Mastering the Perfect Chemex Pour Over: A Coffee Lover’s Guide

Matty Victor

If you’re looking to elevate your coffee brewing game and squeeze every ounce of flavor out of your beans, then pour over coffee using a Chemex might be your next best move. This method allows you to control the brewing process completely and unlock the full potential of your coffee’s taste. So, if you’re ready to steer away from automatic coffee machines and instead embrace a more hands-on approach to your morning joe, grab your Chemex and let’s start brewing!


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to pour over coffee using the Chemex method. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of pour-over coffee, exploring what it is, why it’s becoming increasingly popular, and how you can brew the perfect cup using a Chemex. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee enthusiast or just starting your journey into the world of specialty coffee, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to elevate your coffee brewing experience.

What is Pour Over Coffee?

Pour-over coffee is a brewing method that involves pouring hot water over a bed of coffee grounds. The water slowly drips through the grounds and filters into a container below, resulting in a smooth and flavorful cup of coffee. This method allows for greater control over various brewing parameters, such as water temperature, extraction time, and the ratio of coffee to water. Pour-over brewing often requires specific equipment, such as a Chemex, to achieve the best results.

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Why Choose the Chemex?

The Chemex is a popular pour-over coffee maker known for its elegant design and exceptional brewing capabilities. It is made from high-quality materials, including borosilicate glass and a wooden collar, which not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also maintains the coffee’s flavor profile. The unique hourglass shape and thick paper filter of the Chemex result in a clean and crisp cup of coffee, free from sediment and bitterness.

How to Use a Chemex

To brew coffee using a Chemex, follow these steps:

  1. Start by heating water to just below boiling point.
  2. Place a paper filter in the Chemex, ensuring that the thicker side is facing the spout.
  3. Moisten the filter with hot water to eliminate any paper taste and preheat the Chemex.
  4. Discard the rinse water and add the desired amount of freshly ground coffee to the filter.
  5. Slowly pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds, known as the blooming phase.
  6. Allow the coffee to bloom for 30 seconds, then continue pouring the remaining water in a circular motion, ensuring even saturation of the grounds.
  7. Once all the water has passed through the coffee bed, remove the filter and discard the grounds.
  8. Your perfectly brewed Chemex coffee is ready to be enjoyed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Chemex


The Chemex offers several advantages for coffee enthusiasts:

  • Superior Flavor: The thick paper filter of the Chemex removes oils and sediments, resulting in a clean and pure coffee flavor.
  • Elegant Design: The Chemex’s visually appealing design makes it a stylish addition to any kitchen or coffee brewing setup.
  • Control Over Brewing Parameters: With the Chemex, you have precise control over water temperature, extraction time, and coffee-to-water ratio, allowing you to customize your brew to perfection.


While the Chemex offers numerous benefits, it can also have a few drawbacks:

  • Requires Practice: Achieving a consistent and exceptional cup of coffee with the Chemex may take some practice and experimentation.
  • Slow Brewing Process: The pour-over method with the Chemex can be time-consuming, requiring patience and attention to detail.
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Tips and Techniques for Brewing with a Chemex

1. Use Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

The quality of your coffee greatly depends on the freshness of the beans. Opt for freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them just before brewing for the best flavor.

2. Measure Your Coffee and Water Precisely

Investing in a kitchen scale and a gooseneck kettle will help you accurately measure the amount of coffee and water, ensuring consistency in your brews.

3. Experiment with Different Coffee-to-Water Ratios

The ideal coffee-to-water ratio varies depending on personal preference. Consider starting with a ratio of 1:16 (1 gram of coffee per 16 grams of water) and adjust according to taste.

4. Control the Water Temperature

Water temperature plays a crucial role in extracting the desired flavors from coffee. Aim for a water temperature between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C) for optimal extraction.

5. Master the Pouring Technique

Achieving an even and steady pour is essential for an even extraction. Slowly pour the water in a circular motion, allowing it to fully saturate the coffee grounds.

Difference Between Chemex and Other Pour-Over Methods

While the Chemex is a highly acclaimed pour-over method, it differs from other popular brewing methods in several ways. Here are a few key distinctions:

Comparison Chemex V60 Kalita Wave
Filter Thick paper filter removes oils and sediment Thinner paper filter allows for more oils and flavor complexities Waved filter promotes even extraction and smoothness
Brew Time Longer brewing time due to the thick paper filter Shorter brewing time due to the thinner filter Medium brewing time
Brewing Control Highly customizable with precise control over various parameters Allows flexibility in brewing parameters but less control compared to Chemex Offers consistent extraction with limited control
Design Elegant, hourglass-shaped design Sleek and compact design with single hole Unique flat-bottomed shape with wavy filter

These differences make the Chemex a unique and sought-after pour-over method for those looking for a clean and exceptional coffee experience.

Important Notes

“Always remember to preheat the Chemex by rinsing the filter with hot water before starting the brewing process. This step helps maintain a consistent brewing temperature and removes any papery taste.”

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Pour-over coffee using the Chemex is an art form that allows coffee enthusiasts to savor the intricate flavors and aromas of their beans. By following the recommended brewing techniques and experimenting with various brewing parameters, you can create a cup of coffee that is tailored to your taste preferences. So, get your Chemex ready, source some high-quality beans, and embark on an exciting brewing journey that will awaken your senses and elevate your coffee experience.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I use any type of coffee beans for the Chemex pour-over method?

A: Yes, you can use any type of coffee beans for the Chemex pour-over method. However, it is recommended to use a medium to coarse grind size for best results. Finely ground coffee might result in over-extraction, while too coarse grounds may result in under-extraction. Experiment with different types and grind sizes to find your preferred taste profile.

Q: How long will the brewing process take with the Chemex pour-over method?

A: The brewing process with the Chemex pour-over method typically takes around 4 to 5 minutes. This includes the bloom time, where you add a small amount of hot water to allow the coffee to degas, and the actual pouring time. It is important not to rush the process, as proper extraction takes time to achieve a balanced and flavorful cup of coffee.

Q: Can I reuse the Chemex filter?

A: No, the Chemex filters are designed for single-use only. They are made of a special type of paper that is thicker and specifically shaped to enhance the pour-over process. Reusing the filter can affect the taste of the coffee and may result in a less desirable brew. It is recommended to always use a fresh filter for each brewing session.

Q: What is the ideal water temperature for the Chemex pour-over method?

A: The ideal water temperature for the Chemex pour-over method is around 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90 to 96 degrees Celsius). This temperature range allows for proper extraction of the coffee flavors without scorching the grounds. It is recommended to use a kettle with a built-in temperature control or a thermometer to ensure the water is at the correct temperature.

Q: Can I adjust the strength of the coffee using the Chemex pour-over method?

A: Yes, you can adjust the strength of the coffee with the Chemex pour-over method. The strength can be influenced by the coffee-to-water ratio and the brewing time. To make a stronger cup of coffee, you can increase the coffee-to-water ratio or extend the brewing time slightly. Conversely, for a milder cup, you can decrease the ratio or shorten the brewing time. Adjusting these variables allows for customization based on personal preferences.

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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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