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A quick experiment for the Chemex

July 25, 2010

Here’s a simple experiment I’d like people to try. All you need is a chemex and two cups. I don’t want to prejudice your results – so please give it a go, post in comments and I’ll follow it up with my experience.

Thanks go to Gordon at Harlequin Coffee & Tea for inspiring this.

1) Brew a chemex of coffee in your usual manner.
2) With 2 cups ready, place the lip of the chemex against one cup and pour half the coffee into it.
3) For the other cup, lift the chemex well above the cup and pour. I reckon you can get a foot gap between the chemex and cup, due to the chemex spout.

Now try the two cups side by side. Any taste difference? Let me know in the comments!

  1. Flibster permalink

    I tried it with a couple of different coffees. Hasbeans Gethumbwini and Machacamarca in both the Chemex and the V60 with the clotch filter into a pouring pot.

    The only taste differences I could find were due to the one poured from a height being slightly cooler than the ones poured straight in and just letting the direct poured one cool slight cleared that difference.

    I can’t think of any reason why pouring from a height would make any difference, but fanatical whisky drinkers are obsessive about not bruising the drink, so I suppose that some difference is possible.

  2. Thanks to Flibster for the reply. I’m hoping I’m not making this up – and I’m still planning on further experimentation to investigate this, but – I find the higher pour produces a slightly cleaner and brighter cup. As a theory, I’m suggesting that the extra contact with the air and the mixing of air and coffee liquid in the cup caused by the impact of the stream is the cause of the differences. Brew water chemistry would be important if I’m right – I use tap water for all my brews, which (for me) is fairly hard water. Here I reference Colin Harmon’s 2010 WBC performance, among other sources (I’ll try and remember to look these up and reference properly). I could be entirely wrong, but that’s my theory at the moment, and I’ll update when I do some more experiments. In the mean time, anyone else who tries this – please feedback your thoughts!

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