Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

Month: December 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Brewing Large Batches of Coffee With the Chemex

Christmas is only a week away. Work parties and family gatherings are imminent and if you are excited about coffee, there is a good chance that you are contemplating taking your manual brewing show on the road.

Sharing your love of coffee with the world can pose some interesting questions that don’t come up in every day manual brewing scenarios. One of the topics I see floating around a bit (especially this time of year) is how to brew large batches of coffee via the pour-over method.

The Chemex is my large batch brewer of choice. It comes in a variety of sizes with capacities from 350 mL or to about 1400 mL (1850 mL if you have the Thirteen Cup Chemex).

Simply owning a brewing device that has the capacity to brew large batches of coffee isn’t enough. Brewing a big batch of coffee has different challenges and nuances that should be addressed. It is not the same as brewing a small cup of coffee for yourself.

Over the past month and a half, I have been experimenting with brewing large batches of coffee on the Chemex and here’s what I learned.

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The Chemex Brew Guide and Informational

Ah the Chemex, where to begin; an iconic manual brewer invented in the 1940’s by Peter Schlumbohm? A third-wave coffee stronghold? One part pour-over, one part carafe and one part science-i-ness?

The truth is, I haven’t owned my Chemex for even a year yet but I adored it from the first time I used it. I love the classic vintage design, the amazing thick filters and it’s unmatched potential for brewing large batches of good coffee to share with the world.

It’s forgiving. It’s photogenic. It brews a pretty great cup of coffee.

Because it is one of my newer additions to my manual brewing arsenal, I have been dragging my feet on posting a brew guide. This is not because I lack confidence. I just wanted explore and answer some of my questions I had about the device.

Just because I haven’t owned the Chemex for a decade, doesn’t mean I haven’t spend time using it, I’m halfway through my third box of filters, which means roughly 250 brews.

After spending a solid month of concentrated Chemex brewing, including brewing for large family gatherings, work colleagues and even a few less than stellar Periscope performances. I’m ready to talk. Here is a my Chemex brew guide and some other relevant information.

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2015 Coffee Gift Guide Addendum- 5 Coffee Gifts for the Kids

Earlier this week, I posted my 2015 Christmas season coffee gift guide. As I was compiling the list, I came up with an idea for a short offshoot post: Coffee related gifts for the young kids of coffee lovers.

My kids are absolutely fascinated by the manual brewing process. Maybe it is because they watch me fuss over coffee on a daily basis or maybe it is because manual brewing devices look so cool. They like nothing better than to stand on a chair at my countertop and play with my gooseneck kettle, a dripper and a mug.

With this in mind, I put together a short list of items appropriate for children who love to pretend they are making coffee “like daddy.”

Five Coffee Gifts for the Kids

  1. The mini moka pot- If your child has a play kitchen set, it is not complete without some coffee making options. A small moka pot makes a great toy. There are an abundance of colors and sizes available (I bought my daughter a small purple one). They are also typically made of aluminum which is fairly durable. The red Imusa 3-cup is a great inexpensive, fun looking option.
  2. Kalita 155- For kids, nothing is quite like having a miniature version of an actual item their parents use daily. If you have the Kalita 185, think about buying the mini version (the 155) for your mini version. This brewer is durable and looks great. You can even help your child make an assisted pour-over hot chocolate by pouring the water through the 155 on the way to mix with the chocolate powder (add some “Magic From Scratch” Marshmallows from The Magic Coffee Truck). Get creative.
  3. Keep Cup- Besides wanting one for myself, I also think the Keep Cup makes a great gift for a little one. They come in a variety of sizes, from the 120mL extra small to the 454mL large. The Kanada and the Melchior are my kiddo picks as they do not have glass and are fun colors. While you are at it, pick up one for yourself too (same principle as the big and little Kalita Waves).
  4. Wise Hawk City Builder Mini Coffee Shop– If your child is the town-building type, maybe they need a coffee shop to add to their tiny town. The Wise Hawk Coffee Shop is where all the hipster faux Legos like to hang out. (Wise Hawk also makes a 7/11 if the residents need a place that sells undesirable coffee to spurn disdainfully.)
  5. An enamel mug- Whether two years old or much, much older, no coffee enthusiast is complete until they have a favorite mug. Help your child find their first. Enamelware is great because it is durable and there are tons of cool designs right now. This year, I am particularly found of a few from Meriwether. If you know a young lady that fits Shakespeare’s classic quote “Though she be but little, she is fierce,” you may want to consider this one. There is also a great option for the child who ‘paddles their own canoe.’

There is also something to be said for simply taking the time to teach your child about coffee if they are interested in it. The art of manually brewing a cup of coffee is full of all sorts of lessons that are great for children. From mathematics and science to following instructions and paying attention to details, coffee brewing has it all. Think they are too young? Check out this video of Adler from Bindle Coffee. He has been brewing coffee with his father for practically his entire life.

Are your children fascinated by the ins and outs of coffee brewing? Ever given a coffee related gift to a youngster? Join the discussion in the comments below.

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