Chemex Brewing Guide

f-stop coffee brewing guide chemex

The Chemex; created by a designer from MOMA (Modern Museum of Art) this is one of the most stylish brewing methods. At it's core the Chemex is a version of the pour over method, where hot water is poured over the coffee and is in short contact with the grinds.

In comparing to photography, think of this like you're shooting with a low aperture fast prime lens with lot of light for clear crisp shots.

The short exposure period of the Chemex allows for a crisp clean brew perfect for elegant subtle coffees.

What you need:

1. Chemex

2. Paper Filters (Chemex Square or Round)

3. Kettle

4. Scale

5. Filtered Water (700g = 700mL)

6. Medium Ground Coffee (45g)

Check Out our Chemex Recommended Coffee Collections:

f-stop coffee f/1.4 light roastf-stop coffee f/5.6 light medium roast

Let's Get Started!

Step 1: Boil Water

You'll need hot, but not quite boiling water.  We recommend using water in the range of 190-200f (88-93c).  To achieve this you can heat the water until you get some small bubbles at the bottom of the kettle.  Don't worry if you reach full boil just let the kettle sit for a few minutes to cool.  Using water that's too hot can result in over extraction leading to bitter flavor.

Step 2: Add your Filter

In this step you need to take your filter and add it to the Chemex.  Unfold the filter with the 3 ply to one side.  Place the filter in them Chemex with the 3-ply part on the spout side.  This will ensure the filter does not collapse into the spout when wet.

Step 3: Wet Filter & Pre-Heat

In this step we want to wet out the filter and pre-heat the Chemex. To do this, pour in a little bit of hot water on the filter, give it a swirl and let it sit for a moment.  You can then go ahead and discard the water.  We do this to bring the temperature of the glass closer to the temperature of the hot coffee to avoid any temperature shock as we start the brew.  We don't want the hot coffee to be shocked by the cold of the glass and cause any off-flavors.

Step 4: Add The Grounds

Go ahead and add those grinds to the filter.  Give the grinds a little shake and tap.  It's important the grinds have a level surface to ensure even water flow and maximize extraction.  Although we give you our recommended coffee to water ratio in the What You Need section above, remember that drinking a great cup of coffee is all about enjoying it the way you like it.  So if you prefer a bit stronger or more mild brew please adjust as you see fit, just remember even small adjustments can lead to big change in flavor.

Step 5: Bloom

Once you've got those beans in your filter it's time to get this brew started!  In this step pour a little bit of water from your kettle.  Start in the center and slowly expand in concentric circles to moisten the grinds.  Don't dump in the whole kettle at this point, but make sure to wet all the grinds.  You may see some bubbles forming and your grinds swelling up with water.  Don't worry, this is perfectly normal.  The extraction process is starting and is going to lead to a great cup.  Let this sit for 60 seconds.

Step 6: Finish the Pour

After blooming, pour the remainder of the water over the grinds in a concentric circles to finish the brew.  

Step 7: Let it Drip

Now we wait, but not too long!  Be sure to keep an eye on the coffee as it drips.  When you see some coffee grinds starting the pass through the filter it's time to remove it.  You don't want to wait too long or you'll get some bitter notes to the brew.  This should take 3:30 - 4:00 minutes.

Step 8: Enjoy!!

Our favorite part!  Pour yourself a cup and enjoy!  The Chemex is an elegant serving container sure to impress!



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