Do you want to know everything about the Chemex? How to brew coffee with a Chemex? What does Chemex coffee taste like? Which coffee beans should I use?
In this article, I will go over all your questions and answer them. I’ve made an easy to follow Chemex brewing guide so you can get started on brewing Your Dream Coffee at home!
Grab yourself some coffee and start reading away. I’ll start with the basics about Chemex and move on from there.
What is a Chemex
Before we get into the brewing of Chemex coffee and all that goes with it, I want to briefly touch on the history of the Chemex.
The Chemex Coffeemaker is a manual pour-over style glass coffeemaker, invented by Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, manufactured by the Chemex Corporation in Chicopee, Massachusetts.Wikipedia
The quote above says it all: the Chemex is a manual pour-over style coffeemaker. A manual pour-over coffee maker means that the coffee is brewed by pouring water on coffee beans using a kettle. This is not automated by a machine.
If you ask me, using the Chemex to brew coffee is a peaceful moment in the day. Using a kettle to add the water to the coffee grounds and seeing the water slowly run through the coffee filter really is amazing.
This was a little background story on the Chemex, now let’s move onto the more important pieces of information of this article. I will go over the taste of Chemex coffee, the equipment list, and finally a brewing guide so you can follow along with me on this coffee journey.
What does Chemex coffee taste like?
Chemex coffee tastes a lot more balanced than other coffee brewers out there. The coffee filter used for Chemex filters out a lot of imbalances of the coffee beans, and you are left with a balanced, subtle, and overall super great tasting coffee.
When I compare Chemex coffee with French press coffee, for example, the Chemex coffee has much more flavor on some taste notes. Because of the filter, you get to taste much more flavors than other coffee brewers. The coffee gets more interesting.
The flavor of Chemex coffee all depends on what kind of coffee beans you’ll use. There are multiple coffee roasts and coffee origins for you to choose from. When you read along, you’ll find the coffee roast and origin I recommend starting with.
Equipment list Chemex
Before we can get started on the brewing guide of the Chemex, I would like to go over the equipment list. This equipment list will include everything you’re going to need to collect before you can start with the brewing guide:
- Coffee beans
- Coffee grinder
- The Chemex itself
- Chemex filters
- Kettle for boiling water
When brewing Chemex coffee, or using any other coffee brewer out there, I suggest using a scale. The scale will help you determine the amount of coffee and water you’re going to need. Using the exact measurements for this brewing guide will help you get that amazing cup of coffee.
Of course, you’re going to need the Chemex itself, however; the coffee filters for the Chemex are even more important. You cannot brew coffee with a Chemex without a filter. You can use paper or metal filters for the Chemex.
I use paper filters for the Chemex, so in this brewing guide, I will show you how to brew Chemex using these coffee filters.
A good quality coffee grinder comes in handy as well. If you are just starting out with home brewing coffee you won’t have to use a coffee grinder straight away. Pre-ground coffee beans will work well for this.
However, if you want the best coffee there is, I do recommend getting a coffee grinder. You can grind so many coffee grinds, and try tons of different coffee techniques.
If you do have a coffee grinder at home, you can check out below how I grind my coffee beans for the Chemex:
The ground coffee beans still have a bit of structure in them. The coffee grounds are not too fine, but also not too coarse. I usually describe this coffee grind as a bit finer than coarse sea salt.
Now, the next important part about brewing Your Dream Coffee at home is using good quality coffee beans. But what kind of coffee do you use? What roast level should they have? I will answer all these questions down below:
What are the best coffee beans for Chemex brewing?
Coffee beans are the most important part of brewing coffee at home. There are so many coffee roasts and coffee origins to choose from, that it can get overwhelming pretty fast. Don’t panic, I will go over the coffee beans that I recommend using with the Chemex.
The best coffee origin for Chemex coffee
There are two main choices you have to make when choosing out a bag of coffee beans, the coffee origin, and the coffee roast.
Now, the coffee origin will determine what kind of flavor profile the coffee beans will have. The coffee roast will determine how many of these flavors are lost. Dark roasted coffee beans, for example, are roasted to such a level that most of the flavors are lost and you are left with a strong tasting coffee bean.
The best coffee origin for Chemex coffee depends on the flavor profile you are looking for. I wrote an article about 5 coffee origins and taste-tested them all. In the article, I wrote everything that the coffee beans had to offer.
If you are interested in finding out which coffee origin suits you best, I suggest clicking here as it will take you straight to the article.
However, if you just want to try out some different coffee beans I would go for coffee beans from Ethiopia or Costa Rica. These coffee origins are packed full of flavor and are my favorites and I think you’ll love them as well.
