To best describe how iconic the Chemex is, this elegant brewer with timeless design invented in 1941 is nowadays part of MOMA permanent design collection. And except the museums, you can find in millions of households around the world.
One of the reasons will be that brewing with Chemex is fairly easy, so it doesn't matter whether you're beginner or professional when it comes to coffee brewing. Chemex gives you strong coffee that is enjoyable as part of your morning routine and thanks to its beautifully minimalistic design, Chemex makes a great addition to your kitchenware.
For those of you who enjoy brewing your morning coffee, we recommend the classic pour-over method of brewing coffee in Chemex, but if you don't feel confident enough, Chemex Ottomatic prepares a delicious cup of Chemex coffee for you.
If you've been admiring this stylish brewer your whole life and kept wondering how to brew coffee using Chemex, we prepared a Chemex Brew Guide for you, with instruction on how to make pour-over coffee in a Chemex.
How many cups you get depends on Chemex sizes, so choose the one you prefer, and also on Chemex Ratio that varies, you can make Chemex for 8 cups but also Chemex for only 3 cups or even 2. It really depends on your preference, so if you're looking for a Chemex recipe for one just adjust the Chemex ratio of coffee to water added and you'll change the amount of Chemex coffee you'll brew.
For this brewing method, you'll need Chemex brewer, they usually come with wooden handle to ease up the process, Chemex coffee filters, Chemex kettle for pouring, they have their very own type Chemex Chettle, but standard coffee pouring kettle will do, and smart coffee scale, like our Acaia Pearl- Smart Coffee Scale.
And of course, your favourite coffee beans. If you keep hustling with a dilemma of which coffee beans are the best ones, we'll gladly save you some time and trouble. Choose one of Bean Bros Specialty Coffee Subscriptions and we will deliver you each month different coffee beans from the best coffee roasters from around the world.
There's already a countless number of brew guides you can find online, so let's settle this discussion once and for all and have a look at brewing 101 with Chemex.
Chemex Brew Guide: How to make coffee in Chemex
Grind your coffee beans
With coffee brewing, your coffee will always taste the best if your coffee beans have been grained just freshly before brewing. So get yourself a professional coffee grinder from our collection, fo example Comandante Hand Grinder significant for its consistent grind and alluring design.
Now, the amount of coffee and water you're going to be using depends on how much coffee you want to make and how strong you want your Chemex coffee to be.
We suggest using a Chemex ratio 1:15 coffee to water. Which means that once you're using 50 grams of coffee, you'll need 750 ml of water. Once again, you can change the ratio depending on how strong you want you Chemex coffee to be.
Set up the Chemex filter
Before actual brewing, you have to set up your equipment, starting with folding your Chemex filter and placing it 3-layered side in the front, one layer in the back of your Chemex spout. Once the filter is in place, pour water that you boiled before, and now should be just below 100 degrees, over the filter.
You do this to get rid of papery taste that may ruin your coffee and also to assure that the temperature of your equipment is consistent throughout the brewing. Pour the leftover water out and you're ready to start brewing.
Start pouring to bloom the coffee (00.00-00.30)
Put the freshly ground coffee into the centre of the Chemex filter, start the timer and slowly pour hot water over the coffee in the circular motion, avoiding the paper filter and the centre of the coffee grounds.
Once you hit 70 grams on the scale, which should happen within the first 5 seconds, you stop pouring and let the coffee bloom for 30, max 45 seconds. Blooming is the process in which coffee is being saturated and you can see that from the expanding coffee grounds or bubbles appearing.
Pour more water (00.30-01.30)
After the bloom is finished, pour more water on the coffee grounds, once again in the circular motion, until you hit about 250 grams on the scale and total of one minute in the timer. While pouring, make sure you keep the water level below the top of the Chemex.
Afterwards, wait for all the water to soak through the coffee grounds until you finish the pour. This should take about 30 seconds again.
Finish the pour (01.30-3.30)
After the water soaked through the coffee, pour the rest of the water in concentric circles and in the centre of the coffee until you hit 750 grams on the scale and you used all your water.
Let all the water drip through the coffee grounds. The Chemex timing for a perfect brew is 3 minutes 30 seconds, but it may vary, depending on the grind coarse or the amounts you used.
Your Chemex Coffee is complete!
You'll know that your Chemex coffee is ready once you see no dripping coffee from the bottom of the filter. Remove the coffee filter from the Chemex spout and enjoy your freshly brewed cup of delicious coffee!
To speed up the process, you may also skip step 4., and pour all the remaining water at once and just wait for the drip to finish. But this is, however, only good with smaller amounts of coffee and water.
Chemex brewing instructions vary throughout the guides because everybody prefers different intensity of their coffee. It also depends on the size of your Chemex and the number of cups you want to brew. How to brew coffee in a Chemex may be seemingly confusing, but believe us when we say that once you try it, you will love the process.
Frequently asked questions about Brewing in a Chemex
What coffee to use for Chemex?
The coffee beans you use for the Chemex brewing really depend on your preference, whether you like more chocolaty tones or fruity ones. We recommend the light roasted filter coffees that you can find out our specialty coffee subscription.
But when it comes to grinding, the best coffee for Chemex is a medium-coarse grind, which will ensure that you brew a well balanced clean cup of coffee with maintained tones.
How to make strong coffee in Chemex?
The easiest way to ensure that your Chemex coffee is stronger in intensity is by changing the ratio on the brew. Of course, you want to avoid drastic changes that may ruin your coffee taste! But for example, adjusting the ratio from 1:15 to 1:13 should do no harm to the coffee taste and aroma.
Also, you may just ask for coffee beans with higher intensity, perhaps you can try a slightly darker roast profile - espresso profile - that you can find in our selection
How to fold the Chemex filter?
There are two types of Chemex coffee filters - rounded and squared. It doesn't really matter which type you're using, you always want to fold your filters two times in half and then place it with the three layers towards the front of the Chemex spout and the side of one layer to the back. This will prevent any water to leak or the filter to collapse during the pour.
Are Chemex filters compostable?
As long as you're buying proper Chemex filters, they are all biodegradable. Although, while composting the paper filters you have to remember that the composting of paper takes longer, so you want to tear the filters into smaller pieces if you want to speed up the composting process.
What's the difference between Chemex vs. V60?
The process of making coffee in Chemex and Hario V60 pour-over is very similar, but there are few crucial differences.
The may difference is that Chemex allows you to use bigger amounts of coffee and water for the brewing, but the process also takes longer. This also results in more bitter notes of the coffee, which is caused by longer contact between the coffee and water.
So once again, it depends on what coffee do you prefer, The pour-over coffee will result in smoother and more acidic taste, while Chemex gives you more bitter coffee taste. If you want to know a more specific description of the equipment, read through some of the Chemex reviews. It may give you a better overview before settling down for one method over the other.
How do you make iced coffee in a Chemex?
If it's hot summer and you'd prefer iced coffee, it's really easy to brew one with Chemex. Follow the same recipe as for regular Chemex brew, except after rinsing your paper filter and throwing out the water waste, add some ice on the bottom of your Chemex and brew the coffee over the ice. Grind the beans slightly finer and use half the amount of water. The ather half should be the ice. So while the ice melts it will dilute your final beverage.