Chemex Brewing at the Angell Farmhouse

Last week I had the pleasure of spending time with coffee pro Rusty Angell and his lovely family on their farm in Mocksville, North Carolina. Not going to lie: I was pretty confused why anyone would move out of the city and into the sticks, but after an afternoon spent out on their massive farm I might actually be ready to trade my leggings for a pair of overalls.

…Nope. Thought about it a little longer.

Still, the farm was lovely! Rolling pastures, lakes, cows, spiders the size of your hand, tractors, gluten-free dove pie (what even? hipster nonsense). Of course the day would not have been complete without some coffee talk.

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With a little over 9 years of experience under his belt, Rusty knows a thing or two about coffee. An active leader in the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Barista Guild of America, he regularly instructs Brewing Science classes for coffee professionals and enthusiasts all over the United States. His friendliness, positive energy and patient temperament make him an effective educator (and an awesome friend). He is genuinely passionate about coffee education and is at the forefront of some of the most exciting brewing research I’ve ever heard of. Rusty is an incredibly valuable asset to our coffee community, not just in the Southeast but far, far beyond.

While showing us around his (freaking beautiful) farmhouse, Rusty offered to brew up a Chemex of Kaldi’s Ethiopia Guji Sidamo. The coffee was juicy and a little tart, with a pop of citrus fruit at the front and a finish of marshmallow-y, coconut-y sweetness as the cup cooled. Rusty was even kind enough to share his brewing recipe below, so read on, my friends:

You’ll need:
45 grams of coffee, almost-French-Press coarse (Rusty used a Baratza Vario W)
750 grams of water
a Chemex brewer & filter
a gooseneck kettle
a scale (Rusty used the Acaia Pearl)
a timer, if your scale doesn’t have one
a thermometer, if you aren’t using a variable-temperature kettle

IMG_0023To Brew:

  1. heat up a kettle with water to 205 degrees F
  2. place your filter into the Chemex and rinse well to remove any papery taste that might be lingering in the filter
  3. use the Sprudge hack to pour the rinse water out of your vessel (yay Sprudge hacks!)
  4. set your Chemex on top of your scale and tare to zero
  5. place your ground coffee into your Chemex, check to make sure you’ve still got 45 grams after grinding, and tare your scale to zero once more

    IMG_0044
  6. starting from the middle of your coffee bed, slowly pour hot water onto your grinds to bloom (de-gas) the coffee for 30 seconds at twice its weight. in this case, 45×2= 90 grams of bloom! #math
  7. pour hard concentric circles over the coffee, avoiding the edges of the coffee bed, until you reach 500 grams (this should almost fill the filter, so be careful not to overflow)IMG_0043
  8. let your coffee bed lower enough to give you room to add the remaining 250 grams of water gently down the center of the filter- no circles, no agitation, just gentle and steady pouring. you should try to finish adding the last of your water around the 2-minute mark of your brew cycle.
  9. let your coffee drain. the bed should be dry around the 5-minute mark

Viola! A fruity and clean cup of coffee, Angell-style.

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If you’re wondering about steps 7 & 8, have no fear. I’ll be posting an in-depth explanation about Rusty’s research on brewing turbulence in the near future. I am beyond excited to share the game-changing information, so stay tuned!

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I'm an SCA-certified Instructor & Examiner, the Director of Coffee at Undercurrent Coffee and a huge nerd. Other interests include cuddling with my cats, exploring the Carolinas with my husband, binge-watching Netflix and binge-eating Nutella.

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