10 Tips for Using a Chemex Coffee Maker Like a Pro


If you're a coffee fanatic, you probably already know about the Chemex coffee maker. It's sleek, produces delicious coffee, and has become a staple in coffee culture. But even if you're a Chemex pro, there's always room to improve your brewing game. We have compiled a set of 10 tips that can aid in enhancing your coffee preparation abilities.

These tips are all about maximizing flavor and getting the most out of your Chemex, so get ready to impress your taste buds. Let's get started and uncover the secrets to making the perfect cup of coffee!

Table of Contents:

1. Choosing the Right Beans
2. Grinding Your Coffee Beans
3. Prepping Your Chemex Filter
4. Measuring Your Coffee and Water
5. Heating Your Water
6. Blooming Your Coffee
7. Mastering the Pour
8. Brew Timing and Consistency
9. Cleaning and Maintaining Your Chemex
10. Experimenting with Your Brew

1. Choosing the Right Beans

The secret to brewing a killer cup of coffee is all in the beans. To achieve an excellent flavor in your coffee, it is crucial to begin with premium quality beans that are freshly roasted to perfection. To make sure your beans are up to snuff, look for ones that were roasted within the past two weeks and are from a reliable roaster who knows their stuff.

When choosing beans for Chemex brewing, we recommend a medium roast. This type of roast lets you savor a well-rounded, balanced coffee that highlights the beans' unique flavor profile. Avoid using dark roast beans since they tend to be too oily and can mess with your coffee's clarity. On the other hand, light roast beans might not extract enough flavor and will leave you with a wimpy, unsatisfying cup of joe.

For more information on choosing the right coffee beans and understanding different flavor profiles, check out this helpful guide.

 image of a tin can with coffee beans inside it

2. Grinding Your Coffee Beans

Now that you've got your hands on some primo beans, it's time to grind 'em up for your Chemex. Getting the right grind size is key to making a kick-ass coffee. For Chemex brewing, you'll want to aim for a medium-coarse grind, which is kinda like coarse sea salt. This way, you'll get all the flavors without any sediment or filter clogs. 

To get that perfect grind size every time, you'll need a top-notch grinder. Burr grinders are your best bet for brewing coffee with a Chemex because they create a uniform grind size, which means your extraction will be even and your coffee will taste amazing. Blade grinders, on the other hand, can give you an uneven grind and throw off the taste and quality of your coffee.

If you're looking for a quality reliable grinder to use for your Chemex brewing, we highly recommend these grinders:

an oxo coffee grinder baratza encore coffee grinder porlex steel coffee grinder
OXO Coffee Grinder  Baratza Coffee Grinder Porlex Coffee Grinder

When you're grinding your beans, make sure to measure out the right amount of coffee for your Chemex. A 6-cup Chemex usually calls for around 50-55 grams of coffee (that's about 8-9 tablespoons of beans). But hey, everyone's got their own taste preferences, so feel free to tweak the amount to your liking!

3. Prepping Your Chemex Filter

The filter you use for your Chemex is very important when it comes to brewing a tasty, clean cup of coffee. You can either go with bleached or unbleached filters – they both do a great job, but some folks swear by the unbleached ones since they don't have any chemical or chlorine residue that could affect the taste of your coffee.

For paper filter options, we recommend Chemex Bonded Filter or the Chemex Bonded Pre-folded Unbleached Square Coffee Filters. If you're looking for a more eco-friendly option, you can try the CoffeeSock 'The Original' Reusable 100% Organic Cotton Coffee Filters, which are washable and reusable.


image of a chemex bonded filter unbleached chemex filters image of a cotton coffee filter on a chemex
Bonded Filter Unbleached Coffee Filter  Cotton Coffee Filter


Before you pop the filter into your Chemex, give it a quick rinse with hot water to get rid of any paper taste and warm up the Chemex. Then fold the filter in half, and then in half again, so it makes a little cone shape. Plop the filter into the Chemex with the three-layered side facing the spout.

Once the filter's in place, you gotta pre-wet it with hot water. This helps to stick the filter to the walls of the Chemex and make sure there's no paper taste getting into your coffee. Pour hot water slowly over the filter, starting in the middle and working your way out. Then just toss the water that drips through the filter and the Chemex. Remove the filter and discard it. Your Chemex is now ready to be used again. For more info on on prepping your Chemex filter and brewing with a Chemex coffee maker, check out this guide.

It might seem like a tiny detail, but prepping your Chemex filter right is the key to coffee that tastes clean and paper-free. Trust us, it's worth the extra effort!

