Chemex is a visually stunning coffee maker that uses the pour-over method to produce a remarkably clean, well-balanced cup of coffee. It is a well-known manual brewer adored for its elegance and precision.

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What is Chemex

What is Chemex

Chemex is a pour-over coffee maker cherished by coffee lovers for manual brewing. Designed by chemist Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, the Chemex was manufactured by the Chemex Corporation in Chicopee, Massachusetts. This iconic coffee maker has an hourglass-shaped glass flask with a conical funnel-like neck, wooden collar, and leather tie. This coffee maker uses proprietary filters made of bonded paper, which results in a cleaner cup.

History of Chemex

  • While designing the Chemex, Schlumbohm planned to ease the brewing without affecting its original beauty. Using his Chemist knowledge, he studied the chemistry behind the extraction of flavor and caffeine from coffee beans and crafted the double-bonded Chemex filters that resulted in perfect extraction.


  • Chemex is represented by a heat-resistant borosilicate glass carafe and a collar crafted from sourced wood. Beyond its visual appeal, it has won hearts for its precise control over water temperature and extraction time, resulting in a clean, flavorful cup.


  • It gained recognition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1942 for its timeless design, exceptional coffee production, and enduring legacy.


  • In 1958, this coffee maker was marked as "one of the best-designed products of modern times" by the designers at the Illinois Institute of Technology.


  • It's considered ideal for manual brewing and cherished for its design and cleaner cup.

Roast level

Light to Medium Roast


Grind Size

Medium Coarse


Water temperature



Steeping time

4-5 minutes

Best Coffee to water ratio



Chemex Parts Explained

Chemex parts explained

How to use a Chemex

Step 1: Set the filter paper

Place the Chemex filter in such a way that it sits properly in the Chemex carafe. We are using a cloth filter here although a paper filter would also be appropriate.


How to Make a Chemex Coffee Stronger

Step 1: Increase the coffee-to-water ratio

The coffee-to-water ratio makes a huge impact on your brew. For a stronger cup, you can simply increase the amount of coffee grounds as per the water. A good starting point is a 1:15 or 1:16 ratio, meaning for every 1 gram of coffee, use 15 or 16 grams of water.

Step 2: Try a finer grind size

With the use of a finer grind size, the grounds will expose more surface area of the coffee grounds to the water, resulting in a more concentrated extraction and a stronger cup. You can experiment with different grind sizes slightly finer than medium-coarse to achieve the desired intensity.

Step 3: Extend the brew time

Extending the brew time will allow a thorough extraction of the coffee's flavor compounds, leading to a bolder cup. Experiment with the different brew times by modifying it from 30 seconds to a minute, while monitoring the taste to avoid bitterness.

Step 4: Use a gooseneck kettle

A gooseneck kettle provides precise control over the pouring, making sure that there is even saturation of the coffee grounds. This technique promotes consistent extraction and contributes to a stronger brew.

Step 5: Consider water temperature

Water temperature significantly affects coffee extraction. Using a slightly higher water temperature, around 200°F (93°C), can enhance extraction and produce a bolder cup. However, it is suggested to avoid boiling water, as it can lead to bitterness.

Step 6: Select darker roasts

Darker roast coffee beans have a more intense flavor profile due to their extended roasting process. Opting for such dark roast beans will naturally contribute to a stronger cup as compared to lighter roasts.

Step 7: Preheat your Chemex

Warming the Chemex carafe and filter beforehand helps to maintain the optimal water temperature throughout the brewing process, ensuring consistent extraction and a stronger cup.

Chemex Cleaning Guide

Maintain the pristineness of your Chemex by following these simple ways.


Rinse immediately after brewing

After each brewing session, rinse your Chemex carafe, filter holder, and wooden collar with warm water to release any residual coffee grounds or oils. This simple helps prevent stains and buildup from forming.


Wash it regularly

Cleaning your Chemex components is essential for deep cleaning. Use warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to gently scrub the carafe, filter holder, and wooden collar. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove the soapy solution.


Deep clean it with baking soda or vinegar

For more stubborn stains or odors, you can deep clean the Chemex using baking soda or vinegar. Add an equal amount of white vinegar and water to the carafe, or add a tablespoon of baking soda and fill it with warm water. Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes, then thoroughly rinse with clean water.


Clean the wooden collar

To maintain the elegance of the wooden collar, consider using a mild soapy solution and a soft cloth to wipe it down. Avoid submerging the collar in water, as it can cause the wood to bend or crack.


Dry it thoroughly

Once all the components are cleaned, keep them aside to dry completely before reassembling and storing the Chemex. Air drying is the best method, but a clean microfiber towel can be used to remove any remaining moisture.


Why Chemex

Remarkable design & aesthetics

The Chemex has a timeless and sleek design. Its aesthetic appeal makes it a choice for those who appreciate both form and function.


Chemex boasts a simple process. It involves placing a paper filter in the upper portion, adding coffee grounds, pouring hot water, and letting it drip through. This simplicity is idolized by coffee lovers who prefer a straightforward and hands-on brewing method.

