Tips for Using Chemex Coffee Maker
Getting the best out of your Chemex
This page contains tips about using Chemex coffee maker. We will have a look at how to brew coffee in Chemex, how to get the strength right, how to clean your Chemex and how to keep the coffee hot. I hope you'll find these useful.
How to brew coffee in Chemex coffee maker
- Start boiling the water. You can use the Chemex carafe to measure the amount of water you will need.
- Take one Chemex coffee filter and open it into a cone. There will be three layers of paper on one side and one layer of paper on the other side. Put the cone into your Chemex so that the thicker side is next to the pouring spout.
- Grind your coffee. Start with a medium grind - you can adjust later on.
- When the water boils remove it from heat and let it cool down slightly. Ideally it should be at 205°F when you start pouring it over the coffee grounds. In practice it usually means waiting for about 10 to 20 seconds.
- Pour a little bit of hot water through the filter. This will preheat the funnel so that better brewing temperature is achieved.
- Put medium ground coffee into the filter. Start with one rounded tablespoon of coffee per each 5oz of water - as you gain experience you can put more or less depending on your taste.
- Pour a little bit of water over the coffee grounds - just enough to get them wet. This allows the grounds to bloom. Blooming releases some of the carbon dioxide that coffee grounds contain and it gets them ready for proper infusion. This will take about 20 seconds.
- Now pour more water in so that all the grounds are covered. Gradually add more water so that the grounds are always kept covered. Do not over-fill it - always leave at least one inch of space at the top.
- Once all the water seeps through the filter, remove the filter with the grounds and that's it. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy it!
Tips for getting the coffee strength rightWhen brewing with Chemex coffee maker you have a lot of control over the brewing process. That's great, but it also means that it may take a few tries before you find out how to make coffee that matches your taste.
If the coffee is too weak you can try these:
- Use more coffee.
- Use a slightly finer grind. But don't use too fine a grind otherwise the filter may clog.
- When pouring in the water keep the water level fairly low - just covering the grounds. This keeps the grounds concentrated near the tip of the filter. That produces a stronger coffee.
- Also make sure that the water is at the right temperature (between 195°F and 205°F). With Chemex you should really start with the temperature at the higher end of this range because the water will keep cooling down while you are brewing. If your kettle does not have a good insulation you may want to reheat the water a bit while brewing.
- Use less coffee.
- Grind the coffee slightly more coarsely.
- When pouring in the water keep the water level fairly high - about one inch from the top.
Tips for cleaning your Chemex coffee maker
- It's best to clean your Chemex coffee maker straight away - that way you just need to rinse it with hot water and you are done.
- Some people mind that you need to take the wooden collar off when you want to submerge the pot. I don't think it's that much of a hassle, but if it is an issue for you then there is a glass handle model (that's all glass and you can put it into the dishwasher).
- If you leave the coffee in the Chemex coffee maker and it dries up, using a baby bottle brush will help you to clean it.
- Another cleaning tip is to put some ice cubes and coarse salt into the carafe and swirl the mixture around.
Tips for keeping coffee hot
- You can buy a lid for the Chemex coffee maker. That helps to keep the coffee warm.
- If you brew more coffee than what you are going to drink immediately it's best to pour the coffee into a thermo.
- You can also place the Chemex carafe with coffee into a pot filled with warm water.
- I would not advise you to heat up the coffee because it may ruin the flavor - but if you really want to heat it up see the next two points.
- You can heat the Chemex carafe directly on the gas stovetop.
- The Chemex carafe (just like any other glass) should not be heated directly on electric stovetop. You can buy Chemex wire guard. You then put the wire guard on you stovetop and heat the carafe on top of the guard.
Further ReadingChemex Coffee Makers
Chemex Coffee Filter