If you're looking for an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to paper filters, you can try using a metal filter for your Chemex. Metal filters can be reused over and over again and are designed to let more of the coffee oils and flavors pass through, resulting in a richer, more full-bodied cup of coffee. We recommend the Barista Warrior Metal Filter as it's made of high-quality stainless steel and is compatible with most Chemex coffee makers.


barista warrior metal filter
Barista Warrior Metal Filter

4. Measuring Your Coffee and Water

To ensure your coffee is of exceptional quality, it is vital to obtain accurate measurements. The perfect coffee-to-water ratio for Chemex brewing is 1:15, which means one gram of coffee for every 15 grams of water.

To get super precise measurements, we recommend using a kitchen scale instead of measuring cups. The weight of coffee and water can be all over the place depending on how they're packed, but using a scale makes sure you're always consistent and on point.

For a reliable and accurate kitchen scale to use for Chemex brewing, we recommend these Hario Scales. These scales are specifically designed for coffee brewing and have a built-in timer to ensure consistent brewing times. They are also compact and easy to use, making them a great addition to any coffee brewing setup.

When you're measuring your coffee, make sure you're using whole beans and grinding 'em up fresh right before you start brewing. For a 6-cup Chemex, you'll need around 50-55 grams (approx. 1.8oz) of coffee, which is like 8-9 tablespoons of beans.

If you prefer using coffee scoops or spoons, you can use one scoop per 10 grams of coffee to measure out your desired amount quickly. For example, for 50 grams of coffee, you would use five scoops. If you're looking for a reliable coffee scoop set, we recommend the Safring Premium Coffee Scoop Set. These scoops are made of high-quality stainless steel and are great for measuring out coffee beans for your Chemex brew. 

buy coffee scoop set
Safring Premium Coffee Scoop Set


To measure your water, heat it up in a kettle until it's just below boiling (around 200-205°F or 93-96°C). Slowly pour the hot water over the ground coffee in a circular motion, making sure all the grounds get nice and soaked. To ensure the coffee is brewed for the appropriate duration, it is recommended to set a timer for 4-5 minutes.

When you're precise with your coffee and water measurements, you're pretty much guaranteed an awesome coffee every time. So break out that kitchen scale and get to measuring!

5. Heating Your Water

If you want to brew some seriously tasty coffee, you gotta pay attention to the water temperature. The temp of the water can seriously affect how your coffee tastes and feels. For Chemex brewing, the ideal water temp is between 200-205°F (93-96°C). This way, you get all the coffee flavors without burning the beans.

And make sure you're using filtered or bottled water so your coffee isn't messed up by any yucky impurities or chlorine.

To ensure your water is of the highest quality and optimal temperature for Chemex brewing, we recommend using Third Wave Water, a coffee mineral supplement. This supplement is designed to enhance the flavor of your coffee by providing the perfect balance of minerals and salts that mimic the ideal water found in specialty coffee shops. Simply add the supplement to distilled or purified water, and you're ready to brew. 


third wave water
Third Wave Water


Another hot tip for keeping your water temp on point is to preheat your Chemex and the cup or carafe you'll be using to pour your coffee. By doing so, you can sustain the appropriate water temperature and retain the coffee's warmth for an extended period.

6. Blooming Your Coffee

One step that you definitely don't want to skip when you brew coffee is blooming. This crucial process involves giving your coffee grounds a quick pre-infusion with hot water to release any carbon dioxide that's trapped inside. If you don't release that CO2, your coffee can end up tasting sour or bitter.

To bloom your coffee, start by pouring a small amount of hot water – about twice the weight of your coffee – over the grounds. Use a circular motion to make sure all the grounds get wet. After this, wait for approximately 30 seconds before giving it a gentle stir using a spoon or spatula to ensure an even saturation of the grounds.

Once the coffee has bloomed, proceed with pouring the remaining hot water. Pour it slowly and steadily in a circular motion, starting in the center and working your way outward. Keep the water level consistent to make sure you're getting even extraction. To ensure that you are brewing for the appropriate duration, it is recommended to set a timer for 4-5 minutes.

Using a quality kitchen scale, such as this Hario V60 Scale, can help make the blooming process easier and more precise. This scale even has a built-in timer that can help you keep track of the blooming and brewing times. 


image of Hario's V60 kitchen scale
Hario V60 Scale


Blooming your coffee is an essential part of the Chemex brewing process, so don't skimp on it! When you do it right, you'll get a perfectly balanced and smooth coffee without any sour or bitter notes.

Image of a woman pouring coffee into a cup 

7. Mastering the Pour

Getting the pour right is a crucial part of brewing some epic coffee. The way you pour the hot water can make or break how evenly the coffee grounds get extracted. For the best results, we recommend pouring slowly and steadily in a circular motion, starting from the center and working your way outward.

If you pour too fast or in just one spot, you'll end up with uneven extraction, which can make your coffee taste weird. Keep that pour slow and steady, and make sure the water level stays consistent to get an even extraction.

