Why Is My Chemex Coffee Taking So Long

Why Is My Chemex Coffee Taking So Long? Are you a coffee lover who is frustrated with the slow brewing process of your Chemex coffee? While the Chemex brewing method is renowned for producing a smooth and flavorful cup of coffee.

It can be time-consuming, especially if you are accustomed to faster brewing methods like a drip coffee maker or French press. 

Why Is My Chemex Coffee Taking So Long

In this article, we will explore the reasons why your Chemex coffee is taking so long and offer tips on how to improve your brewing process.

How does the Chemex brewing method work?

The Chemex brewing method is a pour-over coffee brewing technique. That was invented in 1941 by a German chemist named Peter Schlumbohm. It uses a special glass carafe and a thick paper filter to produce a clean and smooth cup of coffee.

Here are the steps in more detail:

Heat Water: 

The water used in the Chemex brewing method should be heated to a temperature of about 200°F, which is just below boiling point. You can use a kettle or a stovetop to heat the water.

Grind the Coffee: 

The coffee beans should be ground to a medium-coarse grind size, similar to the texture of sea salt. You’ll need approximately 1 tablespoon of coffee for every 5 ounces of water.

Prepare the Filter: 

The Chemex filter is made of special paper that is thicker than most coffee filters. Open up a Chemex paper filter and place it in the top of the Chemex carafe. The filter is specifically designed to remove sediment and produce a clean cup of coffee.

Wet the Filter: 

Pour some hot water over the filter to wet it and remove any paper taste. Discard the water from the carafe.

Add Coffee: 

Add the ground coffee to the wet filter and gently shake the Chemex to level the grounds.


Pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds to saturate them and let them bloom for about 30 seconds. This allows the coffee to release carbon dioxide, which can affect the flavor and aroma of the coffee.


Start pouring hot water slowly over the coffee grounds in a circular motion. Starting from the center and moving outwards. Pour until the water level reaches the top of the filter.


Wait for the coffee to drip through the filter and into the carafe. This can take approximately 3-4 minutes.


Once the coffee has finished dripping, remove the filter and serve the coffee. Enjoy your clean and smooth cup of coffee!

The Chemex brewing method is known for producing a bright and flavorful cup of coffee with no bitterness or sediment. The thick filter removes any impurities, producing a clear and crisp flavor. 

The method also allows for greater control over the brewing process. It gives you the ability to adjust the water temperature, pour rate, and coffee-to-water ratio to suit your preferences.

It’s a great option for coffee lovers who enjoy a clean and refreshing cup of coffee.

Factors that Contribute to Slow Chemex Brewing Times:

Grind size: 

The recommended grind size for a Chemex is medium-coarse. If the grind is too fine, the water will have a harder time passing through the tightly packed coffee grounds. It slows down the brewing process.

You can try adjusting your grinder to a coarser setting to improve the flow rate.


The Chemex filter is a key component in the brewing process, and it’s important to make sure it’s properly rinsed before use. If the filter is not rinsed thoroughly, it can impart a papery taste to the coffee and also slow down the brewing process. 

Additionally, if the filter becomes clogged with coffee grounds, it can impede the flow of water and result in slow brewing times.

Coffee-to-Water Ratio: 

Using too much coffee or too little water can also contribute to slow brewing times. The recommended coffee-to-water ratio for a Chemex is 1:15 or 1:16. Which means 1 gram of coffee per 15-16 grams of water.

If you’re using more coffee than recommended, it can slow down the brewing process as the water takes longer to pass through the grounds.

Water Temperature: 

Using water that is too cool can also slow down the brewing process, as the coffee grounds won’t extract as quickly. The ideal temperature range for brewing with a Chemex is between 195-205°F.

Using water outside of this range can result in slow brewing times and an under-extracted coffee.

Pouring Technique: 

The pouring technique can also affect the speed of the brewing process. Pouring too slowly or too quickly can cause the water to pool in certain areas and not extract the coffee evenly.

