One of the most popular of the pour-over brewers, the Chemex coffee maker looks more like a decorative, glass kitchen vase than a coffee-making gadget. Here’s how to make Chemex coffee.
This guide is part of our How to Make Coffee series.
Chemex Coffee Maker
- Time to first sip: approximately 7 minutes
- Type of Coffee: Rich flavor
- Coffee grind: Fine to medium
- Gear required: Chemex, Chemex filters, kettle, stopwatch or timer
- Difficulty: Easy to use but requires practice to get your coffee suited to your preference
Here are a couple of tips for great-tasting coffee from your Chemex coffee maker.
- Chemex Coffee Tip: Avoid pouring directly in the center or around the edges of the filter.
- Chemex Coffee Tip: If the water level nears the rim of the Chemex, pause for a moment to let it drain before continuing.
It uses thick, bonded filters that slow the rate of the coffee, providing you with a rich-tasting brew without any sediment. Another nice benefit of the Chemex is that you can make 3 to 4 cups of coffee at one time.
Like other pour over methods, you’ll need to play around a few times with the water/grind ratio and brewing time to find your perfect equation where the coffee is not over or under-extracted.
This is where a timer and thermometer come in handy.
The Chemex is easy to use with these basic steps:
Chemex Coffee Maker Recipe
- Heat your water
- Insert Chemex filter
- Add ground coffee
- Saturate grounds
- Add more water
- Wait for coffee to brew
Here are the details for each step of the recipe.
1. Heat your water
Heat your water to boiling and then let it sit for about 30 seconds.
2. Insert Chemex filter
Open and insert the Chemex filter into the top of the brewer with the layered side facing the spout.
3. Add ground coffee
Add fine to medium ground coffee in the filter, 2 tbsp for each cup of water should work well.
4. Saturate grounds
Set the timer for about 45 seconds and slowly pour (in a circular motion) enough hot water on the grounds to moisten them. This causes the coffee to “bloom,” releasing its wonderful aroma.
5. Add more water
After Reset your timer for approximately two minutes and steadily pour the water into the filter in a circular pattern.
6. Wait for coffee to brew
Wait for the brewed coffee to completely drain into the lower chamber and then remove the dripper and grounds.
Pour into your favorite cup and savor the deliciousness!
Some brew methods, like French press, should be poured right away. If the brewed coffee is left, it will continue to brew because it remains in contact with the ground coffee. With Chemex, and another pour over coffee, this isn’t a factor because the grounds remain separated from the brewed coffee.
How to Make Chemex Coffee (Video)
This video will show how to make pour over coffee with a Chemex which is my favorite way to make pour over.
In the video, they use 1 to 2 heaping teaspoons per cup but I use 2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water, that may even out to be about the same amount, but just thought I would mention how I like mine.
Here’s more about how to make strong coffee.
Have a tip to share about how you make your Chemex coffee? Please share so other coffee lovers can try your tricks for great coffee.
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Dena Haines is a co-founder and blogger on EnjoyJava – and is working to make it the best coffee blog in the world.
She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at GudPixel. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she started with her husband, Bryan.