You have questions, we have answers

Have questions about brewing with your Chemex? We are here to help. Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions.
If you don't find the answer you need, please don't hesitate to contact us

 

What is the difference between the circle and square filter?
What is the difference between the white filter paper and the brown filter paper?
Which CHEMEX filter is better?
What makes paper filters better than steel filters?
What are the taste differences between metal filters and paper filters?
What are the health benefits of using CHEMEX paper filters?
Is it complicated to use the Chemex brewing system?
Should the filter be pre-wet?
How do I keep the coffee warm?
What is so important about the “bloom”?
Why do three leaves of the filter paper need to be placed on the spout?
What is the most popular size?
What type of coffee roast works best in the CHEMEX?
What type of grind should I use and why?
My coffee doesn’t filter fast enough, why?
My coffee filters too quickly, why?
Where can I buy the filters?
How do I wash the Chemex?
What is the difference between the Chemex and all the other coffeemakers that look just like it?

 

Q | What is the difference between the circle and square filter?
A | The paper is the same material and they function the same way. The difference is simply the shape and is a matter of aesthetics.

Q | What is the difference between the white filter paper and the brown filter paper?
A | The paper is the same material. The difference is that the white filter paper goes through an oxidizing cleansing bath and then a series of hot water baths. The brown paper only goes through the hot water baths, thus retaining its natural color.

Q | Which CHEMEX filter is better?
A | All the filters function in exactly the same great way, it is truly just a matter of personal preference. Some people like the oxidizing process for their filters, some people prefer just to have the water baths. Just as some people prefer to have the circle filter paper because it sits more flush with the top of the carafe. While others like to have the points sticking from the top and easy removal of the filter.

Q | What makes paper filters better than steel filters?
A | The paper filters are based on laboratory grade paper and designed specifically to filter out impurities, all unhealthy and bitter elements from the coffee. By using Chemex filter papers one is able to brew coffee as strong as they like, without acidity and bitterness. It is a misconception that metal filters provide a “stronger” cup of coffee, when in fact it the coffee produced simply has leftover flavor of the oils and sediments that actually detract from experiencing the full flavor of the beans.

Q | What are the taste differences between metal filters and paper filters?
A | By using Chemex double-bonded filter papers, one will be able to brew the perfect most pure cup of coffee every time. Once all of the impurities, oils, bitter elements have been filtered out, the clean, full flavor of the beans will shine through. When using a metal filter, all of those undesirable elements are left in the brewed coffee.

Q | What are the health benefits of using CHEMEX paper filters?
A | There are quite a few proven health benefits when using Chemex filters.

  1. “Coffee drinkers concerned about cholesterol weren't happy about some early study results showing that coffee seems to increase cholesterol levels, and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels in particular. But upon closer inspection, the bad news turned out to be not so bad, because the cholesterol-raising effect seems to be limited to coffee that hasn't been filtered, which includes Turkish coffee, coffee brewed in a French press, and the boiled coffee consumed in Scandinavia.” – Harvard Study
  2. “The cholesterol-raising ingredients in coffee are oily substances called diterpenes, and the two main types in coffee are cafestol (pronounced CAF-es-tol) and kahweol (pronounced KAH-we-awl). They are present either as oily droplets or in the grounds floating in the coffee. But a paper filter traps most of the cafestol and kahweol, so coffee that's been filtered probably has little, if any, effect on cholesterol levels.” – Harvard Study
  3. Our paper filters are based on laboratory grade filter paper, double-bonded thickness to filter out impurities and unhealthy oils, acidity, bitterness, fats and sediments.

Q | Is it complicated to use the Chemex brewing system?
A | One of the main philosophies that the Chemex was invented upon was that it would be easy for anyone to brew the perfect cup of coffee. Therefore, it is not complicated at all to use the Chemex. With just a little practice and discovery of how you best like to brew, one can quickly master the technique of the Chemex pourover system.

Q | Should the filter be pre-wet?
A | While this is not a required step in the brewing process, some people do wish to pre-wet the filter. One may do this to rinse away and remaining paper fibers as well as heat the carafe. Be sure to dump out the water before beginning to brew the coffee.

Q | How do I keep the coffee warm?
A | Here are a few options you can use to keep your coffee warm.

  1. The carafe can be kept on a low flame on a gas stove.
  2. The carafe can be kept in a warm water bath
  3. The carafe can be but directly on a glass top stove on a low temperature
  4. We sell a wire grid (TKG) which can be placed on an electric coil stovetop which the carafe can then be placed on. The stovetop must be on a low setting.
  5. One can wrap a towel around the carafe
  6. You can use the CHEMEX glass coffeemaker top 

Q | What is so important about the “bloom”?
A | Letting carbon dioxide escape will improve a coffee’s flavor in two ways.

  1. First, carbon dioxide has a sour taste. If grounds are not allowed to bloom before brewing, the gas will infuse a sour taste into the coffee.
  2. Second, carbon dioxide repels water, which interferes with the brewing process. Water can freely extract the aromatics and oils in coffee only after carbon dioxide has escaped..

Q | Why do three leaves of the filter paper need to be placed on the spout?
A | This is so that the filter doesn’t collapse into the spout, as it is used also as an air channel during the brewing process.

Q | What is the most popular size?
A | The 6 cup coffeemaker is the most popular, followed by the 8 cup and then the 3 cup.

Q | What type of coffee roast works best in the CHEMEX?
A | Any type! The Chemex works very well for light, medium and dark roasts- even tea!

Q | What type of grind should I use and why?
A | One should use a medium coarse grind. This will allow for the best extraction and flow rate will brewing the coffee.

Q | My coffee doesn’t filter fast enough, why?
A | The coffee is ground too fine and is clogging the filter.

Q | My coffee filters too quickly, why?
A | The coffee is ground too coarse and the water will pass to quickly through the larger particles.

Q | Where can I buy CHEMEX filters?
A | Chemex filters can be pruchased on the Chemex website here. If you would like to purchase Chemex filters in store they can be bought at many coffee shops, kitchen shops, grocery stores such as Whole Foods, and department stores such as Williams-Sonoma. Please visit our website for the store locator list as well.

Q | How do I wash the CHEMEX?
A | Here are a few options

    1. The Chemex is dishwasher safe, just be sure to remove the collar and tie, and make sure that the coffeemaker wont knock against anything.
    2. It can also be hand washed
    3. Swirling around warm soapy water I the carafe and then rinsing out
    4. We sell a cleaning brush

Q | What is the difference between the CHEMEX and all the other coffeemakers that look just like it?
A | The Chemex is what all those other coffeemakers strive to be. Invented in 1941, it has never needed to be altered or improved upon. Winning awards in both the design and science communities, being kept in permanent collection of some of the most prestigious museums in the world, are just a couple pieces of its iconic history that none of the others can boast. Widely considered to be one of the best ways to brew the perfect cup of coffee; the Chemex has been the choice of coffee lovers globally for over 75 years and counting.