The best coffee roast for Chemex coffee
The Chemex filters out more imbalances than other coffee makers, this is why I would recommend a medium coffee roast. A medium roasted coffee looks like this:
Most coffee enthusiasts like to use a lightly roasted coffee as well, myself included. A lightly roasted coffee bean has tons of different flavors to it than a medium or dark roast coffee.
However, if you are just starting out with brewing coffee at home, stick with a medium coffee roast. This coffee roast offers the best of both worlds. The punchy flavor of a dark roast and the sweetness and more subtle flavor from the lightly roasted coffee beans.
If you do want to experiment with different coffee beans for Chemex, I would go with specialty coffee beans. These coffee beans are only available in limited batches and bring such a unique flavor profile.
How to brew coffee with a Chemex
Before I show you how to brew some amazing coffee using a Chemex, I would like to share the ratio of coffee to water with you. I have made a table to show you how much coffee you are going to need when using a certain amount of water:
|The total amount of brewed coffee:
|Amount of coffee needed:
|Amount of water needed:
|1 cup (0.24 l)
|1 cup (0.24 l)
|2 cups (0.47 l)
|2 cups (0.47 l)
|3 cups (0.71 l)
|3 cups (0.71 l)
|4 cups (0.95 l)
|4 cups (0.95 l)
Let’s get into the brewing guide. I’m using 42 grams of coffee to 2 cups (0.47 l) of water for the brewing of my Chemex coffee which you can see in the photos down below.
1. Start grinding your coffee beans to a medium to fine grind size. I have shown you above how I like to grind my coffee beans for the Chemex.
2. After you are done with the grinding of your coffee beans, boil your water. Boil a bit more water than you are going to need for the brewing of your coffee. Use the extra water to rinse the coffee filter and heat up your Chemex a bit. Throw out the water that has run through the filter:
3. Add your ground coffee beans to your Chemex and make a small hole in the middle of your coffee grounds. This hole will help wet all the coffee grounds for the blooming part:
4. Slowly start pouring 1/4 of the total water on top of your ground coffee beans. The coffee will now start to bloom. Leave the coffee to bloom for 30 seconds before moving on to the next step:
5. After the blooming is finished, slowly pour the rest of the water into your Chemex. If you are making more than 3 cups (0.71 l) of coffee, you can keep adding water to the Chemex once some of the water has run through the coffee filter:
6. When all of your water is in, grab a small spoon and go around the edges of the Chemex. This makes sure that all the coffee grounds are in the middle of the filter and will extract every coffee flavor:
7. Leave your Chemex to brew for the upcoming minutes. Depending on the amount of water added, the brewing time can take anywhere from 2 to even 6 minutes. Your coffee is done brewing when all the water has run through the filter and you are left with a flat coffee bed like this:
Additionally, you can give the Chemex a few swirls. This will help get that flat coffee bed even more. Be careful, the coffee is hot and you don’t want to get that on your hands.
8. Now, all there is left to do is pour out your freshly brewed coffee into your favorite cup(s) and enjoy it! Don’t forget to clean your Chemex, you can read how to do so down below:
How to clean a Chemex
The most important thing when brewing Your Dream Coffee at home is clean equipment, This includes your coffee brewers. Your coffee will taste better when the Chemex has been thoroughly cleaned.
I suggest you rinse your Chemex with hot running water after each use. Rinsing the Chemex will be enough when you are brewing 1 cup of coffee a day. However, if you are using the Chemex a lot more than that, you might want to clean it using some soap every other day.
Personally, I clean my Chemex with soap every Sunday. Assigning a specific day to the cleaning of your coffee makers will help you remember to clean it.
Because I don’t use the Chemex every day, I can afford the Chemex to be thoroughly cleaned once a week. Are you using your Chemex 3 times a day? I suggest cleaning it with soap every other day. Your Chemex will look better for it.
There are many more ways to clean your Chemex. If you are interested in learning more about the 5 ways on how to clean your Chemex, I suggest clicking here. It will bring you to the article I wrote about the cleaning of your Chemex.
Mastering the brewing of Chemex coffee is a thing on its own. But once you get the exact coffee roast you really like, the best coffee grind, and the best extraction time possible, you’ll love it as much as I do.
In this article, I have talked about every important aspect of the brewing of Chemex coffee. I hope you’ll get some amazing results when giving the Chemex brewing guide a try at home.
Will you brew some amazing coffee soon? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!
If you are interested in more beginner brewing guides, you can check them out below. I hope to see you back on my blog soon. Have a great day!