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Hand-Blown Glass Chemex brewers in the the 13 Cup Size. These are what you would have purchased if you bought a Chemex in the '70s.
There are a few key advantages to using a Chemex compared to an auto-drip brewer. The first advantage is that the coffee-water mixture is the correct temperature (between 195-205°F) from the beginning of the infusion. Few auto-drip makers are capable of this. Secondly, you gain control over infusion time based upon the fineness of your grind and pouring technique. Lastly (and I think, of great significance) is that you can keep a chemex very clean. Auto-drip makers become foul with rancid coffee residue, and invariably even with drip machines that are diligently cleaned, I can immediately taste a bitter, “off” flavor.
A disadvantage of paper filters is they can impart a noticeable flavor to the brew, especially the thick Chemex filters, so pre-wetting the filter is key to excellent brewing. Also, Chemex brewing is best when brewing larger amounts of coffee: paper taste and heat loss are more noticeable when trying to brew a small batch of say 12 oz.
We highly suggest using Chemex filters. Using other brands of filters is not recommended because the drip opening is large...but it is possible. We gave it a try and shot a video about breaking the rules.
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.
Using a Clever Coffee Dripper lid will help you retain some heat while brewing. It's the right size to sit inside of the filter right around the height of the rim.
Once you are done brewing and you want to keep your coffee warm, use an Able Heat Lid or a Chemex Cover.
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