Chemex Coffee Makers
Chemists' Way to Make Coffee
If you are a chemist then the Chemex coffee makers will immediately remind you of two things: Erlenmeyer flask and a glass funnel. Why? Well, that's exactly where Chemex originates from - it is a combination of slightly modified Erlenmeyer flask and a funnel. It was designed in 1941 by German-born American chemist Peter J. Schlumbohm.
Chemex's design is simple, elegant and functional. It has become something of a design icon and it is featured in permanent collections in several art museums (e.g.: Museum of Modern Art in New York).
So, does the taste match the looks? Absolutely. Chemex coffee maker produces excellent coffee: clear, full-bodied and aromatic with no bitterness and without any sludge. It is similar to what you get from the French press but there is no sediment. The main reason why Chemex makes such a great coffee is the specially designed Chemex coffee filter.
How Chemex coffee makers workVery simple - you insert a filter into the top part, put ground coffee into the filter and then pour hot water over it in several batches. If you want, you can have a look at full Chemex brewing instructions here.
Different types of Chemex coffee makersChemex brewers come in several different styles. Classic models are the most popular ones with wooden collar and leather tie. The wooden collar serves as a handle and it insulates your fingers from the hot glass as you pour the coffee. Glass handle models have an elegant handle made of glass. There is no wood or leather.
Hand-blown models are just like the classic models but they are hand-blown in Germany. The hand-blown Chemex coffee makers are sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing than the machine-blown models. They have a very slight tint of greenish color that just gives you a feeling of superior quality.
The Chemex brewers are available in different sizes ranging from 3 to 13 cups. We are talking about 5oz cups here. Now - when you say a "cup" most people imagine something like 8oz or bigger. So, bear this in mind when selecting the size.
Advantages of Chemex coffee maker
- The flavor of the coffee it produces: It is hard to meet anyone who does not like coffee made in Chemex.
- You have full control over the brewing temperature. Most automatic drip coffee makers brew coffee at too low a temperature. With Chemex you can use water at the optimal temperature (between 195°F and 205°F).
- The aesthetics: the functional minimalistic design is just beautiful.
- It is very simple to brew coffee in it: you do not need any electricity, as long as you have hot water you can brew coffee.
- The Chemex coffee filter is very good in not allowing any sludge into your coffee. This means that you do not need to worry about the coffee being evenly ground. So even a cheap blade grinder will do the job.
- It is easy to clean: if you clean it straight away it's enough to just rinse it with warm water.
- It does not take up much space.
And the bad points ...
- Just like with any glass appliance you can break it if you are not careful.
- It may take a few attempts before you find out how to make coffee that matches your taste.
- Making coffee in Chemex is a manual process which takes about 10 minutes. Also, you need to boil water separately.
- Chemex coffee filters are not easily available - you need to order them on-line (or buy them in a specialist shop).
- Coffee gets cold quickly.
- Some people find Chemex difficult to clean if you leave the coffee to dry up inside.
You can easily work around some of these issues. Read my tips about getting the most out of your Chemex coffee makers.
Further ReadingChemex: Tips
Chemex Coffee Filter