HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Chemex Question (41 msgs / 805 lines)
1) From: David Westebbe
Do any Chemex users have advice/preferences between the various models?
For example, are the hand blown ones much better?  Are the big ones or the
small ones better in terms of coffee quality?
Any advice on what to look for on eBay would be appreciated.

2) From: Scott Jensen
I think I'd look for a used Probat if it was me,  or a Saxaphone- those
always come in handy.  :)

3) From: Scott Jensen
Hello David,  as you can tell from my last message I don't have anything
helpful to say!  I've only used one model, not even sure which one it is- 8
cup maybe.  I'm sure that I've heard the handblown is heavier or thicker and
perhaps less likely to break, no coffee quality difference though.

4) From: Phil Jordan
Well you can look out for a Selmer Mk 6 Tenor in good nick for me, Scott,
but it's got very little to do with coffee and David certainly deserved a
more helpful answer. Shame on you.

5) From: Scott Jensen
Yeah I know, I was hoping you'd jump in and give him one!  I gave him all I
had to offer- a smart-alec remark! :)  Which isn't very helpful, just a
little bit of fun.  Sorry!

6) From: Phil Jordan
No problem - I'm slaving over a hot website, putting together the coffee
review form I mentioned a few weeks back. I'm not very creative, so it's not
my favourite job.
On the subject of the Chemex, I've never even seen one let alone used one. I
don't even know if they can be found in the UK. So I'm no better than you in
the end Scott. Sorry also.

7) From: Phil Jordan
I hope David doesn't mind you saying that!!!
BTW like the new addy Gin!
And whatever happened to the homeroast swap?

8) From: David Westebbe
Who's Frankly?  :)

9) From: Scott Jensen
Ohhh Mom, we were just teasing!  :)

10) From: Peter R. Barnes
Having only used the model I have, which is the "8-cup" version, I can tell you that the advice I would give has a great deal to do with how much coffee you plan on drinking.  The first three pour-throughs produce great coffee, but anything after that begins to taste strange - and the coffee grounds look a little weird too.
Three pours on the 8-cup model produces somewhere around 4 or 5 cups of coffee (on the 5 oz. model), so I'm guessing (without any actual knowledge) that the larger model would allow you to make more coffee at one sitting.  But even that would have its limitations.  
I use my chemex twice in the morning, once to produce a thermos for myself, and once for my roommate.  It's exactly what I need for the day, and I don't think the larger model would produce enough coffee.
That being said, the only portion of the chemex significant to making coffee is the opening and the filter.  A larger opening means you could use more coffee and thus make more coffee.  But hand-blown?  It'll just look nicer.  But on sweetmarias, the hand-blown chemex is larger, so that could be a consideration.
I love my chemex though, use it every day, and recommend it to everyone I know who likes drip coffee.  So I think it is hard to go wrong anywhere with one.

11) From: Ed Needham
I have all of them,except for the cheaper thin glass models.  I usually end
up using the CM-3, but also have a lot of time on the CM-4.  Both make
wonderful coffee in my opinion.  I've been using them since 1975, and
actually used three of the CM-4's and three Chemex water kettles for house
coffee in a coffeehouse I owned back in the seventies.  Not as automated as a
'press the button Bunn', but much better coffee.
Look for the three little feet on the bottom if you're trolling Ebay for a
Chemex.  The cheaper glass ones have a flat bottom.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

12) From: Angelo
Hey, I have a VI, 95,XXX Series ,and sometimes I store my greens in the 
I think we're getting a bit esoteric, here... :-)
Oh, helpful answer: I haven't brewed in a Chemex in a long while, so I 
don't know about the questions asked,BUT I can say that using the Chemex 
automatic hot water dispenser made a difference..I had found one in a 
thrift shop for about $5 and It worked beautifully.. It was "programmed" to 
drop enough water to allow the grounds to "bloom" before it dispensed the 
rest. As I recall the water was plenty hot...Does Chemex still make this item?

13) From: Rick Farris
The handblown ones are *way* better.  My mum managed to break my
machine-made one within 3 weeks of bringing it into the house.  She
hasn't broken my "hand-made" one yet, and it's been over a year.
BTW, I'm not sure exactly what "hand-blown" means to Chemex, but I'm
certain it's not what you or I think when we hear "hand-blown."
-- Rick

14) From: David Westebbe
Thanks, Ed.  That's just the kind of info I needed.

15) From: Angelo
Wanna clear this up for Rick?
I mean... you're a potter, aren't you?  :-)

16) From: Dave Huddle
My favorite Chemex is the CM-1 - the smallest hand-blown model.  (Tom
doesn't stock these.)
Got one at home, another at the office.  Perfect for brewing one or two
mugs at a time.
Also have the CM-2 and CM-6A. (Tom doesn't sell these either.) These
two have about the same capacity (30 oz), the CM-2 is hand-blown, the
CM-6A is manchine made.   I rarely use either of these.   They feel
really awkward in the hand when it's time to serve.  Very bottom-heavy
The small CM-1 uses a different filter than the larger brewers.
The Chemex website also shows models with glass handles, instead of the
wood collar arrangement.   I suspect that these might feel a little
less awkward when it's time to serve.

