Chemex

The Ultimate Guide

What You'll Need

• Chemex
Coffee
Scale
• Spoon
Goose Neck Kettle

Brew Time

⏰ 4 minutes

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How to Brew Coffee with a Chemex in only 7 Steps 

If you want to have full control over the brewing process and flavor profile of your coffee then the Chemex is the perfect tool for you. Using a kettle to add the water to the coffee grounds and seeing the water slowly run through the coffee filter leaves you with a balanced, subtle and overall great tasting coffee.

This pour-over glass coffeemaker takes a little longer than other coffee brewers but it’s definitely worth the wait. There is a specific way of brewing that will result in the perfect cup of coffee.

The Step-by-step Guide to Brewing with a Chemex Coffee Maker

Here’s a quick guide on the ratio of coffee to water - 3 tablespoons of coffee for 1 cup of water or 1 gram of coffee to 15 grams of water - and everything you need to know to use a Chemex in 7 easy steps:

STEP 1: Fill the kettle with purified water and boil.

Fill your kettle with purified or filtered water and heat it to 205 degrees by bringing it to a boil and letting it sit for 30 seconds.

Water temperature is important!

If you don’t have a thermometer, just bring your water to a boiling point, take it off the heat and let it cool for 15 seconds. It should then be at the perfect temperature to start brewing.

STEP 2: Fold the filter and place it into the Chemex.

Fold the square filter and place it in the Chemex pot with the three layered side next to the spout. Wet the paper filter, then discard the water.

What is rinsing and why is it so important?

This step known as “rinsing” removes the paper smell/taste from making its way into your coffee while it sets the filter in place.

STEP 3: Measure and grind your coffee.

How much coffee you should scoop depends on how many cups you are making. Measure 30 grams of coffee and grind it to medium coarse ground to a table salt-like consistency so the beans can fully and evenly absorb the water, and then just place it in the Chemex. 

Why should I use a medium coarse setting?

The purpose of this grind is to leave you with a much cleaner cup of coffee with less sediment when using a Chemex.

STEP 4: Start your first pour.

Slowly pour 60 grams of water (twice the weight of beans) in a circular motion till your scale reads 90 grams, and let the beans bloom for 30-40 seconds. A chemex takes at least two pours to brew the coffee, so it’s key to have a slow and controlled pour that starts in the center and works its way out. Make sure to give the grounds a good stir so they can get fully wet.

STEP 5: Continue pouring more water.

After the beans have bloomed, pour the water in a circular motion with continual speed until the water reaches the top of the Chemex (scale should read around 300 grams). Let the water drain and add the rest of it until you reach your goal weight: 500 grams. Avoid pouring directly in the center or around the edges of the filter because it will compromise the extraction..

STEP 6: Wait.

Wait as the remaining water drains through the filter and coffee. It should take between 3.5 to 4 minutes.d.

Step 7: Serve immediately

It is not recommended to reuse the filter, so after all of the water has filtered down, throw the grounds and filter into the compost. Pour the freshly brewed coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy!

Can you also make iced coffee with a Chemex?

The most popular way to make iced coffee with a Chemex is to use flash chilling or a Japanese-style method. Here’s how:

1) Rinse the filter with hot water and then discard the water. For the same recipe, add around 200 grams of ice into the Chemex.  Replace the filter and make sure to keep the three folds towards the spout.
2) Fill your kettle with hot water and heat it. Remove the kettle right before the water boils and let it settle.
3) Follow the traditional recipe to brewing coffee with a Chemex (read above)
4) Wait 30 seconds or 1 minute more than the traditional waiting time (4 to 4.5 minutes instead of 3 to 3.5) to let the coffee brew.
5) Remove the filter and swirl the coffee so that the ice melts. Pour into glasses and serve over ice.

Using a Chemex to brew your coffee might seem difficult at first because of all the folding and pour-over timing, but with some practice it is well worth it. This coffee maker gives you one of the best cups of coffee with a clean, strong and controlled flavor profile that you can make at home.