To get even better control over your pour, we suggest using a gooseneck kettle. With a gooseneck kettle, you can control the water flow and pour exactly where you want it. This level of control is key for getting a consistent and even extraction of the coffee.

When you're pouring, try to keep that circular motion going and make sure all the grounds are getting soaked evenly. Set a timer to make sure you're pouring slowly and steadily for a total brewing time of 4-5 minutes.

When you get your pour technique down and use a gooseneck kettle, you're pretty much guaranteed a coffee that's evenly extracted and tastes frickin' amazing every time.

If you're looking for a gooseneck kettle to help you master your pour, these kettles all have precise gooseneck spouts that allow for easy and accurate pouring, giving you more control over your brewing process. 


buy a gooseneck coffee kettle Bodium gooseneck coffee kettle  hario gooseneck coffee kettle
Coffee Gator Kettle Bodum Gooseneck Kettle Hario Gooseneck Kettle

8. Brew Timing and Consistency

When it comes to brewing coffee, timing is everything. The total brew time should be between 4-5 minutes to get that perfect extraction of coffee flavors without overdoing it. Timing your brewing process is essential to getting that perfect cup every time.

Consistency in your brewing time is also key to getting that consistently delicious coffee. We recommend using a timer to make sure you're pouring the water slowly and steadily over the coffee grounds for the full 4-5 minutes. Consistency in timing means all the grounds get evenly extracted, resulting in a smooth and balanced cup of coffee.

Another tip for getting that perfect extraction and consistent brew time is to use the same grind size and coffee-to-water ratio every time you brew. Keeping these factors the same means your coffee will taste the same every time, and any adjustments can be made to get that perfect cup.

When you get your brewing timing and consistency, you're guaranteed a coffee that's tasty, smooth, and perfectly extracted every single time.


9. Cleaning and Maintaining Your Chemex

Taking good care of your Chemex coffee maker is super important if you want your coffee to taste fresh and clean. Even if you're using high-quality beans and doing everything else right, a dirty Chemex can seriously mess with the taste and quality of your coffee.

To clean your Chemex, start by tossing out the used filter and grounds. Rinse the Chemex with hot water, being sure to get rid of any residue on the sides and bottom of the glass. To keep any old coffee oils or residue from building up, we recommend doing a deep clean of your Chemex once a month. Prepare a solution of water and vinegar, utilizing a ratio of three portions of water to one portion of vinegar. Pour the solution into your Chemex and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the Chemex really well with hot water, and repeat the process if you need to.

When you take the time to clean and maintain your Chemex on the regular, you'll enjoy a cup of coffee that's clean, fresh, and totally delicious every time.

To help make cleaning your Chemex easier and more effective, we recommend using specialized cleaning tools such as the Chemex Coffeemaker Brush, the OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush, or the ELDR Supply Bottle Brush. These brushes are designed to fit the shape of the Chemex and reach all the nooks and crannies, making it easier to remove any buildup or residue. By keeping your Chemex clean and well-maintained, you'll ensure that it continues to brew delicious coffee for years to come.

chemex coffeemaker brush
oxo good grips brush
eldr supply bottle brush
Chemex Coffeemaker Brush OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush ELDR Supply Bottle Brush

10. Experimenting with Your Brew

While all the previous tips are great guidelines for brewing an awesome coffee, it's important to remember that coffee brewing is all about personal preference. Do not hesitate to explore and refine your coffee preparation methods to achieve the ideal taste that caters to your individual preference. You can adjust several factors to personalize your brewing technique, including the ratio of coffee to water, the size of the grind, water temperature, and brewing duration. Modifying one or more of these factors can lead to a wholly distinct taste experience.

For example, adjusting the coffee-to-water ratio can make for a stronger or weaker coffee. A coarser grind size can produce a milder taste, while a finer grind size can result in a stronger taste.

If you want to explore and experiment with your Chemex brewing technique, we recommend checking out our Chemex ratio brewing guide. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the Chemex ratio, including different coffee-to-water ratios and how they affect the taste of your coffee.

Experimenting with your brewing technique is all about finding the perfect balance that suits your taste. Don't hesitate to try new things and adjust your technique until you find the taste that you love. It's all about enjoying your cup of coffee to the fullest! 


We hope you've found these 10 tips helpful in your quest to become a Chemex coffee-making pro! By choosing top-notch beans, nailing your grind, and getting the brewing process just right, you'll be treating yourself to delicious coffee in no time.

Don't forget to keep your Chemex clean and experiment with different variables to find your perfect brew. As you keep honing your skills, you'll be impressing not only yourself but also your buds and family with your coffee-making prowess.

So, unwind, take it easy, and relish the delightful flavor of your impeccably prepared cup of coffee! Life's too short not to enjoy the little pleasures like a great cup of joe. Keep brewing, experimenting, and most importantly, having fun!



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