How to brew coffee with a Chemex coffee maker

If you have recently acquired a Chemex, you should know that on the one hand, you have a beautiful coffee maker that will look perfect in any part of your home, and on the other hand, it will prepare delicious filtered coffees that are hard to match.

However, mastering the technique of preparing coffee with a Chemex is not always easy, so I have elaborated this step-by-step recipe, with which you will obtain the best coffee possible. This recipe is suitable for 2 to 4 people, and thanks to it, you will get a clean, bright, medium-bodied coffee with a lot of clarity in flavor.

What is the perfect ratio for the Chemex? My ideal recipe

Every time you want to prepare a good cup of coffee, you should start with some measures and quantities as easily as possible to remember and apply (I explained this in the recipe for the Hario V60). From that base ratio, you can apply slight modifications that enhance the characteristics of the coffee bean you are using at each moment. This is my proposal:

  • Coffee beans: 38 grams.
  • Type of grind: Medium (sand size).
  • Filtered water: 600 grams.
  • Water temperature: 198 ºF

Note: Always use a scale and a stopwatch to accurately measure each component and the evolution of the process during the preparation of the coffee.

Weighs the coffee beans on a scale
Weighs the coffee beans on a scale

Importance of the grind in the preparation of coffee with the Chemex

Of course, the grinder must be of grinding burrs, and the grind must be uniform. Since the coffee will be in contact with water for a good amount of time, we need a medium grind to extract the coffee while it infuses completely. The ground coffee should ideally be the same size as the sand.

Medium coffee grind size as sand size
Medium coffee grind size as the sand size

Preparation of the coffee with the Chemex step by step

Next, I will detail to you step by step how to brew coffee with Chemex professionally, obtaining the best result for our coffee beans. Also, check here a comparison between the Chemex and the Hario V60.

With this step-by-step, you will never have an over-extraction, which is one of the biggest failures of people who use Chemex.

  • Weigh 38 grams of coffee beans on the scale.
  • Make a medium grind in a grinder (sand grain size).
  • Place a Chemex filter in the coffee maker, with the area of the three layers towards the mouth of the coffee maker.
  • Wet the filter with hot water to extract the papery taste and discard the water (white filters taste less papery than brown ones).
  • Place the 38 grams of ground coffee in the filter, preparing a flat bed of coffee.
  • Place the Chemex with the coffee on the scale and tare it to zero.
  • Turn on the clock.
  • For the “blooming” or pre-infusion* process, we will add 76 grams of water at 198ºF (double the grams of coffee we use).
  • Let the coffee rest for 30 to 45 seconds.

*During this process, the gases and aromas of the coffee are released by the water, and the ground coffee is prepared for extraction.

Pre-infusion or blooming from 30 to 45 seconds
Pre-infusion or blooming from 30 to 45 seconds
  • Slowly and carefully add the rest of the water to complete the 600 grams of water. Do this in two stages to avoid increasing the pressure on the coffee too much.
  • The deal is to use a gooseneck teapot. Apply the water in the form of concentric circles, avoiding touching the edges or the center so as not to under- or over-extract.
  • If the grind and the chosen coffee are correct, the process should take between 4 and 5 minutes.
Infusion with a total time of 4 to 5 minutes
Infusion with a total time of 4 to 5 minutes

Revision of errors in the recipe for Chemex

If your filtrate time was less than 4 to 5 minutes, try pouring slowly or fine-tuning the grind a little. But if your filtering time was longer, try to pour a little faster or grind the coffee beans coarser.

To know if the process was carried out correctly, the coffee bed should be completely flat after filtering all the water. Also, we should not see any large pieces of coffee on the walls of the filter.

Freshly brewed coffee with the Chemex coffee brewer
Freshly brewed coffee with the Chemex coffee brewer

Now you can remove the filter, stir a little, and the coffee is ready to be served.

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