The Chemex. Arguably the prettiest brew method for the ultimate coffee lover, this simple vessel has been around since the 1940’s and is on permanent display in the Museum of Modern Art for its slick design – it is just as useable as a flower vase as it is for brewing coffee!
I love the Chemex because of the 6 to 7 minutes of calm it provides me every morning. I can truly lose myself in the aroma of the ground coffee, the satisfyingly plump ‘bloom’ and the slow and steady pour which I just know is going to provide me with a delicious brew absolutely bursting with the most complex and clean flavours. This unabashed method of brewing allows the maximum amount of insight into the character of a coffee, ninety per cent of the time it is a coffee I last saw on the drying beds of the farmer or exporter’s mill. It is this ability to connect people that I love most about coffee and the Chemex helps to remind me why we are all doing this.
The clarity of flavour produced transports me back through the journey coffee takes right the way from the meticulous picking to sorting to washing to soaking to drying to milling to hand sorting to cupping to shipping to profiling and eventually to roasting. This daily ritual resembles a form of worship for me where I give thanks to the ‘Gods of Coffee’ for blessing us with something that can taste this good. Once brewed, I hand a cup round to each of my colleagues and we all participate in a collective ‘aaahhh’ as we sip the liquid black gold. Thanks be to coffee.
Holly Bowman is a licensed Q Grader and AST Trainer at North Star Coffee Roasters.