There are some things that are truly worth the wait. They give you the motivation to get out of bed each morning - like a unique and flavorful cup of Chemex coffee (pronounced as Ke-mex). Knowing how to use a Chemex coffee maker properly is the first step towards a great tasting Chemex coffee.
The Chemex coffee maker can be quite tricky to use. You have to pay close attention to the individual components and follow the steps carefully. It will absolutely be worth the wait once you get the hang of it.
What to Prepare
Before we jump right to the steps, you’ll need to prepare the following materials and ingredients:
1. Chemex Coffee Maker
This coffee maker comes in different sizes. The size you choose will depend on the number of cups that you want to make. The example above can make 10 cups of Chemex pour-over coffee.
Tip: Preheat the Chemex coffee maker to allow coffee to brew properly and retain its temperature longer.
2. Chemex Filter
These are usually round or square-shaped coffee filters that you fold into a cone to fit into the Chemex kettle. Bleached paper, unbleached paper, or even a reusable filter can be used. It all depends on your preference.
3. Kitchen Scale
This device is used to ensure that you have the right ratio between coffee and water. Begin with a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio. This means that if you have a 3-cup Chemex Coffee maker, put 47 grams of ground coffee for every 3 cups of water. You can use this online coffee-to-water ratio calculator to get the numbers for your particular serving.
4. Coarse-ground Coffee Beans
Use fresh ground beans for best results. Most burr coffee grinders have an automatic coarse-grind setting that make it easy to achieve consistent results.
Check out our chart that lists some of the best coffee beans for French press (applies to Chemex coffee as well).
5. Off-the-Boil Water
Following a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio, boil some water and allow it to rest for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Steps (How to Use a Chemex Coffee Maker)
Now that you are equipped with the things needed, it's time to start making Chemex coffee. It may look like a tedious process in the beginning, but as with most things in life, anyone can get better with practice.
Step 1: Fold Coffee Filter into a Conical Shape
Step 2: Place the Coffee Filter on Top of the Chemex Kettle
Open up the coffee filter so that it forms a cone. You'll notice that there's a section with one layer of paper and another with three layers. Put the section with three layers on the side of the kettle's pouring spout.
Step 3: Rinse Off the Coffee Filter
Gently pour water around the filter. Make sure to cover as much surface area as possible. Once done, throw away the water inside the Chemex kettle. This step ensures that the taste of paper does not become a part of the coffee.
Step 4: Put Coarse-Grind Coffee on the Chemex
Carefully put your coffee grinds on the kettle. This is where the 1:15 ratio and kitchen scale come into play.
Step 5: Allow Coffee to Bloom by Adding Some Water
Add just enough water to moisten the coffee grounds, and then hold out for about 30 seconds. Eventually, blooming develops. The blooming process is what makes a great cup of Chemex coffee.
Step 6: Do the Initial Pouring
After 30 seconds, slowly pour water up to an inch below the kettle. It is recommended to pour it in a circular motion. Start with the outer rim and gradually towards the center. This guarantees that the coffee grounds are wet and in contact with water.
Step 7: Pour in the Rest of the Water and Let It Brew
Slowly add the rest of the water in the same way (circular motion). Once you’ve poured all the water, wait a while to allow the coffee grounds to settle down to the bottom of the Chemex coffee maker.
Step 8: Enjoy!
You are now ready to enjoy a great cup of Chemex coffee. If you want to reheat the coffee, you may place the Chemex kettle on a stove at a low heat setting. Please do not use an electric stove as it can cause the glass kettle to crack. A Chemex Stainless Steel Wire Grid will protect against kettle damage by diffusing heat from the electric stove top.
Chemex Coffee Makers For Sale
Now that you know how to use a Chemex coffee maker, you will absolutely be able to tell the difference between Chemex and the usual drip-type coffee. Chemex has been a favorite pour-over method for many coffee connoisseurs since its invention back in the 1940's.
Over the years, Chemex has added new designs to add variety to its products - from hand-blown to glass-handle versions. It even has an Ottomatic version that can brew hot and iced coffee.
Don’t have a Chemex coffee maker yet? Check out a couple of them below: