Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chemex - Some Days It's All About the Coffee

A while back I promised to write about my strange coffee maker.

It's the day we all dread.

The day the coffee maker croaks.

You can never be prepared for a thing like this.

It always catches you off guard.

Usually I just run out to the local store here a grab one that looks decent and go with it.

This time we had a backup.

We have a little Valira Isabella stovetop esspresso maker that we keep in our camp trailer. I think I got it on ebay a few years ago.

Boy do we look forward to camp coffee. This stuff is a little intense for me to drink everyday tho.

They call it 4 cups.

We call it one good mug.

I tend to get a little spun out and very chatty.

Which can be entertaining every so often. But on a daily basis... not so much.

BUT since we had this back up I had time to go into research mode.

Any of you who know me very well know that I get a little carried away when it comes to researching things.

I spent days reading blogs and forums of coffee nuts.

As a result I found this great website called Sweet Maria's

There is a hecka lotta info here about everything from roasting your own coffee beans to information sheets on the best ways to use the various brewers.

It seemed that the only automatic coffee makers that came recommended were the Technivorm Electic Brewers. I love the design. Wouldn't mind having one of these babies on my counter. Especially the one toward the bottom ... the redesign by the Clementdesign studio.

But then I looked at the price tags and for the life of me could not figure out how to justify $265 for a coffee maker....and believe me I tried.

So back to the research I go.

Ultimately we decided on the Chemex brewer since it seemed to work reasonably well with the plain old grinders that we have and make coffee good enough to impress the coffee nerds.

And it totally appealed to my minimalist side

First we just got the 10 cup version on the right. Figuring that would work for anything we needed. Sweet Maria's didn't carry that size in the version with the handle so we got it here.

I toyed with the idea of getting the handblown ones... I love hand blown glass.

But the trade off was no handle.

I like the handle.

After a couple of weeks of using it and really liking it I found myself wishing for a single serving size.

A lot of days Rich goes with the Frontier gunpowder green tea so it's just me.

I started alternating with green tea but I found out I'm allergic. I get all itchy and welty.

Who knew a person could be allergic to green tea??

Anyhow since 80% of the time it's just me we, went for the smaller one too and keep the larger pot for weekends and guests.

The tip sheet at Sweet Maria's gives brewing tips.

Basically you put your coffee in the filter, boil water...well the real afficiandos measure the water temp but I'm a little too free wheelin for that. I just get the tea pot going and after it whisltes I let it sit for about 30 seconds and call it good... and pour it over a little at a time.

Ya, you have to stand there and pour it but it's a good time to be in the moment ya know?

My only complaint is that they make unbleached filters in the larger size but not for the small ones. They call these oxygen bleached but I would much prefer the unbleached.

You keep adding water until it gets just past the bubble.

That's it!

The filter and coffee go in the compost bucket and you rinse the coffee maker.

No more old musty coffee maker mucky coffee.

No more big ugly coffee maker on the counter.

I have to show you this:

I keep the little coffee pot on this coaster.

I got it when we camped at San Elijo State Beach.

This is definitely one of our happy places.

And I like to have stuff around that reminds us of that.

Just seeing that little coaster every morning brings back a piece of being there.


  1. Wow, nice pic's. Chemex coffee maker is one of the best coffee maker. I love it!

  2. Cathy, that's an interesting coffee maker. I'll have to show it to Dan, as his coffee maker is saying adieux.

    Your happy spot would make me happy, too. It's beautiful!