Do you have a chemex in your kitchen and not sure how to clean it? Don’t worry – cleaning an old favorite can be easier than you think! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through exactly how to clean Chemex with minimal effort. Our step-by-step guide will take the hassle out of keeping your beloved coffee maker from looking like new. Keep reading for all our top tips on how to make sure that your Chemex is always shining brightly!
What is a Chemex?
A Chemex is a type of manual coffee maker that uses a pour-over brewing method to make coffee. It consists of an hourglass-shaped glass vessel with a narrow neck and a wooden collar tied around the neck with a leather or rawhide tie. The Chemex uses a special type of paper filter that is thicker than standard coffee filters, which helps to produce a clean, crisp cup of coffee.
To use a Chemex, you place the filter into the top of the vessel and add freshly ground coffee. You then pour hot water over the coffee, allowing it to drip through the filter and into the vessel below. The process can take a few minutes, but the result is a smooth, flavorful cup of coffee that’s free of sediment and grounds.
The Chemex was invented in 1941 by a chemist named Peter Schlumbohm, who was inspired by the idea of using laboratory equipment to make coffee. Today, the Chemex is considered a classic coffee maker and is a favorite among coffee enthusiasts for its elegant design and ability to produce a consistently great cup of coffee.
How to Clean Chemex
1. Discard the used coffee grounds and remove the paper filter.
2. Disassemble the Chemex by removing the wooden collar and tie, and separating the glass vessel from the spout and filter holder.
3. Rinse the glass vessel with hot water to remove any residual coffee.
4. If needed, add a drop of dish soap to a soft sponge or brush and gently scrub the inside of the vessel.
5. Rinse the glass vessel thoroughly with hot water.
6. Rinse the spout and filter holder with hot water to remove any residual coffee.
7. If needed, add a drop of dish soap to a soft sponge or brush and gently clean the spout and filter holder.
8. Rinse the spout and filter holder thoroughly with hot water.
9. Wipe the wooden collar and tie with a damp cloth.
10. If needed, use a drop of dish soap to clean any stubborn stains or coffee residue.
11. Rinse the wooden collar and tie thoroughly with hot water.
12. Once all components are clean and dry, reassemble your Chemex by placing the wooden collar and tie back onto the vessel, and inserting the filter holder and spout.
Types of Chemex
There are several types of Chemex coffee makers available, each with different sizes and shapes. Here are some of the most common types:
1. Classic Chemex: This is the original Chemex design, featuring an hourglass-shaped glass vessel with a narrow neck and a wooden collar tied around the neck with a leather or rawhide tie. The Classic Chemex is available in sizes ranging from 3 to 10 cups.
2. Handblown Chemex: The Handblown Chemex is made of borosilicate glass and features a more organic, irregular shape than the Classic Chemex. Each Handblown Chemex is unique, with subtle variations in shape and size. Handblown Chemex coffee makers are available in sizes ranging from 3 to 8 cups.
3. Chemex Ottomatic: The Chemex Ottomatic is an automatic coffee maker that uses the pour-over method to brew coffee. It features a sleek, modern design and is available in 6-cup and 8-cup sizes.
4. Chemex Chettle: The Chemex Chettle is an electric water kettle designed specifically for use with Chemex coffee makers. It features a gooseneck spout for precise pouring and is available in 1-liter and 1.7-liter sizes.
By offering a range of sizes, shapes, and designs, Chemex offers coffee enthusiasts a variety of options to choose from when selecting a coffee maker.
Preparing the Chemex
1. Place the Chemex on a flat surface and remove the wooden collar and tie.
2. Unfold a Chemex paper filter and place it in the top of the Chemex, with the triple-fold side facing the spout.
3. Pour hot water over the filter to rinse it and preheat the vessel. This also helps to remove any paper taste from the filter. Discard the water once it has drained through the filter.
4. Add your desired amount of freshly ground coffee into the filter. A common ratio is 1:16, which means one part coffee to 16 parts water.
5. Start a timer and pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds to saturate them. Wait for 30 seconds to allow the coffee to “bloom” and release any trapped gases.
6. Pour hot water over the coffee in a slow, circular motion, making sure to wet all the grounds. Continue pouring until you’ve reached your desired coffee volume.
7. Once all the water has drained through the filter, remove the filter and discard the coffee grounds.
8. Replace the wooden collar and tie, and serve your freshly brewed coffee.
By following these steps, you can prepare your Chemex for brewing delicious, high-quality coffee. It’s important to use freshly roasted and ground coffee beans and to pay attention to the water temperature and pouring technique to achieve the best results.
