The Perfect Amount of Ground Coffee for Chemex

Matty Victor

If you’re up for a smooth and flavorful cup of coffee, brewing it in a Chemex coffee maker is an excellent choice. But figuring out the right amount of ground coffee to use in your Chemex can be a bit confusing. After all, nobody wants a weak and watery coffee or an overpowering and bitter brew. So, if you’re wondering how much ground coffee to use in your Chemex, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into this guide to help you achieve that perfect balance of taste and strength in your morning cup of joe.

Are you a coffee lover searching for the perfect brew? Look no further than the Chemex coffee maker! Brewing coffee with a Chemex is not only an art but also a science. To achieve the best results, it is crucial to understand how much ground coffee to use. In this article, we will explore the optimal amount of ground coffee for Chemex, along with its benefits, tips, and differences from other methods. So grab your favorite mug and get ready to embark on a coffee adventure!

What is a Chemex Coffee Maker?

The Chemex coffee maker is a beloved brewing device that combines elegance, simplicity, and functionality. It was invented in 1941 by German chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm and has since gained a cult following among coffee enthusiasts. The iconic hourglass-shaped vessel, made of borosilicate glass, features a polished wood collar and leather tie, giving it a distinctive, timeless look.

The Chemex uses a unique brewing process that emphasizes clarity, cleanliness, and flavor. It utilizes a thick paper filter, which removes any undesirable oils and sediments, resulting in a smooth and pure cup of coffee. Its design also allows for full control over the extraction process, making it a favorite tool for coffee aficionados seeking precision and consistency.

Why is the Right Amount of Ground Coffee Important?

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Finding the perfect balance of ground coffee for your Chemex is crucial to achieving an exceptional cup of joe. Using too little coffee may result in a weak and insipid brew, while using too much can lead to an overpowering and bitter taste. By understanding the correct amount, you can unlock the true potential of your Chemex and savor the rich and nuanced flavors of your favorite beans.

How Much Ground Coffee for Chemex?

The Golden Ratio: 1:15

The golden rule for brewing with a Chemex is to use a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:15. This means that for every gram of ground coffee, you should use 15 grams of water. This ratio provides a balanced extraction, resulting in a flavorful and well-balanced cup of coffee.

Calculating the Amount

To determine the amount of ground coffee for your desired number of cups, you can use a simple calculation. Start by deciding how many cups of coffee you want to make, and then divide that number by 15. For example, if you want to brew four cups of coffee, you would divide 4 by 15, which gives you approximately 0.27. This means you should use around 0.27 grams of coffee per gram of water.

Measuring Tools

Precise measurements are crucial when brewing with a Chemex. To ensure accuracy, it is recommended to use a digital scale to weigh both the coffee and water. This guarantees consistency from brew to brew and allows you to fine-tune your recipe according to your preferences. If you don’t have access to a scale, you can use a measuring spoon, keeping in mind that one level tablespoon is equivalent to approximately 5 grams of coffee.

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Brew

While the golden ratio provides a solid foundation, personal taste preferences can vary. Here are some additional tips to help you fine-tune your Chemex brewing technique:

1. Experiment with the ratio: If you prefer a stronger brew, you can increase the coffee-to-water ratio slightly. Conversely, if you enjoy a milder cup, you can decrease the ratio.

2. Grind size matters: The grind size of your coffee beans plays a significant role in the extraction process. For Chemex, a medium-coarse grind is generally recommended. Experiment with different grind sizes to find your sweet spot.

3. Water quality: Using filtered water improves the taste and purity of your coffee. Avoid using distilled water as it can result in an under-extracted brew.

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4. Pre-infusion: Before pouring the remaining water over the coffee grounds, start with a small amount and let it “bloom” for around 30 seconds. This allows the coffee to degas and enhances the flavors.

5. Brewing time: Aim for a total brew time of around 4-5 minutes. Adjust the pouring speed to achieve this timeframe. If your brew takes significantly longer, you may need to adjust the grind size or the pouring technique.

Advantages of Using the Chemex Coffee Maker

Apart from its unique aesthetic appeal, the Chemex offers several advantages that make it a go-to choice for coffee enthusiasts:

1. Exceptional clarity: The thick paper filter used in the Chemex effectively removes unwanted oils and sediments, resulting in a clean and transparent cup of coffee.

