Brewing Methodology Feature: Chemex Pour Over
If you’ve been to any sort of boutique coffee roastery or an upscale café that genuinely focuses on allowing the aromas and flavors of their beans to blossom, you’ve probably seen a pour-over coffee on the menu. And it was perhaps made with a Chemex! While the barista whips up a delightfully invigorating brew, most coffee drinkers take two looks and decide it’s too complicated for their everyday cup. But in reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Today we’re going to share with you all the things you need to know about the proper Chemex ratio, as well as how to brew the perfect cup of coffee (or tea) using this delightfully distinctive contraption.
Meet the Chemex: The Epitome of Function and Beauty
While this uniquely designed brewing device looks like it just came out of a science lab, using it is not as complex as a science experiment—promise—but we’ll get to that later. First, let’s get to know this beautiful apparatus and company. Chemex Corporation is one of the oldest, most respected brands in the coffee industry. This family-owned and operated industry icon has one goal: to provide superior coffee brewing equipment that anyone can use.
The original Chemex design originated in 1941, crafted by a German inventor and chemist, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm. He was a visionary and a true entrepreneur at heart. He traveled to the U.S. periodically to file for nearly 50 patents for the Chemex device in the ten years before the Chemex indeed took off, but he never gave up. Finally, in 1939 it was noticed at the New York World Fair, and he patented it and finalized the design while incorporating the Chemex Corporation.
Over the next few years, they gained the interest of Macy’s and Wanamaker’s. The biggest struggle was production during wartime. Luckily though, he could land a production deal with Corning Glass Works, and the rest is history! It was featured by the Museum of Modern Art’s “Most Useful Objects in Wartime” roundup, which truly made it reach the next level and solidify its space in the market.
For its unique design, stellar function, and unrivaled beauty, the Classic Chemex earned a spot in the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Corning Museum of Glass. But, lucky for you—you can order one right online, you don’t have to travel to the museum to get a good look.
How to Choose the Right Chemex for Your Brewing Needs
While the style of all the Chemex brewers is similar, there are slight differences. There are three lines:
The Classic Series – For Those Who Love the History
If you are always a fan of the original, go with the Classic Series. This is modeled after the very first Chemex with thin glass molded in an hourglass shape with a wood collar and leather tie for high-class originality and craftsmanship.
The Glass Handle Series – For Those Who Love Simple Design
This series almost looks like a beautiful hourglass vase with a handle. It doesn’t feature the same collar or tie as the classic or handblown series and the rim is slightly wider up top. Some argue it’s slightly easier to use due to the handle. It’s sleek and stunning, could even be used as décor for your kitchen!
The Handblown Series – For Those That Are Clumsy or Like to Savor Their Cup
The Handblown Series is very similar to the Classic Series, the main difference being the thickness of the glass. So, if you’re a bit of a klutz, no shame in that, go with this version as when it’s dropped, it’s much less likely to break due to its durable, heavier design. It’s also great for those who drink their morning cups a little slower since the thickness of the glass keeps the coffee or tea warmer, longer.
Each series comes with a variety of sizes to choose from. According to Chemex, the six cup sizes are the most common. But you don’t have to follow the crowd—choose what works best for your lifestyle and needs! If you’re typically a solo coffee drinker, go for the 3-cup smaller option. If you love entertaining, go big with the 10-cup size!
Chemex Coffee Ratio
Ready to get brewing? Follow these steps, and you’ll get the perfect cup every time.
Step 1: Grind Your Coffee Beans
Using a burr grinder to get the perfect grind, finely grind your coffee beans. This Finca Silencio Farm Roasted Coffee from our farm in the Eje Cafetero coffee region of Colombia is ideal for preparing a Chemex coffee. We harvest and roast the beans right on the farm, providing opportunities for local farmers! The beans are made with love and care, which, when brewed with the pour-over, you can taste in every luscious sip.
Step 2: Get the Filter in Place
One of Chemex’s trademark features is its bonded Chemex coffee filters. Their filters are substantially thicker than the average filter you buy in the stores—about 20-30%, and they don’t quite look the same. Some refer to them as “origami-like” as they have four layers. You place the filter into the neck of the carafe with three layers on the side where the pour spout is and a single layer on the other side of the carafe! They have options for circular or square filters; there’s no difference between the two; it’s just a matter of personal preference.
The design of the Chemex coffee filter’s sediment and oils, affecting the quality of the coffee, so you’re left with a smooth, perfectly infused, rich cup of coffee or tea every time. Without any unwanted extras swirling around. The Chemex coffee filter is built strong to hold the weight of the grounds or tea leaves without breaking.
Step 3: Chemex Ratio: Add Your Coffee Beans or Tea Leaves While Your Water Heats
Once the filter is in place, you add your coffee grounds or your tea leaves, whatever you choose! Chemex suggests the perfect brew is made with 1 tbsp of coffee grounds or 1 tsp of loose-leaf tea for every 5 ounces of water. The amount of water used will be based upon the size of your Chemex carafe.
During this step, you’ll want to have that water heating to a perfect 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Bloom Baby Bloom
“Blooming” your coffee refers to soaking it in a little bit of water to release carbon dioxide in the beans to create a smoother flavor with less bitterness. With coffee grounds, it results in what looks like a foam or brownie batter rising in a pan. That’s when you know it’s working!
So, for this step, pour a little bit of that water over the coffee and let it sit for 30 seconds to bloom. This step isn’t necessary for tea, but you can boost the flavor a bit!
Step 5: Add Your H2O
Once your brew has sat and bloomed, slowly pour water over the coffee grounds using a circular motion to ensure that each centimeter is soaked evenly. This is key to getting a perfect cup! The water will slowly but surely soak through the filter with deliciously brewed coffee.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Now you can remove the filter and pour it into your favorite mug to enjoy!
If you brew a full carafe and don’t want to drink it all at once, you can keep it warm in a few different ways! You can choose to place it atop a gas or electric stove on the lowest heat, put it in warm water, or wrap a warm towel around the carafe. This is perfect for those days you want to make a big batch to sip all day long!
Learn About More Brewing Methods with Yaupon Rose
Can’t wait to try using your Chemex to brew your next cup of coffee or tea? Check out our brewing methodology feature on French Press, too! After reading, you can decide which works best for your taste preferences.
Shop our farm-roasted coffee, a single-origin Colombian coffee, to truly capture the essence of your brewing method in every cup! Quality products, plus a quality coffee brewing method, is a game-changer for your day-to-day coffee and tea experience.