The art of the Chemex and making our morning coffee
How do you make your morning coffee?
Whether it’s from a cafetiere, percolator or a jar of granules – everyone’s got their own routine and their own way of enjoying it. There’s something almost sacred about that first sip of hot, caffeinated liquid each morning.
It will come as no surprise to you that, at The Barista, we’re passionate about coffee.
Making it, drinking it and talking about it to anyone who’ll listen. It’s what we live and breathe. As such, our morning brew is somewhat of a ritual. It’s also a great chance for the team to get together and discuss the day ahead.
So, what exactly do you serve a crowd of coffee connoisseurs? And what’s the weapon of choice? Well, at The Barista HQ we’re fans of the Chemex and like to brew whatever coffee beans we’re currently sampling using this.
The Chemex is a glass brewing vessel that was first invented back in the 1940s. It’s recently risen to popularity due to the complex flavours and smooth cup it produces. You can now find it lining the shelves of speciality coffee shops and quirky cafes around the country.
When brewed using fresh grounds, the Chemex taps into the rich diversity of flavours contained within the beans. Because of this, it’s also the best tool for the job when it comes to ‘cupping’ (or taste testing) fresh batches of beans.
Here’s how it works.
Firstly, water is brought to the boil using the stainless steel kettle. The characterful bendy spout is something that adds to the momentum of the water during the pouring. Once boiled, the kettle is left to rest for about 30 seconds until it reaches around 95° Celsius.
A Chemex filter paper is inserted in the top of the brewer then rinsed with hot water from the kettle for about 5 seconds. This helps to seal the filter paper in place and remove any residual papery taste from the fresh sheet. This water is then poured out the brewer and discarded.
Next, the required amount of beans are weighed out then ground to a consistency slightly coarser than medium. The fresh grounds are loaded into the filter and levelled out by gently shaking the brewer until they settle.
A timer is started and we slowly pour over just enough water to cover and wet the grounds evenly. The timer is left to running until it reaches 45 seconds. This process is called ‘the bloom’ and allows the coffee to expand and release trapped gases.
You’ll start to notice the release of delicious aromas and bubbles on the surface.
Following the bloom, we begin pouring continuously in a circular motion, pausing whenever the water level reaches the rim of the Chemex to avoid spillages. Then, we give it a stir and wait. Once all the water has drained through, we remove the filter and divvy up the delicious coffee beneath.
The coffee that’s produced is smooth, clear and free from the signature ‘cream’ that people are used to finding on the top of freshly brewed, quality coffee. But don’t let this deter you – Chemex coffee is full of rich, varied flavours that won’t disappoint.