Chemex + Madcap

The more time the comes between me and my time at Starbucks, the more interested I become in trying smaller coffee shops and roasting companies. While Chicago may not be Portland (which I associate with incredible local coffee shops), there are so many great coffees at our disposal. Besides what's within walking distance, there is no excuse not to try new coffees given that we can order most online.

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I have been in the market for a Chemex for quite some time now, but I couldn't get myself to spend the money, especially considering I already own two French presses, an espresso machine, a regular coffee brewer and a stovetop espresso brewer. I don't really need another coffee brewing device. But I wanted it.

So when my brother surprised me this Christmas with a 6-cup Chemex brewing and a bag of coffee from Madcap Coffee, I was beyond thrilled.

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Madcap Coffee is a roasting company out of Grand Rapids, MI. Dedicated to buying, roasting and selling the best quality coffees, Madcap offers and incredible selection of specialty coffees.

The Borana roast comes from a smaller sized cooperative in the Borana micro-region of Guji in Ethiopia. With bright, vibrant and delicate flavors, this coffee offers tons of flavor without overwhelming the palette. "The coffee from this area is marked with floral aromatics, sparkling transparency and a seductive complexity that is rivaled by very few coffee origins."

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How to Brew:

  1. Get into the grind: Select your favorite whole bean coffee you want to enjoy and grind it to a medium coarse ground.
  2. Filter up: Open a Chemex bonded coffee filter into a cone shape so that one side of the cone has three layers, and place it into the top of the Chemex brewer. The thick (three-layer) portion should cover the pouring spout.
  3. The scoop: Put one rounded tablespoon of ground coffee for every 5 ounce cup into the filter cone. Feel free to use more if you prefer it stronger.
  4. Let it bloom: One you have brought the appropriate amount of water to a boil, remove it from the heat and allow it to stop boiling vigorously. Pour a small amount of water over the coffee grounds to wet them, and wait for about 30 seconds for them to "bloom", releasing the most desirable coffee elements from the grounds.
  5. First pour: After the grounds bloom, slowly pour the brewing water over the grounds while keeping the water level well below the top of the Chemex.
  6. Brew on: Slowly pour the remaining water over the grounds, using a circular or back-and-forth motion as you pour to ensure an even soaking of grounds.
  7. Toss the filter: Once the desired amount of coffee is brewed, lift the filter with spent grounds out of the brewer and discard.
  8. Enjoy the perfect cup: Pour your freshly made coffee and indulge in the flavor.

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