Background

The Chemex's design has remained completely unchanged (right down to its charming wood handle and leather cord) since its invention in 1941 by a German inventor named Peter Schlumbohm. Schlumbohm's designs were once characterized as "a synthesis of logic and madness," and we're inclined to agree. Equal parts brilliance and common sense, the Chemex remains a staple in every coffee enthusiast's arsenal.

Coffee from a Chemex is very similar to drip coffee, except that there’s more room for error. In order to guarantee the best results, make sure you’ve ground your coffee a bit coarser than in a ceramic dripper (there is, after all, more of it), and that you’ve given extra attention to your rate of pour. The upside? You can make enough to share with friends.


Share
Shared kettle
Bring to a boil twice as much water as you’ll need for the actual brewing (around 1,200-1,400 grams for a 6-cup Chemex).
Chemex step 2
Weigh out about 50-60 grams of coffee (or approximately four or five tablespoons of beans).
Chemex step 3Shared course grinds
While the water is heating, grind your coffee. The grind should be about as coarse as that of a French press.
Chemex step 4aChemex step 4b
Unfold your filter and place it in your Chemex.
Chemex step 5
Pour in some of the extra water, fully saturating the filter and warming the glass. After about a minute, you can pour this water into your cup to heat that, too.
Chemex step 6
Pour your ground coffee into the filter and give it a gentle shake. This will flatten the bed, allowing for a more even pour.
Chemex step 7
Starting at the bed’s center, gently pour twice the amount of water that you have coffee into your grounds – for example, 100 grams of water for 50 grams of coffee. Work your way outward gently, and avoid pouring down the sides of the filter.
Chemex step 8
Allow the coffee to expand, or “bloom” for between 30 and 45 seconds. A solid bloom will ensure even water dispersion – and a delicious cup later on.
Chemex step 9aChemex step 9b
Continue pouring – delicately, beautifully – into the center of the grounds. You should pour at such a rate that the complete brew process takes about four minutes.
Chemex step 10
Drink your coffee. Marvel at your dedication and skill. Repeat if necessary.