The Chemex is one of the most popular home brewing devices, due to its capaciousness, elegant aesthetics (the Chemex is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York), and the clean, effervescent cups it yields. This is the optimal dripper method for coffees with subtle, delicate flavors or dazzling, citrus acidity as the Chemex’ thicker filter creates a natural vacuum that accentuates these properties while minimizing viscous oils or solids in the final brew.
For a 16 oz. pour (525 grams of water), weigh out 36 grams of coffee (just over a 1 to 14.5 coffee-to-water ratio). Heat a full 1.0L kettle of water (a gooseneck kettle with excellent pour control is recommended) to just under boiling – between 205-208˚F.
Carefully place your Chemex filter in the Chemex with the tri-folded edge facing the spigot (this allows for heat retention and is important for extraction). With an angular motion, thoroughly wet the filter with the hot water from the center outwards. This creates the seal, pre-heats the Chemex to maintain temperature equilibrium, and rinses the filter to eliminate any excessive paper taste.
Grind your coffee at a medium-coarse setting (slightly coarser than you would for an auto-dripper or v60, but not quite as coarse as a press pot). Place the grounds in the center of the filter and shake them slightly to create flat, even bed.
Moving clockwise from the center outwards, pour out a small amount of water, not exceeding 1/6th of the total water weight, on the coffee bed to pre-wet or “bloom” the coffee for 60-90 seconds. A good bloom will rise like a soufflé and allows the coffee to release carbon dioxide (which is both water soluble and detrimental to flavor) that has been trapped in the beans during the roasting process.
Over the next 60-90 seconds, carefully pour your remaining water over the center of the grounds to create your slurry. Use a controlled, gentle stream in a steady, clockwise motion no larger than the diameter of a 50 cent piece. The water level should never rise above the rim of the glass and if executed properly, should completely pass through the filter into the bottom chamber of the Chemex in just under four total minutes.
Remove the filter with wet grounds, swirl the Chemex to aerate the coffee, and serve.