Chemex coffee maker: A very simple way to make coffee at home
If you are entering the world of coffee and you like to visit different specialty coffee shops, you will have seen that among the different preparation options that they offer you there is one called "Chemex"; a beautiful little glass bottle with a somewhat peculiar shape and a wooden "neck".
A little history
The Chemex coffee maker, as we said before, is a glass coffee maker whose use is entirely manual. Invented in the early 1940s by Peter Schlumbohm, it has been manufactured since its inception by the family business "Chemex Corporation" in Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA.
The appearance of the Chemex coffeemaker caused quite a stir, even because of its design, so much so that in 1958 it was considered "one of the best designed products of modern times" by members of the Illinois Institute of Technology and is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Peculiarities of the Chemex coffee machine
The Chemex coffeemaker consists of an hourglass-shaped glass flask with a conical funnel-shaped neck and proprietary filters. These filters are made of chipboard and their main feature is that they are thicker than the standard paper ones used for drip coffee machines.
The reason for this is that the thick filter removes most of the coffee oils and makes the coffee much "cleaner" than other coffee brews.
What easily distinguishes the Chemex from the rest of the drip coffee makers is the wooden collar around the neck, resistant to heat, which allows us to handle it easily and without the risk of burning ourselves. The necklace is made up of two pieces, which are held together by a leather strap.
Before proceeding with the preparation of the coffee, the Chemex filter must be rinsed with hot water to remove the taste of the paper. Once the filter has been rinsed, the ground coffee is added, which must have a thickness more or less similar to kosher salt (this is a medium/coarse grind) to obtain the best flavor and so that they do not go to the bottom of the coffee maker remains of ground coffee powder. Once we have added the coffee, we begin to pour the hot water. If the temperature of the water can be regulated between 93 and 96 ° C, all the better. In any case, we advise against the use of boiling water.
As a little trick, we recommend that you pour the water slowly, constantly, making circles from the inside to the outside, in order to infuse all the ground coffee that we have added well and that there are no dry areas.
Do not be scared if you see how the volume of ground coffee increases and small bubbles begin to appear; this is normal and will indicate that your coffee is really fresh.
A few seconds later, you will see how the water that we have poured on the top begins to seep along with the ground coffee and the bottom of the Chemex slowly begins to fill with our beloved liquid coffee.
The other design feature of the Chemex is the spout located on the top of the coffee maker, which allows us to easily pour the coffee and guarantees air flow during preparation.
What is the ratio of ground coffee and water?
As for the dose or amount of coffee in relation to the amount of water, as we always say, this is something very personal, which will vary from the coffee we use and our taste. In general, a ratio of 1:10 (1 gram of coffee per 10 milliliters of water) is recommended, but I repeat that it is up to each person to find the right point.
Although the water together with the coffee beans begin to filter within a few seconds of being in contact, we recommend letting the drink rest between three and five minutes, to ensure the correct and complete passage of the water through the filter and that its temperature is optimal to start drinking it and enjoy all the characteristics of the coffee we have selected.
Once this time has elapsed, we remove and discard the filter with the remains of ground coffee, slowly stir the Chemex so that it is properly oxygenated and we proceed to serve it.
Is there only one size of Chemex?
No, luckily for us there are different sizes and capacities, so we can find different coffee machines on the market for the preparation of 3 to 10 cups, so depending on our customs or needs, we can easily get one that meets our expectations.
In our opinion, the Chemex coffee maker is one of the best options for preparing coffee, since its completely manual operation allows us to enter and participate in the preparation ritual. It does not require any previous knowledge, except a little care and a little pulse when adding the water. And a little more. For this reason, it is one of our favorite coffee machines, not only because of its attractive design, but also because of its ease of use and the quality of the coffee we obtain.
Last year, in 2021, Chemex launched a limited anniversary edition of just 80 copies commemorating its 80th anniversary. The limited number of copies makes them an item for collectors, in addition to having been handcrafted using the blown glass technique.
The coffee pot, in an eight-cup version, dates back to the first product launched in 1941. The wooden collar was also hand-turned and is numbered on the inside, highlighting its singular, exclusive character and high quality. Two coasters also handcrafted, using the same mahogany, purple heart and maple wood as the necklace, were included to complete the collection. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we tried by all our means, we couldn't get one :(
We leave you the following video developed by Blue Bottle Coffee that shows us how to prepare a coffee with the Chemex coffee maker and we see how simple it is.
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