The Chemex is an example of a beautiful brewing device- that makes equally as beautiful coffee. With its sleek design and filters promising big things, it would be easy to assume the Chemex is a brand new and innovative invention. While it is definitely innovative- the Chemex has actually been around for quite a while; designed by Chemist Dr Peter Schlumbohm in 1941. He wanted to combine easy and perfectly brewed coffee with beautiful design, and used his chemistry knowledge to help him achieve it. The Chemex glassware he designed to be non-porous so you only get the flavour of the coffee, plus able to withstand the high temperature of the water. The Chemex double bonded filters were also designed by Dr. Schlumbohm and are iconic for producing well extracted coffee without residue.
The Chemex has been recognised by both the scientific and design communities so it’s safe to say that it met both of Dr. Schlumbohms’ goals! Plus it withstood the test of time as its popularity is only increasing.
However, we haven’t addressed what the Chemex actually is and why it works so well. In the simplest of terms the Chemex is an hourglass shaped carafe made from a single piece of borosilicate glass with a wooden collar and rawhide tie. It’s easy to see that it was inspired by the glassware of the scientific industries. When paired with the double bonded filters it creates a pour over coffee brewer. The filters are really the star of the Chemex; they are 20-30% thicker than any other brand, resulting in unwanted oils and sediment being caught in the filter and a much cleaner, less bitter cup of coffee. Also the non-porous nature of the glass means you don’t get any flavour other than that of the coffee, and the groove in the carafe acts as both a spout and an air vent to ensure filtration at the proper rate.
The only thing that people seem to dislike about the Chemex is the length of time it takes to grind, pour and filter the coffee. However Chemex argue- better coffee is more important than fast coffee.
So how does one use a Chemex? Here’s a link to a great brew guide by our friend Stephen Leighton at Hasbean coffee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt9TiNuZFJs
We love the Chemex, so much so we have our coffee brewed in it most mornings! The delicious clean palette of our trinity coffee is really refreshing passed through the Chemex and drunk black. Try some here.