The curvy Chemex is both a stylish brewing device and a manifestation of pop culture—it’s housed in the MOMA and has been called “one of the best-designed products of modern times.” It’s also capable of producing a stomping good cup of coffee.

35g (5.5 Tbsp) coffee  •  525g (2 cups) water  • 

Chemex Brewing Instructions

This recipe is for the 6-cup (30 oz.) Chemex, but you can follow the same steps for other sizes too.

What you'll need

  • Chemex Coffeemaker
  • 1 Chemex filter
  • 35g (5.5 Tbsp) coffee, coarse grind
  • 525g (2 cups) water, just off boil
  • Kitchen scale

Chemex coffee-to-water ratio

We recommend starting with a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio when brewing with the Chemex. In other words, for every 1 gram of coffee, add 15 grams of water, which converts to about 3 tablespoon of coffee for every 1 cup of water. Experiment from there to find the perfect ratio for you.

Step 1: Rinse filter

Unfold the Chemex filter so that three layers cover the spout. Preheat your Chemex and filter with hot water, ensuring a seal between the paper and glass. Then discard the water into your waiting mugs to preheat them.

Step 2: Add coffee

Tip your 35 grams (around 5.5 tablespoons) of coarsly ground coffee (about the consistency of kosher sea salt) into the filter and give it a gentle shake to level the grounds. If you’re using a scale, now’s the time to tare it.

Step 3: Wet the grounds

Starting the timer, pour just enough water to saturate the grounds.

Step 4: Stir

Give the grounds a gentle stir to ensure there are no clumps, and let it bloom for 30 seconds.

Step 5: Add more water

Half a minute in, begin the main pour in a slow, circular movement until the water nears the top of the Chemex. Allow the water level to lower, then add the remaining water until you reach 525g.

Step 6: Ponder

Let the coffee finish draining. The entire brew process should clock in around 4 minutes.

Step 7: Enjoy

Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee with a friend. Don’t spill!

Chemex Brewing Tips

  • Coffee becomes bitter when it is over-extracted; that is, when too much of the organic content in the bean is pulled into the hot water. Check your ground coffee: does it have a lot of coffee powder, or ‘fines’? If so, it’s possible they are extracting faster than the rest and making your coffee bitter. Consider using a burr grinder to achieve a more uniform grind size.
  • If brewing took longer than 4 minutes, try coarsening the grind a bit.
  • The ideal water temperature is around 200°, which you can achieve by bringing the water to a boil and then letting it sit for one minute. Boiling-hot water can scorch the coffee, while tepid water will under-extract.

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