Chemex Pour Over

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How to Brew Chemex Pour Over

The Chemex is widely regarded as one of the best coffee makers ever made. It's design is so elegant and ingenious it landed a permanent spot in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Though Vietnamese coffee is traditionally brewed by the cup, the Chemex offers a pour over method that allows for larger batches without sacrificing quality.

1. Place the filter

Both square and circular Chemex filters should be folded into quarters, then opened so one side is a single sheet thick and the other is three sheets thick. Position the thicker side against the spout of the Chemex, which will act as a vent during the brewing process.

2. Grind your beans

Put your Copper Cow whole beans in the grinder. Aim to use 3 tablespoons of ground coffee per 1 cup (8 oz) of water. The ideal grind for Chemex brewing is medium-coarse (a bit finer than sea salt, but rougher than sand). Grounds that are too coarse will let water flow through quickly, resulting in a weak brew. Grounds that are too fine will trap water, resulting in a longer brewing time and a bitter, over-extracted coffee.

3. Wet the filter

Remove your kettle from heat and let sit for 30 seconds. The ideal water temperature for brewing pour over coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees F (or 90 and 96 C). Using the extra 16 oz of water you boiled, saturate the filter. This step seals the filter in place, preheats the Chemex to maintain an ideal brewing temperature, and prevents your coffee from taking on a papery taste. After the filter is saturated, leave it in place and use the spout to pour out the rinse water.

4. Bloom the grounds

Place your coffee grounds into the filter, then pour over just enough water to fully saturate the grounds (about twice as much water as coffee). Let the Chemex sit for 45 seconds. This step, while requiring a bit of patience, is the key to a perfect pour over brew. You’re allowing the coffee to bloom—to release gases that would otherwise prevent water from reaching maximum surface area of the grounds.

5. Brew

Once you’ve allowed the grounds to bloom, add the remainder of your hot water in batches. Avoid letting the water level fall low enough to expose the grounds to air. The entire brewing process should take between 3 to 5 minutes, though this may vary depending on the amount of coffee you’re making. Add Copper Cow Creamer / sweetened condensed milk if desired.

What you’ll need:

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