Chemex Brewing Guide

Chemex Brewing Guide
Category: All About Coffee
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Synopsis: A little introduction into how we like to prepare our Chemex, and some after thoughts.

My Love for Chemex!

1.)    The amount of coffee: I use 7.5g of a medium grind per 6oz of water. I also usually use 1L / 42g.

2.)    I use larger brewers like the 8 cup as I find the larger the brew the better your cup, generally.

3.)    I use a bonavita gooseneck kettle – look for the new variable temperature gooseneck kettle.

4.)    I use ONLY the Chemex bonded filters. White or unbleached, your choice.

5.)    Pour hot water around the edges of the filter before you put in your coffee. This pre-heats the glass and gets any paper taste out of the filter.

6.)    Dump out that water, silly. Don’t worry, the filter wont come out if you tip it upside down.

7.)    Pour in your ground coffee.

8.)    After your kettle comes to a boil, let it sit for 15-30 seconds. I find that I like it to sit for 15 seconds, but it might be a little hot for some. Try both. Once the variable temperature kettle comes out, this will be even easier.

9.)    I usually make a small indent in the center of the coffee bed with a spoon or scoop.

10.)  I pour a couple of ounces into the center of the coffee bed, where you have previously made an indent and let the coffee “bloom”. You should see it expand and you might even see bubbles. This is good, it means your coffee is fresh.

11.)  After 30 seconds of pre-infusion, I then start with my pour.

12.)  In a circular motion, start pouring your water from the center of the coffee bed out. Do not pour along the sides of the brewer.

13.)  Always leave an inch below the rim of the brewer. Once the water level goes down, add more water. Try and never let the coffee bed go dry as the bed will not be saturated in hot water.

14.)  I like to swish the coffee around in the Chemex after brewing and before pouring.

That’s it in a nutshell. Different coffees will react differently and variables can be tweaked to your liking. If the water is pouring through way too fast, and the end result is a weak cup, grind finer and increase dosage. If the water stalls, grind coarser. If your coffee tastes “burnt” let the kettle rest for 30-45 seconds after boil. If it is really acidic, try hotter water and a finer dose. Experiment people! 


The Chemex brewer fascinated me, mainly because it’s so simple to use and because of the wide range of flavours your able to achieve. I’m used to working on equipment up to $20,000 + to brew espresso in our shop. I’m used to rotary pumps, 11L copper heat exchanger boilers, 20 minute warm up times, etc. In comes the Chemex, an all in one glass coffee maker ranging from $30-$100. Now, we all know that the coffee brewed on a Chemex is not the same as brewing espresso. Before I started my coffee career, I would go to Timmies (If you’re not Canadian, I’m talking about the coffee chain Tim Horton’s… named after the hockey player Tim Horton who died in a car crash in St.Catherines at the prime age of 44 – if you are Canadian, you already knew all that, right?) and order the classic Canadian double double. I didn’t even know coffee was originally black, I thought it was always light brown. That being said, I never really tasted the coffee. I tasted the milk and sugar.


I have since then been and will always be an espresso kind of guy, but a man can only drink so many double shots and cappuccinos before he starts to want more. Unlike marriage, there is no “bond” you break when switching from brew to brew. Your espresso machine won’t pack up and leave if you decide to try something new. That being said, I did feel kind of guilty at first because of how much I love brewing coffee with the Chemex. My first cup is always preferably a Chemex brewed cup.


Wow! What a change of the game once I started brewing with the Chemex. It is famous for its “No bitterness” slogan, and it’s true. The coffee I can make on the Chemex is quite simply fantastic. I drink it black of course; no sugar, no milk. What a wide range of flavours and mouthfeels and aromas like I have never experienced before. If you think you have mastered your Rancilio Silvia, conquered your micro-foam and if you introduce yourself as grindmaster – try your hand at the Chemex… you’ll be glad you did.



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