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Chemex Brewing

Background

A timeless part of the barista's arsenal, the Chemex's design is the same as it was when it was invented in 1941 during the height of World War II. As a result of its minimalist and pragmatic design, the Chemex is seen everywhere from the counters of specialty coffee shops to your own kitchen (or so we assume, since you're reading this guide). There's also the fact that it, you know, produces an excellent cup of coffee! The Chemex is not without its downsides: it yields a greater potential for error and requires great attention to one's pouring rate and technique.

Here's what you'll need:

* An 8-cup Chemex
* A Chemex Filter
* A Scale
* A Timer
* A Grinder
* A Spoon
* Your Favorite Coffee Mug
* 42 Grams of Coffee (approx. six (ground) tablespoons)
* Hot Water (just off the boil)

Time

1 Minute for Preparation
4 Minutes for Brewing

Step 1

The Chemex brewing process begins with prepping your filter and preheating the brewer. As you insert the filter into the brewer, ensure that the single fold is positioned on the opposite side of the pouring spout. Use hot water (just off the boil) to rinse the filter and create a firm seal. This step prevents any "paper flavor" from making its way into your coffee and preheats the Chemex, leaving your final product at just the right temperature. You may discard the rinse water.

Step 2

Weigh out around 42 grams (about six tablespoons) of coffee that's been taken to a medium-coarse grind (like what you'd use for a French Press). Pour your coffee into the filter and lightly shake the brewer (to even things out and allow for a more evenly distributed pour).

Step 3

As soon as you start pouring the hot water into the filter, start your timer. Begin by pouring the water into the center of the grounds and spiraling outward in a smooth, gentle motion (and try not to pour the water down the filter's sides). A good rule of thumb is to pour twice as much water as you have coffee so, if you used about 42 grams as recommended above, you'll pour around 84 grams of water during this step. You may also use a spoon to lightly stir the grounds to prevent dry spots.

Step 4

Now, relax and allow the coffee to bloom. Once your timer hits 45 seconds, it's time for round two. Pour additional water into the filter. This pour should bring the water line to somewhere around a fingertip short of the rim.

Step 5

Relax again and allow the timer to reach 1 minute and 45 seconds.

Step 6

Round three! Do your final pour, taking the water line to the top of the brewer.

Step 7

Wait for the Chemex brewing process to finish. The entire process should take about 4 minutes.

Step 8

Give the Chemex a gentle swirl and pour yourself a cup (or two). Remember, the Chemex can be difficult to master at first, so don't be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the hang of things.

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