The Complete Chemex Coffee Brewing Guide!

The Chemex is a classic and sophisticated coffee brewer with quite an interesting backstory. It was invented by a German chemist named Peter J. Schlumbohm. Now, who would’ve thought that a chemist would invent such a simple yet elegant device? 

You might think that the Chemex is something from the third wave brewing movement. But it’s been there since 1941.This simple coffee maker is perfect for brewing at home.

Unlike many other coffees, you don’t need a fancy machine to make Chemex coffee. A Chemex, a kettle, a scale, some coffee, and Chemex filter paper is all you need. We are here with our tried and true Chemex coffee brewing guide. So, let’s get to it then!

Chemex Coffee

What is a Chemex?

The Chemex coffee maker looks like a glass flask shaped like an hourglass. The handle of the flask is wrapped in wood with a leather tie. The flask itself is made out of non-porous borosilicate glass. This type of glass is known for not absorbing any odors.

The Chemex has a simple yet stunning design. As a matter of fact, it’s so unique that it’s featured in The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Many other museums like the Smithsonian, the Corning Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum have this as a part of their permanent collection.

What Size Chemex Do You Need?

A lot of people struggle with this thing. They get confused about what size Chemex they should buy. At first, they think they should go with the three-cup Chemex. But cutting to the chase, you should go with the eight-cup Chemex. Let me explain why.

Chemex considers each cup as 5 ounces. So, when full the eight-cup model is 40 ounces. Most people drink their coffee out of a big mug that is a lot more than 5 ounces. Your average 16-ounce cup will hold about 3 cups of coffee according to Chemex. 

Simply put, if you buy the 3 cup model you’ll get 1 actual cup of coffee. The 6 cup model will give 2 cups of coffee and the 8 cup model will get you anything between 2 to 4 cups of coffee. Note that this depends on mug size. So, how about you go measure your cup right now. 

Because of this, if you have more than one person drinking coffee we recommend buying you the 6 or 8 cup model. However, you’ll need the bigger 10 cup model if you have more than 3 people drinking coffee.

When it comes to kettles, make sure to buy a gooseneck kettle. A good gooseneck kettle will make pour-over coffee a lot easier for you.

How to Make Chemex Coffee? Chemex Coffee Brewing Guide:

You need to grind your coffee before you start brewing. Medium to medium-coarse grind is ideal for making Chemex coffee. The consistency should resemble something like sea salt or rough sand.

Try using best chemex burr grinder for this purpose. However, remember not to grind the coffee too fine as it will take longer to brew. You can also use the best chemex coffee brewer to make it perfect. Now that you’re done with grinding let’s get to brewing.

Step 1: Rinse The Filter

Use hot water to rinse the filter. Rinsing it will also ensure a seal in the Chemex. Most importantly, it’ll remove any kind of paper taste. 

Step 2: Add The Coffee

Add about 45 grams of coffee. You can tare the coffee using a scale if you want. Now give the filter a nice little shake to level the grounds. 

Step 3: Pour Water and Stir

Gently pour some water to wet the grounds. Give the coffee a gentle stir to get rid of any clumps. At this point, the grounds start blooming. In simpler terms, it means they increase in size. Allow the bloom for 30 seconds. Although, make sure that it doesn’t dry out.

Step 4: Add Some More Water

This is the main pour. Slowly start pouring water in a circular motion until it reaches the top. Continue pouring a total of 525g water as the water level lowers slowly.  

Step 5: Wait For a While

The brewing process should last about 4 to 4:30 minutes. The best practice is to maintain it with a timer.

Step 6: Enjoy It

That’s it. Enjoy your fresh cup of coffee with your friends and family. 

How to Brew Chemex Coffee?

Can you Refrigerate Chemex Coffee?

On a different note, if you brew a full batch of coffee in your Chemex, you save it by refrigerating. I know you’re wondering if leftover coffee is good or not. But Chemex themselves say that coffee can be reheated without any bitterness. 

Although, you need to refrigerate it in a sealed container. Cleaning Chemex brewer every day can be stressful so why not save it when you can. 

What Filter Should You Choose For Chemex Coffee?

Chemex is known for its special filters. These special filters are what make the Chemex coffee so good. Chemex filters are 20-30% thicker than your average coffee filters. They filter out the excess oil, grounds, and bitterness providing you a clean and fresh cup of coffee. 

When buying Chemex filters, you’ll find that there are two types, square and circular. It doesn’t really if you’re buying square or circular filters as they have little to no difference. The square ones have pointy ends which can make pulling the filter a bit easier.

How to Clean a Chemex Coffee Maker?

After brewing your coffee, rinse with water and some liquid soap. You don’t even need to remove the handle for this. Turn it upside down and it’ll dry in no time. 

If you need a deep clean to remove residue, fill the Chemex with ice and water. Put in some salt and drops of liquid soap or you can try the best coffee maker cleaners to clean it. Shake the Chemex until the mixture is bubbly and then rinse it with water.

Final Verdict

The Chemex is a great tool for making the perfect cup of coffee. Besides making coffee what makes the Chemex so special is its versatility. You can make as little as one cup but you can also use it for groups. A batch of Chemex brewed coffee is a great conversation starter. So, follow our Chemex coffee brewing guide and start having fun.

Leave a Comment