The Perfect Coffee to Water Ratio for Chemex

Matty Victor

Are you wondering how much coffee you should use for your Chemex? Well, let’s break it down in an easy and relaxed way. The Chemex is often praised for its exceptional brewing capabilities, but figuring out the right amount of coffee can sometimes be a bit confusing. In this article, we’ll explore the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for the Chemex, specifically focusing on the number of grams you should use. So, grab a cup of java and let’s dive in!


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to determine the ideal number of grams of coffee for your Chemex brewing method. If you are a coffee lover, you probably know that the success of a great brew lies in the right coffee-to-water ratio. The Chemex brewing method is a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts due to its ability to deliver a smooth and flavorful cup of coffee. To achieve the perfect brew, it’s crucial to understand the recommended grams of coffee for Chemex and how to adjust this based on personal preferences.

What is Chemex?

Before diving into the specifics of determining the ideal grams of coffee for Chemex, let’s first understand what Chemex actually is. Developed by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, the Chemex is a pour-over coffee brewing system known for its elegant design and functionality. It consists of an hourglass-shaped glass vessel with a wooden collar and a polished leather tie. The Chemex system uses thick filters that remove any undesirable oils, resulting in a clean and smooth cup of coffee.

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Why Use Chemex?

There are several reasons why coffee enthusiasts choose to brew their coffee using the Chemex method:

1. Superior Flavor

The Chemex filters allow for a slower extraction process, resulting in a cleaner and less bitter cup of coffee. This method brings out the nuanced flavors of the coffee beans, giving you a more enjoyable and tasteful experience.

2. Aesthetically Pleasing

The elegant design of the Chemex makes it a beautiful addition to any kitchen or coffee brewing setup. Its sleek glass vessel and polished wooden collar make for an aesthetically pleasing brewing experience.

3. Environmentally Friendly

Chemex filters are made of high-quality paper that is both biodegradable and compostable. By using the Chemex method, you are reducing your environmental footprint compared to other brewing methods that utilize single-use plastic and metal parts.

Determining the Ideal Number of Grams of Coffee for Chemex

Now that we understand the importance and benefits of using Chemex, let’s explore the recommended number of grams of coffee for a standard Chemex brew. It’s important to note that these recommendations can be adjusted based on personal taste preferences and desired strength of the brew.

1. Recommended Coffee-to-Water Ratio

The general rule of thumb is to use a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:15 to 1:17 for a medium-strength cup of coffee. This means using 1 gram of coffee for every 15 to 17 grams of water. However, some coffee enthusiasts prefer a stronger brew and may opt for a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:13.

2. Calculating the Number of Grams of Coffee

To determine the ideal number of grams of coffee for your Chemex brew, you’ll need to consider the amount of water you want to use and the desired coffee-to-water ratio. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Weigh the water: Start by measuring the amount of water you want to use. For example, if you want to brew 300 grams of coffee, make sure to weigh the water precisely using a kitchen scale.
  2. Calculate the coffee-to-water ratio: Decide on the coffee-to-water ratio you want to achieve. As mentioned earlier, 1:15 is a good starting point for a medium-strength cup of coffee.
  3. Do the math: Divide the weight of the water by the ratio. For example, if you want to use a 1:15 ratio with 300 grams of water, divide 300 by 15. The result is 20 grams. Therefore, you should use 20 grams of coffee for this particular brew.
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3. Adjusting the Strength of the Brew

If you prefer a stronger cup of coffee, you can adjust the coffee-to-water ratio by decreasing the amount of water or increasing the amount of coffee. For example, if you prefer a 1:13 ratio with 300 grams of water, you would divide 300 by 13 to get approximately 23 grams of coffee.

Tips for the Perfect Chemex Cup

Now that you know how to determine the ideal grams of coffee for your Chemex brew, here are some additional tips to help you achieve the perfect cup:

1. Use Freshly Roasted Beans

Invest in high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans. The freshness of the beans plays a crucial role in capturing the rich flavors and aromas in your cup of coffee.

2. Grind the Coffee Beans Correctly

Grind your coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency. This ensures proper extraction without causing over-extraction or bitterness.

3. Preheat Your Chemex

Before brewing, rinse the Chemex filter with hot water and preheat the vessel. This step helps maintain the ideal brewing temperature and prevents any unwanted flavors from the paper filter.

4. Follow a Consistent Pouring Technique

When pouring the water over the coffee grounds, use a slow and steady circular motion. This technique ensures even extraction and helps release the flavors in a balanced manner.

5. Practice Patience

Allow the coffee to brew fully before serving. The recommended brew time for a Chemex is around 4-5 minutes, but you can experiment and adjust it based on your preferences.

Difference Between Chemex and Other Brewing Methods

While the Chemex brewing method offers a unique brewing experience, it’s essential to understand the differences between Chemex and other popular brewing methods:

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Brewing Method Distinguishing Factor
French Press Leaves the coffee oils intact, resulting in a fuller-bodied and bolder cup of coffee.
Pour-Over Requires more manual effort, allowing for precise control over the brewing process and extraction.
Aeropress Utilizes air pressure to extract flavors quickly, resulting in a smooth and concentrated brew.


In conclusion, determining the ideal grams of coffee for Chemex brewing is crucial to achieving a delicious and balanced cup of coffee. By understanding the recommended coffee-to-water ratios, calculating the number of grams of coffee needed, and following essential tips, you can elevate your coffee brewing experience. Additionally, knowing the differences between Chemex and other brewing methods allows you to explore various flavors and brewing techniques. So go ahead, grab your Chemex, experiment with different grams of coffee, and enjoy the journey of brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I use any type of coffee beans for my Chemex?

Yes, you can use any type of coffee beans for your Chemex. However, it is recommended to use medium to coarse grind coffee for best results. This type of grind allows for better extraction and prevents over-extraction, resulting in a smoother and more balanced cup of coffee.

2. How many grams of coffee should I use for my Chemex?

The amount of coffee you use for your Chemex depends on the size of your Chemex and your personal preference. As a general guideline, a ratio of 1:16 coffee-to-water is commonly used. This means for every 1 gram of coffee, you would use 16 grams of water. For example, if you have a 32-ounce (946ml) Chemex, you would use approximately 56 grams of coffee.

3. Can I adjust the coffee-to-water ratio to suit my taste?

Absolutely! The suggested coffee-to-water ratio is a starting point, and you can adjust it to your preference. If you prefer a stronger cup of coffee, you can increase the coffee-to-water ratio to 1:15 or even 1:14. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder cup, you can decrease the ratio to 1:17 or 1:18. Experimenting with different ratios will help you find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

4. Do I need to preheat my Chemex before brewing?

Preheating your Chemex is not mandatory but highly recommended. By preheating the Chemex, you ensure that the temperature of the brewing water remains constant throughout the entire process, allowing for better extraction. Simply pouring hot water into the Chemex and discarding it before starting the brewing process will suffice.

5. Can I reuse the coffee grounds for a second brew?

It is not recommended to reuse coffee grounds for a second brew in your Chemex. The first brew extracts most of the flavors and oils from the coffee grounds, leaving behind a weaker and less flavorful cup of coffee for a second brew. It is best to use fresh coffee grounds for each brew to achieve the best taste and aroma.

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Matty Victor

An expert in tasting the nuances of coffee. often talks about the different flavors of coffee from different regions of the world "The taste of coffee is an endless journey."


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