The Chemex is one of the most popular home brewing devices, due to its elegant aesthetics (the Chemex is part of the permanent collection of the MOMA) and the clean, effervescent cups it brews. This is the optimal dripper method for coffees with subtle, delicate flavors or dazzling, citrus acidity due to its signature Chemex filter. These thicker filters create a natural vacuum that accentuates clarity while minimizing viscous oils or solids in the final brew.
For a 16oz. pour (525g of water), weigh out 36g of coffee (approx. 1:14.5 [coffee-to-water]). Heat a full 1.0L kettle of water (a gooseneck kettle is recommended for control) to just under boiling– between 205-208˚F.
Carefully place your Chemex filter in the Chemex with the tri-folded edge facing the spout (this allows for heat retention and is important for extraction). In a circular motion, thoroughly wet the filter with hot water from the center outwards (creating the seal, pre-heating the Chemex to maintain temperature, and rinsing the filter to eliminate any excessive paper taste). Then, dump water from Chemex.
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 french press). 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 which is the effect of the coffee releasing carbon dioxide (that has been trapped in the beans during the roasting process which is both water soluble and detrimental to flavor).
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 (roughly 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 4 total minutes.
Remove the filter with wet grounds, swirl the Chemex to aerate the coffee, and enjoy.