The Chemex pour-over is a coffee brewing method that uses a specific type of glass coffee maker called Chemex. The Chemex is known for its elegant design. It has an hourglass-shaped glass vessel with a conical neck and a wooden collar tied to a leather cord. 

I assume you are here to know how to brew the perfect coffee every time using the Chemex and pour-over method. Well, you are at the right place, because we have the best method to brew coffee with Chemex. And it will give you the perfect coffee every time.

Let’s start with a little history of Chemex. It was invented by German chemist Peter Schlumbohm invented it, and designed it to brew coffee without bitterness or oiliness. The bitterness comes from the other brewing methods. Here are some pros & cons of the Chemex pour-over method to brew coffee.

Pros:

  • Produces a clean, clear cup of coffee
  • Easy to use
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • It makes a great conversation piece

Cons:

  • Can be time-consuming
  • Can be fragile
  • Requires special filters

Let’s see how we can brew perfect coffee every time with the Chemex pour-over method. 

Brew Coffee with Chemex Pour Over Method

Equipment:

Brew Coffee with Chemex Pour Over Method

  • Chemex brewer with filter (start with a 6-cup Chemex)
  • Grinder (a burr grinder is ideal for consistent grind size)
  • Scale (optional, but highly recommended to ensure accurate coffee-to-water ratio)
  • Kettle (a gooseneck kettle with a narrow spout gives you more control over the water flow)
  • Timer (optional)
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans (Choose high-quality beans and grind them just before brewing for the most optimal flavour)

Steps to Brew Coffee in a Chemex Pour-Over Machine

  1. Warm Up the Chemex: First, get hot water ready. Then, pour some of that hot water over the Chemex filter and throw that water away. This rinses out any paper taste and warms up the carafe for better brewing.

  2. Grind Your Beans: Grind your coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency, like the size of sea salt. If your grinder has a numbered scale (1 being finest, 18 being coarsest), aim for somewhere between 12 and 16. Grind a little finer for lighter roasts and coarser for darker ones.

  3. Measure and Add Coffee: Add 30-40 grams of ground coffee to the filter (use a scale for accuracy). Gently shake the Chemex to spread the coffee grounds evenly.

  4. The Bloom: Pour a small amount of hot water (around 50-60ml, just off boiling) over the coffee grounds. Try to wet all the grounds evenly. Let it sit for 30-45 seconds. This “bloom” releases CO2 from the coffee and helps it brew better.

  5. Slow and Steady Pour: Now for the main pour! Slowly pour hot water in a circular motion, aiming for the center of the coffee grounds. Keep the water flow steady and just above the coffee level. Avoid pouring directly on the filter.

  6. Water Check: Aim to add about 250-300 grams of water within the first minute. Then, let the coffee drain until the water level goes down below the coffee grounds.

  7. Keep Pouring: Repeat pouring hot water in circles, a little at a time. You should use a total of 400-500 grams of water for one serving. Use more water for a weaker cup and less for a stronger one.

  8. Perfect Extraction: The coffee should finish draining in 3-4 minutes. If it takes longer, your grind might be too fine. Throw away the filter and coffee grounds, and enjoy your delicious Chemex coffee!
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Brewing Tips with Different Roasted Beans on a Chemex

Brewing Tips with Different Roasted Beans on a Chemex

Brewing Tips for Different Roasts:

  • Light Roast:

    • Grind: Aim for a slightly finer grind, between 14-16 on your grinder scale. Think “sea salt” for reference.
    • Water Temp: Use slightly cooler water, around 195°F (90°C) to avoid making your coffee bitter.
    • Water Volume: Use 400-450 grams of water for a lighter bodied cup.
  • Dark Roast:

    • Grind: Go for a slightly coarser grind, between 12-14 on your scale.
    • Water Temp: Use hotter water, around 205°F (96°C) to fully extract the flavor without burning the coffee.
    • Water Volume: Stick to the 400-500 gram range for a bolder cup.
  • Single-Origin Beans: These beans often have unique flavor profiles. Experiment with different grind sizes and water temperatures to find your perfect cup!