17) From: Ed Needham

18) From: Angelo

19) From: Ben Treichel
You know Gin, you could just claim to be a 'performance' artist.  ;-)   
They seem to have alot of of leaway.
BTW, Done anything with the drum yet?
Angelo wrote:

20) From: Frank Haist
I've followed the information that flew back-and-forth here the past 
couple of weeks about vac pots and chemex. Now, I'm thinking  I'd like 
to take my home roast into work and that means I'll need a good coffee 
maker there. A vac pot is impractical for that, but the chemex look like 
it will fit the bill nicely. What we have at work now is your typical 
flat bottom filter coffee maker that makes simply terrible stuff,  a 
whirly-blade grinder, and a Bodum or whatever hot water maker. Here's my 
quandry. I'm thinking about the 30 oz chemex as it looks like that will 
make a perfect amount  for  two and half nice cups of coffee. But if 
others start liking this, then much more will be made. Is the 50 oz too 
big to start out with if I'm intending to make two, maybe three cups? 
Any advice appreciated.

21) From: Gary Townsend
 my advice, is to close the door, make your coffee, and walk around
with a thermal mug full of great coffee. Time to earn your CSA
Grimace whenever your co-workers drink their sludge.
Use the following comments; "Wow, it's a good thing the company coffee
is free, I'd never pay for that! "
or " That's not really coffee is it?, "I think someone is putting some
bad stuff in the company coffee pot, maybe to get even with so &
Cleaning the Chemex? If questioned, tell them it's per Dr's order's
and that it's a lab sample, act embarrased. Ask them not to mention it
to anyone. ( They will, anyway) That's when you are 'seen' making
coffee...later on. Like Bonnie Rait sang " Let's give them something
to talk about...."

22) From: Casey Jones
I originally bought the 50oz Chemex with the idea that I could make larger
quantities.  But my experience has been that the quality goes down once you
pass the button (half-way).  The water was in contact with the grounds for
way too long.  This could be the old el-cheapo grinder I had.
If I had it to do over again I'd just buy the 30oz.  It's easy enough to
make another pot if you need.
-Casey Jones

23) From: Jared Andersson
Way too funny Gary.  I would like to see a list of peoples favorite
CSA (Coffee Snob Association) lines.  One I use a lot happens after
being offered charbucks coffee that has been in a fridge or freezer
for about two years.  The host usually says something like, "If you
like good coffee I have been saving something for you."  I then reply
with a condescending quiet laugh "ha ha....no thanks....I homeroast." 
and the conversation dies faster then when telling a Charlton Heston
joke at an NRA convention.  Ok I don't actually say this stuff but I
think it.  Jared
On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 20:00:33 -0600, Gary Townsend  wrote:

24) From: Frank Haist
Hi all,
    Thanks for the advice. In response to Gary, I must say that what I 
have typically done is make a quadruple Americano before leaving for 
work and bring that in a vacuum thermos, so that when anyone asks if I 
want coffee, I give the appropriate disdainful look. Now, I'm in a bit 
of a unique situation. I should have mentioned that I work in a research 
lab, and for better or worse from the undergrad and grad students 
perspective, I'm one of the "faculty." That means I can have an enduring 
influence, that is at least until they finish their dissertation ;-), on 
their behavior. Maybe shape the next generation of CSA.
    Casey, thanks for the advice. I think I may have stumbled upon the 
middle solution. I ran a quick google search on Chemex and 
low-and-behold, the first thing that popped up was a link to Sweet 
Marias to a web page for the "last" of the 40 oz Chemex. So I went for 
that. And if that was wrong and they don't exist anymore, I'll go with 
the 30 oz. Thanks again.
Casey Jones wrote:

25) From: Ed Needham
The CM-3 will do for decent sized pots of coffee.  It's what I use at work, 
along with a thermos to put the coffee in after brewing.
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] somewhere in the subject line of any email correspondence)

26) From: John David Huddle
I use a 15 oz Chemex (CM-1) at work, usually twice a day.
Grind the homeroast with a Zass knee mill, heat the water in a mini Ibis.
Tom doesn't stock this size Chemex or the filters (FP-2).

