For the past few months, I have shared photos of our Chemex coffee maker here and on Instagram and I've been getting a few questions about it. I have been putting off writing this post because I am so not an expert on coffee OR methods of brewing. So first and foremost, if you're curious about this coffee maker, I want to direct you to the Chemex website where they can do important things like tell you it's history, share instructions and discuss why it's "superior" to other coffee makers.
We became interested in buying one after we had some fantastic drip coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco. Paul did the research, I highly approved of the Chemex's sleek design, and we ordered an 8 cup coffee maker and filter squares from Amazon.
So far, our experience has been pretty awesome. The coffee tastes great. It's never bitter or burnt and thanks to the filters is free of grind particles and undesirable oils and fats. We love that it's all one piece and super easy to clean. I love that it looks nice on our shelf. I was so happy to get rid of our big bulky electric machine and free up some much appreciated counter space.
But there are some downsides - unlike an electric coffee maker, you can't set it up, press a button and then come back in 10 minutes to brewed coffee. You have to pour (and pour and pour) the hot water into the top portion, wait for it to drip through a bit and then pour more. It's a pretty hands on morning project.
Because there is no heating element, once the coffee is completely brewed, it doesn't keep itself warm. (Though leaving the filter in place after brewing does help keep heat from escaping.) This would be a bummer if you often go back for more coffee throughout the morning. Usually, we go through our coffee pretty quickly so it's not a big deal. We each drink a mug together with breakfast and then Paul takes a second cup for the drive to work and I take a second cup upstairs to work.
I highly recommend reading the instructions for more information on using the Chemex, but for fun, we filmed a little video last week with my iPhone so you can get the feel for it. I want to point out that we just use our normal tea kettle to boil water and then pour over the grounds. This would not be recommended because the spout it too large and too much water falls into the top portion at a time. Eventually, we'll probably upgrade to a more "made for Chemex kettle" but right now, this is working well enough.
If you've been curious, I hope that helps a bit! Let me know if I (or more likely Paul) can answer more questions.
sidenote - this post was not in any way, shape or form sponsored by Chemex. I just wanted to share our experience.