Does Chemex Make Strong Coffee? (Solved & Explained!)

The Chemex is a hand pour carafe system for brewing coffee. The Chemex is known for its elegant hourglass shape and attractive wooden handle. The Chemex uses specialized filters that are thick and layered, which results in a less bitterness in taste. The Chemex is able to make a cup of coffee that suits all kinds of tastes. Coffee lovers can use the Chemex to brew a strong cup by using dark roast beans, using proper grinding techniques, and following the correct brew ratios of beans to water.

The 5 Best Chemex Filters And Reusa...
The 5 Best Chemex Filters And Reusable Alternatives (2021)

What is a Chemex?

A Chemex refers to a one piece, hour-glass shaped carafe that is use to brew coffee using the pour over method. It was first designed in 1941 and has been very influential in design, even being featured on display in the Museum of Modern Art. Chemex carfes are made of non-porous tempered borosilicate glass and feature a stylish collar made of polished wood that serves as a temperature-safe handle to prevent burns.

Does Chemex make strong coffee?

Like most brew methods, the strength of the coffee flavor and caffeine content is highly dependent on both brew method and type of coffee bean. Chemex carafes use special types of filters that create a specific brew. Because these filters are thicker than average coffee filters, much of the oils in coffee beans that cause bitterness are removed from the coffee, resulting a cleaner tasting cup of coffee.

What kind of filters does the Chemex use?

Chemex uses a special type of filter that is very different from cone or basket coffee filters. For one thing, the filters are 20-30% thicker than more traditional filters. These filters are better able to filter out bitter oils and helps to keep coffee grounds from making their way into the brew. These filters also require a special folding method. Simply keep the the filter folded as it is in the package and position the filter so that the three layered side is facing the Chemex spout. 

What kind of coffee should be used with a Chemex?

As with most coffee, the best tasting cup of coffee uses fresh beans. For best results, Chemex recommends starting with whole bean coffee and using a burr grinder to grind the beans into the correct consistency. The grinding should be done just before brewing to ensure the freshest tasting cup. Coarse grind is the best setting; finely ground or preground coffee tends to clog the Chemex filters which can result in a bitter taste. 

What are the brewing ratios for strong coffee in a Chemex?

Chemex reccommends one heaping tablespoon of coarse ground coffee per five ounces of coffee. Water to coffee ratio for a chemex by weight is 12:1. To increase the strength, brewers could use 2.5 tablespoons per five ounces. 

What are the steps to brewing coffee in a Chemex?

Step One: Grind whole coffee beans in a burr grinder set to coarse. The amount of beans you use will depend on what size Chemex you are using and how many cups you would like to prepare. The most popular size of Chemex makes six cups of coffee, however there are also models that make up to eight cups, as well as a smaller option that makes three cups.

Step Two: Heat twenty ounces of water in a kettle. A gooseneck kettle is highly preferred as it is easier to control water flow. Water should be heated to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Step Three: Place a filter in the top of the Chemex. Remember, the three layer side should face the spout of the Chemex. Use a small amount of warm water to wet your coffee filter.  Wetting your coffee filter with warm water before use helps take out any wood or paper taste.  Dump out any excess water.

Step Four: Add your coffee grounds onto the pre-moistened filter, according to your preferred rations. Chemex reccommends users add 2.5 tablespoons for every six ounces of coffee. You can add more for a stronger taste.

Step Five: Add water to the coffee grounds until the coffee is fully submerged. Wait 30 seconds to allow the coffee to “bloom.” Blooming is an important step as it helps to remove unwanted gases from the brew. You should notice your coffee grounds bubbling and expanding.

Step Six: After allowing your grinds to bloom, pour the water in slow circles from the outside towards the middle. Continue adding water until the kettle is empty or entire the coffee reaches below the wooden collar. This step takes up to 4 minutes; if it takes longer, this may mean that the beans were ground too finely. However, if it takes less than 4 minutes, it may mean the beans were ground too coarse. 

Step Seven: Once the brew has been completed and the Chemex is full, remove the filter. Filters can be disposed in a number ways and coffee grounds can often be composted. Once the filter is removed, all that is left is to pour and enjoy your fresh mug of coffee. If you want to keep your coffee warm, the Chemex can be placed over a small flame on a gas stove, or it can be placed directly on a glass stovetop set on low.

How do I clean my Chemex?

Cleaning the Chemex effectively may require a bottle brush due to its unique hour glass shape. It is also recommended that you remove the wooden collar and rawhide cord prior to washing. Since the Chemex is made from smooth glass, it is technically dishwasher safe. However, handwashing is recommended to increase the longevity of your carafe.


A Chemex carafe can be used to create a strong and tasty cup of coffee in less time than it takes to hit up a coffee chain drive-thru. Chemex is known to be not only a coffee maker, but also a great example of beauty and function together. The clean and refined taste of a Chemex brew is easily controlled through the set up process; experimenting with brew ratios will ensure you get that perfect strong coffee to get you going.