chemex morning is a good morning

Coffee, it’s how we get every day started. On weekday mornings while Ryan jumps in the shower and gets ready for work, I start up the coffee. On the weekend, it is something done together as we get breakfast going, or something sweet Ryan does for me. It makes no difference to me (unless my man is being sweet), as long as there is coffee to start the day.


You know how sometimes you have to go through bad times to get to something really amazing? Well, coffee making in our house has turned into one of those tales. A few weeks back, I went through a particularly clumsy period. I tripped, dropped, and broke (shattered) way more than my fair share. It started with me breaking a hanging plant holder Ryan got me for my apartment many years ago when he worked at local nursery in Knoxville. We treasure little gifts like that, so this was a big loss for both of us.

A little while after the first mishap, I was in the kitchen getting my breakfast on and I hear WAM POW BAM BOOM (it was really loud). A glass pitcher slipped off the top of our refrigerator. It broke into a billion pieces and managed to smash one of my ‘special’ glasses from Amherst on its way down. I wound up cutting my foot in all of the wreckage. It was obvious no one was coming out alive. We talked a little about the healing process here.

Getting to the ‘grounds’ of this story…

Shortly after moving into our Atlanta home, our ‘fancy pants’ Hamilton Beech coffee maker bit the dust. We loved it for its amazing features. Unfortunately, it began leaking coffee into the water container and water from the base. With a French press already on hand, we brushed it off and started thinking about what kind of coffee maker we would want in the future. Why not just be happy with the French press? It was on the smaller side (only making 6 cups), the coffee was better than what we were getting from the Hamilton Beech but nothing to jump outta bed for, and the kicker, the coffee grounds would wind up in your mug. No thank you.

Here’s where it gets good. I was washing our coffee press which has a glass carafe (some foreshadowing here) just days after the kitchen fiasco and it broke. It barely tapped the bottom of our porcelain sink! Good grief. When I told Ryan about it, he just burst into laughter. What more can one do at that point?

As disappointing and inconvenient as this was, my timing couldn’t have been better. We were just days away from a trip to Knox, where there is a World Market, and World Market had the gold goose, our new and improved coffee maker, a Chemex. They are designed to make coffee that is filtered of bitter elements and oils making one tasty cup of Joe. My run of misfortune was starting to work in our favor.


Chemex is easy to use, easy to clean, and it makes GREAT coffee. To make the coffee you open one side of the pre-folded filter (update on filters below) and place it in the opening of the Chemex carafe.


Then,  just put in the desired amount of coffee grounds in the filter and add boiling water. The first time I did this I wanted to know exactly how much I was making so I measured it.


The only downside is the top only holds so much. If you are making more than a couple cups of coffee, you have to refill a few times and wait for the water to filter through. Though, in reality, it really doesn’t take that long.


Cleanup is a breeze. I pinch the tops of the filter together and fold the bottom in so it doesn’t drip on the way to the kitchen compost bin.


So there you have it. I went through a ‘rough patch’ and came out on top. I am CHEMEX happy to say the least. It is environmentally sound without using electricity and the filters are made of raw materials that go right back into the earth (via compost). I think we have finally met our match, our coffee match that is.


UPDATE: As our first box of Chemex filters began to run out, we were faced with a choice. Do we buy another box of paper filters (we had no complaints with the product) or do we buy reusable filters? We did exactly what you think we did; we bought the reusable.

Filters weren’t the only coffee shakeup. We had had it with worn coffee mugs that were becoming more fuss than anything else. So when we placed the order for our new CoffeeSock organic cotton filters, we went ahead and pulled the trigger on Cuppow lids we had been talking about for a while now. They are lids designed to fit mason jars, so convenient. You can buy them for wide mouth or regular mouthed jars. They are super easy to clean and are easily secured in place by the canning ring. We dig.

The Coffeesock filters are pretty cool and will be sticking around, but they come with a few hiccups. Nothing major, just some unexpected things. When you fill the filter with water it seems to gather in the funnel of the Chemex and can bubble out of the spout. It can be a bit messy, and with little ones around, it could prove to be a bit dangerous. To keep this from happening, I just lift one side of the filter after I pour in the water and all goes smoothly. The reusable filters provide a great tasting coffee (I thought we had it good with the paper filters) and they actually drip faster than what we were using before.

When the coffee is done, I take the filter and dump the coffee grounds in the worm compost (vermicompost). Then, I rinse the filter and hang it to dry. You only wash it when needed. I am still loving the Chemex way to a morning cup of joe, I can’t imagine us ever doing things differently.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Ryan White
    February 27, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Good decision in opting for reusable filters. I have made the same decision a year ago. It offers savings and I don’t have to be guilty about adding to the world’s garbage. Great article 🙂

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