But is this beautiful beast THE BEST way to prepare coffee? That question really isn’t fair, since there are a million and one brewing methods out there. It’s kind-of like asking if Ferrari is the best car for racing. Of course it is…. depending on the track. But if you can somehow get to know a guy who has some micro-lots of Burundi coffee, this is quite possibly the best way to get the most out of Burundi’s raspberry, caramel and citrus finishing beans. Having a Chemex and a Burr hand grinder has allowed us to have great tasting coffee on the (very frequent) mornings when there is no electricity here in Burundi. Get a fire going for some hot water and you are away.
Here’s my Chemex brewing method:
Start by boiling a kettle of water. Grab your Chemex, your beans, and a filter (Chemex filters). The filter does matter. Although we are currently using unbleached filters, many believe that the slight taste advantage belongs to a Chemex brewed while using oxidized filters. The vote is this produces a less “papery” tasting coffee.
It should be just fine enough that when you just barely wet the grounds no liquid drips through.
Re-boil the kettle if necessary (after wetting the filter) and pour just enough off boiled water (30 seconds from boiling is approximately the right temperature, but play around with this depending on what coffee you are using) onto the grounds to wet them.
Be careful not to pour too close to the edges as this will cause under extraction and can create tunneling.
This slow even pour should take you at least a minute. Pace yourself because you do not want to top up or brew a second time after finding you didn’t have enough space for your six-eight cups of water in the slow brewing filter. By pouring a second pot of water over the grounds you would end up over extracting, filling your cup with bitter flavors.
While a slow stream of coffee is coming out of the tip of the filter, pre heat your coffee cups with hot water.
There is no exact brew time for a Chemex. Just pour slowly, enjoy the bloom, and wait for all the water to pass through the grounds before removing the filter.
Still need a bit more info? Check out this video by Intelligensia before you get started.
Sip and Enjoy,
The Long Miles Team… errr that’s Coffee Guy and Camera Girl