Best Coffee for Chemex: Top Beans and Blend Selections

Best Coffee for Chemex

The quest for the perfect cup of coffee is a journey that takes many paths. One such path is the Chemex brewing method, a classic and elegant way to prepare a well-balanced and flavorsome brew. Choosing the best coffee for Chemex can make all the difference, as the unique characteristics of the beans combined with the specificities of the brewing process can lead to a delightful sensory experience.

Chemex brewing allows coffee enthusiasts to explore their favorite roasts in a new way. Its pour-over technique precisely controls water temperature, coffee grind size, and brewing time. This level of control means there is much to learn about how different coffee varieties work best with the Chemex and the role that grind size and water temperature play in extracting the most desirable flavors.

To ensure you’re on the right track for brewing the best coffee with your Chemex, consider the following key takeaways:

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the appropriate coffee bean type and grind size enhances the Chemex brewing experience.
  • Correct water temperature and level contribute to achieving the perfect cup of coffee.
  • Personal preference plays a role in determining the ideal coffee-water ratio and brewing process.

Understanding Chemex Brewing Method

The Chemex brewing method is a popular and unique way to enjoy your coffee. By learning the brewing process, you can make the most of each cup you brew.

Chemex brewers are designed to deliver a clean, bright, and full-bodied coffee experience. The brewing process emphasizes extracting the coffee’s essential oils while minimizing bitterness. The distinctive Chemex coffee brewer, with its glass design and bonded paper filters, is an appealing centerpiece in any kitchen.

To begin the brewing process, you will need to choose the right coffee beans and grind size. A medium-coarse grind is ideal for Chemex brewing, allowing for proper extraction without over-extraction. Ensure your beans are fresh, as they will result in a more flavorful and aromatic coffee.

Next, prepare your Chemex coffee brewer by placing a correctly folded filter in the top portion of the brewer. Wet the filter with hot water to remove any potential paper taste and to preheat the brewer. Then, dispose of the water and add your freshly ground coffee to the filter. Be sure to measure the proper amount of coffee, aiming for a ratio of one part coffee to 15 parts water.

The brewing method consists of two main phases: the bloom and the pour. Start by pouring a small amount of hot water (around 200°F or 93°C) to saturate the coffee grounds, allowing them to “bloom” for 30 to 45 seconds. This releases the coffee’s natural gases and prepares for optimal extraction.

Following the bloom phase, gradually pour the remaining hot water in a gentle, circular motion over the coffee grounds. Aim for a steady pour to maintain a consistent brewing time of around 4 to 5 minutes. Avoid pouring directly onto the filter or the edges to maximize the extraction.

Once you have poured the appropriate amount of water, remove the filter and spent coffee grounds. Your Chemex-brewed coffee is now ready to serve and enjoy. This brewing method provides a balanced flavor profile, highlighting the coffee’s natural acidity and emphasizing its unique characteristics. Following these steps, you can confidently achieve a high-quality coffee experience with the Chemex brewing method.

Why Coffee Bean Type Matters

When it comes to brewing coffee using a Chemex, the type of coffee bean you choose plays a critical role in determining the flavor and quality of your final cup. Different beans have unique characteristics, which can greatly impact your Chemex experience.

Medium roast coffee is an excellent choice for Chemex brewing, as it strikes a balance between the bold flavors of a dark roast and the fruity, acidic notes of a light roast. Medium roasts showcase the bean’s natural flavors while adding complexity through the roasting process.

Light roast coffee is worth considering if you seek a cup of coffee with bright acidity and a distinct taste that showcases the origin of the beans. Chemex’s filtration process accentuates these vibrant flavors, making light roasts especially suited for this brewing method.

On the other hand, dark roast coffee can be challenging when using a Chemex, as the robust, smoky flavors can become overpowering and overwhelm the delicate nuances that Chemex is designed to highlight. However, if you enjoy bold, intense coffee, a controlled brewing process can still yield a satisfactory cup.

Brazilian coffee is a popular choice for Chemex brewing due to its inherent sweetness and nutty undertones, which can complement the clean, bright flavors that the Chemex filtration brings forward. Other bean origins with similar flavor profiles can also provide a delightful Chemex experience.

To ensure you select the best coffee beans for your Chemex brewing, consider the following key factors:

  • Type of coffee: Choose beans that complement Chemex’s ability to highlight nuanced flavors and vibrant acidity, such as medium or light roasts from various origins.
  • Coffee roast: Opt for a roast level that aligns with your flavor preferences, considering that medium roasts generally work best for Chemex.
  • Roast level: Be cautious with overly dark roasts, as their intense flavors can overpower the delicate characteristics that Chemex is designed to accentuate.

