Brew Guide: How to Brew with a Chemex

How to brew the best filter coffee using a Chemex!

For our next instalment of this series, we are saying hello to another filter brewing method: the Chemex! This funky device was invented in 1941 by German chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm (if you ever wondered why it looks like some science apparatus, now you know why!)

As you can probably tell from this brewing device, it was inspired and created using glass lab equipment. Combined with his scientific mind, Schlumbohm perfected the extraction process when brewing coffee in a Chemex to create a clean, well-rounded cup of coffee. Yummy!

This is also due to the Chemex filter papers. Schlumbohm designed these to be thicker than most filter papers on the market. These papers reduce the time it takes for the water to move through the coffee grounds and absorb more coffee oils and sediment than a traditional pour-over like the V60. This enhances that clean, clear coffee flavour!




Why do we like the Chemex?

While we like anything that will make an awesome cup of coffee, we love the groovy design of the Chemex. While this has function over form, we must admit it looks pretty cool on your kitchen shelf.

If you want a quick and easy way to brew coffee with minimal clear-up, a Chemex is the one for you. After you are done brewing, remove the filter containing the used coffee grounds and give the device a quick swirl in some water, and you’re good to go!

It is made from non-porous borosilicate glass, so it will not absorb any odours or chemicals or become stained over time. Glass is also recyclable, which is another big thumbs up from us!

The Chemex is also available in multiple sizes: 1-3 cups, 6 cups (the classic), and 8 cups! This makes this device adaptable for any situation, whether you’re making morning coffee for yourself or for the whole family.


Coffee Grounds in Chemex


What is the best coffee to use?

When using any filter coffee device, you want to use lighter-roasted coffee. The general rule is that this works best with a slower extraction method. When brewing coffee, fruity and acidic flavours are extracted first, followed by sweetness, before bitter flavours kick in. With a filter/pour-over device, you want to allow those sweet notes to develop as much as possible for this clean, smooth flavour.

The coffee you get from a filter device like the Chemex focuses more on the flavour profile within the beans without the bitter acidity. Meanwhile, with espresso, you roast for longer to create those caramelised chocolate flavours that work best with a fast-pressure process. We ensure that we have a good selection of coffees for every brewing method, including the Chemex!

All our brews are single-origin and speciality Arabica, and we pay 30-120% more than commodity coffee. We want to ensure our brews are the best of the best, and we don’t need to burn them to hide their flavours. Our beans have incredible natural qualities, which our artisan roasters expertly develop by roasting in small batches.


Coffees in a Chemex


Let’s have a look at our light-roasted lineup, shall we?

If you need something to wake you up in the mornings, a cup of our yellow coffee will do the trick! It’s a fruity delight with a smooth chocolate base topped with bright bursts of cranberries and apples.

Craving something extra special? Our limited-edition white label comes from a micro lot with notes of apple, frangipane, and strawberry. This coffee was processed using a starter culture, which extended the fermentation process and enhanced its sweetness.

Looking for the perfect light and fruity decaf? Our lilac-labelled brew has everything you want in your cup- without the caffeine, of course. This buttery coffee has a chocolate base with a sprinkle of walnuts and a cheeky chunk of toffee.


How to brew

Now, let’s get down to business.

Let’s start with arguably the most critical aspect: perfecting the grind size. You want a very coarse grind size, like rough sugar. You want plenty of space for the water to work its way through the coffee, extracting all those uber-beautiful flavours.

How much coffee to place into the filter depends on what size Chemex you are working with. However, the ratio of 1:16 is a great starter! Therefore, for a Chemex with a 1-2 cups capacity, add 3 heaped teaspoons (20g) of coffee to 320ml of water.

Ready, steady, BREW!

  1. Pop the kettle on and let it cool for 30 seconds.
  2. Place the paper filter into the Chemex.
  3. Pour water over the filter to cleanse the paper and heat the vessel. Discard water.
  4. Spoon your coffee into the filter and pour hot water to wet the grounds.
  5. Wait for 30 seconds and watch the coffee bloom! (look for bubbles)
  6. Pour over the remaining water in a circular motion, starting from the outside and working in.
  7. The coffee should stop dripping through at around four minutes.
  8. Pour the brewed coffee into your favourite mug and enjoy!



Are you intrigued by this brewing device? Shop below!


Chemex 6 cup coffee maker

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