What is a Chemex?
We here at Sputnik live and breathe coffee. Ever since we started roasting our own beans at home on a little electric roaster, coffee has been our passion.
We are constantly experimenting with different ways to brew the best pot of coffee. We have way too many coffee toys at home. One of our daily favorites is the Chemex.
The Chemex was invented in 1941 by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm. The Chemex is a beautiful blown glass beaker that looks like it's part of some fancy chemistry set. We use it to make the best pot of pour-over coffee. And, man, it delivers.
There are several different Chemex sizes…
- 3 cup
- 6 cup
- 8 cup
- 10 cup
For this post, we’ll focus on the 8 cup classic chemex that has been our go to pour over maker for over 15 years now. We found ours at a garage sale listed as a flower vase!
Why we use a Chemex to brew our coffee
Coffee brewed in a Chemex is a great way to brew your morning cup for a few reasons.
- The glass prevents any kind of mineral deposit buildup that you typically get in other materials so every pot is just fresh, delicious coffee.
- Chemex filters remove oils from the brew, resulting in a very clean delicious cup.
- It's simply an eye-catching centerpiece and conversation starter. Everybody loves getting their coffee from the Chemex on weekend mornings.
How to make Sputnik in a Chemex:
Here is our tested, tried and true Chemex brewing guide:
It helps to have a scale but it’s not required.
- Overall brew: 600 grams or about 2 mugs
- Freshly ground coffee: 36 grams
- The best Chemex brew ratio is for every five teaspoons of freshly ground coffee (approximately 25 grams), add one cup of water. We use the 1/16 ratio for coffee grounds to water.
- Fit a Chemex filter in the mouth of the flask and wet it to create a seal. We use hot water to preheat the brewer.
- Drain out the water slowly while keeping a good seal on the filter
- Grind coffee to a fine medium grain. Just a bit finer than you would for a drip brewer
- Boil water on the stove in a kettle or similar (We use a bonavita kettle but you can use any device that boils water and allows you to pour consistently.)
- Let the water rest for around 30 seconds for optimal Chemex brew temperature
- Pour a small amount of water onto the grounds, enough to pre wet all the grounds and allow them to bloom (if you are using a scale use about 70 grams)
- Wait 30 seconds
- Pour in a circular motion the remaining water slowly. Try not to overfill the cone. We use about 2 pours to get the full 600 gram through the grinds.
- After the last fill, use a chopstick or spoon to gently swirl the grounds. This helps prevent coffee grounds from sticking to the filter and not brewing delicious coffee!
- Throw away (or compost) the grounds and enjoy!
The whole process should take 4:00 - 4:30
If your brew is completed faster than 4 minutes try to make the grind a setting finer. If it’s taking longer then try making the grind coarser.
Also, check out our guide to brewing delicious Sputnik coffee with a Technivorm Moccamaster.