A Texas Coffee School Guide To Making Better Tasting Coffee with a Chemex

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A Texas Coffee School Guide To Making Better Tasting Coffee with a Chemex

Below you will learn the best practices essential to making great tasting pour-over drip coffee using a Chemex. If you want to learn more about coffee extraction and gain an in-depth understanding of every primary coffee brewing method, check out our Coffee Education Program for a complete list of upcoming coffee classes and barista training workshops.

ABOUT THE BREW METHOD:

Combining elegance and efficient design, the Chemex functions as one self-contained brewing, pouring, and serving piece. It is a little more expensive than a drip cone, but it makes up the cost in style and multi functionality.

Chemex-Diptic

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Hot water (198 to 205°F)
  • A high-quality burr grinder
  • A Chemex
  • A digital kitchen scale
  • A Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle for controlled pouring and accurate water temperature.
  • A digital timer
  • The proprietary Chemex filters (bleached filters are recommended for best taste)

Chemex_CheatSheet

BREWING PARAMETERS:

COFFEE-TO-WATER RATIO:

2 grams coffee to 1 fluid ounce of water.
We frequently achieve great tasting results using the following recipes:
Large Batch: 40g coffee to 20oz water
Small Batch: 32g coffee to 16oz water

GRIND SIZE:

Medium Coarse – Looks just a little finer than Kosher salt, (This is a general setting. We suggest adjusting to taste, as no two coffees are exactly alike. If it ever tastes off to you, adjust slightly coarser if it tastes harsh or astringent, which tends to leave an unpleasant dryness like sawdust right in the middle of your tongue. Adjust slightly finer if the flavor tastes a little under developed or “weak.”)

BREW TIME:

Around 3 Minutes

BREWING WATER TEMPERATURE: 200 – 205°F

If you are using a Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle, set your temperature to 204 or 205 degrees. The temperature will drop a little bit when it comes into contact with the coffee. If you are using a hot water tower in a coffee shop and use a traditional (non-heated) kettle, such-as the Hario Buono, set the tower to 208 degrees to compensate for the temperature drop that occurs when the water comes into contact with a room temperature kettle. Fill kettle 80% full for best temperature stability.

STEPS FOR BREWING:

  1. Using your kettle, pour a small amount of hot water to rinse the filter (to avoid paper taste). This will also pre-heat the brewing area and help with temperature stability.
  2. Carefully remove filter and dispose of water used for rinsing.
  3. Carefully place wet filter centered in the top of the Chemex. Use your finger and gently push the bottom of the filter to ensure it has good contact with the class of the Chemex.
  4. Add coffee to filter and gently shake the Chemex to level the coffee (to ensure even and consistent water flow).
  5. Place your Chemex on your digital kitchen scale and press the “tare” button to zero it out. Make sure the scale is set to “ounces”.
  6. While simultaneously starting your timer (counting up), with a gentle pour, saturate the grounds with a small amount of water. Try to add only enough water to saturate. Stop before coffee starts to flow from bottom of filter. Standby and allow the coffee to “bloom” for 45 seconds.
  7. Once 45 seconds have elapsed, carefully begin pouring water in a small circular motion with the goal of fully saturating grounds. Once you have gone around a few times, stop making circular motions and lower the spout of the kettle to the center of the grounds and continue with a steady pour that is not too slow nor too fast. Hand control brewing time by slowing or speeding up the pour as needed. Keeping the water level in the cone around 3/4 full is recommended for optimum brewing. Be sure to keep an eye on the reading on your scale so you know when you have reached the appropriate amount of water.
  8. Brewing is complete when the drip becomes irregular within recommended time parameters. This should happen within 3 minutes to 3 minutes and 20 seconds from the moment the water first came into contact with the grounds (in the very beginning).

GOOD PRACTICES:

  • Adjust parameters to compensate for individual bean characteristics
  • If coffee is too bitter, coarsen the grind to help ease the extraction. Adapting the coffee to water ratio may then be necessary to balance the concentration.
  • Too long of a brew time can lead to over extraction; too short can lead to under extraction. Use time as a tool to fine tune a brew.
  • Keep your Chemex clean by thoroughly rinsing after each use and occasionally using a cleaner recommended for coffee pots. We recommend Urnex Tabz or other applicable Urnex products.

Coffee-Class-Education

CONTINUE YOUR COFFEE EDUCATION

Texas Coffee School offers a variety of coffee and barista training classes that can enhance your coffee knowledge and brewing skills.

CLICK HERE FOR CLASSES AND ENROLLMENT DETAILS

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