chemex · coffee

What Is Chemex Coffee

Since the early 2000s, the Chemex had become very popular among the coffee lovers and enthusiasts. And many coffee shops have it in their regular menu as a part of their slow brew menu where coffee lovers can enjoy hand-brewed coffee.

And I was impressed, too.

So, what is Chemex coffee?

Chemex coffeemaker and Chemex filters

Simply put, the Chemex coffee is the coffee brewed using the Chemex coffee maker and Chemex filters. With this infusion method of making coffee the result is richer coffee in terms of body and taste that will impress everyone.

Chemex history

The Chemex Coffeemaker was invented in 1941 by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm PhD. Made simply from non-porous, borosilicate glass and fastened with a wood collar and tie, it brews coffee without imparting any flavors of its own.

It’s a family owned company located in Western Massachusetts where they manufacture their famous coffeemakers, bonded filters, water kettles and other Chemex accessories which later are being distributed worldwide.

Their iconic coffeemaker has remained unchanged for more than 70 years.

How to make Chemex coffee?

Image via Readytocoffee

For making this coffee you’ll simply need the Chemex Coffeemaker, Chemex filters, digital scale, single origin high-quality coffee beans, coffee grinder, water, and stirring tool.

But, if you want to know more about the filters, coffee and water ratio, or the grind size for this type of coffee, read more to get all the information you might need before trying this heavenly good coffee.

Chemex coffee ratio

A digital scale will help with dosage consistency. The amount of coffee and water varies depending on your preferred strength. As a starting point, it’s recommended 50 grams of coffee and 700 grams of water, and then adjust according to your taste.

Grind size for Chemex coffee

Choose your favorite coffee beans and grind them to medium coarse ground. Chemex instructions suggest using a burr grinder because it delivers a more consistent particle size, allowing for a more even extraction and fuller bodied cup of coffee.

You can notice if the grind size is good while making your coffee. If the coffee brews too fast and tastes weak, you could grind a little finer. On the flip side, if the coffee gets “clogged”, coarsen up the grind.

Surely, with practice you’ll find your sweet spot.

Filters for Chemex coffee

In addition to the popular paper filters, there are now reusable filters you can purchase for the Chemex. The Able Brewing Kone Coffee Filter is a stainless steel insert that you rinse between brews. Some people have a strong preference when it comes to paper versus metal filters. I like them both equally. The cleanup is easier with paper filters, but with the reusable, you’ll never wake up to discover you are out of filters.

Instructions for Chemex coffee

STEP #1. Heat The Water To A Perfect Temperature

You will need not only the 510 grams of water used for the brew but some extra water to rinse the filter.

The ideal water temperature is around 93-95°C, which you can achieve by bringing the water to a boil and then letting it sit for one minute. Boiling-hot water can scorch the coffee, while tepid water will under-extract.

STEP #2. Grind Your Favorite Coffee Beans

I chose freshly ground coffee by Earth Roastery

Choose your favorite coffee beans and grind 50 grams. Adjust the weight according to the amount of cups you want to prepare. The best grind for the coffee like we mentioned earlier is the size resembling a sea salt.

See this chart for better visual guidance.

STEP#3. Insert The Chemex Filter – The Right Way

Chemex pre-folded filters inside Chemex coffeemaker
The three-layered side should cover the pour-over spout

Open a CHEMEX® Bonded Coffee Filter into a cone shape so that one side of the cone has three layers, and place it into the top of the Chemex brewer with the three-side layer covering the pouring spout.

Dampen the filter with warm water to rinse and preheat the brewer. This will help remove the paper smell and taste and will preheat the brewer.

Once the water has drained through the filter completely, pour it out of the brewer while keeping the filter sealed against the coffeemaker wall.

STEP#4. Add The Freshly Ground Coffee

Freshly ground coffee in the Chemex coffeemaker filter
Scoop the freshly ground coffee in the filter

Place the ground coffee inside the filter. If you want stronger coffee, feel free to put some extra, because Chemex brewing process eliminates the bitterness.

STEP#5. Pour Water

By now, your boiling water had reached the perfect temperature.

Pour little bit of water, enough to wet the beans. In this process, called “blooming”, the most desirable coffee elements are being released, and the trapped carbon dioxide escapes from the grounds.

STEP#6. Pour The Rest Of The Water

Now it’s time to make your coffee. Continue to add the water gradually. Don’t fill it to the very top and leave at least half or quarter inch to the top. Depending on the amount you are making, you might need to pour again.

Use a circular or back-and-forth motion as you pour to ensure an even soaking of the grounds.

STEP#7. Safely Discard The Used Coffee Grounds

Safely remove the filter

And be careful, they might still be hot. You can even keep it and reuse them as body scrub or other beneficial purposes.

STEP#8. Your Coffee is Ready, Enjoy It

Coffee is best enjoyed in company

It’s time to serve this heavenly good coffee in your favorite mug and enjoy it with company or by yourself. It won’t matter, because you’ll forget everything once you’ll take a sip.

Keeping you Chemex coffee warm

If you have some extra coffee left in your coffemaker, you might want to keep it warm.

One way is to use thermal mug or bottle for the extra coffee, which will keep it warm for 6-8 hours and won’t harm the flavour.

Although Chemex have their own wire grid to be placed over any stove, I don’t like the idea of reheating the coffee because it can harm the flavour, and I think you won’t like that, either.

So, the best thing to do is to just brew the exact amount of coffee you think you will need.

Check this video which gives a great explanation of how to use Chemex coffeemaker.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Cleaning your Chemex coffeemaker

Even though it seems little bit difficult for cleaning, it’s actually not. The glass is very easy to be cleaned with water and dish soap, just don’t forget to take out the wooden handle.

You can use a sponge on a long handle, or put it in the dishwasher, it’s safe.

Few final words from me

So far, Chemex is one of my very favorite pour-over coffee methods. It’s been an amazing journey from the first time I put my hands on it, till now when I’m confident in making it daily.

How about you? Would you give it a try?

And if you already have, share your impressions, I’d love to hear from you.

Till the next time,

Enjoy Your Coffee


3 thoughts on “What Is Chemex Coffee

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