a minute, pour more water into filter with an even, circular motion until it reaches the top of the brewer.
- Now, wait for the coffee to drip.
- Discard the filter and swirl the Chemex to mix all of the fragrant flavors.
- Pour and enjoy!
Stumptown Coffee Roasters is another one of my coffee idols (who also ship their carefully roasted beans worldwide). They’ve put together numerous how-to’s for brewing methods. Here’s a great tutorial on the Chemex brewing method: Chemex Brew Guide by Stumptown Coffee.