What is a Chemex?
Chemex is a pour over coffee brew method which uses bonded Chemex filters. The Chemex coffeemaker was invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm. This brew method has grown in popularity in recent years with a steep upswing in the last three. The unique thing about the Chemex is it’s ability to provide a very clean cup of coffee while preserving much of its body and nuances in flavor. This puts the Chemex somewhere between a french press and a drip coffeemaker, in terms of overall taste.
Chemex Coffee Brewing
While the Chemex profiles for a clean and full cup of coffee many people fault it for the paper taste created by the huge paper filter. I have spoken with many people who have tried to come up with different fixes for this perceived problem. The first suggestion is to use Hario paper filters. The reason is that they use less paper and still provide for a clean cup. Another suggestion is to rinse the Chemex paper filter three times before brewing, which we did a blind taste test of recently. The third suggestion is to use the Coava Kone or a reusable metal filter. Whichever you choose the Chemex Coffee Maker is on of the most enjoyable brew styles I have found.
Brewing coffee in a Chemex is one of the estetically pleasing and relaxing brew method I have ever found. I attribute this to the coffeemaker’s beautiful design and the amount of control I have over the variables. Adjusting your grind, water temperature, and pouring technique can all cause big changes in the taste of the final cup.
Buying a Chemex
I get this question all the time, Should I buy a Chemex or another brew method? The answer to this question really depends on two key factors: 1) How much do you have to spend? 2) What are you trying to accomplish? If you have around $30 to spend and want to brew good coffee at home then this is a great brew method for the price. If you only have less to spend, say $15, and don’t want to have such an involved brew method then I would suggest a Clever Coffee Dripper.
Do you Chemex? Share your tips in the comments.