So you got yourself a Chemex coffee maker, but can’t decide which coffee to use with it?
Stick around and learn how to choose the best coffee for Chemex.
I will explain all the factors which can influence the coffee you make with Chemex, and how to make the best out of your machine.
What’s the Best Coffee for Chemex?
Chemex coffee maker is old school pour-over brewing system. Invented in 1941, it is one of the oldest coffee brewing systems.
It may be an old design, but coffee from Chemex still tastes extraordinary.
It is simple but well thought out. It is made from high-quality glass, and it uses a special coffee filter. If you run out of Chemex filters, you can use alternative filters.
Brew from Chemex is clear and not too thick. It is less bitter than regular brewed coffee or espresso. But, most importantly, the coffee taste is pure, full, and rich.
However, even if you use the best coffee maker in the world, with the wrong type of coffee, it will taste terrible.
So, let’s talk about the best types of coffee for pour-over brewing, so you can use the full potential of your Chemex.
Since the Chemex brewing system really brings out coffee’s pure taste, you will be able to tell all the subtle layers of aroma.
For that reason, I recommend you to use single-origin coffee beans.
Single-origin coffees have more special and unusual flavors than coffee blends. One of the reasons is that different soil produces different plants with unique flavors. So, every country has coffee with its own unique taste.
Try different origins, explore their aromas and find out which one you like the best.
Here are my recommendations for single-origin coffee beans that will shine with your Chemex coffee maker.
Peruvian coffee is a great choice for the Chemex coffee maker.
It is known for its subtle flavors and mild acidity.
In Chemex, these flavors stand out.
Peruvian coffee has a very complex taste. It has notes of dark chocolate, caramel, nuts, and spices, like cinnamon. But it also has citrusy tones and a touch of sweetness.
Every time you drink it, you might discover a new taste that you haven’t felt before.
Ethiopian coffee has a distinctly fruity and deep sweet taste. It is also citrusy and floral.
It is light, fresh, and has no bitterness at all.
If you brew Ethiopian coffee in Chemex, it will bring out all those bright, exotic notes.
It smells super aromatic and spicy, and some people notice a dash of jasmine flower.
If you love rich and intense flavors, you need to brew Guatemalan coffee in your Chemex.
It has a strong, sweet chocolate taste, with a hint of burnt caramel.
True, Guatemalan coffee is bitter.
But, the thick Chemex coffee filter keeps more acidic and bitter compounds than other filters. That makes the brew more pleasant for your stomach.
Also, it has the strong smell of coffee and caramel.
The type of roast has the biggest effect on your cup of joe. It influences coffee’s taste, bitterness, and acidity.
The level of roast can vary, but three basic categories are light, medium, and dark roast.
In general, lightly roasted coffee beans keep more distinct flavors, but it is harder to pull those flavors out.
They are not oily because beans are not roasted enough for oils to come to the surface. But, it keeps most of its acidity. Also, lightly roasted beans contain more caffeine than other roasts.
Dark roasted beans lose some of their unique flavors in the roasting process. Yet, this process gives the dark roast a powerful flavor spike.
The taste of dark roast is full and overwhelming, but smooth.
It is more bitter and oily, but less acidy. And it has the least amount of caffeine.
Chemex can brew amazing coffee with all levels of roast. Because Chemex’s thick coffee filter picks up more oils and fats than a regular filter, even dark roasted coffee tastes less bitter.
Yet, I recommend you start with a medium coffee roast.
Medium roast is a perfect balance between lightly roasted beans’ unique flavors and a strong roasting taste of dark roasted beans.
All the characteristics like bitterness, acidity, and caffeine content are half the way between the dark and light roast.
Medium roast is a good choice for beginners until you define what you like.
Choosing the right grind size is crucial for brewing excellent coffee in Chemex.
Go for medium to medium-coarse grind size.
If your coffee grind is too coarse, water will run through quickly, and you will end up with watery coffee with less flavor.
And, if the grind is too fine, water will drain too slowly through the coffee and filter. The result will be over-extracted and bitter coffee with an overwhelming taste you won’t enjoy.
If you want to feel the smell and taste of freshly grounded coffee beans, invest in a coffee grinder. You won’t regret it.
With a grinder, you’ll be able to experiment with different grind sizes and see what works the best for you. Also, the whole coffee bean keeps most of the flavors that are usually lost if you buy pre-ground coffee.
There are a few different types of grinders, but the best option would be a conical burr grinder since it gives the most consistent grind.
How to Make a Perfect Chemex Coffee
Now that we have determined what kind of coffee you need, you can try out your Chemex.
You will need:
- your Chemex
- Chemex filter
- filtered water
- pouring kettle
- medium grind size coffee
Chemex works with special Chemex filters, but if you run out of those, you can layer three regular coffee filters one in another. Just pour water slowly, and it should work.
Measurements depend on how much coffee you are making, but the ratio should be 1:15 coffee to water.
Now when you have all the ingredients and the equipment, you can start brewing:
- Boil the water
- Place the filter into the Chemex. Rinse the filter with a little bit of hot water to stick it to the glass, then pour the water out
- Put coffee in the filter
- Gently and slowly pour about ¼ of boiled water over coffee
- Let it sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Pour the rest of the water over the coffee and let it finish brewing
The whole process takes about 10 minutes. But, patience will surely pay off as soon as you take the first sip.
We covered almost everything you should know when you’re choosing the best coffee for your Chemex.
But, here are the answers to a few more questions you might have if you’re just getting familiar with Chemex.
Why is Chemex coffee so good?
Chemex is brewing the coffee using the slow infusion method, which gives a brew rich in flavor.
The main characteristic is the special coffee filter Chemex is using. This specially designed coffee filter is significantly thicker than the regular coffee filter.
That means it removes most of the oils and fats and gives light and pure, yet flavorful coffee.
Does Chemex keep coffee hot?
Chemex is made from special glass, which takes direct heat, so you can keep it on a warm stove or reheat it.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep the heat, so your coffee will end up at room temperature.
Does Chemex reduce acidity?
Yes, thanks to that special Chemex coffee filter.
As I said before, it is much thicker than a regular coffee filter. It eliminates most of the oils, sediments, and acids.
So, the final product is healthier, clear, and light coffee.
The Chemex coffee maker really takes the best out of your coffee.
For the best results, you should use a medium to medium-coarse grind. Single-origin coffee works the best because it brings a unique taste, but it’s up to your preference.
Regarding the type of roast, you can experiment with different kinds and find what suits you the best.
Have a little patience with the brewing process, and Chemex will reward you with an amazing brew.
Do you want to know more about coffee roasts? Our article can help you learn everything about different roasts so you can elevate your Chemex coffee brew.
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