How to fold your Chemex filter like a barista
Today, I’d like to share with you a great method to get the very best out of your Chemex coffee maker. Together, let’s learn how to fold a Chemex filter like a barista!
If you haven’t learned it already, you will no doubt be tempted to use the classic and most obvious method: as your Chemex filter is already pre-folded in four, all you need to do is place it in the Chemex. The only problem is that this leaves a filter that is three times thicker on one side than the other. Less coffee will pass through the thicker side, resulting in an irregular extraction. Which is a real shame, particularly when you’re using a precise piece of equipment like the Chemex.
The alternative method, favoured by baristas, consists of folding the filter into a flower. This ensures a uniform level of thickness across the whole filter and, in turn, a much more consistent extraction. What’s more, the cone formed at the bottom of the filter will be narrower, meaning that there will be more contact between water and coffee. Your cup of coffee will therefore have a more intense flavour.
So… who’s up for a bit of origami?!
Preparing your Chemex filter
- Fold your Chemex filter into quarters.
- Find the corner with the most folds: this will become the bottom of the filter, through which the coffee will drip.
- Imagine a straight line running from this corner to the opposite one: this imaginary line will serve as a point of reference for the next two folds.
- Lift one side and place the edge along the imaginary line. Then fold into place.
- Turn the Chemex filter over and repeat the last fold. You will be left with a kite shape, with a fold on one face and the equivalent fold on the opposite face.
- Completely unfold the filter. You will see that one of the four original crease lines is folded the opposite way round to the other three. We’re going to correct this, so that all four folds are the same.
- Fold the filter in two, in order to reverse the fold.
- Now simply place the filter in the Chemex coffee maker, and it will take shape all by itself. Be sure to fold back all the recesses, so that neither coffee nor water can slip through.
So there you have it! Now you know the barista’s secret to folding your filter and preparing your Chemex. All that remains is to pour yourself a great cup of coffee!