Chemex Brew Guide

2.5 min read – 

One of the most common questions that I get asked is, "How do you brew your coffee at home?" There are many different ways to make a cup of coffee, all with their own unique benefits and characteristics. 

The Chemex Coffee Maker is my go-to method for brewing coffee at home because of it's simple and forgiving process and taste. It's secret is a thick, cone-shaped filter which removes bitterness – leaving you with a sweet, delicious, pure cup of coffee every time.

Follow this process to begin making excellent coffee at home with a Chemex.


  • Pounds Coffee
  • Water
  • Kettle
  • Chemex
  • Chemex filter




    Start by bringing your water to a boil. It's important to start with delicious water as it's going to comprise 99% of your coffee. I find that the water from my kitchen sink is soft and tastes great, but it tastes even better when I filter it first.

    Home Tip: Bring your water to a rolling boil and then let it sit uncovered, off the heat, for 30 – 60 seconds to allow the water to fall into the ideal brewing range of 200º – 204ºF.

    Pro Tip: To dial in your water temperatures precisely, you can add a programmable water kettle to your kitchen. I use the Bonavita Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle to heat water to my desired temperature and then hold it there. (You can shop here for the Bonavita kettle on Google.)



    Open a Chemex filter and place it inside the top of the Chemex. The filter should be opened into a cone and placed with the triple-layered half of the filter covering the spout of the Chemex.

    Pro Tip: Pre-rinsing your filter with hot water creates a tight seal against the glass and also helps to retain optimal heat temperatures during brewing. Pour hot water around the filter and allow it to drip though. Then, lightly pour the water out of the Chemex ensuring that you do not remove the filter.



    Grind your coffee to a medium course grind setting and add 1 rounded tablespoon for every 5 oz of water to the Chemex filter.

    Home Tip: Experiment with your coffee brewing ratio. You may find that you prefer your coffee a little bit stronger or lighter.  Additionally, the sweetness of lighter roast coffees may show up more with a lighter ratio, whereas the sweetness of darker coffees may benefit more from a heavier ratio. Start with our coffee brewing ratio.

    Pro Tip: Grind your coffee right before brewing. Many of the optimal flavors and aromas of coffee are locked inside the whole coffee bean in a gaseous state. By using freshly ground coffee you ensure that you're brewing the most exciting cup possible. One of our favorite coffee grinders for the home is the Baratza Encore Burr Grinder.



    Add just enough water to saturate all of the coffee grounds, then wait. Allow 30 – 45 seconds for the saturated coffee grounds to "bloom." When using freshly ground coffee, you'll see the coffee begin to expand as it releases the gases and aromas that are locked inside the coffee. 

    Home Tip: Bloom with a small amount of water. You can stop adding water when you begin to see it dripping from the bottom of the filter. By this time, you'll want to ensure that you've covered and saturated all of the grounds with water.



    Once the bloom is complete, slowly pour your hot water over the coffee grounds in a circular or back-and-forth motion to ensure that all grounds are covered evenly.

    Home Tip: Aim for 3 – 4 minutes for the total brew time. Pulse your pour in 2 or 3 phases to help draw out the total brew time. If your coffee is brewing too quickly or too slowly, you can try grinding your coffee finer or coarser respectively.



    Your coffee is ready once you see an irregular drip and all the water has dripped through. Lift out the filter and discard the grounds. It's time to serve and enjoy your freshly brewed and delicious cup of coffee!