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The Chemex: How a Simple Coffee Maker Became an Icon

0 commentPost by : Jasmin Tétreault
The Chemex: How a Simple Coffee Maker Became an Icon

In 1941, German chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm created the Chemex, a glass coffee maker unlike any other. Its hourglass shape and thick filter paper allow for a more precise extraction process, resulting in a clean and flavorful cup of coffee.

The Chemex became popular in the United States in the 1960s, and it now enjoys something of a cult following among coffee aficionados. If you're thinking about getting into the pour-over coffee game, here's what you need to know about the Chemex.

It quickly became a must-have item for making coffee, but how did this simple coffee maker become an icon of style?

Chemex in coffee shop

The Icon

The secret to the Chemex's unique appeal lies in its design. The borosilicate glass carafe, originally developed for scientific use, is resistant to thermal shock and has a clean look that displays the color of your brewed coffee beautifully. Adding to its aesthetic appeal, the wooden collar and leather tie hold the carafe in place.

Why use a Chemex?

So why go through all the hassle of making pour-over coffee? Isn't regular drip coffee just as good? While a regular coffee maker can make good coffee, there are some distinct advantages to brewing with a Chemex. For one thing, because you have more control over the brewing process with a Chemex, you can experiment with different ratios of water to coffee grounds until you find one that produces the perfect cup of coffee for your taste buds.

Pouring coffee grounds in chemex

The Fall of Chemex

The drawbacks

While the Chemex's borosilicate glass carafe provides a clean look to showcase the color of your brewed coffee, it doesn't hold heat as well as stainless steel carafes, causing coffee to cool quickly. Additionally, special filters are required, which can often be out of stock, and the brewing process leaves sediment in the cup, resulting in a muddy taste. In contrast, newer brewing methods produce a cleaner cup of coffee with less sediment.

Chemex & Modern Brewers

Newer brewing methods like the Hario V60 have become more popular than traditional brewers like the Chemex because they extract coffee more efficiently, resulting in a better cup.

Swirling coffee in chemex

How to use a Chemex

Using a Chemex is simple, which is one of the reasons it became so popular. Just place the filter, add your ground coffee, and slowly pour hot water over it. Pouring carefuly not to disturb the grounds too much. 

It's important to use the right ratio of water to coffee grounds. For the bloom, you should use about twice as much water as ground coffee with a final ratio of 1:15 for coffee to water. The brewing process should take between three and four minutes. Once the brewing is complete, simply remove the filter and enjoy your delicious cup of pour-over coffee! 

The Chemex has been an iconic coffee brewer for over 50 years, helping coffee lovers make great-tasting coffee. Consider trying a Chemex for an interesting conversation starter and a perfect cup of coffee.

Chemex Six Cup Classic $68.50

Featured in this article

Chemex Six Cup Classic

The CHEMEX Six Cup Classic is made with high-quality materials and features scientifically designed filters that ensure a perfect cup of coffee every time. Its stylish construction adds a touch of sophistication to your coffee brewing routine, making it the ideal choice for coffee enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike.