by Erin Marissa Russell
No doubt you’ve heard lots about the Chemex coffee brewer and how delicious coffee made in a Chemex can be—so no doubt you’re wondering what it is about the Chemex that makes its coffee so delicious.
For a lot of coffee drinkers, nothing can hold a candle to coffee brewed in a Chemex. And it’s not just admiration for the latest trend in coffee brewing systems that makes people sing the praises of the Chemex. Coffee brewed in a Chemex is truly in a class of its own. Keep reading to find out exactly what it is about the Chemex that makes Chemex coffee so good.
The Chemex Filter
Part of what makes Chemex coffee so special is the filter you use to hold the coffee grounds as the water trickles through them. The thick filter you use with a Chemex system has a denser weave than most other coffee filters you’ll come across.
This dense weave holds the grit and sediment from the ground coffee beans, keeping them where they are and preventing any grounds from making their way into your cup. The dense weave of the Chemex filter also traps the oils that are secreted from the coffee beans as they steep. A lot of people find the heavier body of coffee that contains more oils and sediment unappetizing, so they prefer the grit-free experience of drinking Chemex coffee.
The thick filter with its compact weave also slows down the flow of water as it flows through the Chemex, which lets the coffee steep for longer, making its aroma and flavor fuller and more complex. Because Chemex coffee has had more time to develop its flavor, each delicate individual tasting note will be more distinct and clear, making it easier to pick the individual layers of flavor out of the brew.
Coffee brewed in a Chemex is also less bitter than coffee made with other systems, so people who don’t love a bitter brew will especially savor the flavor of Chemex coffee. In fact, you can brew your coffee as strong as you like in a Chemex without worrying about brewing a bitter beverage.
The Glass Chemex Construction
The Chemex is made completely of 100 percent glass: a heat resistant variety called borosilicate. Unlike some other materials, borosilicate glass does not alter the flavor of coffee brewed or held inside it in any way. That means the coffee made in a Chemex makes it into your cup without any extra flavors in your cup that the hot water has leached from the materials of the coffee brewer. As a result, you get the clean, fresh flavor of the coffee beans and nothing else—so you can enjoy the taste of your coffee’s true essence just as it’s intended to be.
The Chemex’s Versatility
No two coffee drinkers have quite the same palate, but too often we turn to coffee brewers that produce cup after cup of identical coffee. In contrast, the entirely manual process of brewing coffee in a Chemex allows a person to make adjustments here and there.
As a result, after a bit of trial and error, you can tweak the brew your Chemex produces to exactly suit your taste. There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee tailor-made to your individual preferences, and with the Chemex, that’s exactly what you will get.
The Simplicity of Chemex Cleaning
Your coffee making experience doesn’t end after you’ve prepared your brew and enjoyed your coffee. One factor that is easy to overlook when you’re considering different systems is how they are cleaned, although the ease or difficulty of cleanup will impact your life each time you use the brewer—which for many of us is at least every day.
If your Chemex has glass handles, cleaning it is as quick and easy as running the dishwasher. Even Chemex models that have a wooden collar and leather thong are simple to wash, though they must be cleaned by hand. You do not need to remove the wooden collar and leather thong before cleaning your Chemex. A quick swish with soapy water and a sponge is all that’s needed for these Chemex brewers to be sparkling clean and ready to use again.
The Beauty of a Chemex
As the saying goes, we eat first with our eyes, and drinking is just the same. While the appearance of your coffee brewer doesn’t physically impact the taste of the coffee you make, the system’s appearance does influence how you feel about the experience of making your coffee.
The Chemex’s elegant hourglass-shaped construction and simple, pure materials make it truly a thing of beauty. As a matter of fact, the Chemex is the only coffee brewer that’s on display at The Museum of Modern Art.
Now you know just what it is that makes coffee brewed in a Chemex system taste so good. As you’ve learned, it’s not only the densely woven Chemex filter and its borosilicate glass construction, with no flavor of its own, that result in the pure, clean taste of Chemex coffee.
The beauty of a Chemex system and the simplicity of cleaning your Chemex also factor into your enjoyment of the coffee you brew. Chemex brewers are quite affordable to boot, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t get one of your very own, so you can enjoy the delicious flavor of Chemex coffee whenever you like.