How To Brew: The Chemex

The Chemex ('kem-ex') - a mysterious, hourglass brewer and server all in one. Simple to use, beautiful to look at, it that has grown in popularity over the last two decades, coinciding with the pour-over coffee resurgence.

A true mid-century piece, it was created by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, a chemist,  in 1941, and continues to be prized by kitchen equipment collectors and coffee connoisseurs alike.

Chemex Patent

Not only do we think this beauty makes great coffee, the Chemex coffee brewer is space-saving, working as a quality brewer and carafe all in one. From tiny city condos to large country kitchens, you’ll be able to (and want to!) showcase its refined design and ability to make a killer cup of coffee.

The Chemex design and function are equally simple: Coffee is brewed in the top half and collects below; after the filter is removed, it becomes a stunning decanter.

Brewing Chemex - Detour Coffee

This brewer loves the camera, too, appearing in James Bond, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Friends, as well as holding a permanent place at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Looks aside, Chemex coffee is amazing which is why we’re so excited to help you learn how to use it at home.

Looking for all the gear you need to brew the perfect chemex? We've got it here.  

How to Brew Chemex Coffee 

How to Brew: Chemex Coffee

What You Need:

6-cup Chemex
Chemex Filter
Grinder(We love the Baratza series!)
40g (6 tablespoons) of fresh roasted coffee
Kettle (pro series: Bonavita Variable Temp Kettle)
Hot water just off the boil ( 640g or 22oz at 94ºC (205°F)
Stir stick
Cool Mug


    1. Fold filter according to package directions, place into Chemex (thick side on the spout) and rinse with 250 to 500mL (8 oz. to 16 oz.) hot water.
      Dump out that water!
    2. Weigh 40g  coffee (about 6 tablespoons) and grind on a coarse setting (very similar to French Press).
    3. Add ground coffee to the Chemex, place on scale and tare scale.

    Begin Brewing:

    The Bloom - Chemex - Detour Coffee

    1. Add 100g (3.5oz) of hot water to coffee grounds, pouring in circles* as to get all the grinds wet. Use the back of a wooden spoon or a coffee paddle to stir water and grinds together.
      Wait 30 seconds. * (Pouring slowly in circles helps keep the brew consistent and water to filter through the coffee and paper evenly)
    2. There should be a crust on top of the coffee grinds now. Pour slowly in circles again to break all of that crust up. In total in this step, add another 250g (8.5oz) of water (total 350g/12oz).
      Wait until the water level drops by ½-inch.

         The Pour - Chemex - Detour Coffee

    3. When the water level has dropped, add in remaining water (to bring the total water up to 640g).
      The entire pouring process should take place in 2 - 2.5 minutes.
    4. Wait for it to finish filtering, grab the filter and place in the compost. 
    5. Serve to your best friends or lover. 


    The Setup - Chemex - Detour Coffee