Now you have all the information to master the art of brewing coffee in a Chemex coffee maker. Yet there will be some mistakes on your part, that’s because you might not address them. 

Common Mistakes in Brewing Coffee with a Chemex Pour Over Machine

Grind Size Blues

Grind Size Blues:

Grind Matters: A grind that’s too fine makes your coffee bitter (over-extracted). Too coarse, and it gets weak and sour (under-extracted). Aim for a medium-coarse grind, like sea salt. Adjust for your taste!

  • Uneven Grind = Uneven Coffee: Inconsistent grinds lead to uneven extraction, resulting in a muddy, unbalanced cup. Invest in a burr grinder for consistent results.

Water Woes:

  • Temperature Trouble: Water that’s too hot burns your coffee, too cold and it won’t extract properly. Aim for 200-205°F (93-96°C). Spring water is a good choice for taste.

Other Oops Moments:

Stale Beans = Sad Coffee: Freshly roasted beans are key! Stale beans make a weak cup.

  • Preheating Pays Off: Don’t skip preheating your Chemex! Rinse the filter with hot water to warm it up for better extraction.
  • Bloom It Up! Skipping the bloom (letting the grounds sit with hot water for 30-45 seconds) prevents CO2 release and leads to uneven extraction. Don’t skip it!

Chemex Pour-over Coffee Maker vs Automatic Pour-over Coffee Maker

Automation

  • Chemex:  You need to pour hot water over the coffee ground yourself. It will give you more control over the brewing process. You can possess more control over the water flow rate and timing. If you are a person of interest, you can try it. Normally it takes 3-5 minutes to brew coffee through the Chemex machine. 
  • Automated coffee machine: It has a built-in pump or a gravity flow system that can handle the pouring process for you. This is more convenient and it doesn’t need much human interaction. Generally, it takes 2-3 minutes to brew a cup of coffee.

Brewing Experience

  • Chemex: It offers a more cultural brewing experience to coffee. You will have a hands-on approach to brewing coffee which will allow you to fine-tune the taste and aroma to your preference. 
  • Automatic Pour-Over: Provides a convenient and hassle-free brewing experience with consistent results every time.

Cost

  • Chemex: Relatively affordable, typically costing around $40-$80.
  • Automatic Pour-Over: Significantly more expensive, ranging from $150 to $500 or even more for high-end models

 Control

  • Chemex: You will have total control over the brewing process, which will allow you to personalize your coffee
  • Automated Pour-over: It will brew coffee automatically within a very short time, and you won’t have much to intervene. So, less control compared to manual methods. However, some models offer adjustable settings for things like water temperature and blooming time.

Consistency

  • Chemex: It is tough to say as consistency depends on your skill and technique, follow the coffee blog mart to learn skills and techniques.
  • Automatic Pour-Over: it will give you a perfect coffee every time. This machine is so consistent that it will give you the same results every time due to the automated process.

This chart is here to make you understand the differences better

Brewing Experience

Choosing the right coffee maker

Undoubtedly, the best choice for you depends on your priorities and preferences. If you enjoy the ritual of manual brewing experience and budget is a factor of concern then go for the Chemex pour-over coffee machine. And if you are a busy person, who doesn’t have the time or interest to intervene in the coffee brewing experience automated machine is right for you.

Before taking the ultimate decision I want to consider these extra factors.

  • Budget: Automatic pour-over machines can be several times more expensive than the Chemex pour-over machine
  • Skills: If you are a newbie in the world of coffee, an automatic coffee brewer is easy to use. Moreover, you can have a good coffee every time.
  • Counter space: Automatic coffee machines usually block more space than the Chemex machine
  • Maintenance: Some automatic machines require more cleaning and maintenance than a Chemex.

Conclusion 

The Chemex coffee maker will give you a  ritual experience where you can have your hands-on experience. Once you master the brewing process with the Chemex you can have the best coffee ever. Trust me, it will give an immersive experience.

However, if you want to know more about brewing coffee, or hire a personal barista to help you along the journey then follow Coffee Blog Mart.

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