Chemex has made a huge comeback in recent years.
Yes that’s right… I meant to say comeback! Many people think it’s a newer coffee maker.
But it was actually invented in 1941 by a guy named Peter Schlumbohm.
It’s been around for a while.
Chemex has a beautiful design and is an all-around great pour over. Here’s my review of the Chemex coffee maker.
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Product: Chemex Coffee Maker
Price: $45.50 (retail)
Size: 8 cups
Warranty: No warranty
My Rating: 8 out of 10
Chemex does have some good things going for it.
It’s a beautiful, natural looking design, it makes good coffee, it’s a classic coffee maker that has been around for a while, and it was designed by a chemist.
I’ll bet that if you did a survey of many coffee lovers (and hipsters) today, many wouldn’t know that Chemex has been around for about 70 years. But in fact… it has!
Chemex has a unique taste in the pour over world of coffee. It’s quite different from a Hario or other ones on the market today. In my opinion, it’s one of the very top pour overs in terms of taste.
It’s definitely the most good-looking pour over! The wooden handle with the raw hide knot tied around give a wonderful, rustic feel.
Pros & Cons
Here are the pros and cons of the Chemex coffee maker…
- Beautiful design
- Makes delicious pour over coffee
- Fairly easy to use
- A little messy with the pour
- A bit expensive compared to other pour overs
- It’s somewhat fragile
Let’s start with the pros!
Chemex is just a beautiful design. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. It will without question enhance the look of your kitchen or wherever you choose to keep it.
It’s also a nice feature that there are different colors for the raw hide strand available!
I love the design of the Chemex, it’s like the perfect mix of a test tube (it was made by a chemist after all) and a sleek looking glass carafe. I always keep my Chemex out because I love how it looks.
It makes a great cup of pour over coffee. I actually prefer the taste of Chemex to other pour overs like Hario. But the full story is for another article.
Chemex makes a balanced and fairly smooth cup of coffee. It’s not too acidic for my taste, although the clear and acidic notes of a coffee are pronounced with Chemex brewing.
In my opinion, medium and medium dark roast coffees brew the best in a Chemex.
It yields a medium strength cup of coffee. Other pour overs can be better at emphasizing the light roast aspects. But Chemex is great with medium or darker roasts.
It balances the acidity with smoky flavors.
As far as pour overs go, Chemex is fairly easy to use. I don’t think there’s a major difference in ease of use among pour overs.
But Chemex uses just a paper filter with no holder, so for the clean up it’s quite easy, all you do is throw away the filter!
As far as cons go, the first one that I notice is that when you pour your coffee into the cup, it spills down onto the Chemex spout a little bit.
The first few times I used it I just thought that I just had to deal with coffee running down the side of the Chemex that I’d have to clean every time.
But this has a simple solution. You just have to gently brush the edge of the spout along the rim of the coffee cup so that those drops of coffee are wiped into the mug rather than running down the Chemex.
You can do it once, twice or even three times so that you get no leakage.
The Chemex coffee maker is a bit more expensive than other pour over coffee makers.
It’s not astronomically expensive and I think it’s worth the price, but it is more than others and it doesn’t come with filters unfortunately.
It’s made out of glass. And we all know what happens with glass if we treat it too roughly, don’t we?
So of course you have to be careful with your Chemex to make sure it doesn’t break.
I haven’t had mine break or even any scratches thankfully, but I have read some reviews on Amazon where people said their Chemex broke. That’s an unfortunate occurrence, to say the least.
Especially because there’s no warranty!
I guess you just have to be nice and careful with it.
How To Use
But here is the general breakdown of it!
- Heat your water to 195° – 200° F (90° – 93° C)
- Grind your coffee on a 3 or 4 setting (if 1 is very fine and 10 is very coarse)
- Use the ratio of 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water
- Set the coffee in the filter and bloom the coffee
- Pour the rest of the water
- Let the filter drain, remove the filter and enjoy the coffee!
It Takes Time To Learn Pour Over
Learning pour over is truly an art and a science.
It really does take a bit of time to learn how to do it well. The bloom, the pour… these techniques take a bit of practice to really get them down. But it’s worth it!
In my humble opinion it’s also a very good idea with Chemex, as with any coffee brewing method there is, to find out what you like best.
You can take my suggestions and try things a little difference, for example a higher or lower water temperature, more or less coffee, doing the pour differently.
I think that what I offer is the best way to make Chemex or any coffee, but I invite you to do things differently and see if you like some minor adjustments better!
With Chemex, especially if you’re a beginner, give yourself some time to get the technique of the pour and the other things down well.
Patience young grasshopper!
The Bottom Line
Here’s the bottom line. Chemex is a very nice coffee maker and I really enjoy using my Chemex.
I use my AeroPress the most for making coffee, but currently after my AeroPress the Chemex is what I use second most.
Here is my Chemex coffee maker review all summed up with bullet points… we all know I love bullet points:
- Chemex is a time-tested pour over coffee maker that makes great tasting coffee
- It has a beautiful design and it’s fairly easy to use
- It’s a bit pricey compared to other pour overs but not too bad
- One of the main cons is that the coffee drips down the spout
- It takes some practice but as long as you use proper technique you’ll make delicious coffee from the start
Overall, I really enjoy Chemex and think it’s a great way to brew coffee and makes a delicious cup. It has a few small cons but it’s worth adding to your collection!
I hope you found this review of Chemex helpful! If you have any questions about Chemex that I didn’t answer, or any comments I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to write them in the comments section below. If you get a Chemex please let me know how you like it. Coffee cheers!