In summary, selecting the right type of coffee bean is essential when using a Chemex to maximize flavor potential and enhance your overall experience.

The Role of Grinding in Brewing

When brewing coffee with a Chemex, grinding plays a crucial role in achieving optimal flavor extraction. Choosing the right coffee grinder and grind size will significantly impact the taste and aroma of your coffee.

Using a burr grinder is highly recommended for a consistent and even grind. These grinders pulverize the coffee beans between two rotating abrasive surfaces, ensuring uniform coffee grounds. A consistent grind allows for even extraction, producing a well-rounded and smooth cup of coffee.

A medium-coarse grind is the ideal choice for a Chemex. This grind size allows for a balanced extraction while preventing over-extraction and bitterness. Fine grinds can cause over-extraction and taste bitter, while coarse grinds can result in under-extracted and weak coffee. If you’re unsure about the right grind size, aim for a texture similar to sea salt.

However, avoid using blade grinders, as they create unevenly-sized coffee grounds. These grinders use a spinning blade to chop the beans, which may not produce an even grind. The inconsistency in coffee grounds makes it difficult to achieve the desired flavor profile.

When selecting a coffee grinder, invest in a quality appliance that can consistently produce the proper grind size. An accurate grind will ensure that the coffee grounds become saturated evenly during the brewing process, ultimately delivering an enjoyable cup of coffee.

In summary, it’s essential to use a good-quality burr grinder and aim for a medium-coarse grind when brewing coffee with a Chemex. This will provide the correct grind size for optimal extraction, resulting in a delicious and well-balanced brew.

Importance of Correct Water Level and Temperature

When brewing coffee with a Chemex, it is crucial to ensure that the water level and temperature are accurate. Maintaining the correct water level is essential because it directly impacts the extraction process. Too much or too little water can lead to uneven extraction and result in a weak or bitter cup of coffee.

Checking the water level is also important during the brewing process. You should aim for a water-to-coffee ratio of about 16:1. This means that for every gram of coffee, you should use 16 grams of water. For example, if you use 30 grams of coffee, you will need approximately 480 grams of water. Monitoring and adjusting the water level helps achieve an ideal extraction and a perfect cup of coffee.

Temperature plays an equally significant role in brewing coffee with a Chemex. Using water with the right temperature ensures the best extraction and the preservation of the coffee’s true flavor. Ideally, the water temperature should be between 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). Water that is too hot can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste, while water that is too cool will yield an under-extracted and weak cup of coffee.

To obtain the desired brewing temperature, you can use a thermometer to measure the water or bring it to a boil and then let it sit for approximately 30 seconds. This should bring it to a suitable temperature range for Chemex brewing. Using hot water at the correct temperature also ensures that your coffee is brewed consistently every time, resulting in a cup of coffee you can rely on and enjoy.

In summary, adhering to the correct water level and temperature will significantly improve your Chemex brewing experience. Be mindful of the 16:1 water-to-coffee ratio and ensure your water is at the ideal temperature range of 195°F to 205°F. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to achieve a consistently great cup of coffee with your Chemex.

How to Achieve the Perfect Cup of Coffee

To brew the perfect cup of coffee with your Chemex, you need to focus on the quality of the beans, your grind size, and your brewing technique.

Start by choosing high-quality beans. Freshly roasted beans are essential for a delicious flavor in your cup of coffee. If possible, purchase your beans from a local roaster to ensure they are at their peak freshness. When selecting a bean variety for your Chemex, consider a medium roast, as it tends to perform well in this brewing method.

Next, pay attention to your grind size. For brewing in a Chemex, aim for a medium-coarse grind to achieve the optimal extraction. You want to avoid a grind that is too fine, which can result in over-extraction and a bitter taste. Conversely, a grind that is too coarse will produce an under-extracted and weak cup of coffee. Ensure that you measure the coffee grounds precisely, using a scale if available, to maintain a consistent ratio of coffee to water. A general guideline is a 1:15 ratio, meaning 1 gram of coffee to every 15 milliliters of water.

The brewing process is vital in achieving that great cup of coffee. To begin, wet the Chemex filter with hot water to remove any paper taste and to preheat the vessel. Discard the water, set the filter back in place, and add your coffee grounds. Place your Chemex on a scale and tare it to zero. Start by pouring just enough hot water (around 200°F or 93°C) over the grounds to wet them evenly. Let the coffee grounds bloom for 30 seconds. This step helps release the trapped gases, ensuring a proper extraction.

