How to Use Chemex Coffee Maker? 6 Simple Steps for Beginners

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A Chemex coffee maker is a unique, well-designed coffee maker and a perfect addition to your kitchen appliances. You can rely on it for making light roast coffees.

It’s also known for its incorporated coffee filters, offering you a different level of richness in every cup.

Coffee enthusiasts and beginners looking to experiment and prefer a richer flavor of a pour-over coffee have this brewing equipment.

So, how does a Chemex coffee maker work? Let’s find out here.

how to make chemex coffee for beginners

Brewing Your Coffee Using a Chemex Coffee Maker

Check the simple steps below as your guide on how to use Chemex during the brewing process. But before you could brew your favorite coffee, make sure to prepare the following:

  • 8-cup Chemex
  • Paper Filter (Chemex Square or Circular)
  • Gooseneck Kettle
  • Filtered Water
  • 80g Medium Coarse Ground Coffee
  • Coffee Scale (Optional)
  • Stir Stick
  • Burr Grinder (if you prefer freshly roasted coffee)
  • Timer

Step 1: Prepare the Filter Paper

coffee paper filter

Unfold the filter paper before using it.  Make sure the three-fold side faces the coffee maker’s spout.

Note that proper set-up of the filter is necessary to prevent it from collapsing once you start brewing.

And while you are setting up the filter, you can begin heating water using a Gooseneck kettle.

Step 2: Rinse the Filter

Pour hot water on the filter until all sides are completely wet and seal it against the coffee maker.

Rinsing the filter is also essential to get rid of its papery taste and to preheat the coffee maker.

To dump the water, make sure to hold the filter, then carefully turn the coffee maker upside down.

Step 3: Weigh the Coffee Beans

weighing coffee beans

After setting up the brewer, it’s time to weigh your favorite coffee beans that you will use for brewing. A coffee scale will be of great help, but it’s optional.

Step 4: Grind the Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

grinding coffee beans

After weighing out the coffee beans, you are now ready to grind them. Once you start the grind, check if it is medium-coarse.

The grind size is an essential factor that affects the taste of the coffee. You can adjust the grind size according to how you want your coffee to taste.

If you prefer your coffee bitter, then set your grinder to fine grind. But since the Chemex paper filter is thick, a medium-coarse will be your best option as it keeps the water flowing.

Note that it is essential to read the instructions on your grinder’s manual before using it if you are not familiar with how it works.

Step 5: Start the Brewing Process

chemex on a scale

Place the Chemex coffee maker with the filter on the scale. Pour the coffee grounds, then tare the scale. After bringing the water to a boil, wait for about 30 seconds before pouring.

Start the timer, do an initial pour over the coffee grounds, and make sure they are evenly saturated.

You will soon notice bubbles start to form, which means you achieved a perfect bloom.

brewing coffee on chemex

Wait for at least 30 seconds before you continue pouring water. You may use the stir stick to move the coffee grounds and to ensure all are wet.

Check the scale and see if you already have the right amount of coffee you need.

Tip: When you pour water, do it in a spiral or circular motion. Additionally, when you move the coffee grounds using the stir stick, do it gently.

Step 6: Allow the Coffee to Drip

Before lifting the filter, let the coffee drip for about four minutes. But if you see some coffee grounds appear even before the set time, you may remove the filter. Serve and enjoy!

serving coffee from a chemex

Tip: Swirl the Chemex a couple of times before pouring the coffee into a mug. Then, drink your coffee while still hot because once it starts to cool, its taste changes.

Choosing the Right Size of Chemex

Some of you might have struggled to choose the size of a Chemex that fits your needs. Since it has different cup models, consider how many of you prefer a pour-over coffee.

The 3-cup model is your ideal option as it can fill your large coffee mug if you are alone.

CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker, 3-Cup
$39.91
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A 6-cup model is also available, which is perfect for two cups. But if you need a size for up to four cups of coffee, then go with the 8-cup model.

Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker
4.8
$44.63
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So, if you have a companion at home or in your office who loves pour-over coffee, your ideal option would be the six or 8-cup size. 

CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker- 8-Cup
4.8
$46.68
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You can also choose the 10-cup model if there are more than three adults in your home. In case there’s a leftover coffee in your Chemex, you can store it in the fridge and reheat it the next day. 

CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker, 10-Cup
$48.74
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Tip: Before making a final purchase, it is essential to consider even the size of the mug or cup you will use.

The Chemex Filters

The Chemex coffee maker is not complete without the filters. Whether it’s a Chemex square or circular, the filters make this coffee maker special and unique from other models. 

These filters are thicker than regular ones are. It just means they can successfully filter unnecessary flavors and oils from your coffee.

So, when you brew coffee and use Chemex filters, expect a clear cup of coffee. 

If you prefer the Chemex square, you must fold it first. Next, unfold the filter, and the three-layered side should be against the pour spout.

There’s not much difference between the two, but you might notice the square filter easier to use.

The Ideal Grind Size for a Chemex Coffee Maker

The grind size makes a difference in the taste of the coffee. To have a perfect coffee from your Chemex, consider the ideal grind size you will use for brewing.

Two grind sizes work best for this coffee maker. 

When you grind freshly roasted coffee beans, keep an eye and make sure the size is like kosher or sea salt. You can choose either medium or medium-coarse grind.

If you don’t want to spend a long time brewing your coffee, it is not advisable to grind the beans too fine.

Note that Chemex filters are thicker than regular filters.

With the use of a burr grinder, you can achieve coffee with an even consistency. 

You can choose to grind enough coffee to make a single or two cups before brewing or grind enough for a week.

If you prefer the latter, make sure to store the grounds in an airtight container to retain their freshness.

The Amount of Coffee Grounds You Need

When brewing coffee using Chemex, consider your coffee and water’s proper ratio to have the ideal flavor you want for every cup.

According to coffee experts, you will need 700g of water to brew about 50g of coffee grounds.

To measure the exact amount of coffee, you may use a kitchen scale.

GreaterGoods Digital Food Kitchen Scale
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$9.24
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You can grind enough coffee for more than a week, store the grounds in an airtight container, and always prepare a coffee scoop.

It is the best alternative for those who have busy schedules.

So, instead of grinding and weighing the coffee right before brewing, you only must scoop the exact amount of coffee grounds.

Then, how many coffee scoops do you need equivalent to 40-50g of coffee? It would be 4 to 5 scoops.

For the 8-cup model, you will need about 80g of ground coffee or at least eight scoops and 40 ounces of water.

It is the ideal measurement if you want to fill your Chemex coffee maker or prefer your drink to be overly strong.

But if you don’t prefer too strong coffee, you can adjust the number of coffee scoops.

Instead of 4 coffee scoops, make it two and fill your kettle with water. Note that once you alter the measurement, you might over-extract or under-extract your coffee.

It’s a matter of trial and error, but you have the option and remember your coffee taste preference.

Bottom Line

The Chemex coffee maker is aesthetically pleasing and ideal for brewing a delicious and quality pour-over coffee.

It is one of the best coffee makers that delivers a rich cup of coffee. Now that you have an idea of how it works, you can brew your coffee with ease. 

Note that proper handling of this brewer is necessary if you want to keep it for a long time. 

And whenever you brew your coffee using Chemex, remember the ideal grind size and amount of coffee grounds you will use. 

All these are essential factors in achieving a rich and aromatic coffee flavor you want.

Isaiah Ram
Isaiah was a former Starbucks barista partner. He prefers using a Chemex brewer than espresso machine to make his coffee. Why? He believes that a good cup of coffee takes time to make. And if you're looking for special Starbucks secret menu, he's the guys to ask to! Read more about the site here.
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