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The Chemex 3 cup: complete pain in the #@$?
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mjoe
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 7
Location: maine
Expertise: Professional

Posted Thu Aug 29, 2013, 3:12pm
Subject: The Chemex 3 cup: complete pain in the #@$?
 

So I have a couple of these 3 cup Chemex. This is is the super small size they sell that uses the half moon filters. I was considering using them for my small coffee shop. However, no matter how I try, I cant seem to get this brew right. I have some theories.. but would love any advice from anyone who has used these (FYI.. it was not my decision to buy this small model, but I dont want to waste them or turn them into vases).

The traditional Chemex proportions dont come out right when scaled down.. so are my possible reasons:

  1. Chemex simply works best at a minimum baseline of water and coffee.. the 6 cup model being the smallest. Beyond that, scaling down proportionally just doesnt work.  I have noticed that few of the chemex "experts" ever make mention of the 3 cup model in demonstrating how their methods adjust to the various sizes. Its this the laughing stock model?

  2. The filter itself is designed differently and made of different paper density. Density may also be a problem because the filter has multiple folds right at the tip where the half moon is located (once folded).

  3. The "chokepoint" on this model channels too densely ..this is about the glass itself, vs the filter..  anyone who has used this will note that the filter drops down far into the vessel..into a very tight point.. and that the hole it passes through is much smaller than in the larger models. Is this just creating a super fast channel

so any thoughts.. am i just botching it.. has anyone been able to brew seriously good (not just passable) coffee on this tiny 3 cup model?

Thanks
MJ
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jaybar
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 173
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Sep 2, 2013, 8:11pm
Subject: Re: The Chemex 3 cup: complete pain in the #@$?
 

I made some good, but not excellent cups.Grind as you would for a larger chemex. However, with a larger chemex, I tened to use a continuos pour or a pulsepour with about 200g of water at a time, maybe less. The smaller chemex demands slower pours (MUCH) and/or more frequent and smaller pulses.

I found the folding to be a pain and the width of the upper part, where you pured into, rather narrow and awkward. Please be cautious about those negatives. I have an eye-hand coordination and vision problem. Otheres might find it easier.

I gave up.

I am now brewing with the Kalita Wave for single 12 ounce mugs.

All the best,

Jay
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mjoe
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 7
Location: maine
Expertise: Professional

Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 12:57pm
Subject: Re: The Chemex 3 cup: complete pain in the #@$?
 

Sorry to hear that.. but also glad in that it confirms some of my frustrations with this particular model. I am getting to the point where  I might also give up.

One of the other things I also noticed (not sure if you did) was that even when I folded those half moons perfectly, they wouldnt  always sit in the top half correctly.. meaning that there would often be gaps, air pockets, or spaces where the paper was several mm (possibly more) off the glass. I assume this also creates inconsistent flow patterns.
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jaybar
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 173
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: The Chemex 3 cup: complete pain in the #@$?
 

I did not notice the issue you raised in your last post, but might not have seen it given my vision. My issue is a general coordination issue. If you want to continue using the small Chemex, there are some well respected roasters who also sell that model. Perhaps you might want to purchase their coffee and at the same time, discuss technique with them as it relates to the small Chemex.

After many cycles of trying the small Chemex, deciding it was not for me, getting rid of it and then wanting to try again, I finally accepted I can't handle it.
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