All About ChemexThe Chemex is a coffeemaker with elegant, timeless design and beloved functionality. The hourglass shape and sturdy wooden handle are instantly recognizable, and the relatively simple brewing process makes the Chemex a powerhouse in the specialty coffee world. At the Moustache Coffee Club, we love how easy it is to brew big batches of our single-origin coffees with a Chemex, making it the ideal brewer for sharing a cup with friends. Read on for some history, and tips for how to get the most out of this versatile brewer.
Chemex HistoryThe Chemex was invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm, a chemist and inventor with over 300 patents in a wide range of industries. His chemistry background is evident in multiple respects: the unique double-bonded paper filter for the Chemex was created to provide optimal filtration for coffee extraction, and the smooth, borosilicate hourglass shape was inspired by the scientific-grade glassware he often worked with. The resulting coffee-maker was instantly heralded as a masterwork of functional design, earning the Chemex a spot in many museum design collections, including the MoMA.
The Chemex has remained largely unchanged for more than 70 years. Different sizes are available ranging from 3-cup to 13-cup, and a version with an updated glass handle has been created, but the classic Chemex and filters on sale today are the same ones introduced in the 40s, a testament to just how good the Chemex is at brewing excellent coffee.
Due to its distinctive mid-century design, the Chemex coffee-maker has featured heavily in pop culture. James Bond prepares coffee with a Chemex in Ian Fleming'sFrom Russia, With Love. The glass coffee makers can be seen in the kitchen of Mad Men's Don Draper, as well as the Woodhouse kitchen in Rosemary's Baby. But the best place to find a Chemex is your own kitchen, ready to brew up some freshly-roasted coffee!