2. Full control over extraction: The Chemex’s pour-over design allows you to have complete control over the brewing process, enabling you to fine-tune variables such as water temperature, pour rate, and steep time for a customized cup of coffee.

3. Enhanced flavors: Due to the brewer’s unique shape, the coffee grounds are evenly saturated, ensuring an even extraction and maximizing the flavors and aromas of your chosen beans.

4. Easy to clean: The Chemex’s glass body and simple design make it easy to clean and maintain. Just rinse it with warm water and let it air dry.

Disadvantages of Using the Chemex Coffee Maker

While the Chemex has numerous benefits, it is important to consider potential drawbacks to make an informed decision:

1. Pouring skill required: Brewing with a Chemex requires some pouring skill to ensure an even and consistent extraction. It might take some practice to perfect your pouring technique and achieve optimal results.

2. Fragility: The Chemex is made of glass, which makes it susceptible to breakage if mishandled. Extra care should be taken when handling and storing the brewer.

3. Brewing time: Compared to other brewing methods, the Chemex can take slightly longer to brew a cup of coffee. If you’re in a rush, you might need to consider a faster alternative.

Difference between Chemex and Other Brewing Methods

Chemex French Press Pour Over
Taste Smooth and clean Full-bodied Crisp and flavorful
Brewing Time 4-5 minutes 4-5 minutes 2-3 minutes
Sediment Minimal Pronounced Minimal
Control High Medium Medium
Difficulty Intermediate Beginner Beginner

Important Notes about Using Chemex

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“Preheating the Chemex is essential to maintain the coffee’s optimal temperature during brewing.”

“Ensure that your paper filter is properly placed and rinsed with hot water before adding coffee grounds.”

“Avoid using too fine of a grind, as it can clog the filter and result in over-extraction.”


The amount of ground coffee plays a crucial role in achieving a perfect brew with the Chemex coffee maker. By following the golden ratio and experimenting with different variables, you can unlock a world of flavors and aromas. The Chemex’s unique design, combined with its paper filter, enables you to create a remarkably clean and nuanced cup of coffee. Remember to handle the Chemex with care and pay attention to the important notes to ensure a delightful brewing experience. So go ahead, gather your preferred coffee beans, and enjoy the art of brewing with the Chemex!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: How do I choose the right grind size for Chemex coffee?

Choosing the right grind size is crucial when brewing coffee with a Chemex. The ideal grind size for Chemex is medium-coarse. This means that the coffee grounds should be slightly finer than what you would use for a French press, but coarser than what you would use for an espresso machine. A medium-coarse grind size ensures that the extraction is not too fast or too slow, resulting in a balanced and flavorful cup of coffee.

Question 2: Should I preheat the Chemex before brewing?

Yes, it is recommended to preheat the Chemex before brewing your coffee. Preheating the Chemex helps to maintain a stable temperature during the brewing process, leading to a more consistent extraction. Simply pour hot water into the Chemex and swirl it around to warm up the glass. Then, discard the water before adding your coffee and fresh hot water for brewing.

Question 3: How much coffee should I use for a 6-cup Chemex?

For a 6-cup Chemex, the general guideline is to use 45 to 50 grams (or about 6 to 7 tablespoons) of coffee. However, this can be adjusted based on your personal preference. If you prefer a stronger cup of coffee, you can use a higher coffee-to-water ratio or add more coffee. Conversely, if you prefer a milder cup, you can use a lower ratio or decrease the amount of coffee used.

Question 4: How long does the brewing process take with a Chemex?

The brewing process with a Chemex typically takes around 4 to 5 minutes, depending on factors such as the grind size and the amount of coffee used. It is important to maintain a steady pouring pace to ensure an even extraction. Avoid pouring too quickly, as it can result in over-extraction and a bitter taste. Patience and consistency are key to achieving the best results with a Chemex.

Question 5: Can I use pre-ground coffee for my Chemex?

While it is recommended to grind your coffee beans right before brewing for optimal freshness and flavor, you can still use pre-ground coffee for your Chemex. However, be aware that pre-ground coffee may have a shorter shelf life and may not offer the same level of freshness as freshly ground beans. Additionally, different pre-ground coffee brands may have varying grind sizes, so you may need to experiment to find the right brewing parameters for your specific coffee.

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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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