Let's Brew Together - Chemex

Three of the most frequent questions we get here at Equator are:

  1. How do I brew great coffee at home?
  2. Are there secret brewing methods Equator uses?
  3. Does the coffee taste so great because of the fancy equipment?

Well, here's the secret: there is no secret. We love sharing our coffee knowledge and whether you brew coffee at home, the office, or out in the middle of Muir Woods we are here to help.  My name is Akaash Saini, Equator's Community Engagement Manager, and a former Brewers Cup champion. 

This series will show you recipes and tips for brewing a great cup of coffee with some of our favorite brew methods. First up is a classic brew method invented in 1941- Chemex.

The Chemex coffee making system is ideal for brewing several cups at a time. The elegant hourglass design is both beautiful and functional, allowing the Chemex to serve as both brewer and decanter. The thick filters lend themselves to creating a delicious cup of coffee with clean mouthfeel, but plenty of body.

What coffee to use with the Chemex:

Coffee from the Chemex results in a light-bodied cup with brightened sweetness. Because of this, we recommend the Colombia Cerro Azul Enano. The sweet cup, with flavors of agave and mango nectar, and a spicy floral aroma of tea rose. Shines when brewed on the Chemex. The Chemex heightens the sweetness of agave while giving it a tea-like body. 

What you'll need: 

Recipe: 

1. Place paper filter in Chemex.

2. Rinse paper filter with hot water. Rinsing the paper filter removes any paper taste, and hot water will preheat the Chemex.

3. Discard rinse water.

4. Grind 40 grams of coffee and place in the center of the filter. Medium to coarse, like table salt.

5. Place Chemex on a scale. Make sure scale is tared to zero.

6. Fill kettle with hot water. (198 - 204 degrees Fahrenheit.) Let your water come to a boil, and wait a minute and a half before pouring.

7. Start timer immediately before pouring.

8. Pour a small amount of water (80g) onto the ground coffee, and allow 40 seconds of bloom time. The coffee will expand and then deflate during this period; this is called the bloom. It helps release gas and ensures all the grounds are saturated evenly before brewing.

9. Pour approximately 140g of the water into the Chemex. Pour slowly in concentric circles (think the size of a quarter) radiating away from the center of the cone.

10. At 1:15, pour 150g of water through the Chemex (370g of water total). Pour slowly in concentric circles radiating away from the center of the cone. Do not allow the ground coffee to become dry before pouring remaining water.

11. At 1:45, pour 150 grams of water through the Chemex (520g of water total). Do not allow the coffee to become dry before pouring remaining water. Pour over the edges for one circle and start to radiate back to the center. 

12. At 2:15, pour 100 grams of water through the Chemex 620 grams of water total.

13. Serve coffee once filter stops dripping.

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14. Total brew time should be 3:30 – 5:00 minutes. Adjust grind to find proper brew time. If the brew is too fast make the grind finer; if the brew is too slow make the grind coarser.

15. Discard filter, rinse your Chemex and enjoy your coffee!

Cheers,
Akaash Saini
Community Engagement Manager
Equator Coffees & Teas