Cleaning the Filter
The Chemex filter is a specially designed paper filter that is thicker than standard coffee filters. Here are some steps to clean the Chemex filter:
1. Discard the used coffee grounds and remove the filter from the Chemex.
2. Hold the filter under running water to remove any residual coffee grounds.
3. If needed, gently rub the filter with your fingers to remove any stubborn coffee residues.
4. Place the filter in a bowl of warm water with a drop of dish soap.
5. Let the filter soak for a few minutes to loosen any remaining coffee oils or residues.
6. After soaking, gently rub the filter with your fingers to remove any remaining residues.
7. Rinse the filter thoroughly with warm water to remove any soap residue.
8. Squeeze out any excess water and hang the filter to dry.
9. Once the filter is completely dry, fold it and store it in a dry place until your next use.
By following these steps, you can clean and reuse your Chemex filter, which helps to reduce waste and save money. It’s important to clean the filter after each use to ensure that it functions properly and doesn’t affect the taste of your coffee. Additionally, it’s recommended to replace the filter after several uses to ensure that it’s still working effectively.
Cleaning the Carafe
1. Discard the used coffee grounds and remove the paper filter and any remaining coffee residue.
2. Rinse the carafe with hot water to remove any residual coffee.
3. If needed, add a drop of dish soap to a soft sponge or brush and gently scrub the inside of the carafe.
4. Rinse the carafe thoroughly with hot water.
5. If there are any stubborn coffee stains, fill the carafe with hot water and add a tablespoon of baking soda or white vinegar.
6. Let the solution sit for about 30 minutes, then rinse the carafe thoroughly with hot water.
7. If there are any remaining coffee stains, fill the carafe with hot water and add a tablespoon of bleach.
8. Let the solution sit for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse the carafe thoroughly with hot water.
9. Once the carafe is clean and dry, reassemble the Chemex and store it in a dry place until your next use.
By following these steps, you can clean the carafe of your Chemex and ensure that it functions properly and doesn’t affect the taste of your coffee. It’s important to clean the carafe after each use to prevent any buildup of coffee oils or residues that can affect the taste of your coffee. Additionally, it’s recommended to replace the carafe if it becomes cracked or damaged.
Tips for Maintenance
Here are some tips for maintaining your Chemex and ensuring that it continues to function properly for years to come:
1. Handle with care: The Chemex is made of glass and can be fragile, so it’s important to handle it with care. Avoid hitting or dropping it, and be gentle when assembling and disassembling it.
2. Clean regularly: It’s important to clean your Chemex after each use to prevent any buildup of coffee oils or residues. In addition to cleaning the carafe and filter, make sure to clean the wooden collar and tie as well.
3. Use fresh, high-quality coffee beans: The quality of your coffee beans can greatly affect the taste of your coffee. Use freshly roasted and ground coffee beans to ensure that your coffee tastes its best.
4. Store properly: When not in use, store your Chemex in a dry place to prevent any moisture or mold from building up on the wooden collar or tie.
5. Replace worn or damaged parts: If the wooden collar or tie become worn or damaged, they can be replaced. Additionally, if the carafe becomes cracked or damaged, it’s important to replace it to ensure that your Chemex continues to function properly.
By following these tips, you can maintain your Chemex and enjoy delicious, high-quality coffee for years to come.
Q: What’s the difference between the Classic Chemex and the Handblown Chemex?
A: The Classic Chemex is the original design, with an hourglass-shaped glass vessel and a wooden collar and tie. The Handblown Chemex is made of borosilicate glass and features a more organic, irregular shape. Each Handblown Chemex is unique, with subtle variations in shape and size.
Q: How do I know what size Chemex to buy?
A: The size of the Chemex you should buy depends on how much coffee you want to make at once. Chemex coffee makers are available in sizes ranging from 3 to 10 cups.
Q: Can I use a Chemex to make tea?
A: While Chemex coffee makers are designed for brewing coffee, they can also be used to make tea. Simply follow the same steps for brewing coffee, but use tea leaves instead of coffee grounds.
Q: Can I use a Chemex on a gas stove?
A: It’s not recommended to use a Chemex on a gas stove, as the direct heat can cause the glass to crack or shatter. Instead, heat the water separately and pour it over the coffee in the Chemex.
Q: Can I put my Chemex in the dishwasher?
A: It’s not recommended to put your Chemex in the dishwasher, as the high heat and harsh detergents can damage the glass and wooden components. Instead, clean your Chemex by hand using warm water and dish soap.
Q: How often do I need to replace the Chemex filter?
A: The Chemex filter should be replaced after each use to ensure that it’s functioning properly and not affecting the taste of your coffee.
And there you have it, your complete guide on how to clean Chemex. Now that you know all about maintaining the flavor of your coffee and keeping your Chemex in peak condition, why not make sure you always have a steady supply of delicious coffee on hand? Try getting some high-quality canned coffee for easy brewing or grab some freshly roasted beans from one of your local roasters. Not only does buying from local businesses help support small businesses, but you can also ensure with confidence that the coffee will be fresh. Keep your Chemex working like new and you’ll have rich, flavorful coffee every single time. Enjoy!