Chemex Coffee Filter
Why Is It So Special?The Chemex coffee maker uses a very special filter. The Chemex coffee filter is a paper filter that is considerably thicker than other paper filters. This thickness means that the water seeps though it more slowly. So, the water stays in contact with the grounds for much longer than in other drip brew systems. That's one of the reasons why Chemex coffeemaker makes your coffee so flavorful.
The Chemex filter is designed in such a way that it allows through more aromatic coffee oils that other paper filters. It also blocks some of the undesirable coffee components. So that's way the coffee is rich in taste but never bitter or acidic.
The filter is also very good in not allowing any sludge into your coffee. This means that you do not need to worry about the coffee being very evenly ground. So even if you use a cheap blade grinder you still end up with a nice smooth and clear cup of coffee.
Types of Chemex coffee filters
There are different shapes of Chemex filters available. Some of them are pre-folded others are unfolded. I personally like to use the rounded filters. But a lot of people prefer the square filters as they find it easier to lift the filter with the spent grounds out. I suggest that you try first the pre-folded filter circles and see how that goes.
You may want to try out the unbleached paper filters. With some roasts you can detect a difference in taste when you use unbleached filter as opposed to the standard bleached one. Unfortunately the unbleached filters come only in the square shape - there are no rounded filters available. If you are like me and have a strong preference for circular filter you can cut them into shape with scissors.
Chemex website has a complete list of Chemex coffee filters with clear indication as to which filter is suitable for your size of the Chemex coffeemaker.
How to use Chemex coffee filtersIf you are using the pre-folded filters, take one filter and open it into a cone. There will be three layers of paper on one side and one layer of paper on the other side. Put the cone into your Chemex so that the thicker side is next to the pouring spout.
If you are using the unfolded circles then fold the filter in half so you have a half-moon. Then fold the half-moon in half again and use it the same way as the pre-folded version.
Other things about Chemex filters
- Chemex filters are not easily available - you need to order them on-line or buy them in a specialist shop. So you'll need to plan ahead a bit.
- If you run out the Chemex filters you could, at a push, use two layers of ordinary drip coffee filter. But the result will be nowhere near as nice as with the Chemex coffee filter.
- If the filter gets clogged during the brewing then your coffee is ground too finely. Use more coarsely ground coffee next time.
You might also want to read my tips about using the Chemex coffee maker.
Further ReadingChemex Coffee Makers