Are you are new to the world of the pour over?
Perhaps you are one of those crazy veterans waiting that extra amount of time at your local coffee shop for your morning elixir?
Deciding which device is right for your home coffee brewing can be confusing.
You may ask yourself the question, should I buy a Chemex?
The most important thing to consider is consistency (And quality coffee of course).
Being able to recreate the same great tasting cup is essential to the at-home coffee crafter and people that brew with Chemex pour overs tend to achieve the same results over and over with less effort.
Its design and simplicity enable it to stand far above the rest of the competition… and even within the world of Chemex all of the various sizes and styles (with collar, without, with handle, without) perform about the same mostly due to it’s funnel shape and unique filter.
Designed by a chemist in 1941, hence the name Chem-ex. It produces extraordinary extractions while keeping variables to a minimum and allowing you to recreate that perfect cup every time.
Coffee is, in fact, part chemistry and part passion, and the Chemex marries these two elements well.
The ability to consistently make the same cup of coffee and not having to remember exactly what you did the last time is the beauty of this design.
How does it do this?
It’s All About The Filter
Chemex filters are heavier and thicker.
It is one of the main reasons why the Chemex stands above the competition and has done so for many years. Other filters like the ones used in the Hario V60 allow the oils to filter through while the Chemex removes the oils entirely.
It all depends on your preference, if you prefer no oils, the Chemex is your brewer.
The filter is also sturdy enough as not to tear when you remove the wet filter filled with the coffee grounds.
This is an added bonus as other brewers that brew over your cup are simply removed entirely without this being an issue. The design of the Chemex requires the filter to rest in the conical neck of the carafe.
The filters are available in a wide variety of options from pre-folded circles and squares to the unfolded half moon depending on your preference.
And finally, there is the issue of sediment:
There is nothing worse than getting to the end of your cup and seeing the sludge left behind from the smaller coffee grounds that escaped your filter.
The Chemex filter eliminates the sediment so that you can enjoy the pure liquid gold that makes up a delightful cup of coffee.
Set It And Forget It (Almost)
The thickness of the double bonded filter also allows for the coffee to steep for the proper amount of time.
Producing a good quality infusion yields a richer flavor.
While other pour over drippers require a rhythm to the pour of water to control the flow of the coffee through the filter, the Chemex filter controls the flow.
There are plenty of YouTube videos and blog posts that explain the best way to pour the water into the filter.
But the reality is, as long as you let the coffee bloom with the first addition of water, after that, it really is about pouring the right amount of water into the brewer.
Simply weigh your coffee and measure your water to the right proportions and you can let the Chemex do the rest.
Make sure that you grind your coffee fresh to the right consistency:
If you grind too fine, it will take too long to filter through and clog it the filter.
Too coarse of a grind and it will yield a weaker brew.
With a little experimentation on your part, you can create a consistent brewing process that you can recreate every time.
For a general rule of thumb, a medium coarse grind or automatic machine grind is what is recommended.
This allows you to extract as much of the true flavors of the coffee as possible.
This process is paramount when you are enjoying our single origin coffees, as each one offers different flavors of origin, highlighting the climate, soil, and latitude where it is produced.
It’s About Control
The simplicity of the brewer and its filter allow you to experiment with grind consistency, water temperature, pour techniques and coffee varieties.
It is a simple piece of equipment that allows you to have the control you want but is easy enough for those that aren’t as scientifically inclined to master.
An All In One Brewer
Why is the Chemex different than other pour over drippers? Not only is it a pour over dripper but it is also a carafe as well as a server all in one piece of equipment.
All other drippers either brew directly into a cup or a carafe that is purchased separately.
Art, Form, and Function
Made from a single piece of borosilicate glass coupled with a wooden collar, it is a beautiful addition to your home that lends both functionality and visual elegance.
Borosilicate glass is the same heat-resistant glass used in laboratory equipment that allows you to put it directly on a low burning gas flame and does not impart any flavor of its own.
However, its glass construction does make it more fragile and not the best option if you have kids, fumbling fingers or want to use it while traveling.
In addition to being a powerhouse of function, it is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye and allows you to see the entire coffee brewing process unfold before your eyes.
It is a pleasure to find something so engaging to all of our senses, with the at-home production of your coffee.
The Chemex allows you to see, hear, smell, touch, and ultimately taste the highest art of coffee brewing.
It is also the only coffee maker that is on permanent display at the New York City Museum of Modern Art.
Additionally, it features a pour spout so that you can easily dispense your home brewed creation without spilling or dripping down the sides of the carafe.
Some models even incorporate a glass handle to make it more convenient to pour.
When you need to clean it, just untie the leather tie and remove the wooden collar. The carafe can be hand washed or put in the dishwasher. We recommend a quick wash with hot soapy water and a good rinse directly after use.
Three’s a Crowd But Not For The Chemex
Available in three, six, eight, and ten cup variations, the larger sizes allow you to brew a pot of pour over coffee without having to change the filter out or buy a separate carafe to brew into.
This is a definite advantage over other brewers and allows you the privilege of sharing excellent pour over coffee elegantly to a group of friends or family.
Coffee On The Rocks
If you enjoy iced coffee, the Chemex is the perfect tool as the purity of its brew allows you to cover and refrigerate freshly brewed coffee without losing the flavor profile, allowing it to be enjoyed at a later time.
It can also be reheated later.
Wait, did I say reheat later?
The coffee brewed in the Chemex has a wonderful pure taste that lasts.
You can indeed enjoy your coffee your way with this simple piece of equipment, (dare I say art) for a little over $40 for the 6 cup model.
In The End
Despite a market awash in alternatives, we at Gathering Grounds believe that the Chemex stands a bit higher than all the rest because of its versatility.
Chemex has stood the test of time serving as an unwavering beacon of dependability, craftsmanship, and simplicity.
When you endeavor to undertake brewing gourmet coffee at its finest, look no further than the Chemex coffee maker.
And while it isn’t as convenient as your automatic drip coffee maker, it certainly looks more stylish on your counter.
For more in-depth information and how to brew in the Chemex, please read our full Chemex review.