I know how necessary water temperature, coffee to water ratio, grind size and time of extraction is to making a good cup of coffee. I mean, this IS chemistry and you DO have to approach it as such if you’re trying to elevate your coffee from a gross-ish caffeine delivery system to something that is actually enjoyable to drink.
One thing I have never really done is time the extraction, though, I admit it. It seems… fussy. Having to mess with grinder settings constantly to get it just right (4:00 is generally the go-to starting point for Chemex), and the fact that I drink different coffees constantly, just seems too OCD even for me.
I was perusing Uncrate the other day and saw a free app called Brewseful and decided to give it a shot. It’s a simple app that allows you to enter and save brewing profiles for various coffees and methods. You can set the volume of coffee you want, the ratio of beans to water, the grind size and it gives you your “recipe” (i.e. I always do 28g of coffee to 450 grams of water). Oh, and keep in mind, one milliliter of water weighs one gram, so don’t fiddle with your scale to convert it to milliliters.
On the timer side of things, you can set the overall extraction time (4:00 is the rule of thumb for Chemex) and also set alarms along the way. For example, it’s recommended to bloom the coffee for 30-45 seconds when using a Chemex, so you can set a “End Bloom” alarm at 30 seconds, maybe another alarm to “End Pour” at around 2:30 or whatever. You can set as many of these as you want.
As the app starts timing, a bright green bar starts “filling” up the app screen. When you hit an alarm you set it’ll chime nicely at you as it progresses through the countdown. It’s really simple, really clean looking, and I was very surprised to see that my untimed “just go for it” approach to the Chemex was EXACTLY 4:00 on the extraction time! I’m either very lucky or my internal timer just rocks! LOL
In any case, the design and use are great, it works wonderfully for its intended purposes and it allows you a way to track and tweak your methods for various coffees and extraction processes. For an app, it’s great and for a FREE app, it’s even better!