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Chemex being prepared

How to Use a Chemex

    Sophisticated, charming, and fit for a crowd

    Equal parts brilliance and common sense, the Chemex remains a staple in every coffee enthusiast's arsenal. Its design has endured, unchanged (wood handle, leather cord, tapered glass and all), since its invention in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm. Schlumbohm’s designs were characterized as “a synthesis of logic and madness,” and we're inclined to agree. Coffee from a Chemex is very similar to that from a drip, but there’s more room for error. To guarantee the best results, grind your beans more coarsely than you would for a ceramic drip, and offer extra attention to the pour rate. This level of care yields a delicate and nuanced coffee, with plenty left over to share with friends.

    Brew time

    3–4 minutes

    What you'll need

    Chemex carafe
    Chemex filters
    Digital scale

    Coffee bean icon

    Coffee Amt

    50 grams

    Grinder icon

    Grind size

    Sea Salt

    Water temp icon


    700 grams (25 oz)
    205° - 210°

    Clock icon

    Brew Time

    3–4 minutes

    Step One

    Weigh out the coffee and grind to a coarseness resembling sea salt.

    Note: The amount of coffee and water varies depending on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength. As a starting point, we recommend using 50 grams of coffee and 700 grams of water (about 25 ounces), and then adjust according to your taste.

    Ground coffee

    Step Two

    Prepare the filter

    Unfold your filter and place it in your Chemex, ensuring that the triple-fold portion is facing the pour spout and lays across without obstructing it. Fully saturate the filter and warm the vessel with hot water. Discard this water through the pour spout.

    Step Three

    Pour your ground coffee into the filter and give it a gentle shake.

    This will flatten the bed, allowing for a more-even pour.

    Coffee grounds being poured into a filter

    Step Four

    Bloom Pour

    There will be a total of four pours.

    Starting at the bed’s center, gently pour twice the amount of water that you have coffee into your grounds. Work your way gently outward, and avoid pouring down the sides of the filter. You’ll notice that adding this amount of water causes the coffee to expand, or “bloom.” Allow it to do so for 45–55 seconds. A solid bloom ensures even saturation.

    A chemex being prepared

    Step Five

    Second Pour

    Pour water in a circular pattern starting in the center. Spiral out toward the edge of the slurry before spiraling back toward the middle. Avoid pouring on the filter. Allow the water to drip through the grounds until the slurry drops 1 inch from the bottom of the filter. You should use about 200 grams of water for this pour.

    Water being added to ground coffee in a chemex

    Step Six

    Pour Three and Four

    Repeat the same pour pattern as in Step 5, adding water in 200-gram increments. Repeat once more, allowing the water to percolate through the grounds until the slurry drops 1 inch from the bottom of the filter before beginning the next pour.

    Water being poured into a chemex with ground coffee.

    Step Seven

    Allow the water to drip through the grounds entirely.

    The brew should have taken between 3.5–4.5 minutes. If the brew was too fast, consider using a finer grind or a slower pour rate next time. If the brew was too slow, consider using a coarser grind or a faster pour rate.

    A chemex of brewed coffee