Clean flavor

The Chemex uses special proprietary filters as compared to some other brewing methods. This filter releases more oils and sediment from the coffee and produces a clean and clear cup. This coffee is appreciated by those who want to experience the nuanced flavors of the coffee beans without any interference from oils or residue.

Control over brewing variables

Users get complete control over the brewing variables such as water temperature, grind size, and pouring technique. This allows coffee enthusiasts to experiment and fine-tune their brewing process to achieve the desired taste.


The Chemex can be used for both hot and iced coffee. Its versatility makes it suitable for different preferences and seasons.

Large brewing capacity

Chemex coffee makers come in various sizes, including larger ones that can brew coffee for group gatherings. So the people looking to brew more cups in a go can embrace the magic of Chemex coffee maker.


The Chemex paper filters are biodegradable, and cherished for generations which makes it an environmentally friendly option compared to some other brewing methods that use metal or plastic filters.

Other Uses of Chemex Brewer

Herb and spice infusion

You can even create flavorful infusions with Chemex's pour-over method. Simply add the dried herbs or spices to the filter and pour hot water over them. This will allow the natural flavors to steep and extract.

Make tea

The Chemex's easy pouring mechanism makes it excellent for brewing loose-leaf teas. The filter entraps tea leaves while allowing the tea's essence to infuse the water, resulting in a clean, flavorful cup.

Make Cold Brew

The Chemex's big carafe is perfect for preparing large quantities of cold brew coffee. Fill the carafe with coarsely ground coffee and cold water, let it steep overnight for a while, and enjoy a refreshing, smooth cold brew.

Iced tea

The Chemex can also be considered to make refreshing iced teas. Brew loose-leaf tea as usual, keep it aside to cool, and pour some ice for a delightful summer beverage.


The Chemex's graceful design makes it a stylish addition to beverages like wine, water, or homemade juices. Its clean lines and clear glass help to unfold the beverage's beauty.

Flower Vase

The Chemex's shape and clear glass make it a stunning vase alternative for floral displays.


Common Mistakes

Grind size too coarse or too fine

Using the wrong grind size might lead to under-extraction (coarse grind) or over-extraction (fine grind). Try different grind sizes to find the one that best fits your taste preferences. For Chemex brewing, a medium-coarse grind is considered ideal.

Wrong coffee-to-water ratio

A wrong coffee-to-water ratio can result in coffee that is too weak or too strong. Follow the suggested ratio for the balanced cup.

Inconsistent pouring technique

Pouring water unevenly over the coffee grounds might result in an uneven extraction. Aim for a steady, circular pour to make sure all the coffee grounds are evenly saturated.

Water temperature too hot or cold

Water temperature is crucial for proper extraction. Too hot water can cause over-extraction and bitterness, while too cold water may result in under-extraction and a sour taste. Keep the temperature between 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C).

Avoiding the blooming process

Failing to let the coffee bloom (pre-infusion) well can affect the overall extraction. Allow the coffee grounds to bloom by pouring a small amount of water and letting it sit for about 30 seconds before continuing with the next pour.

Pouring too quickly

Pouring water too quickly can affect the brewing process and lead to uneven extraction. Take your time and pour in a slow, controlled manner.

Using stale coffee beans

Freshness is the key. Using stale or old coffee beans can result in a flat cup of coffee. Invest in high-quality, freshly roasted beans for the best flavor.

Not rinsing the filter

Not rinsing the paper filter before brewing can introduce a papery taste to your coffee. Rinse the filter with hot water to remove any residual paper flavor.

Overlooking cleaning and maintenance

Failing to clean your Chemex thoroughly after each use can lead to the collection of coffee oils and residues, influencing the taste of future brews. Keep a schedule for cleaning the Chemex regularly with mild detergent and warm water.

Ignoring the water quality

The quality of water used in brewing is often missed. If your tap water has a strong taste or impurities, it can impact the taste of your coffee. Use filtered or bottled water for the most promising results.

Accessories to Enhance Chemex Brewing


Chemex bamboo stand by HEXNUB

This Chemex Bamboo stand is the best way to keep your Chemex organized. It easily fits your Chemex.


Insulated Sleeve For Chemex

Great accessory for Chemex lovers! It helps you keep brewed coffee warmer for a longer period.


HEXNUB – Bamboo Lid

This bamboo lid is ideal to preserve the freshness and aroma of your coffee. It's eco-friendly, locks in heat, and prevents spills.


Pre-infusionA technique where coffee grounds are allowed to bloom or saturate with a small amount of water before the main pour. This ensures even extraction and enhances the flavor.
Papery tasteA taste that can be imparted to coffee by the filter. Rinsing the filter well before brewing can help to remove this taste.
Gooseneck kettleA specialized kettle with a long, thin spout that allows precise control over the pouring.
DrawdownThe time taken by the Chemex for the water to pass through the coffee grounds and filter into the carafe. A typical Chemex drawdown takes around 4-5 minutes.
Drip RateThe speed at which the water drips through the coffee grounds and filter. A controlled and steady drip rate is important for even extraction.