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How-To's

Chemex

Great For

  • Arrow Right Clean Single Origin Coffees
  • Arrow Right Pour Overs for Two
  • Arrow Right Lighter, Brighter Roasts

Recipe

Makes 2-3 Servings, 3:30–4:30 Min

  • Chemex
    Chemex
    8-Cup
  • Paper Filter
    Paper Filter
    Chemex Square or Circular
  • Gooseneck Kettle
    Gooseneck Kettle
  • Scale
    Scale
    Optional
  • 198º–205º F Water
    198º–205º F Water
    24 oz (700 ml)
  • Medium-Coarse Ground Coffee
    Medium-Coarse Ground Coffee
    1.5 oz (43 g) – About 3 Tbsp
Step 1
Prep Filter
Unfold the filter with the three-fold side facing the spout. This is important to prevent the filter from collapsing into the spout when it gets wet.
Step 2
Rinse
Rinse the filter with plenty of hot water to help “seal” it against the glass and remove the papery taste—it also preheats your brewer. Discard this water and setup your brewer on a scale.
Step 3
Add Grounds & Bloom
Add your grinds and tare scale. Start a timer and slowly pour water equalling double the weight of the coffee (about 3 oz / 84 g). Make sure to saturate all the grounds, pouring over the lighter spots and avoiding the darker ones. Wait :30 seconds.
Step 4
Pour
Slowly pour water in a spiral motion until the water level reaches just below the top rim of the brewer. When the level drops by about an inch, pour again and repeated as need until you’ve used all the water.
Step 5
Let It Drip
Keep an eye on the water level as it drips and when you start to see the coffee grounds appear, remove the filter and let it drain in the sink (the last few drops of water can be a little bitter). The timer should read between 3:30–4:30 minutes
Step 6
Serve
Pour coffee into mugs and serve right away. To clean up, just dump the drained filter in the trash and rinse the Chemex with any still-hot water remaining in your kettle.
Coffee Talk
Our Coffee Expert Says
What makes a Chemex unique?
Everything makes a Chemex unique, which is why I love it so much. Chemexes were invented by Peter Schlumbohm in 1941 using materials not needed for the war effort. It’s the only piece of coffee equipment in MoMa described as being one of the best designed products of modern times. Chemex uses unique filters as well. The formulation of the filter permits the proper infusion time by regulating the filtration rate – not too slow, not too fast. This gives the coffee a richer flavor while at the same time making precise fractional extraction possible. The filters catch additional oils and fats from the coffee, to allow for an excellent level of clarity in the brewed coffee. I think the Chemex is a lovely and easy brewing method for people looking to get into home coffee brewing and want to begin to experiment. Chemex is a forgiving brewing method, and it’s easy to make without additional equipment like a scale or a timer. You can follow simple visual cues on the Chemex itself – the “button” on the bottom portion of the brewer indicates how much the total brew volume should be. While you’re pouring, make sure the brew bed never gets higher than an inch from the rim of the Chemex. These tips make it easy to play around and experiment with your recipe.
What kind of coffee is best for Chemex?
Because Chemex creates coffees that are clean with a lot of clarity, I think single origins really shine in the Chemex. You can play around with what works best for you, but light to medium roasted coffee really take to the cleanliness and clarity of the brew method, and tend to ‘pop’.
How does a Chemex work?
The Chemex brews coffee using the infusion method, which makes it most similar to drip coffee in terms of body and taste. Chemex filters are 20 to 30 percent thicker than those used by other pour over methods. The result is a slower brew and a richer cup of coffee. Although not as rich as the French press, the Chemex does produce a sediment-free cup of coffee that will impress anyone used to the weaker taste of most auto-drip coffee machines.