Saturday and Sunday mornings Abby and I always try to spend a little extra leisure time together. It comes in all shapes and forms, mostly sleeping in late and crawling out of bed briefly to grab a cup of coffee from our auto drip with a programed timer. Some weekends however, we tend to wake up full of an eagerness to make food and be homie together (albeit rarer than the former situation). Last Sunday was one of those situations, we had just got back from Boston and were eager to try to recreate our now favorite dish from Tatte; the avocado Tartine. Abby was all over recreating the dish, so I figured I'd go ahead and try my hand at a good cup of pour over coffee to accompany it.
Where to Start
Good question. It's actually a question that ran through my head non stop when trying to figure out how the damn thing works. I love pour over coffee, but I had never invested enough time in doing it myself to appreciate the craft that really goes into it. I went through a few tutorials online and created my own little step by step (one that doesn't require a B.S. in Chemistry).
Here's where we start, the bare essentials. I started by grabbing a couple cups, the Chemex, my goose neck kettle (not shown) and the coffee (not shown). I used one of the coffee cups to measure two cups of coffee, plus extra for blooming the coffee and heating the glass (I'll elaborate in a bit).
I put the kettle on the stove to boil and started grinding my coffee. I actually filled my grinder to the max and ground for about 20 seconds, equivalent to the grade you would want for a french press. In the end I only needed four tablespoons for the amount of coffee I was making.
Heat the water to around 200-210F, I found it easiest to bring it to a good build then shut the stovetop off (when it first started to make the boiling noise it was only around 180F, so make sure to use a thermometer!).
Once your water is hot, you should wet the filter and get the Chemex glass warm. Pour that little bit of extra water around the edges of the filter to make it stick well to the opening, and swirl it a bit as it collects in the bottom reservoir to get a nice even warming effect.
At this point this is what you should have; a really awesome looking, condensation filled Chemex. Now it's time to dump the rinse water and fill your filter.
It's pretty self explanatory how to put coffee in a filter, but I'd recommend trying to shake the Chemex a bit after you pour the grounds in to make sure they're nice and even. Now we're ready to begin blooming the coffee.
To 'bloom' the coffee, you only want to pour enough water on the grounds so that they begin to puff up a bit. You don't want any water to pouring through the grounds, so try to be really light on the water but enough to get all of the grounds evenly saturated. Once they're all evenly saturated, I let it sit for around a minute before I began my final pour.
The final pour
This is honestly the best part; it's probably the only part anyone thinks of when they think of a 'pour over' coffee. I enjoy it because the fruit of my labor ripens before my eyes, and every moment the kettle gets lighter as the coffee collecting in the Chemex basin gets darker. It's a beautiful process, and I would definitely recommend it to any coffee enthusiast that likes coffee for more than just a kick in the ass in the morning.
The coffee went really well with the avocado tartine Abby was whippin up while I was knee deep in the coffee realm. Now that I know I can handle the task of actually making drinkable coffee with this thing, I'm off to find delectable coffee to brew with it. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes! and don't forget to check out Abby's blog post on how to make the dish seen in the photo below (you won't regret it).