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Chemex: How-to Guide

February 18, 2015

The Chemex is a beautifully designed coffee brewing device made of glassware that was actually invented by a chemist, which makes this brewing technique top of the line in the opinion of many coffee enthusiasts. It allows you to brew uber-clean filter coffee directly into the integrated, MoMA-approved carafe, resulting in coffee with a clean and balanced flavor profile. The brewing process is easy, so just follow the steps in our Chemex How-To Guide and you’ll be brewing professional-grade coffee in no time!
 

Need:

  Chemex, Chemex filters  

Coffee nerd options:

  Grinder, pourover kettle, scale, timer, thermometer  

Recipe basics: 6-cup Chemex

  Brew time: 4 minutes Temperature: 205 deg F Grind setting: Coarse Ratio: 1:16 coffee to water   Below measurements are interchangeable. For example, you can use 40 g of grounds to produce a 20 oz cup of coffee.  
Coffee measurement Water measurement
40 g 585 g
7.5 T 20 oz
  1. Open the Chemex filter into a cone, placing it in the top portion of the carafe with the thick side facing up.   How to Make a Chemex Coffee Step 1   2. Rinse the filter well with hot water in order to reduce any papery taste and warm the brewer.   How to Make a Chemex Coffee Step 2   3. Add coffee grounds at a coarse drip setting.   How to Make a Chemex Coffee Step 3   4. Add just enough hot water to fully saturate the ground coffee and allow the coffee to bloom for 30 sec.   How to Make a Chemex Coffee Step 4   5. Carefully pour remaining water with the goal of reaching your target brew weight/volume within an additional 3-4 min.   How to Make a Chemex Coffee Step 5   6. Remove the filter and enjoy!   How to Make a Chemex Coffee Step 6  

For further exploration:

 
  • Feel free to experiment with pouring technique. Spiraling in and/or out, pouring back and forth, pouring continuously vs. in pulses/stages, avoiding the edges of the filter vs. washing them once or twice—reasonable coffee lovers differ on these points. Whichever technique you settle on, keeping your grounds evenly and constantly saturated with water is important.
  • A metal filter is available for the Chemex from Able Brewing.
  • Some users report success when stopping the extraction at 3:30 by removing the filter and then diluting the pour with hot water until the target brew weight/volume. The technical term for this practice is bypass brewing.
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