brewing with a chemex

Having been a barista, I'm surprised it took me so long to jump on the Chemex bandwagon.  I'm not sure what I was waiting for- I guess the convenience of loading up my auto-drip coffee pot and making it do all the work was too hard to walk away from.  Last month I had to go to the doctor and get an ekg after discovering some heart and anxiety issues, after that I decided to switch to decaf and also have been loving dandy tea (its so good!).  I know that the decaf still has small amounts of caffeine (usually 1-2%), but I've been feeling so much better and now I think of having a cup of coffee as more of a treat rather than an all day necessity.  In case you haven't used a chemex or gotten the hang of yours, I thought I'd share a few resources on how to get the best use out of it.  I've used french and aero presses before and kinda just figured it out, but there are some great tips I've been able to find and wanted to share them with you.

There are a few benefits of using a manual drip system that vary from consistent temperature brews and cleanliness (coffee pots can get full of residue) both which contribute to the flavor of your beverage.  I like a damn good cup of coffee so finding another brewing alternative that offered  a good cup and wasn't super time consuming was high on my list. 

First up- if you plan on purchasing an actual Chemex (rather than a pour over) you can head right to the official site and learn how to make it yourself, straight from the pros.  I actually looked up more tips and tricks after I had already brewed and had my cup of coffee and after reading some of the instructions they made it sound much harder than it really is- I'm all about photos and seeing that I did something correctly so the gals over at Treasures and Travels have a great write up to get you that perfect cup of brew! 

  • Paper filters can change the way your coffee tastes, rinsing the filter is a step you don't want to skip.
  • After your water is taken off the heat wait for the boil to calm down- about 30 seconds before that first pour.
  • During the bloom, give the coffee a quick stir to make sure the water fully saturates all the grounds. This will ensure even brewing.
  • After the bloom, pour your water in a spiral motion to get the grinds off the sides of the filter.  For an even extraction, pour over the dark spots and avoid the light frothy ones.
  • If your coffee still tastes off adjust the grind or invest in a kone.
I used a cone filter I already had on hand and not the official chemex brand.  It worked just fine and the coffee tasted great- stronger than from the coffee pot anyways.  What I love about brewing your own cup of coffee is that it more on an intentional process.  You have to make it yourself, wait for it & savor it.  Sure I'll still use my auto-drip on occasion and I'll keep it warm all day in case I do need an extra cup, but for enjoyment and a real good cup of coffee- manual drip is where its at.

If you use a Chemex or pour over, I'd love to know your tips or even favorite coffees you use! xo

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