27) From: Steven Dover
As long as brew time is no more than 6 minutes your brew should not be over
extracted. - Steve D

28) From: Casey Jones
It took longer than 6 minutes.  Sometimes even stalled.  But that was
I haven't tried to make a full pot since getting Rocky.  I'm now in the
habit of brewing 25oz at a time.  It works perfectly for two travel mugs (my
wife adds milk :o ).
Maybe this weekend I'll try a full pot compared to a half pot.  (Then I'll
run around in circles from caffeine overload.)
-Casey Jones
High on caffeine (practiced pulling shots this morning before coming to

29) From: Peter Barnes
While technically correct, this is a very hard way to gauge brewing with 
the Chemex.  There are multiple pours over the grounds in the filter, 
with each pour probably taking shorter or longer to brew depending on 
the fineness of the grind.  I find that once you hit the button, 
successive pours simply make the coffee not taste very good.  It's not 
weak per se, but it's definitely not as good as the first couple 
pourovers.  Each pourover needs to sit with the coffee and extract, but 
most of the goodness seems to go away after the first few pours.
Steven Dover wrote:

30) From: Brian Kamnetz
Often when trolling eBay for a Chemex, I see something like "Vintage
Eames Era Chemex Pyrex Glass Coffee Maker", but I have never seen an
explanation of what is meant by "Eames Era". I fumbled around in
Google for a while looking for the answer, and while I found similar
descriptions applied to other items, such as "Eames Era Jeannette
Retro Spaghetti String Pitcher This retro 2-quart beverage pitcher by
Jeannette Glass,"  I was unable to find an explanation of "Eames Era".
Does anyone happen to know what "Eames Era" means?

31) From: Joe Schuepbach
I believe the era was named after designer Charles Eames:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_EamesCheck out his art and you'll understand how he influenced many  
designers of his time, thus stamping his name on the entire era of  
Very cool stuff.
On Jun 30, 2006, at 9:11 AM, Brian Kamnetz wrote:

32) From: Dan Kellgren
I've been using an old 60's-70's era "pour-over" type of brewer that I
picked up at a local thrift store.  My new SMP grinder has allowed me to
explore different ranges of grind and brewing techniques.  As of late, I've
been doing the pour-over and admiring the bloom, etc.
So now I'm thinking it's time to step up to the Chemex.  I see Chemex paper
filters on SM, but I'm not big on paper filters.  I'm using a gold cone
filter with my thrift store special.  Is there a gold filter type of option
with the Chemex?

33) From: Jason Brooks
I've been using a Chemex for almost a year.  The paper filter is what
makes the Chemex coffee what it is.  You would have to handle one to see
the difference in thickness, quality, etc.  Your choice becomes bleached
or not.  But a gold cone filter makes it a very attractive drip brewer
like many others, but not a Chemex (by the definition of the coffee).
Jason Brooks

34) From: Ed Needham
The Chemex paper filter is integral to the Chemex process.  If you want to 
use a gold filter, you might as well get a cheap Melitta manual pourover.  I 
won't rant on about the crappy brown filters again, but get white if you 
decide to use Chemex.
(I've never seen a gold filter to fit Chemex anyway.)
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

35) From: Robert Joslin
Ever smell the effluent from a pulp processing plant?  Wet a brown chemex
filter, close your eyes and sniff!
On 2/6/07, Ed Needham  wrote:

36) From: Justin Schwarz
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
I got a polyester filter for my chemex from scott a while ago.  It  
makes a great cup of coffee, cleanup is kind of difficult though.  I  
am down to brown filters right now, so chemex has been on the back  
burner for a while.  Not that I put it on the burner to begin with  
though! Chemex is a great addition to your coffee collection, make  
sure you get one of the thicker glass ones, definitely worth the  
extra $.
Justin Schwarz
If there is anything worth doing, it's worth doing right.
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
I got a polyester filter for my =
chemex from scott a while ago.  It makes a great cup of coffee, =
cleanup is kind of difficult though.  I am down to brown filters right =
now, so chemex has been on the back burner for a while.  Not that I =
put it on the burner to begin with though! Chemex is a great addition to =
your coffee collection, make sure you get one of the thicker glass =
ones, definitely worth the extra $.
 Justin =
If there is anything worth = doing, it's worth doing right.

= = --Apple-Mail-1--758250943--

37) From: Ed Needham
Look for the three glass 'feet' on the bottom.  The cheaper, thinner glass 
ones don't have the feet.
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

38) From: Cameron Forde
I may be wrong on this, but it is my understanding that there is no
duty on items moving between the US and Canada if the items are made
in the US or Canada (because of NAFTA).  I think that Pyrex makes
their stuff in North America and so they should be duty-free.
-- ceforde

39) From: Justin Marquez
On 2/6/07, Justin Schwarz  wrote:
I have been taking brewed coffee many mornings in a thermos.  To brew
it, I boil the water, toss in the ground coffee right after taking the
pan off the heat, let it steep for about 3 - 4 minutes, stirring
frequently. Then I put a gold mesh filter in one of Tom's pour-over
cones and decant the coffee thru that quickly, directly into the
thermos.  That seems a lot easier than true pourover. It's like cowboy
coffee without the eggshells.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

40) From: Robert Joslin
     Thanks for the idea.  Sounds like a quick, efficient way to make good
coffee for the road.  Gotta try it!!   Josh
On 2/7/07, Justin Marquez  wrote:

41) From: stereoplegic
just saw "Fight Club" for the zillionth time last night, but never 
noticed until now that he was making coffee by pouring water w/ grounds 
through a strainer (after relocating to the Paper St. address).
jjmarquez wrote:

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