After the bloom, pour the hot water in a spiral motion, starting from the center and moving outwards. Aim to keep the water level consistent, as this promotes even extraction. Allow the brewed coffee to drip through the filter and into the vessel. The entire process should take around three and a half to four minutes for the water to pass through the grounds.

By focusing on bean quality, grind size, and brewing technique, you are sure to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee from your Chemex.

Maximizing the Unique Flavors of Your Coffee

When brewing coffee using a Chemex, it’s essential to get the most out of the unique flavors of your coffee beans. Utilizing the right techniques can significantly impact the quality and taste of your final cup. Here are a few tips to maximize the flavors and extract the best of your coffee’s oils.

Choose the Right Coffee Beans: Opt for high-quality, fresh, and single-origin beans that provide distinctive flavors compared to blends. Single-origin beans preserve the characteristics of the specific region they come from, offering a unique taste experience.

Grind Size Matters: A consistent, medium-coarse grind is ideal for Chemex brewing. This grind size allows water to flow through the grounds efficiently, extracting the unique flavors without causing over-extraction.

Optimal Water Temperature: The ideal water temperature for Chemex brewing is between 195°F and 205°F (90°C – 96°C). This temperature ensures efficient extraction of coffee’s oils and flavors, resulting in a well-balanced and flavorful cup.

Bloom Your Coffee: Pre-wetting the coffee grounds is an essential step for maximizing flavor. Add a small amount of water to your grounds, allowing them to “bloom” and release trapped gasses. This process enhances your coffee’s flavor and aroma.

Pour-Over Technique: Practice a slow, steady, and circular pour starting from the center and working outwards. This method ensures even saturation of the coffee grounds and proper extraction of the unique flavors.

By following these tips, you can enhance your Chemex brewing experience and emphasize the distinct flavors your coffee has to offer. Enjoy a delicious, flavorful cup of coffee showcasing the best of your carefully chosen beans.

Choosing the Right Chemex Filters

When brewing coffee with a Chemex, choosing the right filter is crucial to achieve the desired taste and quality. Chemex filters are designed specifically for use with their coffee maker and greatly influence the final cup.

There are two main types of Chemex filters: bleached (white) and unbleached (brown). Both are made from thick, high-quality paper that effectively filters out unwanted oils, sediments, and fines for a clean cup. The main difference between bleached and unbleached filters is the paper processing method.

Bleached filters are treated with oxygen-based compounds to achieve a clean, white appearance. This results in a more neutral taste and a consistent brewing experience. If you prefer a clean, smooth coffee, bleached filters are the way to go.

Unbleached filters maintain their natural brown color and can impart a slightly earthy taste to the coffee due to the presence of residual fiber. Some connoisseurs prefer unbleached filters for their minimal environmental impact and believe they enhance the beans’ natural flavors.

To get the best results using Chemex filters, follow these tips:

  • Always rinse your filter with hot water before brewing. This removes any paper taste and preheats the filter, ensuring an even extraction.
  • Make sure the filter is placed correctly in the Chemex, with the three-layered side against the spout. This ensures reliable drainage and prevents the filter from collapsing.
  • Adjust your coffee grind accordingly: a medium-coarse grind is recommended for the Chemex brewing method. The grind should be slightly coarser than for a traditional drip coffee maker but finer than a French press.
  • Dispose of filters responsibly after use. Chemex filters are biodegradable, so composting is a great option.

Choosing the right Chemex filter plays a significant role in the coffee brewing process. By considering your taste preferences and following proper brewing practices, you can achieve a delightful coffee experience tailored to your preferences.

The Ideal Coffee-Water Ratio

When brewing coffee using a Chemex, it’s essential to find the right coffee-to-water ratio. The ideal ratio will allow you to extract the perfect flavors from your coffee, ensuring a well-balanced and delicious cup.

For Chemex brewing, most coffee enthusiasts recommend a ratio of 1:15 or 1:16, which means using 1 gram of coffee for every 15 or 16 grams of water. This ratio can vary slightly based on your personal taste preferences.

To select the best ratio for you, start by weighing your coffee. If you prefer a stronger brew, use 1 gram of coffee per 15 grams of water. If you lean towards a milder cup, opt for the 1:16 ratio, using 1 gram of coffee per 16 grams of water. Remember that the exact measurement may require adjustment depending on your specific coffee beans and grind size.

