Clive Brew Guide: Chemex

Clive Brew Guide: Chemex

Now a timeless and legendary example of functional and minimalist design, German chemist Peter Schlumbohm invented the Chemex coffee brewer in 1941, demolishing the boundaries between artist and craftsman, an ideal often espoused by the Bauhaus movement. The Chemex represents this ideal for those who like exceptionally bright, clean coffees with tons of flavor clarity and little body. 

Gear you need: 

Below is video brewing guide from our partners in coffee—Mistobox.

Step One

Bring 1 liter (33.8 ounces) of filtered water to boil in a gooseneck-spouted kettle. Open the Chemex bleached paper filter and place it in the brewer with the thicker, 3-layered side facing towards the spout.

Step Two

Rinse the paper filter with a few ounces of the hot water from your kettle. This step will rinse out any extra paper taste from the filter, preheat the brewer, and create a seal between the paper filter and the brewer. Without breaking the seal, pour out the rinse water. It helps to hold the filter in place while doing this.

Step Three

Weigh out 38 grams of freshly roasted, whole-bean coffee on a scale. You can measure this with a tablespoon if you don’t have a scale. We recommend 6 level tablespoons. (1 Tablespoon ≈ 6 grams).

Step Four

Using a burr grinder, grind the coffee to a medium-coarse consistency. Brewing with a consistent and uniform grind size is crucial to brewing delicious coffee. If you aren’t sure that you need a burr grinder, check out our blog: Do I Really Need a Home Coffee Grinder?

Step Five

Place the Chemex on the scale, add the ground coffee to the filter, shake the brewer to level the grounds, and tare to 0. Then, using a spoon, create a small divot in the center of the grounds. This step will allow the brew water to penetrate the entire grounds bed, ensuring all the grounds are evenly saturated and ready to brew.

Step Six

After starting your timer, “bloom” the grounds by pouring 75 grams (2.5 oz, or just enough to cover the coffee) of the filtered water just off boil and let it sit for 30 seconds. This step allows the grounds to saturate with water, forcing out gases and priming the coffee for the brewing process.

Step Seven

Slowly pour the remaining 525 grams (18 oz) of water in a circular pattern, staying away from the edges and the center. Aim to finish pouring around 3:30 – 4:00. If poured correctly, it should finish draining between 4:00 – 4:30. Note: If it takes less than 4:00 to finish draining, use a finer grind and try pouring slower. If it takes longer than 5:00 to drain, use a coarser grind to allow the water to pass through the coffee more easily.

Step Eight

Remove and discard the filter in the trash or compost.

Step Nine

Swirl the coffee in the carafe and smell the delicious aroma wafting throughout your kitchen. Grab some mugs and share with some family and friends over a yummy Sunday brunch.