Why Is My Chemex Coffee Tasting Bitter? (Explained!)

Chemex brings joy to every coffee connoisseur’s ears. The design is beautiful, but the taste of the coffee is essential. Chemex has millions of fans. Chemex brews better coffee than many coffee makers, even though the optimal coffee-making manner is a personal preference. Chemex produces the best-tasting coffee for many individuals. So, why is my Chemex coffee tasting bitter?

Let’s look at what Chemex is?, how it works, and six reasons your Chemex tastes bitter.

What is Chemex?

The Chemex coffeemaker is a pour-over device with an hourglass-shaped basin and a custom-designed filter. Chemex has been around since 1941 and is one of the more traditional brewing processes available. On Amazon, you can buy the Chemex Coffee Maker in several sizes and two different handle options. 

Although this coffee maker resembles many of its competitors, the thick filter distinguishes this brewing method. Compared to ordinary coffee filters, Chemex filters are substantially more tightly woven. They aid in regulating coffee flow while also eliminating a large portion of the body and coffee oils. The filter reduces the rate at which water passes through it, reducing the amount of water that passes through it. 

The Chemex coffee maker is one of my favorites, and I would recommend it to anyone seeking to switch up their coffee habit. 

How Does Chemex Work?

Chemex filters are put directly into the brewing kettle. The Chemex’s thin shape, as well as the fact that it has a deep filter, impede the flow of water. 

Place the coffee grind in the filter and carefully pour the water. The resulting coffee is contained in the vessel’s bottom and is ready to serve. Because of the restricted flow, you may have to wait a little longer to brew your coffee in a Chemex, but the extra time allows your coffee to be more flavorful.

3 Reasons Your Chemex Tastes Bitter

The typical suspects have been picked up—these factors are (most likely) to blame for the bitterness in your coffee. Keep reading to find out how to clean up your act and ensure that your coffee routine at home or work always results in a great cup. 

I disclose the backstories of each of these coffee villains one by one. I’ll also go through some quick remedies to guarantee good coffee.

The Brew Ratio

The Problem: Too much extraction (fine grind, long brew time, hot water, and too much ground coffee) results in a harsh brew. Under-extraction, on the other hand, results in a weak, sour cup that is thin and weak. Under-extraction isn’t fixed by just adding additional coffee grinds. 

The Fix: Weigh your coffee or use an SCAA coffee scoop or a measurement gadget that can carry 10 grams of coffee. Weighing or measuring your water is also a good idea, at least initially.

The Grind Size

The Problem: When you grind your coffee too finely, you risk over-extracting it and exposing the coffee. This produces a bitter brew, similar to overcooking.

The Fix: Make sure you’re using the right grind level for the brew method you will use. According to my research, a medium to medium-coarse grind is the best.

The Water Temperature

The Problem: Many folks heat their water and start brewing right away. However, 212°F is too hot for coffee brewing! Coffee can also be overcooked in this way.

The Fix: The sweet spot for ideal coffee brewing temperature is 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (or two to three minutes off-boil). If your water is overly hot (or overboiling), the bitter components in the coffee will be extracted. Remember that hotter water makes for bitter coffee, and colder water makes for weak coffee.

The Roast You’re Using

The Problem: Level of roasting The darker the roast, the more bitter it will be.

The Fix: Choose a roast that is lighter and not too dark.

Bottom Line

With a better grasp of extraction and strength, recommendations for tasting and assessing your brew, and an overview of the variables you can control in your Chemex, you should be ready to go forth and make mind-blowing brews for yourself and your friends.

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