Here’s a quick reference guide to help you get started:

  • 30 grams of coffee: To brew 2 cups, use 30 grams of coffee and 450-480 grams of water.
  • 45 grams of coffee: For 3 cups, use 45 grams of coffee and 675-720 grams of water.
  • 60 grams of coffee: For 4 cups, use 60 grams of coffee and 900-960 grams of water.

Keep track of the coffee and water measurements you use, and don’t be afraid to experiment to find your perfect balance. As you gain more experience with your Chemex, you will develop a reliable sense of how much coffee and water to use to achieve your desired taste.

Why the Brewing Process Matters

When it comes to coffee, the brewing process plays a vital role in determining the final taste and quality of your cup. With Chemex, this process becomes even more crucial due to its unique brewing method. As a coffee enthusiast, understanding why the brewing process matters will help you appreciate and enjoy the best coffee for your Chemex.

The Chemex brewing method utilizes a pour-over technique, which gives you greater control over the extraction process. You add water to your coffee grounds gradually, allowing for an even and thorough extraction. With this method, you can influence the flavor profile of your coffee by adjusting variables like water temperature, brewing time, and grind size.

One key aspect of the brewing process in Chemex is using a circular motion when pouring water onto the coffee grounds. This circular motion ensures an even water distribution across the coffee bed, promoting a more consistent extraction. It also helps prevent channeling, where water bypasses some grounds and over-extracts others, leading to an unbalanced cup.

Moreover, the Chemex uses a thicker paper filter than other brewing methods. This filter not only captures more coffee oils and sediments, resulting in a cleaner cup, but also slows down the flow rate of the water. This slower extraction process allows for better extraction of the coffee flavors, truly highlighting the unique characteristics of your chosen coffee beans.

To sum it up, the brewing process matters because it directly impacts the quality of your coffee. By using the Chemex and mastering its brewing method, you can consistently produce a delicious and well-balanced cup that showcases the best flavors of your chosen coffee for an enjoyable drinking experience.

From French Press to Chemex: A Comparison

When it comes to brewing coffee, both the French Press and the Chemex Coffee Maker offer unique experiences. Understanding the differences between these two methods will enable you to choose the best one for your needs.

In terms of process, a French Press involves steeping coffee grounds in hot water for a few minutes, then pressing a plunger down to separate the grounds from the liquid. On the other hand, Chemex uses a pour-over method, whereby hot water is poured over the grounds, which are held in a conical filter. The coffee then drips through the filter and into the carafe below.

Flavor-wise, French Press coffee tends to be rich, bold, and full-bodied because the oils and fine sediments remain in the brew. By contrast, Chemex coffee is typically lighter, cleaner, and brighter in taste – the thicker filter used in Chemex catches more oils and fine sediment particles, resulting in a more delicate flavor.

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing between French Press and Chemex:

  • Time: French Press typically takes around 4-5 minutes to brew, while the Chemex process can take a little longer, around 6-7 minutes. If you are pressed for time, French Press may be better suited for you.
  • Coffee Grind Size: French Press requires a coarser grind, whereas Chemex works best with a medium-coarse grind. It is crucial to match the grind size with the brewing method to achieve optimal results.
  • Ease of Cleaning: A French Press can be slightly more challenging to clean, as the grounds need to be removed from the bottom of the beaker. Chemex is generally easier to clean, as you remove and discard the paper filter with the grounds.
  • Portability: French Press can be more suitable for travel or offices, with multiple portable models available. Chemex, made of glass, is more fragile and best left at home.

Ultimately, the choice between French Press and Chemex comes down to your personal preferences for taste, convenience, and brewing style. Try experimenting with both methods to discover which brings you the most enjoyable coffee experience.

How Much Coffee Is Too Much

When brewing with a Chemex, finding the right balance of coffee and water for your desired taste is crucial. Start by weighing out your great coffee beans using a digital kitchen scale. For an optimal taste experience, it’s recommended to use whole bean coffee and grind it right before brewing.

A general rule of thumb is to use a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio, which means for every gram of coffee, use 15 grams of water. This ratio results in a well-balanced and satisfying cup. If you prefer stronger coffee, you can adjust the ratio to 1:14 or even 1:13, but be cautious about using too much coffee, as it can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste.

To avoid over-extracting your coffee, you should:

  • Use a consistent grind size, preferably medium-coarse
  • Be mindful of the brewing time (aim for 3:30 to 4:30 minutes)
  • Keep your water temperature between 195°F to 205°F during brewing

It’s worth mentioning that individual preferences can vary, and you might need to experiment with different ratios and brewing times to find the perfect cup for your taste buds. Always remember that high-quality whole bean coffee and fresh water are essential building blocks for a delicious Chemex brew.

