• Cher Dayrit

Coffee Brewing Series 7- Chemex


Also one of the most elegant brewing methods in the world. A beloved manual pour-over that produces a delicious, clean cup of coffee.


What is the Chemex?

The Chemex is a manual pour-over that was invented in 1941 and is still widely popular today. Created by a German chemist named Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, used the basic design and function of laboratory funnels and flasks to invent the chemex, a laboratory grade drip coffeemaker. It was intended to be a work of art as well as an effective tool. Schlumbohm wanted to reimagine the perfect cup of coffee. He wanted to strip this basic act down to its very essentials and reshape it from the ground up and this began with design. In choosing to construct what became the Chemex’s famous hourglass shape, he ended up not only creating a device that brewed coffee without a hint of bitterness, but also a product whose elegance reflected the new, streamlined aesthetic of Mid-Century Modernism. Not only that it has a very elegant appearance and it also brew an extremely good coffee. The glass pour-over has an hourglass shape, with a bowl-like bottom and funneled top. The classic design features a classy wooden handle around the midsection. A more recent design has a glass handle. The Chemex is one of the few coffee maker to be displayed in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Schlumbohm, who patented some 300 inventions during the course of his career, succeeded admirably: one can regularly find his enduring legacy, the Chemex, exhibited in the permanent collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Brooklyn Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass, and as a part of temporary collections in museums around the world.

The Chemex is essentially a glass beaker designed to make coffee using a paper filter, coffee grounds, and water. A circular filter is folded into the top half of the glass decanter, filled with grounds, and hot water is poured over the top. A slender, indented spout allows steam to escape while brewing, or coffee to be poured once the filter and grounds have been discarded. The carafe’s midsection is surrounded by a shapely wood corset tied with a leather bow, which protects the hand from heat.

The Chemex has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last decade. Coffee connoisseurs have come to prize its consistency, beauty and integrity, while those without much disposable income rejoice at a chance to experience fantastic brewed coffee using a product that, despite all its finery, can be had for a low cost. The only real costs which many coffee lovers are only too happy to pay are time, patience and a willingness to learn the finer points of a different approach to brewing coffee.

The Chemex is well-suited for -

Coffee lovers who understand that coffee is an art and are interested in learning about all aspects of the brewing process. As is the case with all manual pour-overs, brewing coffee with the Chemex takes a few minutes. Thus, it’s not an ideal choice for coffee drinkers who are in a hurry. For people who don’t mind spending some time making coffee, though, the Chemex lets the brewer adjust any part of the brewing process.

The brewing style of the Chemex and its special paper filters produce clean, crisp brews. While any good coffee brewed in the Chemex will produce a decent cup. Chemex coffee maker is especially suited for light and light-medium roasts. The Chemex is available in several different sizes, ranging from three to thirteen cups. There is also an appropriate-sized model whether making coffee for one to two persons or a whole party.

The Chemex is made of -

Glass, which gives the coffee maker its distinctive appearance. The Classic Series and Handblown Series have a wooden collar around the middle and a rawhide thong, which can come in a number of colors. The Glass Handle Series has a glass handle instead of a wooden collar and rawhide thong.

The Chemex makes an excellent cup of coffee -

One that taste just as good as the coffee maker looks. Of course, brewing great coffee does require some skill and expertise, because the entire process is done by hand. The Chemex’s bonded filters make the coffee maker a particularly good choice for light and light-medium roasts, such as Fruity Profile and Classic Profile. The paper filters don’t allow any fines into the cup, creating a bright, clean and crisp brew that showcases the origin characteristics of lighter roasts.

The Chemex is easily cleaned -

Models with glass handles are dishwasher safe and require nothing more than being run through the dishwasher. Models that have a wooden collar and leather thong must be washed with soap and water by hand. The collar and thong, however, don’t need to be removed.

How To Use A Chemex

Here are the steps and with practice you will be brewing your way to a delicious cup of coffee.

Chemex Brewing

What you need:

Chemex 6-cup brewer

Square Chemex filter

36 grams (5-7 tbsp) beans

600 mL water, plus additional for rinsing

Pouring Kettle (gooseneck preferred)


Coffee Mug

Burr grinder (recommended)

Scale (recommended)


  1. Heat water to 96°C by bringing it to a boil and letting it sit for 30 seconds.

  2. Unfold the Chemex filter and insert in the top of the brewer, making sure the 3-layered side of the filter is lined up with the pouring spout.

  3. Pour hot water around the inside of the filter for about 5 seconds. Keeping the filter in place, discard the rinsing water.

  4. If using pre-ground coffee skip to Step 5. Otherwise, weigh your whole bean coffee and grind it on a setting slightly coarser than medium.

  5. Pour your ground coffee into the filter and gently shake the brewer back and forth to settle the grounds.

  6. Start your timer and slowly pour just enough water over the grounds to wet them evenly (about 70 grams). (Time: 0:00-0:45) Let it sit until your timer reads 45 seconds. This step is called the bloom, when hot water forces the coffee to release trapped gases.

  7. Begin pouring continuously in a spiraling pattern. (Time: 0:45-2:45) Try to avoid pouring directly in the center or around the edges of the filter. If the water level nears the rim of the Chemex, pause for a moment to let it drain before continuing. Stop pouring once your timer reads 2:45 or your scale reads 600 grams.

  8. Allow all the water to drain through the filter. (Time: 2:45-3:30) Remove the filter from the dripper and discard the grounds. If your final time was longer than 4:00, your grind was probably too fine. If your final time was shorter than 3:00, your grind was probably too coarse. Make a small adjustment to the grind next time you brew. Enjoy!

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