I am a self admitted coffee snob and addict, and I have a problem. When I read how to’s online for making a great cup of coffee even I am intimidated. They are always so scientific-y and precise. Well, I am here to tell you, that you can get a great, quick, and most importantly easy cup of coffee without ripping your hair out! I pump while making coffee every morning, and still get a great brew.
Things you need:
- Chemex – These things are amazing! You can usually get them at your local coffee shop and I have had no issues finding them at Williams Sonoma. Or… you know… Amazon because who doesn’t amazon?!?!
- Filters for your Chemex – I use a metal one because I am fancy and want to save the environment you can get the one I have HERE . Or if you prefer, you can buy paper filters. Again… amazon.
- Tea kettle or water warmer – I have the Bona Vita brand, but honestly a regular old tea kettle would most likely work fine. Even boiling water on the stove, though I am not sure how you would pour it over the coffee.
- Whole Bean Coffee – You can get as fancy or cheap as you want. You will be able to tell the difference over time but… no judgement here. I have a MistoBox subscription which is really fun, but I use Dunkin Doughnuts Medium blend in a pinch (it is surprisingly good for grocery store bought coffee.)
- Grinder – I have the Brataza Encore it is amazing, though has a higher price tag. You can really get any old grinder that has multiple grind settings. I would recommend a burr though (the type of blades it has.) Again, I am not picky you do you. If you are really against getting a grinder, you can go to a coffee shop and have them grind your coffee (and I think some grocery stores have grinders.)
- Gram Scale – Not much to say here. I have the Amazon basics one.
OK Heather! I have all the stuff, now what do I do?!
NOTE: This ‘recipe’ is for two people who drink a full mug of coffee. If you want less… well… half it ;).
Heat some water up. We will be using this water to warm the Chemex, and the mugs. This is a fancy pants thing to do and not 100% necessary. If you are in a rush skip this step.
When the water is heated dump it over the filter and Chemex. Leave the water in the Chemex and heat up some more water (1 liter.) I just eyeball it since I have been doing it for so long.
Measure out your coffee. I use ~50-54 grams of beans depending on how strong I want the coffee that day. This does not have to be exact don’t fuss over it too much. When I am holding Autumn and more beans spill out than necessary I don’t make a big deal over it.
Grind your coffee. We are going to split on the tracks a little bit here because the paper filter and metal filter require different grinds.
Metal filter– You want a finer grind. The coffee grounds should look like sawdust.
Paper filter– You need a courser grind. The coffee grounds should look like a tad smaller than red pepper flakes.
At this point your water should be heated. It’s time to make some coffee! Dump the water from the Chemex into your coffee mug(s.) Now put the grinds in the filter (the chemex should be empty of water.)
We are going to soak our grinds now. This helps extract any of the chemical taste that naturally occurs from making the coffee. Make sure the grinds are just soaked, and there is not a lot of water dripping into the chemex. It should look like this.
Let this stand for a minute, so that the grinds can ‘bloom.’ If you watch the beans they actually expand and can have some air bubbles. If you are stretched on time you can skip this step.
Once the grinds have bloomed, start pouring water over them in a circular/spiral fashion. Just do what feels good for you. Though, it does need to start in the center and work outwards to the side of the filter. There are tons of tutorials that will teach you the weight of water per time ratio- but I never EVER do this unless it’s a special occasion. I just don’t have the time or the attention to give to it.
Fill the filter up all the way with coffee and water. You will be able to see a crust forming. This is the grinds sitting on top of the water. We don’t want to have the crust stay there. Keep pouring water in, but gradually don’t fill it as high. Basically at the end you want the grinds on the bottom of the filter, and just a little water going over top.
Don’t stress too much about this. If you keep the water all the way to the top the entire time it will end up just fine. With practice it will become easier.
Remove the filter, empty the mugs and enjoy that brew! Fun mugs required.
If you have any questions please let me know in the comments 😉