brew guide

How to Make Chemex Coffee

The Chemex is a beautiful Bauhaus-inspired glass carafe and coffee brewing device. Its cleverness is found in its classic curves that perfectly hold a coffee filter. It’s elegance and simplicity has made it one of the most popular coffee brewing devices. The Chemex comes in many sizes, but often best used when brewing multiple cups.

What is a Chemex?

Invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm, the Chemex is an hourglass-shaped glass carafe with a wooden collar. Its iconic shape allows it to hold a folded paper coffee filter without any additional hardware. And its iconic wooden collar is designed to prevent you from burning your hand while pouring.

How Does the Chemex Work?

The Chemex brews by infusion similar to a pour over. The thick paper filter sets within the Chemex by leaving it folded but pulling one sheet from the other 3, forming a cone. Ground coffee is added to the filter and hot water is gently and evenly poured over the coffee for several minutes. As the water dissolves the solluables of the coffee, it passes through the filter and into the bottom of the carafe producing a clean and smooth cup of coffee.

Chemex Coffee Ratio

We recommend a water to coffee ratio of 16:1. This means 16 grams of water for every gram of coffee. To calculate how much coffee you need, weigh the amount of water you want to brew and divide that by 16. That will give you the amount of coffee to grind.

Learn more about coffee to water ratios.

Chemex Coffee Grind

We recommend a medium to coarse grind with a consistency similar to sea salt. The finer the grind, the longer it will take for the water to work through the ground coffee lengthening your brew time and potentially over extracting the coffee.

Learn more about coffee grinding on our How to Grind Coffee guide.

Chemex Coffee Recipe

  • Water to coffee ratio: 16:1
  • Water: 600g
  • Coffee: 38g
  • Grind: Medium/Coarse (sea salt)

How to Make Chemex Coffee

  1. Step 1 - Place your filter in the Chemex and wet it with hot water.
  2. Step 2 - Grind your coffee to a medium/coarse grind.
  3. Step 3 - Remove filter, pour out water, replace filter and add coffee.
  4. Step 4 - 0:00 Start your timer and add 80g of water that's just off boil to allow freshly roasted coffee to degas.
  5. Step 5 - 0:30 Add 270g of water in a circular motion spiraling in and out.
  6. Step 6 - 1:15 Add 200g of water again in a circular motion.
  7. Step 7 - 2:00 Add your remaining water.
  8. Step 8 - 4:00 All the water should now have filtered through the coffee. Remove the filter and serve.

Equipment for Making Chemex Coffee


The Chemex’s simple and elegant design makes it one of our favorite devices when brewing for friends.


Fellow Ode Grinder

Quiet, fast, and small, this grinder is quickly turning into one of our favorite grinders for home.


Hario Pour Over Kettle

One of the most popular kettles for manual brewing. The kettle's slim
spout makes it easy to control the amount and speed of the hot water
being poured


Hario Scale

The Hario scale is affordable, well-built, and has a built-in timer.