How to Use a Chemex

How to Use a Chemex for Pour-Over Coffee

The Chemex coffee maker is a popular pour-over style coffee brewer. It was invented in 1941 by chemist Peter Schlumbohm and has become a classic design in the world of coffee. As a pour-over style brewer, the Chemex is simple to use and produces excellent results.

The Chemex is a tall, clear glass carafe with a conical shape, a wood collar and tie, and a filter. It has an hourglass shape, and the entire unit is made from a single piece of glass, making it very durable. A Chemex works by slowly dripping hot water through the ground coffee, which is held in a filter. Making pour-over coffee with a Chemex is different that the traditional Melitta system, as the filter holder attaches to a larger glass carafe instead of a single-serve cup.

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Benefits of coffee making with a Chemex

How to use a Chemex – step by step

4 tips for making the best Chemex coffee


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About Chemex Brewing

Coffee / Water Ratio2 tablespoons / 6 ounces
Grindmedium coarse
Cupstandard cup or mug
Brewing Processpour-over coffee-making with coffee in a filter and boiling water slowly added, waiting 30 seconds to bloom, before adding the rest of the water
Benefitscan control the outcome with different grinds and slow pours; fast and easy multi-cup brewing
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Benefits of Coffee Making with a Chemex

The benefits of using a Chemex for coffee making are numerous. First, the pour-over style of brewing allows for more control over the extraction process, resulting in a cup of coffee with a fuller flavor and body. You’ll find that a Chemex produces a very clean cup of coffee with no sediment or bitterness.

Additionally, the Chemex is very simple to use and easy to clean. It doesn’t require electricity either, so it’s portable. As long as you’ve got access to boiling water, you can brew first-rate coffee wherever you travel (the office?).

Overall, if you’re interested in pour-over coffee, it’s an excellent coffee maker that produces outstanding results – and more than one cup at a time.

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Step-by-Step – How to Use a Chemex

1. Gather the necessary supplies: Chemex carafe, medium-course grind coffee, and boiling water.

2. Put a filter in the filter holder on top.

3. Pour a little boiling water into the empty filter, making sure to swirl it to get the entire filter wet.

4. Dump the water before you start scooping the coffee grounds.

5. For every 6 ounces of water you’re going to use, add 2 tablespoons of coffee to the filter.

6. Add boiling water to the grinds to cover them completely and allow the grounds to bloom (let rest) for 30 seconds.

7. Then, slowly start pouring the rest of your water by swirling it into the filter in a counterclockwise direction.

8. Wait about four minutes or so. Then, you can remove the filter and fill your cups.

For more tips on pour-over coffee, be sure to visit our dedicated “what is pour-over” page.

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What is blooming? Blooming is when the coffee beans release their CO2, and the grounds swell up (you’ll notice foam forming). Adding hot water at this point will extract all of the flavors from the beans.

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4 Tips for Making the Best Chemex Coffee

1. Start with pre-heated water. If possible, preheat the water by boiling it first in a kettle or stovetop to 200 degrees. This will help the coffee to brew faster and more evenly.

2. Grind the beans correctly. The grind should be medium-coarse, like the texture of sea salt. A finer grind will lead to over-extraction and a bitter flavor.

3. Use the right amount of coffee. For every 6 ounces of water, use 2 tablespoons of coffee. This will ensure that your coffee is brewed to the right strength.

4. Balance the water-to-coffee ratio. When pouring the water, pour it in a circular motion. Start in the center and slowly move outwards. This will help the water to evenly saturate the grounds.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Chemex coffee maker?

The Chemex coffee maker is a pour-over style of manual coffee maker invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm. It is composed of an hourglass-shaped glass flask with a conical filter in the neck.

How do you use a Chemex?

To use a Chemex coffee maker, first place the filter in the top of the flask, and wet the filter with hot water to preheat the flask and remove any paper taste from the filter. Then, add the desired amount of ground coffee to the filter, Slowly pour hot water into the filter in a circular motion to evenly saturate the grounds. Allow the coffee to bloom for at least 30 seconds, and then slowly pour the remaining water into the filter and wait about four minutes to complete the process.

What type of coffee should I use in a Chemex coffee maker?

Coarsely ground coffee is best for use in a Chemex coffee maker. Finely ground coffee can slip through the filter and lead to a bitter, over-extracted cup of coffee.

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