How to Brew Chemex Coffee

how to brew chemex coffee

Want to get in on the pour-over action? Here’s how to brew the perfect pot of Chemex coffee.

Pour-over coffee is super hip right now, and it’s not just coffee snobbery at work here. My husband got us into brewing Chemex coffee a couple of years ago on his quest to find a brewing method that was kinder to our stomachs. The pour-over methods, like Chemex, have less acid than auto-drip coffee, which means you get that wonderful coffee flavor without tearing up your belly.

Not only is Chemex coffee freaking delicious, but it’s very simple to make, once you get the hang of it.

Of course, the real key to delicious coffee is starting out with a good-quality bean. Put down that Chock Full O’ Nuts, people! Here in Atlanta, we have an awesome roaster – Batdorf and Bronson – that makes great fair trade, organic coffees, and for the best cup of coffee, I’d suggest finding a local roaster that you like. That way, you know the beans were roasted fresh.

Chemex refers to the carafe that you use to brew your coffee. It’s a beautiful glass piece, and I leave ours out on the kitchen counter, because I love the retro look of it. The only downside to Chemex is that the glass carafe doesn’t insulate your coffee at all, so I’d pour that freshly-brewed Chemex coffee into a thermos right away to keep it warm.

How to Brew Chemex

Makes: 4 cups of coffee

Ingredients & Supplies

  • Chemex coffee pot and filter
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 10 scoops of medium-grind coffee (“drip” is the grind you’d ask for, if you’re getting it ground at the coffee shop)
  • thermal carafe (optional)


1. Moisten your coffee filter, and place it in the top of the pot. Most Chemex filters are basically a piece of paper folded into fourths. Just gently peel back one layer of filter to create a cone, and make sure that the thick part of the filter is covering the lip on the Chemex. You want the filter to stay nice and conical.

2. Put the grounds into your filter.

3. Make the “bloom.” This is my favorite part of brewing Chemex. Before you start saturating the grounds, pour just a small bit of water into the center of the grounds, and watch as the coffee blooms up to the surface.

brewing chemex

4. Once the bloom settles down, it’s time to get down to business! Pour the hot water over the grounds, making sure you totally saturate them. You won’t use all of the water on this first pour. Just keep an eye on it, and add more water as the level in the filter goes down – saturating any grounds that are stuck to the sides of the filter – until you run out of water.

5. Toss that filter with the grounds into your compost bin, transfer the coffee to your thermal carafe, if you’re using one, and get ready to enjoy the best cup of coffee EVER.

Note: If you want to get super snazzy, you can also find electric kettles that allow you to control the temperature of the water. Boiling water is totally fine, but my husband, who’s hobby lately is trying different coffee-brewing methods, swears that water heated to 202 degrees F instead of the boiling temperature of 212 F is ideal.

Image Credits: Chemex Still Life. Creative Commons photo by porsche linn; Brewing Chemex. Creative Commons photo via

Becky Striepe

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go.