Get brewing with the Chemex

chemex brewing recipe for how to brew with the chemex


Another great way to brew your coffee at home is with the Chemex coffee maker. The Chemex is probably best known for its iconic hourglass shape.  The thicker paper filters used in the Chemex remove many coffees impurities, oils, bitter elements leaving a clean cup that let its flavour profile shine.

So, let’s get brewing with the Chemex.

What you need for brewing with your Chemex?

  1. Chemex coffee maker

  2. Chemex paper filters

  3. Freshly roasted coffee

  4. Coffee grinder (or use pre-ground coffee)

  5. Scale for weighing your ground coffee and weighing the amount of brewed coffee

  6. Kettle

  7. Water

  8. Mug

Pssst: The Chemex brewing recipe requires 6 grams of coffee for 100 ml of brewing water. Let’s say you want to brew 400ml (=g) of coffee, how much ground coffee do you need? 6 g x 4 = 24 grams


Chemex brewing instructions for humans

Step #1: Select the size of your Chemex coffee maker and Chemex paper filter

The Chemex Classic coffee maker comes in different sizes with different brewing capacities:

  1. Chemex 3-cup with a 450 ml brewing capacity

  2. Chemex 6-cup with a 900 ml brewing capacity

  3. Chemex 8-cup with a 1.1 litre brewing capacity

  4. Chemex 10-cup with a 1.5 litre brewing capacity

Make sure you select the right Chemex filter size for your Chemex coffee maker.

Now for our brewing recipe of 700ml, use a 6-cup or above Chemex coffee maker.


Step #2: Get your Chemex paper filter ready

Now the Chemex paper filters are a bit unusual. The filter has multiple folds. When you open the filter, you find one side with one layer and the other side with three layers. Place the filter with the multiple layers against the spout of your Chemex.

Rinse the Chemex filter paper with hot water. This will help getting rid off any papery taste of the filter and helps you also to pre-warm Chemex coffee brewer. Don’t forget to empty the brewer at the end of this step.


Step #3: Weigh and grind your coffee

If you can, use freshly roasted coffee. Local coffee roasters display their roast date on the coffee packaging. Your coffee will be at its best within 6 weeks of roasting.

For our brewing recipe you need 42 grams of coffee. Grind your coffee beans using a medium-coarse grind setting. A coarse grind is typically used for a plunger coffee and a medium grind is used for a clever dripper or batch brew such as the Moccamaster. So you want to end up in between those grind settings.

Place the Chemex with filter on a scale and tare. Now fill the filter with 42 grams of medium-coarse ground coffee.

Pssst: Try to use whole beans and only grind once you are ready to use them. If you don’t have a coffee grinder. Simply order pre-ground coffee and keep it stored in your resealable coffee bag with a one-way valve.


Step #4: Water temperature for brewing with your Chemex

The optimal water temperature for your Chemex is about 94o C. If your kettle is programmable, set it to 94o C. If it isn’t, simply bring your water to the boil and let it stand for about 30 seconds before you start pouring.


Step #5: @ 0:00 - Start adding water

Your Chemex with filter and coffee are placed on your scale and ready to go. Make sure to tare your scale to zero. Start pouring about 80 – 90ml of hot water over your coffee grounds or until the coffee is just saturated. You will see bubbles on top of the wet coffee bed emerging. This process is called ‘coffee bloom’ and starts the chemical reaction which removes gases from the coffee.


Step #6: @ 0:30 - Continue adding water

Continue pouring water in slow circles.

Pause your pouring when the water level has reached just before the edge of the Chemex coffee maker. Once the water level drops, continue adding water until your scale reads 700 grams.

Pssst: if your coffee stalls in the filter you may experience a bitter taste in your Chemex brew. This is an indication that your selected grind size is too fine for your Chemex. Simply try a coarser grind setting.


Step #7: @ 4:00 - Enjoy

Remove the filter from the Chemex and disregard. Select your favourite mug and enjoy!

Psssst: Did you know coffee grounds are a great fertiliser for your garden that can improve water holding capacity in the soil and promote plant growth. For some tips and tricks on how to use your coffee grounds get in touch with our friends at Reground.

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