What makes a Chemex unique?
Everything makes a Chemex unique, which is why I love it so much. Chemexes were invented by Peter Schlumbohm in 1941 using materials not needed for the war effort. It’s the only piece of coffee equipment in MoMa described as being one of the best designed products of modern times. Chemex uses unique filters as well. The formulation of the filter permits the proper infusion time by regulating the filtration rate – not too slow, not too fast. This gives the coffee a richer flavor while at the same time making precise fractional extraction possible. The filters catch additional oils and fats from the coffee, to allow for an excellent level of clarity in the brewed coffee. I think the Chemex is a lovely and easy brewing method for people looking to get into home coffee brewing and want to begin to experiment. Chemex is a forgiving brewing method, and it’s easy to make without additional equipment like a scale or a timer. You can follow simple visual cues on the Chemex itself – the “button” on the bottom portion of the brewer indicates how much the total brew volume should be. While you’re pouring, make sure the brew bed never gets higher than an inch from the rim of the Chemex. These tips make it easy to play around and experiment with your recipe.
What kind of coffee is best for Chemex?
Because Chemex creates coffees that are clean with a lot of clarity, I think single origins really shine in the Chemex. You can play around with what works best for you, but light to medium roasted coffee really take to the cleanliness and clarity of the brew method, and tend to ‘pop’.
How does a Chemex work?
The Chemex brews coffee using the infusion method, which makes it most similar to drip coffee in terms of body and taste. Chemex filters are 20 to 30 percent thicker than those used by other pour over methods. The result is a slower brew and a richer cup of coffee. Although not as rich as the French press, the Chemex does produce a sediment-free cup of coffee that will impress anyone used to the weaker taste of most auto-drip coffee machines.