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How to handle a Chemex

 The Chemex is a timeless classic; with its simple yet elegant style it is the perfect coffee table brewer.

It's a manual pour-over style glass coffeemaker, invented by Peter Schlumbohm in the US in 1941.

The Chemex is made of non-porous borosilicate glass, so is easily cleaned and more importantly will not absorb odours.  It is widely considered the better choice for people who are looking for a smoother cup with less bitterness.  The resulting brew is very bright & clear as opposed to the thicker & heavier style that you might consider from a french press.

The Chemex comes in varying styles, in sizes suitable for 3-6-8 and 10 cups of coffee with glass or wooden handles.  Here's how to brew - 

The Grind

A medium-coarse grind.  Our omni-grind will work well.


For a 3 cup Chemex, you’ll need…

16-20g of ground coffee

250ml water

Brewing Time

It should take about 4 mins.


Step I

Take 16-20g (for a 3 cup chemex), of reasonably coarse grind (our omni-grind works really well here).

Place the filter paper into the Chemex.

Pour freshly boiled water through the filter to get rid of the slight paper taste, and also preheats the Chemex.

Step II

Discard the water from the Chemex without removing the filter.

Add the ground coffee into the Chemex. Add boiled water, ideally slightly cooled to around 91-94°C.

Step III

Slowly pour 50-70ml of water onto the coffee grinds; ensure all grinds are saturated, whilst trying to avoid pouring down the sides of the filter paper.

The coffee grinds will start to “bloom” (increase in size); this is the trapped CO2 gas created during the roasting process departing.

Allow the bloom to sit, avoiding it drying out.

Step IV

Before the bloom dries out (roughly 30-40sec), start pouring the rest of the heated water.

Apply the remaining water in a circular motion, tracking between the inside edge and centre of the Chemex. This should take around 1min 40sec to reach the total amount of water added (250ml).

Avoid moving the Chemex during the process; this will allow the water to pass through the bed of coffee without disruption.

Step V

When the bed of coffee is dry, remove the filter paper from the Chemex and discard.

Step VI

Give the Chemex a quick swirl to aerate the coffee before serving, and pour.