Chemex Coffee Maker

What is a Chemex Coffee Maker?

The Chemex Coffee Maker is a jug style brewer that pour over lovers will find familiar in style. Purity is the goal of the Chemex, in both its aesthetic and functionality.

The Chemex Coffee Maker was designed in 1941 (released in 1942) by Peter Schlumbohm, a chemist and inventor, to provide a more refined alternative to the popular percolator. His background in chemistry formed the basis of his understanding for optimal coffee extraction and led him to design the double bonded Chemex paper filters. The vessel design was inspired by the Bauhaus school of design and non-porous labware, which he understood would not carry any flavours itself and would create a purer coffee brew.

The design has remained unaltered since its inception and is even showcased in the collections of prestigious institutions, such as The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, NY), the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian, Corning Museum of Glass (NY) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Chemex design was a revolution for pure coffee brewing, becoming a common staple across the coffee industry – it was even recognized by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the 100 top-designed products of the modern era!

The Chemex is an elegantly designed hourglass shape, made from non-porous borosilicate glass and features a wooden collar with tie. The glass is heat-resistant and the polished wood collar acts as an insulated grip.

To brew with the Chemex, simply grab your vessel, place a bonded filter in the top, add your ground coffee and start pouring! The process is so simple and easy, with no fuss and no muss at all. Brewing is a simple streamlined procedure and disposing of used coffee is easy – just grab the corners of the filter and chuck the whole lot away. Plus, the Chemex brew is so refined it can be stored in the fridge and reheated later! The brew will last for up to two weeks in the fridge, and is perfect for iced coffees or as an ingredient in recipes.

Pure Design. Pure Flavour. Enjoy your Chemex coffee straight or over ice!


How to Brew Chemex Coffee

What you will need:


Brew time:

2 minutes

Chemex Brewing Ratio:

15:1 (water: coffee). For example, 450g water to 30g coffee, or 300g water to 20g coffee, etc. For the instructions below we will use the 400g:25g ratio, suitable to half fill a 1-3 cup Chemex. The Chemex is also available in 6 or 10 cup versions.


Step 1: Measure out 25g of coffee beans and grind to a medium-course grind (courser than paper filter, but finer than plunger).

chemex coffee, brewing guide

Step 2: Boil your kettle. Suitable temperatures range from 87-94 degrees Celsius. Feel free to play around with temperature to get the best flavours out of your beans!

chemex coffee, brewing guide                                        chemex coffee, brewing guide

Step 3: Place filter in Chemex (for a 3 cup Chemex, you will have to fold your half-moon filters first), with the multi-layered side against the spout. Wet the filter with warm water to rinse out the paper taste and pre-heat the Chemex. You can pour this straight out of the Chemex via the spout, no need to remove the filter.

chemex coffee, brewing guide

Step 4: Put grind in the filter and give the Chemex a little tap or shake to create a level surface.

chemex coffee, brewing guide

Step 5: Place your Chemex, with filter and grind, on your scales and tare off. Scales should read 0.00g with equipment on it. This allows you to measure only the weight of the water.

chemex coffee, brewing guide                                         chemex coffee, brewing guide

Step 6: Using a circular motion and steady stream, pour about 40-50g of water on top of the grind and let it bloom for approximately 30 seconds. The grind should be saturated and you will see some bubbles pop up - this is the grind letting CO2 gases escape, creating a smooth and light coffee.

Step 7: Begin pouring in a steady circular motion until you reach 400-410g of water, always maintaining the water level around 0.5-1cm below the lip of the Chemex. However, feel free to play with this pour by introducing breaks at different intervals (like a Pour Over) or allow the water level to recede if needed, or maintain one long pour.

chemex coffee, brewing guide                                        chemex coffee, brewing guide

Step 8: Once you’ve poured enough water, let the water level in the filter drain to about half way and remove filter with grind in it. You can dispose of this straight into the bin or compost (the Bonded filters are biodegradable). 

Step 9: Pour using spout side of the Chemex. We recommend drinking this straight and enjoying the different flavours that appear as the brew cools!

When you’re finished, rinse the Chemex with hot soapy water and air dry.

chemex coffee, brewing guide