Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chemex, first look

Chemex eight cup version

I had the pleasure of borrowing this very popular brewing device from my local coffee shop, Kaffemekka, which was delivered with both some paper and a single metal filter for the extraction process. There will therefore be published some articles later on regarding the different filter effects that may influence the brewing process when using a Chemex.

Nevertheless the Chemex was invented by Peter J. Schlumbohm in 1941, whom was a Ph.D - doctorate in Chemistry received from the University of Berlin. Mr. Schlumbohm was quite an inventor and designed and took patents off 3.000 items from his home base in New York City, where the Chemex was one of the most enduring inventions.

The Chemex have been clarified as an outstanding example of American Design, which led to the permanent position in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum and the Corning Museum.

Chemex pouring spout

You might think what´s all the fuzz is about, because considering that it might look a little different from the other available drip coffee makers on the market, what makes this one any special? Well first off, this drip maker is about the most scientific-experiment looking beside the Syphon/Siphon brewer. Second off it will definitely tell your friends that you are a true coffee nerd, when this staggering brewer is put onto the table and thereby highlight that its all about coffee. What I´m trying to justify is that this isn't just a coffee brewing device, its an experience and an exiting adventure.

This is all benefits before we even have reached the talk about the extracted coffee. The coffee brewed in this drip brewer can be phenomenal, if you know a little about merging water, coffee grounds and contact time, but more about this subject later on.

Preparement of the Chemex

The Chemex is a designed pitcher with the opportunity of brewing right into it, using one of the Chemex filters. This is causing a great brewing process, because the sides of the filter is sealed against the wales of the Chemex - this is creating an extraction process where the water flow is controlled until the bottom of the filter. In other words the brewing process forces the hot water to merge with the ground coffee through the cone shaped filter until is reaches the bottom part, where its free of the Chemex glass sides. This subject will be described more carefully in a second article, regarding the brew process of the Chemex versus the Hario v60.

Extraction process off the Chemex

Sililar to other drip brewers the Chemex filter holds some secondary flavors which would influence the brew if not removed by pouring some hot water through the filter - which at the same time is preheating the Chemex pitcher. When you have completed this step, you can pour out the water by tilting the pitcher without removing the filter, because of the shaped spout - if you choose to remove the filter for excessing the water, than there will be created air between the filter and the sides of the Chemex, which could cause the brew to escape through the sides of the filter.

The ratio I use is 60 gr. of ground coffee per 1 L. brewed coffee and if I am extracting from a lighter roasted coffee I may add some extra grams and conversely with a dark roast. Nevertheless this brewing device lets you play with the combination of the water versus ground coffee and contact time, so you can fine tune into your preferred coffee taste. When you have completed the brewing process, just remove the filter and then you are ready to serve a great cup of coffee in a stunning pitcher.

Chemex as a serving pitcher

Final cup
The cup brewed from a Chemex is offering you a sweet and round brew, completed with a beautiful pitcher that is leaving you an experience through the entire process. What a design I must say! When it comes to the final brewed cup its has maintained a great depth spiced with a sweet, round and buttery taste, which is a pleasure to consume.

For now I can only suggest this fantastic drip maker, because considering its price you get a beautiful designed pitcher with the opportunity of creating an amazing brew for only 500 DK ($83). The flavors that is traditional for this brewing device is summarized in my article, where its compared with the Hario v60 in the coming future.

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// Hendrup


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