Chemex Coffee Brewers

Invented by a chemist to improve filter-type (infusion) brewing, Chemex have a devoted following of folks ...count my own mother as one of them. The glass one-piece brewer seems like the cornerstone to this method, but actually it is the Chemex brand filters. They are 20-30% heavier than any other filter and are a special paper formulation to remove undesirable sediment but allow positive aromatic compounds to pass through. The fine paper grain holds back "mud," while permitting correct filtration speed: a Chemex brews at least 1-2 minutes slower than normal paper filters, more in line with the optimal time that hot water and grinds should contact eachother: 4 minutes. I think these brewers are the best compliment to the typical "whirling blade" type grinders. These grinders create many small powderized particles that make their way into the cup. The extra filtration of the Chemex filter seems to counteract this better than any other brewing system.

I also like Chemex because it is (besides the filter) all glass, and the easiest-to-clean brew device out there. Dirty brewers make coffee unacceptably bitter, and plastic parts can become tainted with rancid coffee oils and other solids. Maybe the best thing about the Chemex is so obvious I forget to note it ... you see the process, interact, make changes. There's a lot to be said for that, and we shouldn't dismiss it. Everyone has their pour technique (let the coffee pre-infuse/bloom or not, pre-wet the filter, pour at a particular rate) and the results are there in the cup. Machines don't allow for this, usually.

You will need to buy filters separately. Other brands of filters don't work well with Chemex because the drip opening is large. Even a Filtropa #6 will break at the seam in a Chemex. Then again, Chemex filters are not going to break your bank, so it is not a huge drawback.Want to impress your friends? Tell them that your Chemex is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
We have a new page with full instructions for Chemex brewing.

Interested in what Chemex users are saying about their brewers? Check out the Sweet Maria's Coffee Home Roasting Forum for more conversation about this home roasting and other home roasting topics.


Machine-Made Chemex Brewers

They call these the "Classic" model and we offer them in the 6 cup size (30 oz) and 10 cup size (50 oz.) The brewer includes the one-piece machine-made glass coffeemaker, and wood collar handle with leather tie.

(Here are the CM-10A and the CM-6A side by side. We stocked the 8 cup model CM-8A but it was too close in size to the 10 cup. We thought offering the 6 cup model (perfect for 1-2 coffee drinkers) and the 10 cup would be a better fit.)

CM-6A 6 cup (30 oz.) Chemex Brewer
$35.50 (+2.3 lbs shipping)
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CM-10A 10 cup (50 oz.) Chemex Brewer: $37.50 (+2.3 lbs shipping)
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*Shipping Restriction on Chemex Brewers: No International Shipping.

New Item!

The New Glass Handle Chemex

Okay, I loved the '70s too. I loved my Schwinn Stingray, I loved my Matchbox cars, I loved "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters." (Am I dating myself here?) But that wood collar with the leather band on the traditional Chemex models is a bit anachronistic. I mean, it serves a function; you do need some insulation for your hand as you pour your Chemex coffee.

But now you have an option, as Chemex as come out with a new, elegant, simple, all-glass design. We carry the 8 cup (40 ounce model) that has the lovable moniker "CM-8GH". It's sleek, it's clear, it makes coffee same as the other Chemex models. The handle is thick and sturdy but hey, it's glass. My estimation is that you would probably crack the carafe itself long before you would crack the handle, so this model is no more or less fragile than the others.

CM-8GH 8 cup (40 oz.) Chemex Brewer: $36.50 (2.3 lbs ship wt.) add to cart

*Shipping Restriction on Chemex Brewers: No International Shipping.

We have the Hand-Blown Glass Chemex brewers in the 8 cup size and the 13 Cup Size. These are what you would have purchased if you bought a Chemex in the '70s. Here is what I have noted about them that differs from the machine-made ones:

  • The shape is slightly different, more of a true hourglass shape. with sharper bends at the bottom and a wider, flatter bottom.
  • The glass seems very dense and heavy, clearly a higher quality than the machine-made. It has a slight greenish cast. Ironically, it seems more perfect in form than the machine made --don't expect to see bubbles in the glass, or irregularity of handcrafted glass here! It is hand-blown into a mold...
  • The size: The CM-3 Handblown 8 Cup by all appearances this is larger than the CM-10A. It certainly stands taller and is heavier. It appears to hold as much as the 10A so I am really not sure why this is called an 8 cup. The CM-4 13 Cup is the largest brewer Chemex makes, ideal for 4-6 people.
  • It comes in a plain box. Don't be disappointed. The brewer includes the one-piece glass coffeemaker, and wood collar handle with leather tie. (You will need to buy filters separately.)

Here is an image of the CM-3 next to the machine-made CM-8A (8 cup size we no longer have) so you can see the shape and size comparison

Chemex Handblown 8 Cup CM-3 (40 oz)
$87.50
(+3.2 lbs shipping)
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*Price increase as of August '08

Chemex Handblown 13 Cup CM-4 (65 oz)
$92.50
(+ 4.1 lbs shipping)
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*Price increase as of August '08
*Shipping Restriction on Chemex Brewers: No International Shipping.

You need Chemex filters for your brewer, and the Chemex type (pre-folded squares) are only pennies more than the bleached, and do not impart a "paper taste" to the coffee. I like the square pre-folded best because they are strong, and when it comes time to toss the filter (into your compost, of course!) The square type give you neat "handholds" on the corner. You will have trouble using non-Chemex filters in one of these brewers. The "neck" between the top and bottom is a large diameter for regular cone filters and they tend to split at the seam under the weight of the hot water. It's not fun to clean that up. But Chemex brand filters are readily available and reasonably priced. There are 100 in a box. These fit all Chemex models except the small 3 Cup size that we don't offer.

Chemex WHITE Filters (FS-100) $7.50(+1.6 lbs shipping) add to cart

Chemex makes a small glass cover to maintain heat in ether brewer after you have made your coffee and removed the paper filter. This is a better technique to keep coffee hot than any type of reheating or keeping it on a stovetop burner (which is never recommended with the Chemex anyway). Click on the thumbnail image to see how it is placed in the brewer. This fits all sizes of Chemex. Remove cover before pouring.

Chemex CoffeeMaker Cover: $5.75 (+ .4 lb shipping) add to cart

The Chemex Wire Grid is for those who keep the Chemex warm on an electric stovetop ... it should help prevent cracking. You never want to put a glass item on an electric stove unprotected, especially one with liquid in it. Note that the Chemex Wire Grid is also very useful for those who use vacuum-brewers on an electric range!

Chemex Wire Grid $6.25 (+ .4 LB shipping) add to cart