squelchy451 Senior Member Joined: 5 Aug 2012 Posts: 2 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sat Jan 19, 2013, 12:30am Subject: Coffee novice has some questions.
Hi. I'm new to coffee and recently became interested in different brewing methods and other aspects of making good coffee.
So I have some questions.
1. What are some brewing methods that give me results similar to using Chemex?
One of my friends has it and from what I've read Chemex removes the oils that is part of the extraction process. The oils give coffee a bitter and deeper flavor, which I really don't like. That's why I drink so much tea but not coffee. I think at one point I was just taking caffeine pills instead of coffee because i really didn't like that bitter acidic flavor.
2. Do you have your own burr grinder and does it improve flavor significantly? I like fresh tea leaves better than pre-packaged tea bags. I figured it's gotta be similar for coffee. Grinding your own beans would help enhance some of the understated flavors of coffee and would help with the 'blooming' when using a Chemex, am I right?
3. Where can I get a reusable filter for Chemex? Not the Kone filter. From what I read, the Kone filter fits into Chemex but doesn't filter the oils that a paper filter would. Would a cloth filter filter out the oils that the Chemex paper filter does/ If so, where can I get one?
Not only is it a method you may be interested in, there's a great explanation about different types of filter materials, which applies to all methods of coffee filtration.
Yes, having your own grinder and grinding "to order" improves flavor significantly...just like you've found for tea. Coffee beans are a food product, and as such, they spoil just like any other food. There's a mantra you may here around these parts called the rule of 15s:
green coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale roasted coffee should be ground within 15 days, or it goes stale ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale
So, not only do you need to grind it yourself (and yes, a burr grinder is important - don't go get a whirlybird), you need beans that were freshly roasted.
In fact, in Mark's article referenced above, he actually says that one can even tell the difference of only a few minutes between grinding early or late while using siphon brew technique. That may merely be because the ground coffee is sitting there waiting for water during the brewing process, so it sits longer between grinder and extraction.
Any place that sells Chemex should sell filters for them. There's a rather long list of places I would check, if I were in the market for that. Some of them are...
Since you're interested in Chemex, you may want to look into pourover kettles. They have long spouts designed to help you direct where you pour the water, so that you can make sure the grounds all get an even share. There are other individual features to consider as well, like flow controllers, user settable temperature, etc. I'd also suggest reading about temperature, particle size and steep time, in regards to their effect on extraction (and thus, flavor). For instance, over-extracted coffee will be more bitter, while under-extracted coffee will be more sour.
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