The Chemex is a classic and elegant brewing device that was designed by the German chemist, Peter J. Schlumbohm. It may seem like a device that was born out of the third wave brewing movement, but it has been in production since 1941. In order to create this coffeemaker, Schlumbohm was inspired by two laboratory apparatus: his laboratory glass funnel and his Erlenmeyer flask. He added an air channel to the funnel in order to leave space for the air displaced by the liquid dripping into the vessel to escape easily. He added a “belly button” to the Erlenmeyer and then combined it with the modified glass funnel. Add the beautiful wooden handle and voilà, you have a one piece, heat proof, borosilicate glass coffee brewer called Chemex that has always and continues to rival new and old drip filter devices – but enough about history, let’s get down to the how to use this masterpiece and discuss the beautiful brew that you can make with this device.
1. Boil high-quality water until it’s between 90º to 96ºC (if you don’t have a thermometer, wait 30-45 seconds).
2. Fold the filter (bleached or natural) along the seams.
3. Rinse the filter thoroughly, taking particular care if it’s a natural filter. If they aren’t heated, the water’s temperature will dramatically decrease and the coffee won’t be properly extracted.
4. Grind 20 gr fresh coffee beans for 320 gr water, ratio is 1:16
Due to the Chemex cone shape, you really need a gooseneck kettle. Otherwise, it’s difficult to pour in circles, which is important for controlling the water flow (which, as mentioned above, is very important).
Start by pouring double the amount of water as there is coffee in your Chemex, and then let it bloom. After waiting for 30-45 seconds, start pouring in circles. Your grind size and water flow will affect the pour time, but ideally it should take between 3 to 5 minutes.