How to Make a Chemex in 8 Steps

For someone like me, it isn't hard to view coffee as a work of art. Today's method of coffee brewing is featured in the permanent collection at MoMA. Yes, you too can make art everyday at breakfast!

The main difference between a Chemex and other drip brewers is the special chemically-bonded filters. These filters lend the coffee a bright, clean flavor that is quite refreshing and delicious. Personally, this is my favorite method of brewing coffee because it enhances the flavors that I enjoy most in my favorite  coffees.

Art, I tell you.

Makes 30 ounces of brewed coffee; serves 2-3

What you need:

STEP 1: Boil filtered water in electric water kettle or tea pot.

STEP 2: Place filter on the top of the Chemex as directed on the box (three of the four sides should be toward the spout).

STEP 3: Pour plenty of hot water through the filter to get rid of the papery taste. Once wet, tip Chemex over the sink to get rid of the rinse water. Don't worry about the filter falling out; it will stick well to the sides and can be hard to put back if you remove it.

STEP 4: Place Chemex on scale. Grind coffee, add to the filter, and hit tare to bring the scale to zero.

STEP 5: After your water has boiled, let it cool for about a minute so it can reach the proper brewing temperature (about 200 degrees). Pour 1 ounce of water over the grounds and let coffee "bloom" for about 30 to 45 seconds.

STEP 6: Slowly pour water over the grounds in a circular pattern, starting in the center and working your way to the outside.2  If the grounds reach the top of the filter before all of the water is dispensed, wait for the water to drip through until the grounds recede enough to continue. Once the scale reaches 30 ounces, stop pouring.


STEP 7: Wait until the drips are a few seconds apart. Toss the filter and coffee grounds.


STEP 8: Pour coffee and enjoy!

1: Hario is a Japanese company that makes a variety of coffee products. In this post, I am using their Buono kettle. The function of this kettle is to allow a more precise distribution of water than a conventional kettle. Absolutely necessary? No. Lots of fun for a coffee geek? Yes!
2: Be careful to not pour water on the outside edge of the grounds. By doing this, coffee can escape down the sides of the brewing chamber (rather than down the middle) and will result in a slightly under-extracted and sour brew. 

How to Make the Perfect French Press


A simple, good thing...

So often in life we lose sight of what is important; of what brings joy, satisfaction, and contentment. Even the most rote tasks become overcomplicated and stressful. We take what we once found joy in and transform it into another struggle. Fortunately, this also allows us the opportunity to pull back and delight once again in what is simple and right. This opportunity comes for me each morning and the occasional afternoon as I make coffee. Simply follow the steps and with a bit of patience you have a delicious reward. Fruity aromas, nutty flavor, syrupy texture; coffee has so much to offer and requires so little. Coffee brings me joy and I hope that you can grow to enjoy it as I do, because it is truly a simple, good thing.

What you need:
  • French Press
  • Grinder (I use a burr grinder)
  • Food scale
  • Electric water kettle or tea pot
  • If you're me, a Hario kettle (to ensure precise distribution of water)
  • 68 grams (about 3/4 cup) of freshly roasted (no more than two weeks from the roast date) whole coffee beans (like thisthis, or this)
  • 45 ounces (or a bit more) of filtered water

Step 1: Heat 45 ounces of water in the electric water kettle. Place the French Press on the food scale and hit "tare" to set the scale to zero. 

Step 2: Once the water has reached a boil, pour 13 ounces of water into the French press to preheat it. Keep 32 ounces in the kettle and reheat to a boil.


Step 3: While the water heats, set the grinder to a course setting* and grind the coffee.

Step 4: Dump out the water you used to preheat your French Press (I like to pour it into the mug or thermos I will be using later). Place the grounds in the French Press. The ideal grind will look like this:


Step 5: Once the water in the kettle is boiling, turn off the heat and count to 20. At this point the water will have reached the ideal brewing temperature of about 195F-205F.

Step 6: Place French Press on the scale again and hit "tare". Pour 1 ounce of water over the grounds and let it bloom for a few seconds (if you are using fresh beans, "bloom" is the release of Co2 and will simply get the coffee ready to brew, identified by the expansion of the coffee and a brown foam on the top).

French press

Slowly and evenly pour the rest of the water into the French Press until the scale reads 32 ounces. Give the water and grounds a quick stir and set a timer for three minutes.


Step 7: After three minutes have elapsed, carefully place the filter assembly on top of the press, taking care to get all of the grounds below the filter. Keep the plunger rod straight and slowly push the filter to the bottom.


Step 8: Pour immediately into a coffee mug or thermos as the coffee will continue to extract as long as it remains in the French Press.

Sit back, enjoy, and repeat.


* When making a French Press, you'll want to achieve the largest grains of coffee possible. Experiment with the burr grinder or your own grinder to see how course it can go.

If you have questions ask me in the comments section. I always love to talk coffee.