Why Personal Preference Matters

When it comes to brewing coffee with a Chemex, your personal preference plays a crucial role in determining the best coffee beans for you. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as taste is subjective, and what may be an excellent choice for one person might not be the best thing for another.

Understanding your taste preferences is the first step towards discovering the ideal coffee for your Chemex. It’s essential to know your preferred flavor profile, whether fruity, floral, earthy, or chocolatey. Once you clearly understand what you enjoy, it will be easier for you to identify the types of beans that align with your tastes.

Experimenting with different coffee beans is the best way to find your preferred taste. As you try various beans, take note of your favorites, and don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone. Even if you’ve always enjoyed medium roasts, you might find that a lighter or darker roast offers flavors that surprise and delight you.

The brewing method you use with your Chemex can also impact your coffee experience. Adjusting brewing variables, such as grind size, water temperature, and brew time, can help you tailor your coffee’s flavor and complexity to match your personal preference.

In summary, listening to your taste buds and exploring your preferences is key when looking for the best coffee for your Chemex. You can find the perfect coffee that aligns with your unique taste by staying open to trying new beans and experimenting with brewing techniques.

Striving for the Best Results

When brewing coffee with a Chemex, the goal is to achieve the best results and satisfy your taste buds as a coffee lover. To do this, you must consider several factors, including the type of coffee beans, the grind size, and the water-to-coffee ratio.

Start by choosing high-quality coffee beans. Opt for freshly-roasted, single-origin beans for a unique and exceptional flavor profile. Experiment with different origins and roasts to find the one that suits your palate.

The grind size plays a vital role in the extraction process, so pay attention to the consistency of your coffee grounds. For a Chemex, a medium-coarse grind is ideal to prevent over-extraction and maintain a smooth, balanced flavor. Be sure to use a consistent and reliable grinder to achieve this texture.

Another factor to consider is the water-to-coffee ratio. A common starting point is using a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water. Feel free to adjust this ratio to suit your personal preference, ensuring that the end result is to your liking. Use a digital scale for accurate measurements, and remember that consistency is key when trying to achieve the best results.

Before pouring the water, ensure it is at the right temperature, between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C). This will help extract the coffee’s flavors without causing bitterness. Pour slowly in a circular motion, ensuring that all the grounds are evenly saturated and the extraction is uniform.

Follow these steps to ensure your Chemex brewing experience stays true to the expectations of coffee lovers, producing delicious and well-balanced cups of coffee. Becoming a Chemex master requires trial and error, but with dedication and refined skills, you’ll be on your way to enjoying the perfect cup every time.

Best Ground Coffee for Chemex

The best ground coffee for Chemex is one that offers a balanced and flavorful brew. Many coffee enthusiasts recommend opting for single-origin beans with medium to light roast profiles for this brewing method. Some popular options include Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Colombian Supremo, and Costa Rican beans. Ultimately, the best ground coffee for Chemex is a matter of personal preference in taste and aroma.


In selecting the best coffee for your Chemex, consider factors such as the coffee’s origin, roast level, and grind size. Trying beans from different regions allows you to experience unique flavor profiles while experimenting with roast levels can help you find the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity for your taste buds.

Remember to use a medium-coarse grind size for optimal extraction, as a Chemex requires a slower brewing time than other methods. This will ensure the right balance of flavors without over-extracting the coffee.

Quality makes a difference, so invest in specialty-grade beans that are freshly roasted. This will elevate your Chemex brewing experience, delivering a cup of coffee that is smooth, nuanced, and complex. Considering these factors, you can unlock the full potential of Chemex brewing and enjoy an exceptional cup of coffee every time you brew.

There’s more: Find everything you want about coffee here at Espresso Euphoria.


What is the best coffee for Chemex?

Many types of coffee beans can work well with Chemex brewing, but some of the most recommended ones are:
Peruvian coffee has a complex taste with notes of dark chocolate, caramel, nuts, spices, and citrus.
Ethiopian coffee has a floral and fruity aroma with a bright acidity.
Guatemalan coffee has a rich and balanced flavor with hints of chocolate, caramel, and nuts.
You can also experiment with different roasts, but most people prefer medium roast beans for Chemex. You should use a medium-coarse grind size and follow the Chemex recipe and ratios for the best results.

What is Chemex?

Chemex is a pour-over coffee maker with an hourglass-shaped glass carafe and a thick paper filter. It was invented in 1941 by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm and is known for its elegant design and clean-tasting coffee.

Scroll to Top