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Chemex brew guide

How to use a Chemex to brew at home like a Japanese coffee master

With a sleek and elegant design, the Chemex is a unique method of pour over brewing which produces spectacularly smooth and flavourful coffee. To master the use of the Chemex – read on and let our coffee masters guide you in your pursuit of perfection.

What is a Chemex?

The Chemex is a unique coffee brewer that uses a glass vessel and a filter to produce a cup of coffee that is both smooth and flavourful. And thanks to its artisanal design and ability to produce excellent quality in every cup, it has been gaining popularity among coffee aficionados ever since 1942.

Chemex brewing equipment

  • Chemex
  • 30g coffee beans (serves 2)
  • 500ml of fresh filtered water (serves 2)
  • Pouring kettle
  • Filter paper
  • Grinder
  • Scales
  • Timer

Chemex brew time, ratio, and temperature:

  • Chemex brew time: 5 minutes
  • Chemex grind size: medium/fine

Note: For the best results in cup, you’ll want to use freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them as soon as possible before you brew. See how to use a coffee grinder for more info.

  • Coffee to water ratio: 30g grounds and 500ml water per Chemex (serves 2)

Note: If you like your coffee very strong, add a little more coffee until it is to your liking. But make no mistake: ratios matter. To get the best from your beans, you need to give them the same care and attention with which they were selected, blended, and roasted.

  • Ideal water temperature: 93 degrees Celsius / about 200 Fahrenheit

Note: If you don’t have a thermometer, you can boil a kettle and leave it to rest for 30 seconds before pouring. Don’t pour straightaway or you’ll scald your beans and ruin your coffee. See coffee temperature for more info.

How to brew a coffee with a Chemex:

Are you ready to begin?

  1. Measure out 30g of coffee and grind to medium/fine.
  2. Take the filter and fold it in half, then open it out into a cone shape with three folds on one side and one on the other. Then place the filter paper into the Chemex with the three folds facing the spout.
  3. Wet the filter paper with hot water (to prepare the filter, and to remove the taste of the paper from the coffee) then pour out the excess water.
  4. Spoon the freshly ground coffee into the filter and tap it gently to level the grounds.
  5. Saturate the grounds with 60ml of water, being careful not to pour water down the filter edges. You should see the coffee ‘bloom’ (i.e. bubble lightly). Wait 30 seconds.
  6. Now continue to slowly pour the remaining 440ml of water over the grounds in a spiralling motion. As much as possible, keep the water in the filter at a consistent level.
  7. Allow the coffee to finish brewing for 1-2 minutes, then remove the filter and discard the coffee and filter responsibly (e.g. in your food waste / compost)
  8. Serve in the Chemex for a statement finish, then enjoy.

For more tips and tricks to help you in your pursuit of coffee perfection, click coffee brew guide

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