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 Post subject: Chemex
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:11 pm 
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I never really drank coffee until around a year or so ago, but I'm a devotee now. Starting out modestly, I opted for a Keurig which, while fantastically convenient, reportedly doesn't produce the best flavor, so I'm ready to do a deeper dive.

After much research, it seems that while everyone has their own opinion (aeropress, French press, etc.), the buzziest kid on the block is the Chemex, so I decided to go for it. Should be arriving Friday (I ordered the Six Cup Classic version).

Any tips? Grinders, beans, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: Chemex
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:43 pm 
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Never heard of a Chemex before but I don't see the big deal. The mechanics of it are the exact same as a drip coffee machine, except you have to do it yourself. Seems like a huge waste of time and you also have to bother with buying special filters for the damn thing. Your grind isn't going to matter since it uses a paper filter. The beans are a personal preference, I lean toward Ethiopian beans as it's the coffee motherland and has the most variation. Generally they're a bit citrusy in flavor.

IMO just get a french press or a percolator. They've been around forever for a reason, because they result in an awesome cup of coffee and they're simple. I've got an espresso machine, a french press, a drip and a gravity filter tea/coffee thing, I use the french press the most by FAR. I always drink my coffee black, very rarely with any sugar, and the french press has the most consistent, satisfying result from the bunch.

French press is so simple. Grind your beans, put them in the press, heat your water, pour it in, wait a few minutes. Push plunger down, pour coffee. PROFIT. The Aeropress is basically the exact same thing but you can only make one cup at a time which is bullshit.

If you do get a french press, you're going to want to use a more coarse grind. The metal filter can get clogged if you use a powder-consistency espresso grind.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:30 am 
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Ah, a topic dear to my heart.

Never heard of a Chemex, either, but I will take a look. I generally just use an old Melitta cone, which requires a slightly finer grind than drip-machines.

My absolute favorite coffee, and one I haven't seen for a while (especially since I'm poor these days), is Sulawesi Toraja Kalossi. Comes from Indonesia, the island of Celebes. It's been so long, I can't quite describe it anymore, but it was nirvana. You certainly can't go wrong with a good Ethiopian.

What I liked to do in the old, flush days was have two or three varietals (cultivars) on hand, and try different blends. I'd have something from each of the major regions: an American (maybe a Guatemalan or a Costa Rica Tarrazu); an Asian (said Sulawesi, or perhaps an Indian Malabar); and an African (Ethiopian, Yemeni, or a Kenya). And just try your own blends, but be wary - my local roaster told me that you never want equal amounts of each kind (either two or three, four tended to get too "watered down" in flavor), but rather one dominant type, with the other two adding their own notes. So, use half Kenyan, then add a bit of a Mexican and a bit of an Indonesian or something.

I was never blown away by the expensive Jamaicans or Hawaiians. Your standard Colombian can make a good cup, however.

But, the real secret, at least with a Melitta (perhaps with a French press, too)? Don't boil your water. 195 degrees American is the best temperature, I believe. Apparently, boiling water pulls out too much of the acidity. At least, that's what my roaster told me, and it really helps even when you're stuck with something generic, like Folgers or Yuban.

I spent a lot of time in that store, right as the coffee craze hit. Then they changed hands, and it's never been quite the same.

Dang, I may have to go get some good estate coffee now, thanks!

Edit: OK, yeah, in Step 4 of their brewing tips, they suggest 200 degrees. They also suggest that you pour in just a bit to "bloom" the coffee. I do this with mine, and it really does help. But I don't know that you want to bring the water to a boil, but maybe it doesn't matter.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:02 am 
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Ohhhh, this was a good decision.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:03 pm 
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Not a coffee drinker.

Friends of mine are going on about Sumatran coffee. I saw it in Cost Plus World market the other day. That and a healthy avoidance of Starbucks and all froo-froo coffee drinks are about as much as I can add here.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Oh, yeah, I forgot about Sumatran. Those can be a good substitute for Sulawesi, if I remember correctly. Good call.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:21 pm 
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Found a brilliant local roaster, Stone Cup, and their beans are fresh and amazing. The bloom is insane. Soooo good.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:29 pm 
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I do cold brew, myself. About 30% of the acid of hot brewed coffee, and keeps well in the refrigerator.

Brew the grounds in iced water 10-12 hours, drain, and dilute with milk/water. Can either drink it cold or iced.

You lose some of the flavor notes of certain coffees if they're from things that will not dissolve well in cold water, but the acids and harsher tannins in coffee don't dissolve either, so they won't hurt your teeth, esophagus or stomach nearly as much.

Personally, I also like drinking it cold because it stays a consistent temperature all day.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:56 am 
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#TIL I do not like citron in coffee.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:06 pm 
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The name Chemex makes it sound like you guys are drinking antifreeze or something.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:40 pm 
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FarSky wrote:
#TIL I do not like citron in coffee.


Ugh. What? No. F'ing gross.The only good citrus notes in coffee are naturally occurring. Something like Yirgacheffe, that's some good stuff.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Yeahhhh...got a sample pack of this guy and wtfno. Beans were quality, roast was fresh, but the citron notes hit hard, fast, and before the rest of the coffee, then stuck around for an afterparty.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:01 pm 
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Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the last post in this forum.

Congratulations, FarSky, in holding this spot for so long!

(Oh wait, did I ruin it at 364 days?)

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