Choosing a great coffee bean is tough when you plan on brewing some amazing coffee with the Chemex.

When I first started brewing coffee at home, I had the same problem. This is why I wrote this article about the best coffee beans for Chemex.

In this article, I will review the basics of brewing great coffee using a Chemex, the correct grind size, and choosing the best coffee beans for you.

But that’s not all… I will try five of my favorite coffee beans from different origins.

Here’s an overview of the best coffee beans for pour over that I will go over below:

  1. Peruvian coffee beans
  2. Brazilian coffee beans
  3. Guatemalan coffee beans
  4. Ethiopian coffee beans
  5. Costa Rican coffee beans
The Best Coffee Beans for Chemex (Pour Over Coffee Beans)

I will taste test these coffees and give you a tasting note so you can check if you like the coffee beans from that origin.

Let’s start discovering the best coffee for pour over!

How to choose the best coffee beans for pour over coffee

Coffee beans all taste very different. There isn’t one coffee bean that tastes exactly the same as another kind.

So, how can you choose between all these coffee beans?

I suggest choosing which coffee roast you like best and what origin the coffee has.

The coffee characteristics differ greatly between the coffee roasts and origins.

The best way to try different coffees is to find a local coffee roaster that offers a ton of different coffees. This way, you can choose a different coffee each time you visit them.

Your coffee roaster will be more than happy to help you out, and maybe they can get you some smaller batches so you can get to know even more coffee in a shorter period of time.

Recommended coffee roast for Chemex

Brewing with a Chemex gives you a lot of options regarding coffee roast.

Most people like medium roasted coffee beans best for Chemex. But lightly roasted coffee beans from a small farm with a limited batch are also popular.

Personally, I really like medium roasted coffee beans for my Chemex brew. The complex flavors taste absolutely amazing, with just the right amount of punch from the roast.

This is why I highly recommend starting with a medium roasted coffee.

However, smaller batched specialty coffees that are lightly roasted also taste amazing.

The filters of the Chemex take out more flavor than you might be used to, but this results in a balanced flavor profile that you’ve never tasted before.

Not sure yet which Chemex filter to pick? Check out this circle vs. square Chemex filters guide here.

Most coffee enthusiasts like to pick a light or medium roast from a small farm. These coffee beans have such a unique flavor, which the Chemex can elevate to an even higher level.

Also, if you’re not sure yet what the difference is between light, medium, and dark roast coffee, check out this comparison article here!

Whole bean coffee vs. ground coffee: Which one to buy for pour over?

You should pick whole bean coffee if:

  • You want to learn more about coffee, I suggest buying whole coffee beans. The coffee beans will let you experiment with grinding them.
  • You want fresh coffee beans for the best flavors. Buying whole bean coffee at your local coffee roaster will bring you the best flavor. The coffee beans have just been roasted, cooled down, and stored. This is where you come in and buy a bag of coffee beans.
  • It will also allow you to try out multiple brewers, all of which give off their unique flavors.

You should pick ground coffee if:

  • You want to save a few bucks, I recommend buying pre-ground coffee. This will give you a good enough quality coffee bean to make a good cup of coffee at home. While still keeping some money in your pocket for other things in life.
  • When you want to save time while making coffee, I would suggest buying ground coffee if you need to get up early in the morning and still want to get in a cup of coffee before work.

For more information about the difference between whole bean and ground coffee, check out this comparison guide here!

The best coffee beans for pour over (my top 5 favorite origins)

I have tested five of my favorite coffee origin coffees for this article.

This section shows my findings on the different coffee beans’ smell, taste, and look. I have merged all my findings into a list for each coffee origin.

I’ll note my findings on how the coffee smells and tastes in the lists below. I’ll use keywords to describe the coffee, and after that, I’ll give a small recap:

Peruvian coffee beans

What does the coffee smell like?

  • Spices.
  • Slight sweetness.
  • Hints of corn.

How does the coffee taste?

  • Dark chocolate.
  • A slight bitterness of burned caramel.
  • Spices again (gloves, cinnamon).

Great extraction of the coffee. Overall, it is a very complex and bright cup of coffee. The coffee beans and grind size look like this for the Peruvian coffee:

Peruvian coffee beans next to the ground version of it

Tip: Do Peruvian coffee beans interest you? Then I suggest checking them out here.

Brazilian coffee beans

What does the coffee smell like?

  • Very sweet.
  • Fruity notes.
  • There is a slight grassy smell.

How does the coffee taste?

