The Chemex coffee maker brews up delicious iced coffee, and it does so in style. It’s one of our favorite ways to make a batch of iced coffee. Here’s our recipe.
(Remember, iced coffee is different from cold-brew coffee.)
Gather Your Supplies
To make iced coffee in a Chemex, you’ll need the following:
- a Chemex coffee maker (of course)
- an appropriately sized paper filter
- a gooseneck kettle
- a coffee scale
- a grinder
- a timer
- freshly roasted coffee
At Driftaway Coffee, we use 350 grams of water, 30 grams of coffee and 150 grams of ice. This works out to a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:16.66, which is our preferred ratio for the Chemex. The water is divided between hot water for brewing and ice for cooling, though. (These measurements don’t include extra ice for serving.)
Additionally, we always measure our water and coffee by weight rather than volume. With any brewing technique, this helps account for variances in coffee beans’ densities. When making iced coffee, measuring by weight also makes it possible to maintain a consistent ratio when using water and ice. If volume were used, it’d be impossible to keep the same ratio because liquid water is more dense than ice cubes are. (Remember middle school science, when you learned water expanded as it froze?)
Of course, we also always brew coffee with freshly roasted beans. Freshly roasted coffee has much more flavor and nuance than coffee that was roasted months (or years) ago and is stale.
Brew Iced Coffee with the Chemex
Once you have all the required equipment and supplies gathered, brew according to these steps:
- Heat the 350 grams of water to between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you don’t have a thermometer, you can heat the water to a boil and let it cool for 30 seconds.)
- Crease the paper filter in the opposite direction that it is so that it’ll fit in the Chemex properly.
- Rinse the paper filter in order to remove any paper taste that it might impart into the brew, and discard your rinse water.
- Put the 150 grams of ice in the bottom of the Chemex.
- Put the rinsed paper filter in place
- Grind the 30 grams of coffee, using a medium-coarse grind that resembles table salt. (If you’re adjusting the recipe to make more or less iced coffee, never fill the top of the Chemex more than half-way with grounds. If you do, the water won’t come into contact with the coffee properly.)
- Start your timer and wet the grounds with 60 grams of water so they can degas. Always pour in a circular motion, beginning in the center and working your way to the edge of the grounds. Carbon dioxide will bubble up from the grounds, and the degassing should subside around 30 to 40 seconds.
- After 30 seconds, begin pouring water for brewing. Continue pouring in concentric circles, working from the center outwards. By 1.5 minutes, you should have poured half of the water (175 grams).
- After 1.5 minutes, slow your rate of pouring so that you’ll be finished pouring at 3 minutes.
- Once you’re done pouring, the water will continue brewing and dripping into the lower chamber (where the ice will instantly cool it). The total brew time will be 4+ minutes.
- After the coffee is done brewing, remove the filter and grounds.
- Pour the brewed iced coffee into chilled glasses filled with ice, and enjoy!
Make Sure You Have Freshly Roasted Coffee
One of the advantages of this iced coffee recipe is that it captures all the nuanced flavors in beans, which are instantly trapped once the coffee is cooled. You’ll only enjoy lively flavors if you’re using freshly roasted beans, though. To get freshly roasted coffee delivered directly to you, sign up for one of our coffee subscription options.