Chemex coffee brewing is a favorite method for coffee lovers seeking a full-bodied, flavorful cup of coffee with a clean finish. The elegant design of the Chemex coffee maker not only makes a statement on your countertop but also allows for a beautifully smooth extraction process, resulting in a satisfying coffee experience.

To achieve that perfect cup, you’ll need a few essential tools: a Chemex coffee maker, Chemex filters, fresh coffee beans, a grinder, and a scale. The quality of your coffee beans will have a significant impact on the taste of your brew, and freshly-ground beans ensure that you achieve the optimal flavor profile.

Preparing and measuring your coffee and water precisely will also play a crucial role in producing a consistent and well-balanced cup every time.

Once you have the right tools in place, the brewing process can be easily mastered. In the following sections, we will detail each step involved in brewing Chemex coffee, from the initial rinsing of the filter to the final pour. As you become more familiar and comfortable with this method, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a truly exceptional coffee experience at home.

Understanding the Chemex

The Chemex is a unique coffee brewing device, invented in 1941 by German chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm. Its design, combining form and function, has stood the test of time and earned it a spot in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection.

First, let’s talk about the design of the Chemex. Its hourglass shape, made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass, ensures temperature stability while brewing. The wooden collar around the neck, secured with a leather tie, not only adds an elegant touch but also provides insulation and a comfortable grip when pouring your coffee.

When it comes to brewing Chemex coffee, the process is what sets it apart from other pour-over methods. The Chemex uses specially designed filters that are thicker than most, helping to remove unwanted particles and oils, resulting in a clean, crisp taste. When setting up your Chemex, make sure the three-layered side of the filter is lined up with the pouring spout.

Here’s a friendly tip: Preheat your Chemex and rinse the filter with hot water before adding the coffee grounds. This ensures a nice even seal all the way around and eliminates any paper taste from the filter. Now, for the coffee itself, you’ll want to use a medium-coarse grind—think sea salt consistency. This grind size allows for optimal extraction, giving you a balanced cup of coffee.

When you’re ready to brew, pour hot water (around 205°F) in a circular motion over the grounds. Give the coffee and water a gentle swirl to make sure all the grounds are saturated. Then, continue pouring water slowly and steadily in circular motions, ensuring the coffee bed remains even. Be patient; this process should take about 4-5 minutes.

There you have it! Your very own guide to understanding the art of Chemex coffee brewing. With your Chemex, fresh grounds, and a bit of practice, you’ll soon be enjoying wonderfully balanced coffee in the comfort of your home.

The Brew Guide with Chemex

Selecting Your Ingredients

To make a great cup of Chemex coffee, begin by selecting quality, freshly roasted coffee beans. Choose a variety you like, and if possible, buy from local coffee roasters to ensure optimal freshness.

It’s also important to use clean, filtered water to avoid altering the taste of your coffee. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, consider investing in a burr grinder for consistent grind size and better extraction.

Brewing Process

  1. Prepare your Chemex and filter paper: Place the Chemex Filter in the brewer with a single fold away from the spout and multiple folds lined up against the spout. Rinse the filter with hot water, ensuring a proper seal and eliminating any paper flavor. Empty the rinsing water.
  2. Measure and grind the coffee: Weigh your coffee grounds using a coffee scale. A general Chemex ratio to follow is 1:17, meaning one part coffee to 17 parts water. Grind your coffee to a medium-coarse size, similar to kosher salt.
  3. Add coffee and let it bloom: Pour the ground coffee into the filter and level the coffee bed by gently shaking the Chemex. Start your timer and slowly pour enough water (around 70 grams) to saturate the coffee grounds evenly. Let it sit for 45 seconds to allow for blooming, which helps release natural fragrances and promote a fuller flavor.
  4. Brew your coffee: After blooming, continue pouring the hot water using a gooseneck kettle, starting from the center and spiraling outward. This slow, circular motion helps extract the coffee evenly. Aim to finish the brewing process in 3-5 minutes, depending on the desired strength.
  5. Serve and enjoy: Once the brewing is complete, remove the filter with grounds, and pour the freshly brewed coffee into your favorite mug.

Experimentation and Troubleshooting

Adjustments are key to perfecting your Chemex coffee, and it can be a little more difficult to perfectly replicate every time compared to other types of brewing. If your brew tastes weak or watery, consider using a finer grind or longer brewing time. Alternatively, if it’s overly bitter, try using a coarser grind or a slightly shorter brewing time.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different beans, water temperature, and coffee-to-water ratios (ranging from 1:12 to 1:17) to find your ideal cup.

Written By Roger Stanley

Behind AFullMug is Roger Stanley, a coffee enthusiast whose journey into the world of coffee began behind the counter of a local coffee shop – several years later and here we are!

We want to remind our readers that the articles or content found on do not constitute nor replace professional health or dietary advice. The information provided on our website is purely educational and informational, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed dietician, medical practitioner, or nutritionist.