My Merry Christmas Chemex!

in Brewing Coffee

Every Christmas, I hear that I’m difficult to buy for.  And every Christmas, my family and friends prove themselves wrong by getting me amazing gifts.

This past Christmas, my cousins Jeff and Robin bought me the pint-sized Chemex that you see pictured here.  The Chemex was invented in the 40s as an alternative and superior way to make coffee.  How does it work?

Put a paper filter in the top conical section of the pitcher.  Put your ground coffee in the filter.  Slowly and to instruction that comes with the Chemex, pour hot water over the ground coffee.  The brewed coffee drips through the filter and into the base section.  When you’re done, throw away the filter of ground coffee, and pour directly from the pitcher.  The wooden collar keeps you from burning yourself on the now-hot glass.

Just like the drip brewer was an improvement on the percolator that actually sapped flavor by boiling the coffee itself, the Chemex is an improvement on the drip brewer.  It allows you to systematically drip hot water onto the coffee in stages rather than the drip brewer’s constant stream.

The Chemex comes in four sizes.  Robin and Jeff bought me the pint-size model that you see above.  My usual coffee mug (featuring the Incredible Hulk, btw) is also pint-sized so this Chemex is perfect for making a single large coffee when I don’t want to make two or more at once.

Fun trivia: Paul Newman uses a Chemex to make himself coffee in the 1966 movie Harper.

Read: Better Ways to Brew Coffee (further information on the Chemex)
Read: Indian Coffee (I was able to use the Chemex to experiment with a coffee/chicory combination)
Read: Pour-over Brewing Method – the Chemex (must-read if you’re considering buying one for yourself)

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