It’s recommended to pour slowly and evenly in a circular motion, making sure to wet all of the coffee grounds for an even extraction.

Additional Tips for a Better Chemex Coffee Brewing Experience:

Use fresh, high-quality coffee beans: 

Fresh, high-quality coffee beans will give you the best flavor and aroma in your cup of coffee. When coffee beans are roasted, they begin to release carbon dioxide. Which is why it’s important to use beans that have been roasted recently.

If possible, purchase whole bean coffee and grind it just before brewing for the freshest taste.

Preheat your Chemex and cup: 

Preheating your Chemex and cup with hot water will help to maintain the temperature of your coffee during the brewing process. When you pour hot coffee into a cold cup, it can cause the temperature of the coffee to drop quickly.

Preheating your Chemex and cup will prevent this from happening and will help your coffee stay hot for longer.

Use a scale: 

Using a scale to measure your coffee and water will help to ensure that you’re using the correct coffee-to-water ratio. The ideal ratio is typically between 1:15 and 1:17, but this can vary depending on personal preference. 

By using a scale, you can make sure that you’re consistently brewing your coffee with the same ratio. However, it will be able to adjust it based on your taste preferences.

Bloom your coffee: 

Blooming your coffee involves pouring a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds and allowing them to sit for about 30 seconds before continuing with the rest of the brewing process. 

This process can help to release carbon dioxide from the coffee, which can improve the flavor and aroma of the coffee.

To bloom your coffee, pour just enough water to wet the coffee grounds and then let them sit for 30 seconds before continuing with your pour.

Experiment with your brewing method: 

The Chemex brewing method is very versatile, and there are many ways to adjust the brewing process to achieve different flavors and strengths of coffee.

Try adjusting the pouring speed, water temperature, or brew time to see how it affects the taste of your coffee. You can also experiment with different coffee beans and grinds to find your perfect cup.

FAQs about Chemex coffee brewing

Why is my Chemex coffee taking so long to brew?

Slow brewing time can be due to the coffee grind size being too fine or using too much coffee. Adjusting these factors can speed up the brewing process.

How can I speed up the brewing process for my Chemex coffee?

Using a coarser coffee grind, adjusting the water temperature, and pouring the water in a steady and consistent manner can help speed up the brewing process.

Is slow brewing time a common issue with Chemex coffee makers?

Slow brewing time is not uncommon with Chemex coffee makers, as they are designed to produce a slow and steady extraction for a rich and full-bodied cup of coffee. However, there are ways to optimize the brewing process for a faster and more efficient experience.


There are several reasons why your Chemex coffee may be taking longer than expected to brew. Factors such as the grind size, coffee-to-water ratio, and filter thickness can all affect the speed of the brewing process.

Additionally, external factors such as altitude and water temperature can also play a role.

To ensure a faster brewing time, it’s important to consider these factors and adjust them accordingly. Using a medium-coarse grind, a proper coffee-to-water ratio, and preheating your Chemex can all help to speed up the brewing process.

It’s also important to pour slowly and evenly over the coffee grounds to ensure that all the coffee is evenly extracted.

However, it’s important to note that a longer brewing time can also lead to a richer and more complex flavor profile. So, if you’re not in a rush, it may be worth experimenting with different brewing times to see how it affects the taste of your coffee.

Ultimately, the Chemex brewing method is all about finding the perfect balance between speed and flavor.

By understanding the factors that affect the brewing time and experimenting with different techniques, you can find the ideal brewing process for your taste preferences.

So don’t be afraid to take your time and enjoy the process of brewing a delicious cup of coffee with your Chemex.

Emily Anderson
About the author

Emily Anderson is a coffee aficionado, a certified barista, and the founder of Coffeetipper.com, a comprehensive online resource for coffee enthusiasts. With a deep appreciation for the diverse aspects of coffee, Emily is dedicated to providing readers with a wealth of information about different types of coffee, brewing methods, coffee products, and everything in between.

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