How to brew the best cup of coffee with your Chemex Coffeemaker

Coffee bar set up in the kitchen
coffee bar setup
Red Cap roasters coffee

Today on the blog I'm talking about coffee in the morning. If you've never heard Miguel's song Coffee, you should take a listen. In today's post I'm actually talking about coffee. Good ol' coffee. Cup of Joe. Java. Whatever you call your beans, we'll take it... especially if it's black. I didn't really grow up drinking coffee. I was in high school before I had my first Starbucks. An old boyfriend got me hooked on hot caramel macchiattos. In college I started drinking more iced coffee because it's so hot in the summer. I eventually started drinking those without cream and sugar. Ever since, I've preferred to drink my everyday coffee black and focus on the quality of the roast. I still indulge in a latte for the foam art every once in a while, but my favorite cup of coffee is the one my husband makes for me on the weekends. Something about food and drinks prepared by someone else just makes it taste infinitely better. Here's a behind the scenes look at our weekend coffee preparation. Alex makes it and I enjoy the fruits of his labor. It's a win-win situation for me. 

Vintage Pyrex Chemex with DIY collar

Alex found this vintage, American-made Pyrex Chemex at a local thrift shop when we first moved back to the CSRA. Our friend Mason gave us some scrap leather and Alex created a DIY collar for the glass vessel. If you've never heard of Chemex before, the brand has been around since the early 1940s. A chemist named Dr. Peter Schlumbohm created a simple vessel that was functional and beautiful. Its form is inspired by the Bauhaus school. Most importantly, though, his design brews the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Here's our guide to making the best cup of pour-over coffee with a Chemex Coffeemaker!

What you'll need to get started:
an 8 Cup Chemex
Chemex Filters
a Grinder (we use a Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder)
Coffee Beans (we've been drinking Jaguar Shark from Red Cap Coffee Roasters lately)
a Gooseneck Kettle
a Mug (we love our classic mugs from Le Creuset)
a Kitchen Scale that measures grams
a Timer (we use the Intelligentsia App)

Chemex and scale
Red Cap Roasters
Red Cap Coffee Roasters
Coffee Beans on a scale
Coffee Beans
Coffee Beans

Step 1

Weigh beans. Use a 15:1 water to coffee ratio. For us, that's 35 grams of coffee beans and 530 grams of water. Grind your beans to a medium-coarse consistency. Your settings will vary depending on the type of beans and the kind of grinder you use. While the beans are grinding, rinse the Chemex filter to get rid of any paper taste. We usually heat water in an electric kettle and pour hot rinse water into each mug to preheat and prepare them for the coffee. 

Mr. Coffee Burr Grinder
Chemex filter
Le Creuset Mugs
Chemex-Pour-Over-Coffee-Method-37.jpg
Intelligentsia App
Chemex-Pour-Over-Coffee-Method-44.jpg

Step 2

Put your ground coffee into the clean filter inside the Chemex and shake lightly to level out. Tare the scale to prep it for the water. Slowly pour the water (double the amount of water as coffee used) making sure to get all of the grounds wet. Let the coffee grounds bloom for anywhere from 45 seconds to 1 min or until coffee has swelled and the bubbles have popped.

Coffee bloom
Coffee Bloom

Step 3

Slowly pour the rest of the water into the center of the coffee grounds. Pour the water in small concentric circles until reaching ~2 cm from the edge of the filter to ensure all grounds are wet. Continue pouring the rest of the water in the center until the final weight is reached. Allow the water to filter through the grinds until the Chemex slows to drips. Total brew time from the start of the bloom until the water is mostly through the grounds should be between 4:30 and 5 mins. 

Step 4

Pour your coffee and enjoy with a friend! Afterall, the best cup of coffee is the one someone else made for you. Hope you enjoyed reading about how we brew coffee using our Chemex coffeemaker! 


Are you a coffee geek? What's your favorite brew method? Let us know in the comments and keep your eyes peeled for more tutorials!