Espresso rocked - Long live the Chemex!

French Press, Vac Pot, Drip or any other - air your views and results

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Postby tap » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:23 am

Is that like the Japanese "sock" method?


to my knowledge it originates once upon a time in france. but died and now long lives in japan..
lately mostly drinking coffee or tea
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Postby bruceb » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:23 am

This whole thread causes me to have acid reflux. I cannot drink anything but espresso and espresso milk drinks without suffering excruciating pain due to an inoperable hiatus hernia. Nonetheless, I do have some questions about the method. The Chemex is an expensive glass jug with an old-fashioned Melita filter on top. You have to use a "gold" metal filter or paper filters with it. This is basically the way coffee has been brewed here in Germany ever since there was coffee in Germany. So if I understand, the only difference to that is the quality and freshness of the coffee beans you (Matt) are using. Or are you also using a PIDed kettle, measuring the temperature of the water to 0.01°C, or ????
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Postby espressomattic » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:18 am

0.0001 actually Brucey ;)

I am still getting to grips with it, but as far as I know it boils down to the papers with the Chemex. I will have to reseach it more to understand why it makes it taste so good. The papers are seriously thick and all that folding with the 'half moon' at the bottom makes for a VERY thick filter.

Bruce there is a real difference in the cup, it is a real shame it would cause you pain to try it. The clarity is really quite remarkable. To answer your question on freshness, I am going to experiment with some off the shelf beans from the local supermarket (Not that they will be that old anyway). I'll let you know my findings eh? There is definetly soemthing more to it.

Maybe Jim can elaborate, as I am new at this method and can only give a some what sujective view.

(PS A new element is on the way for the espresso machine)
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Postby CakeBoy » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:38 am

espressomattic wrote:(PS A new element is on the way for the espresso machine)


Excellent news - glad you finally found one :D
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Postby technojock » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:28 am

I use a French Press and Aeropress mostly, but I'm less keen on the AP because it mutes some of the high tones. Received wisdom on this is that it's due to the paper filter, and a swissgold filter cut to size fixes the problem.

Is this muting the high tones something that's peculiar to the AP, and isn't true of other brewing methods that use filter paper? I find it hard to believe that the Chemex is muting some of the flavour given the high regard that some have for it. Looking at coffeereview, it suggests that filter brewed coffee is higher-toned....so it must be the AP? Yes?
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Postby bruceb » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:15 am

There is a big difference using the Aeropress of plunging immediately after filling with water and waiting a minute or longer, then plunging. Plunging immediately, as the inventor suggests, makes a different cup than any other method I know of. I use a gold filter and have tried both methods. Waiting a minute before plunging gives me a cup that is almost identical to that made with a Meilitta pour-over filter. Plunging immediately causes a loss in some of the complexity of the coffee, but with many varieties it is very pleasing none-the-less.

That said I would note that this is not an ideal world; it is difficult to compare because taste is so subjective. My taste from one day to the next varies greatly. One can only prepare, taste and/or drink so much coffee in one day, repetitive testing is very difficult and if one is honest the results are often disturbingly variable.

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[rant mode] My suggestion is always the same: Try different coffees and different methods, drink what you like and forget what you don't like. In the end, Chemex, Eva Solo, Melitta, Aeropress and all the rest are just gadgets to help one extract the essentials from ground coffee beans. In my experience the folks who go overboard for one or another method have spent a lot of time using that method and have not really done the same with other methods. There is a lot of subjective prejudice involved and one usually does best by just deciding for oneself and not proselytizing or believing the words of others.[/rant mode]
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Postby espressomattic » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:31 am

You old ranter you :P

No, I agree Bruce, the other day I fancied a Presspot because i wanted a slightly less clean cup of coffee. It was nice, I enjoyed it. I had a chemx this morning, very nice, went out, had a shot at Rocket, loved it. At the end of the day it is only a drink, nothing more, nothing less. We are just sad enough to buy and own lots of kit that ultimatly produces a hot drink.

Mind you, Chemex still rocks ;)

Got a whole load of beans I know very well (Apart from some Honduran) as espresso, so I am looking forward to trying them as a different brew.
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Postby technojock » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:17 pm

bruceb wrote:There is a big difference using the Aeropress of plunging immediately after filling with water and waiting a minute or longer, then plunging.


Yes, I like the grunt of FP coffee, I like the clean AP coffee. I idly wondered why the high tones disappeared. I've never waited a minute or longer then plunging the AP. Duh. Obvious really - I'll be trying that tonight.
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Postby technojock » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:42 am

Tried that last night, used the same grind as FP, same amount of coffee and left it for the same time. The first thing that struck me was that it really brought out the sweetness of the coffee in a way that FP doesn't. The second thing was that maybe I need to brew with a little more coffee, it was a bit weaker than I'd like. Definately worth further investigation.
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Postby espressomattic » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:49 am

Before buying the Chemex, I kind of barstardised the Chemex method for the AP. I first pour enough water to cause the grinds to bloom, then slowly add water, more than the dosage (Possibly 2 -3 times the amount) I then leave to steep for a while, stir and plunge. I think the longer brew/infusion time gives a deeper cup taste. Again the high notes are muted and the coffee comes out that bit richer.
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Postby dsc » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:29 pm

Hi guys,

with Christmas almost here and Steve running a 10% of the Chemex I thought I would buy me one and try it out myself. It arrived here this morning and I can't wait to try it out when I get home today. Curious how it's going to work compared to a normal one-cup porcelain filter.

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dsc.
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Postby darrensandford » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:46 pm

I forgot about the offer. Ordered - looking forward to it :)
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Postby dsc » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:12 pm

Hi guys,

ok got it unpacked, used it once, works well and I like the taste (more sweet). But...

how do you remove the water from the Chemex after wetting the paper filter? do you take the filter out, pour out the water and put the filter back? it is a bit annoying I have to say, but perhaps just something to get used to.

Another thing, when you do the two-fold, you're left with more paper on one side than the other. Won't that cause an under extraction on the more 'papered' side?

Regards,
dsc.
"This week I are mostly...trying to build a grinder..."

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Postby al_bongo » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:27 pm

No need to remove the filter paper after flushing with hot water.

With the triple layer part of the filter at the spout side you can just pour the water back out without removing the filter. Never had one fall out yet.

Sometimes you get a "dribbly" pour doing this so best done over the sink. I try and pour into a mug and reuse the hot water to clean the Chemex after - don't feel I'm wasting hot water then!
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Postby dsc » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:16 pm

Hi,

I've tried the method you described (when pouring out the water) and it works so I'm happy. I usually reuse the water to heat up my travel mug as well.

So far it looks like money well spent. I like the cleanness of the cup and how low the bitterness is.

Regards,
dsc.
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