Coffee. It’s a big deal.
Well, to me and Logan it’s a big deal.
We’ve been drinking Chemex at home for a little over two years. So we’ve had loads of time to tweak, test and perfect.
And when I say me I actually mean Logan. He’s the scientist of the two of us. And he likes his methods to be repeatable and exact.
Me? I just want the damn thing to taste good.
As you can see I’m the one making out like a bandit in this situation.
I figure it’s time for me to finally write a post on this. I’ve been making this exact method on my nom cast for weeks. So if you’ve been watching my Friday morning “Breakfast Hangs” than you’re already all learned up.
Regardless, who doesn’t like a method laid out in stone?
This method is designed to give you a strong, flavorful, low acid brew. We drink it black at the Byrd house. In fact, putting creamer in it would be a shame.
Sort of like adding ice to a glass of white wine. Sort of a low brow, ya know?
Not that I don’t do that. I definitely do that.
The Best Coffee for Chemex Method
A little note on the coffees we brew. For Chemex method to be worth the effort, you’ll want your coffee to be freshly roasted and single origin.
Freshly roasted coffee is very aromatic. When you squeeze your coffee bag and sniff the beans inside of it, it will smell nuanced and rich. And when fresh coffee is brewed it expands and bubbles as it releases carbon dioxide.
Old coffee won’t bubble or rise; and it will taste acrid and bland.
Single origin coffees are all coffees that are listed with only one country of origin e.g. “Brazil” or “Sumatra.” Single origin coffees will often also list an exact region like “Matalapa, El Salvador” or “Flecha Roja, Costa Rica.”
A lot of coffees (Kona, for example) are actually blends. We generally buy our coffee from small, Charlottesville-local roasters who we know are doing single origin blends. There’s nothing wrong with blends, they’re just not ideal for Chemex. Especially when you’re just learning what sorts of coffees you personally like brewing with this method.
We drink coffees with an Ethiopian origin the most frequently, although Javanese and Central American coffees have been making their way into the mix as well. We choose these coffees the most frequently because they’re the most reliably delicious and flavorful, usually with notes of warm spices, cream, nuts, caramel, fruit or florals.
A lot of the coffees that are described as “rich” or “chocolatey” are best for espresso or french press. While those flavors are wonderful, coffee in that flavor category can be pretty flat when brewed chemex style. They often lack the nuance characteristic of the perfect Chemex brew.
We brew Medium Roast or Light Roast (“third wave”) coffees, exclusively.
Dark roasts essentially burn off all of those interesting, delicious flavors in the coffee. A chemex brewed with dark roast coffee tastes savory, burnt and acidic.
Focus on coffees that have a cinnamon, golden brown or deep golden brown color profile and a matte finish.
Avoid coffees that are roasted to the point that they have an oily sheen.
Everything You Need for Chemex Method (with links)
Song in the video is by Johanna Warren, “Let Me Stay” from album Gemini I published September 16, 2016. PLEASE GO SUPPORT HER MUSIC! https://johannawarren.bandcamp.com