  • Chocolate again, not dark chocolate, maybe more milk chocolate.
  • It has a slight nutty taste, like hazelnuts or pecan nuts.
  • Caramel sauce.

Amazing taste with a super balanced flavor profile. The Brazilian coffee beans look like this:

Brazilian coffee beans next to the ground version of it

Tip: Do these Brazilian coffee beans touch the right coffee flavor you love? Then I suggest checking them out right here.

Guatemalan coffee beans

What does the coffee smell like?

  • Strong coffee smell.
  • Burned caramel.
  • Spices (black pepper, cinnamon).

How does the coffee taste?

  • It’s intense, much more body than the other coffees.
  • Pure chocolate.
  • Sweet caramel.
  • Slight flower taste.

This coffee has a super intense flavor profile. It’s a unique mix of strong coffee mixed with a slight sweetness. Amazing. The Guatemalan coffee looks like this:

Guatemalan coffee beans next to the ground version of it

Tip: Do these Guatemalan coffee beans sound like something that suits your flavor profile? Then you should check them out here or click the image below!

Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Guatemalan Single Origin, Fair Trade, Gourmet Low Acid Medium Roast of Arabica Whole Bean Coffee, Certified Organic, Smithsonian Bird Friendly Certified, 1LB Bag
$20.99 ($1.31 / Ounce)
  • Our Second Most Popular Low Acid Coffee! This single-origin Guatemala coffee is grown in the Huehuetenango region. It is shade-grown under guava, plantain, and banana trees which give the coffee it's fruit undertones along with the caramel and chocolate notes. We roast the coffee only to medium so as to maintain those flavors.
  • No Pesticides! We use only 100% organic certified arabica coffee whole beans, grown without chemicals or GMOs. In drinking our coffee you will only absorb beneficial antioxidants naturally found in coffee grown at high altitudes.
  • Peace of Mind! In addition to being certified Organic, our Guatemalan is also certified Bird Friendly and Fair Trade. These certifications ensure that safeguards fair pricing, workers' rights, protects wildlife and the environment.
  • Whole Bean is Better! We only package whole bean coffee for the best flavor and so you may grind your coffee for any brewer - regular drip, pour over, French press, espresso etc...
  • Family Owned and Operated! We want you to be happy! If you are not satisfied with your coffee please contact us so we can make it right!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 09:15 am GMT

Ethiopian coffee beans

What does the coffee smell like?

  • Super sweet.
  • Very fruity.
  • Aromatic spices.

How does the coffee taste?

  • Sweetness overload.
  • Jasmine.
  • Honey.
  • Tastes fresh, without any bitter notes like caramel can sometimes give off.

Amazing coffee. The taste is super sweet and fruity, great to brew Chemex with. The coffee from Ethiopia looks like this:

Ethiopian coffee beans next to the ground version of it

Tip: If you’re interested in getting your hands on some Ethiopian coffee beans, check them out right here.

Costa Rican coffee beans

What does the coffee smell like?

  • Slight sweetness.
  • Floral notes, but not in the foreground.
  • Nuts.

How does the coffee taste?

  • Chocolate taste, in between milk and dark chocolate.
  • Nuts.
  • Sweetness, like honey or agave syrup.

The overall flavor of Costa Rican coffee is well-balanced, with a slightly strong but floral flavor to it. The Costa Rican coffee looks like this:

Costa Rican coffee beans next to the ground version of it

Tip: If you want to get some amazing Costa Rican coffee beans, check it out here.

Tasting all these coffee beans and giving you a rundown of their differences was amazing!

As you can see, coffee beans differ in flavor, and it can take some time to find the best tasting coffee beans for you.

This is why I hope you can now make an informed decision about which coffee beans you will buy next.

Here are a few notes on the taste test that I did on the coffees above:

  • Each of these coffee beans was roasted less than a week ago. The flavor of coffee beans will deteriorate after eight weeks. Using your coffee beans within this timeframe is best to get the most out of them.
  • I have used the same coffee-to-water ratio for all my brews—20 grams of coffee to 1 cup (0.24 l) of water.
  • The extraction time was the same for each brew.
  • The water temperature was the same for each brew as well.

How to grind coffee beans for pour over

Once you’ve chosen a good-quality coffee bean with a coffee roast that you like, it’s time to grind the coffee beans.

The easiest way is to get the coffee ground when buying your coffee beans.

For example, you can ask your local coffee roaster to grind the coffee beans depending on the brewing technique you want to use.

