Chemex Coffee - The Definitive Guide

Chemex Coffee - The Definitive Guide


Chemex Coffee - The Definitive Guide

What is a Chemex coffee?

The Chemex is a coffee brewer that makes pourover-style filter coffee. It is well loved for its unique, design-driven aesthetic.

More about Chemex

The Chemex holds a hallowed place in coffee making history and has many devotees around the world. Loved for its distinct - and award winning - design, the Chemex is also prized for its patented double bonded filters - which ensure Chemex coffee is clean yet full-bodied.

The Chemex was designed in 1941 by German chemist Dr Peter Schlumbohm, who was a prolific inventor, developing over 300 patents in his career. He was focused on improving the aesthetic and functional design of everyday objects, of which the Chemex - for which he is most well known - is a shining example.
The carafe is made from one piece of borosilicate glass, with the classic version wearing a removable wooden collar that perfectly fits the hand, all tied together with a classy leather tie. Its shape was designed to be both beautiful and optimally extract the coffee, through the patented double bonded Chemex filter papers.
The contemporary Chemex brewer also comes in a version with a glass handle (although we think nothing beats the classic) and in 3, 6. 8 or 10 cup sizes.

The Chemex has won many awards, and notably was named one of the best designed products by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and is still included in the permanent collection at MoMA today.

See our easy-to-follow guide below for more hints and tips on how to brew stovetop coffee, and if you have any unanswered questions, see our FAQ.

How to brew Chemex

How Long? 3.30-4.30 mins

How Much? From $75.95

What You'll Need: 3-cup or 6-cup Chemex, Appropriately sized Chemex filters or a reusable filter such as CoffeeSock, gooseneck kettle, scales, timer, filter coffee, water

Master brewing Chemex by following our easy steps below!

Chemex Coffee - The Definitive Guide


Here's the step-by-step guide to Chemex Coffee

1. Prepare your filter, and rinse with hot water.

Put your kettle on to boil, (or if you’re using a temperature controlled kettle, set to 96°C) Prepare your filter. The 3 cup filters are ‘half moon’ shape and require folding, while the 6-cup are a pre-folded square or circle. Place the filter into the brewer with the 3-layered side towards the spout. Rinse the filter with hot water, ensuring the entire filter is wet and lays flat against the glass. This will also preheat the Chemex. Tip this preheat water out of the Chemex via the spout, without moving the filter.

2. Grind the coffee and place into the filter.

We suggest starting with a coffee to water ratio of 1:16. Choose your dose depending on the volume of your brewer (For a 3-cup Chemex:18-25g coffee to 300-400ml and for a 6-cup Chemex 30-38g coffee to 500-600ml water). Grind the coffee medium-coarse, then place into the filter and gently tap the brewer to level the bed of coffee. Sit the brewer on your scales and tare.

3. Bloom the coffee.

Start your timer and bloom the coffee by introducing a small amount of water to the coffee bed, using a gentle circular motion. A good rule of thumb is to use double the amount of water to coffee during this bloom stage, so 36-50g for the 3-cup recipe and 60-90g for the 6-cup recipe. Let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds. You will see the brew bubble up as the carbon dioxide escapes.

4. Pour

Now continue to brew your Chemex by continuing to add water, in a slow and controlled circular manner. You never want the brew to come too close to the rim of the brewer; if it does, stop pouring until the brew level comes down and then continue pouring until your full volume of water is in the brewer.

5. Allow the brew to finish extracting the coffee.

Once the bed of the coffee is exposed and the extraction slows to a drip, the brew is finished. The total brew time should be around 3-4 minutes for the 3 cup and 4-5 mins for the 6-cup.

If your total brew time is too long, it will probably be over-extracted and taste bitter, dry and astringent. Coarsen your grind, and brew again.

If your total brew time is too short, it will probably be under-extracted and taste bland, thin or acidic. Coarsen your grind, and brew again.

For a stronger brew, increase your coffee dose.

Ready to brew Chemex?

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Your Chemex Coffee Questions, Answered

Here are the most common questions we receive regarding Chemex Coffee. If you have any more questions, please get in contact!

Chemex is well loved for its design driven and iconic aesthetic. The Chemex also uses trademark bonded filters, which are based on laboratory grade paper and are claimed to remove undesirable fats, bitterness, acidity and sediment.

Chemex brewers are made with borosilicate glass, which is high quality, durable glass that is used in laboratories. It won’t crack under pressure. The Chemex is also a brewer and server in one, so if you’re trying to compare the cost to, say, V60, it’s important to factor the server in.

Coffee made from a Chemex is light bodied but similar in strength to other pourover methods.

There are a few main differences between Chemex and drip or other pourover brew methods. The aesthetic appearance of the Chemex sets it apart, along with its trademark bonded filters, which are based on laboratory grade filters. The paper in the filters is thicker and is claimed to remove the fats, bitterness, acidity and even the finest sediment from the brew.

Explore other Brew Methods

There are so many ways to brew delicious coffee. Take a look other methods on our brew guide page

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