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Chemex Coffee FAQ: Top Questions Answered

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Got a question about the Chemex coffee brewing method? Read on for all the insights you’ll need into this simple yet ingenious coffeemaker:

Can I Use a Chemex Without a Scale?

Technically speaking, you can use any coffee maker on the market without a scale.  The Chemex is no different, which can be relatively easy to use without a scale by simply ‘eyeballing’ the amount of coffee you use. However, making meticulous adjustments to produce perfect results is all about careful measurement modifications. All of which is only possible when you bring a decent scale into the mix.

In any case, a basic scale for measuring coffee and water weights isn’t particularly expensive, so it is probably worth picking up anyhow.

What’s the Ideal Coffee to Water Ratio with a Chemex?

This is where things get contentious to say the least, given how everyone has their own unique tastes and preferences. As a general rule of thumb, many suggest starting out with approximately 2 tablespoons (12g) of coffee for every 200ml of water.

The important thing to remember is that this is simply a starting point, after which it’s a case of experimenting until you find your perfect ratio. For obvious reasons, the higher the ratio of coffee to water, the stronger the resulting coffee will be, everything else (like the grinding coarseness) being equal.

What is the Perfect Coarseness to Grind Coffee for the Chemex?

Again, personal preference plays a part when pursuing the perfect coffee grounds coarseness. The coarseness of the coffee will affect the way the water filters through it and how quickly or otherwise the liquid is infused. Grind size should also be altered in accordance with the amount of coffee you use and the size of the serving, so there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ coarseness.

Experimentation holds the key to getting it right, for which you’ll need a good coffee grinder you can count on to produce accurate and consistent results. As a general rule of thumb, however, you’ll want to keep things slightly coarser than you would when brewing traditional drip coffee.

Which Size Chemex Coffee Maker Should I Buy?

If you’ll be brewing coffee for at least a handful of people on a regular basis, it’s definitely worth going for a larger Chemex - perhaps the 8-cup model.  However, if you’ll be using your Chemex in most instances to brew just a single cup of coffee, you’ll probably find the 8-cup model unnecessarily large.

All Chemex coffeemakers are capable of producing the same high-quality coffee, but there’s no need to buy one that’s way larger or smaller than you actually need.

Can I Keep Chemex Coffee Hot on the Stove?

Last but not least, the heatproof glass the Chemex coffee maker is comprised of is safe to place on electric stoves and heaters, just as long as the heating coils are not exposed. Just be sure to keep the hob on its lowest setting and for the shortest possible time, in order to avoid burning the coffee.

If you’ll be keeping your Chemex coffee warm on a regular basis, you could also pick up the matching Chemex glass lid for additional insulation.

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