At that time, the 6 cup brewing system that was on display, costed far to much money than we were willing to invest. Also, it was too time consuming for our in & out cliental. Over the years, our customers' taste has developed. They still come in for their quick morning jolt. Recently they have been coming back during their down-time. They are now willing to take the time, to relax and savor their coffee. They started requesting different brewing methods, and were willing to wait a few minutes for something special.
On a recent visit to Fortuna's showroom, I saw the Chemex Pour Over system on display. What intrigued me the most, was the functional design. It has a beautiful hour glass shaped decanter, made of heat resistant glass. The high polished wood at the center, serves as an insulated handle. A leather tie adds definition as it wraps the handle, and dangles along the side of the wood. Most other pour over systems, need a separate server. The unique design of the Chemex, allows for dual function.
The design, is so pleasing, I don't mind if my Barista's leave it out on the counter. Once a customer sees it, they ask about it. It gives us an opportunity to educate the customer, about other brewing methods. The customers of course, are so curious, they eventually try a mug for themselves.
Some important things to remember when using a pour over system, is to be sure the water stays at the proper temperature, between 195 and 205 degrees fahrenheit. Also when any system uses paper filters, the taste is altered. This is why it is so hard to pull me away from my French Press.
Place a chemex filter in the top of the carafe. Pre-wet the filter, with no more than 2 ounces of hot water. I find this allows the filter to cling to the side, and it doesn't shift once the grinds are added. Pour the excess water out of the carafe. Freshly grind your coffee for a medium grind. I say medium, but adjust to your preference. If the water flows too quickly, the grind is to course and will result in a sour taste. If the water flows too slowly, or not at all, the grind is too fine. Thus resulting in a bitter taste. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America standards, a proper coffee to water ratio should be used. If you are brewing the full 6 cups, use 30-36 ounces of water, and 7.25 grams of ground coffee, or 1 rounded tablespoon per 6 ounce cup.
Pour a small amount of hot water, no more than 2 ounces over the grinds. Again, be sure the water is 195-205 F. If the coffee is fresh, it will swell. We coffee snobs call this a "bloom." Allow the bloom to grow. Once the grinds have had some time to bloom, slowly and evenly pour the rest of the water over the grinds. Some pour in a circular motion, to allow the coffee to be as compact as possible.
Once brewed, lift the filter out and discard. Used coffee grounds are a great fertilizer, so you may choose to add it to your compost. Replace the filter with the glass lid, to help maintain the temperature.
Our first coffee to hit the Chemex at Cafe Roche, was our popular single origin, Tanzania Peaberry. We noticed more berry notes from the chemex, than our other brewing methods. The body was lighter, with a tea-like quality. Once the coffee began to cool, the flavors began to evolve, and the body was heavier. We noted blueberry, lemon, and cocoa, with a hint of spice. After our tasting, the shop got busy, and the rest of the coffee was left to cool. We noticed that even luke warm, the coffee still tasted great!
When you have some time to kill, or the urge to try something new, stop into Cafe Roche; and try any of our single origin coffees in the Chemex.