Just ask them to grind your coffee beans in a pour over grind when making coffee with the Chemex and Hario V60.

But if you want to grind your coffee beans at home, these two coffee grinders are most commonly used:

  • Manual burr coffee grinders
  • Electric blade coffee grinders

These coffee grinders are both great to use. Each has its unique set of skills that might be of interest to you.

Related article: Burr vs Blade Coffee Grinder: Two Grinders Put to the Test

I have both a manual burr coffee grinder and an electric blade coffee grinder at home and have been using them since I’ve begun brewing coffee at home.

There’s a big difference between these coffee grinders, and that is the speed and quality of the coffee grind:

  • A manual burr coffee grinder produces the best and evenly ground coffee, but it can take pretty long to grind your coffee beans.
  • The blade coffee grinder is super fast but produces a very uneven coffee grind, and because of this, your coffee can taste over and under-extracted.

The great part about both coffee grinders is that they aren’t that pricey, and it is definitely worth getting either of them to produce the best coffee.

If you’re interested in buying a manual burr grinder, I suggest checking out this Hario coffee grinder. I’ve been using this coffee grinder for a long time, and it has kept up really well. You can also check it out below:

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 07:45 am GMT

If you don’t feel like hand grinding your coffee beans daily, I suggest using a blade coffee grinder. If you’re interested in buying one, you can check out this coffee grinder, or have a look down below:

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 09:00 am GMT

These coffee grinders will get the job done, and you’re one step closer to producing the best coffee you’ve had in a long time.

Here are a few good-to-know things about grinding your coffee beans:

Let’s go over the best grind size to use:

Chemex coffee grind size

To brew the best Chemex coffee you’ve ever tasted, you will need to use the correct grind size.

So, what is the best grind size for brewing coffee with the Chemex?

Best grind size: I found that brewing Chemex coffee using a medium to fine grind works best to extract all the flavors out of the coffee beans.

Here you can see which coffee grind I used for brewing coffee my Chemex coffees in this article:

“The best coffee beans for Chemex, on the photo you can see the grind size I use for Chemex”

As you can see from the photo above, the coffee grind size looks pretty fine.

I usually describe this coffee grind size as a touch finer than coarse sea salt. The coffee grind size still has a bit of structure, but not too much.

I suggest playing around with the settings if you own a coffee grinder at home. Go a bit finer or coarser every time you’ve brewed a cup of coffee.

Do you feel like the coffee tastes a bit sour? Adjust your coffee grinder to a finer coffee grind.

Does the coffee have bitter notes to it? You might’ve gone too fine on the coffee grind. The coffee has over-extracted a bit. Adjust your grinder to a coarser setting.

Brewing Your Dream Coffee at home is all about trial and error. But the best part about that is that you enjoy various coffees from different origins along the way.

Trust me; once you find that perfect setting on your coffee grinder, you don’t want to drink coffee using a different coffee brewer anytime soon.

Related article: Coffee Grind Size Chart for Every Coffee Brew Out There!

How to make Chemex coffee

If you have read this article about the best whole bean coffee beans for pour over, and you’ve not yet had the chance to brew coffee with a Chemex before, I suggest reading my pour over guide.

The pour over guide will include the use of the Chemex, so you will know exactly how to brew that amazing cup of joe.

If you are interested in reading the article, you can click here to take you straight to the article.

In that article, there’s even more information about the brewing of Chemex coffee, like the ratio of coffee to water and the difference between pour over coffee and other coffee brewers out there.

And if you haven’t bought your Chemex yet, check out this Chemex sizes guide here to learn which Chemex size fits you.

Other great coffee beans

Not sure yet about brewing Chemex coffee with the coffee beans mentioned in this article? Or just curious to see which coffee beans are out there?

I’ve got you covered! Check out the lists below to find great coffee beans for different brewing methods and recipes:

And for even more information about coffee beans, check out the coffee beans hub here!


To brew Your Dream Coffee at home, you’ll need amazing coffee beans.

But which coffee beans are best for Chemex? I reviewed five of my favorite coffee origins with you, which can help you find your favorite coffee beans.

After reading this article, I hope you’ll try a few of these coffee origins yourself so you can taste how amazing these coffee beans are and how much they differ.

I would love to see you back on my blog. I suggest checking out the links below if you want to explore the coffee world further.

These links will take you to brewing guides to learn more about different coffee brewers!

Learn more about home-brewing coffee

Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.

Write A Comment

Pin It