Coffee Blog

Chemex 101

At Little River, we’re all about trying out different ways to brew your coffee.  Everyone has different tastes, and there are TONS of ways to prepare your coffee to get just the taste you need.  We want to introduce you to the many options that are out there, and let you decide for yourself what is the best for you.  And the first brewing method we want to introduce is the Chemex.

With all the hustle and bustle of the world today, we often find ourselves rushing from one thing to the next.  The “best” thing is often confused with whatever is the “most efficient” or the “quickest” option.  One hour photos, fast food, quick service coffee.  But is all of that really the best?  What if we chose to slow down?  To take a few minutes of our time to enjoy just breathing?  To watch something really cool happen?  To do something really well, not just quickly, but well.

Enter the Chemex.  Your one stop, beautiful shop for a great cup of coffee that takes just a few minutes over the time it would take you to brew a pot or pop a k-cup in the machine.  It’s slightly more hands on, but simultaneously an amazing process and literally a work of art.  Chemex is actually on display in MOMA, NY, among multiple other museums.  Who wouldn’t want that as an addition to their home?  The Chemex Coffeemaker was developed in 1941 by a chemist named Dr. Peter Schlumbohm.  It is made solely of non-porous glass and provides an amazingly clean cup of coffee.  The Chemex itself is meant to brew coffee without imparting additional flavor, and the filter, which is much thicker than your typical filter, works with the Chemex to produce a very pure cup of coffee with no sediment or bitterness.

For the average person, brewing a cup of coffee with your Chemex takes around 10 minutes, from cold water to hot mug.  Think what you could do with just those few extra minutes of the day?   Read an article in the paper.  Enjoy the silence of the morning.  Sit back and watch the hand blown water kettle boil, because it’s just so cool.  And the end result is an amazing, fresh, homemade cup of coffee that never actually touched any machine. 

I know what you’re thinking: ‘I am NOT a chemist, and this sounds dumb.’  But let me tell you- I am not a chemist either, and it actually is pretty cool and pretty easy.  While many of the instructions out there focus on the scientific way to use your Chemex (measure this many grams, heat your water to this exact degree…), we want you to know that you can use a Chemex without focusing on the science, and rest in peace knowing that the science is already there to make your coffee great!  Just heat the water, fold the filter, put the filter in the Chemex.  If you want, you can use the hot water to lightly rinse your filter before you put the coffee in it, but that isn’t even a requirement.  Add coffee.  Use your normal scoop.  Then, once the water is boiling, turn the heat off until it stops boiling and pour the hot water over the coffee until it is just damp.  Let the coffee sit in that water for a minute and watch it bubble up.  This process is called the bloom, and it helps develop the flavor of the coffee (aka- it makes your coffee taste good).  After a minute, add water to almost the top of the Chemex and watch your delicious coffee drip through.  Keep adding water until you have as much coffee as you want, compost (zero waste!) that filter, and enjoy your coffee and your day!

We love using our Chemex at Little River, but there are lots of other brewing options out there that we also recommend.  Keep checking in on our blog to read about more brewing methods and find the one that is best for you!  If you want to try out a Chemex, you can check them out in our shop, or if you just want to see more, watch the video below to see exactly how it works.

Posted in Gourmet Coffee


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About Our Blog

Welcome to the Little River Coffee Blog- a chance for us to share with you about all things coffee!  We've divided the blog into four categories so you can learn about every aspect of our beans.

Coffee Adventures: See where we've been, who we've met, and get to know our partner farms. read more >>

Coffee Perspectives: How much do you know about coffee?  Up your coffee knowledge here! read more >>

Responsible Coffee: Find out more about the different types of coffee we offer and how each affects our planet and its people.  read more >>

Gourmet Coffee: Learn the best ways to enjoy your coffee- from brewing tips to new recipes. read more >>

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