Why Is My Chemex Coffee Taking So Long? (Explained!)

The Green Pods Why Is My Chemex Coffee Taking So Long

Nothing is more frustrating first thing in the morning than coffee complications. You just want to roll out of bed, brew your cup and sip away as you greet the new day. If you are a pour-over coffee connoisseur, this can be especially frustrating when your brew takes extra long.

But how long should a Chemex take? And why is your Chemex taking longer than usual?..

The most common reason why your Chemex is taking so long is due to the grind of your beans. Too fine and it will clog the filter. After that, you’ll also want to check that you are not overfilling it with coffee, and also check the water you are using isn’t too full of minerals.

Read on as we take a look at how long a Chemex should take to run and some more details on how to speed it up!

Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚

What is Chemex Coffee?

Dr. Peter Schlumbohm invented the Chemex coffeemaker in 1941 while pursuing the perfect cup of coffee. His dedication to perfection in the invention of his products held true for the Chemex brewer.

The Chemex coffeemaker brews rich, flavorful coffee that is considered to be the purest cup that any coffee fanatic can get and, as a result, has become the premium choice of brewer and method for brewing among the coffee lover’s culture.

Recommendation: Want to start brewing with Chemex? Their 3 Cup brewer is the perfect size for 1 or 2 people, and also their cheapest model!

The Green Pods Reccommends the chemex 3 cup brewer

Chemex 3 Cup Brewer

  • Perfect for making 1 or 2 cups of coffee, and for 1 or 2 people
  • Removes bad fats, bitterness, acidity and sediments that other types of brewers leave behind.
  • Made of non-porous Borosilicate glass which will not absorb odors or chemical residues
  • Manufactured in the USA from North American materials only and are sustainably harvested.
Buy On Amazon Check On CHEMEX.COM

Why Is Chemex Slow?

The brewing process for the Chemex coffeemaker is inherently slower than traditional coffee brewers by design. It uses lab-quality, double-bonded paper filters, and a multi-step pour-over method to brew the best cup of coffee possible, but the trade-off is a bit slower brew time.

  1. The Filters: Part of the reason for this is the double-bonded paper filters used in the brewing process that help to filter out the impurities and bitter elements of the bean, leaving you with the pure flavor of the coffee bean.
  2. The Process: The other part of the reason is the pour-over process itself, which is a two-part process in which you do a first pour-over to wet the grounds and allow them to bloom, and then a second pour-over which is a slow and steady pour that is woven evenly back and forth over the grounds, extracting the flavor until you are done brewing your desired amount of coffee.

How long should a Chemex take to brew?

The time it takes to brew coffee with a Chemex coffeemaker comes down to the size of the Chemex being used. We followed the brewing instructions from Chemex and timed the duration for each different

3 Cup Chemex6 Cup Chemex8 Cup Chemex
4 minutes (Average)5 minutes (Average)6 minutes (Average)

How long should a 3-cup Chemex take?

If the grind is correct, the brewing process for the 3 cup Chemex should take roughly four minutes. For a more detailed description of how to use the 3 cup Chemex coffeemaker click here.

How long should a 6-cup Chemex take?

If the grind is optimal, the brewing process for the 6-cup Chemex should take roughly five minutes. For a more detailed description of how to use the 6-cup Chemex coffeemaker click here

How long should an 8-cup Chemex take?

If the grind is optimal, the brewing process for the 8-cup Chemex should take roughly five and a half to six minutes. For a more detailed description of how to use the 8-cup Chemex coffeemaker click here.

5 Reasons Why Your Chemex Is Taking So Long

Here are the four most common causes of a slow brew when using a Chemex coffeemaker:

  1. Using a grind that is too fine
  2. Using the wrong filters
  3. Using too much coffee
  4. Getting clumping
  5. Using hard water

1. The Grind Size

The first and most common thing that causes a slow brew time is the grind of your bean. If it is too fine, it can clog up the pores in the paper filter with fine coffee bean silt. Try a slightly coarser grind and see if the brew time improves. The same can be said for too quick of a brew. Check the grind. It may take a few tries to find the right coarseness setting for your grinder, but this should do the trick.

2. The Type Of Filter

A coffee filter is a coffee filter, right?..

Not exactly.

Chemex have specifically designed their own filter paper to provide just enough resistance for the coffee brewing process.

Many 3rd party filters are too thick and have too fine of a mesh size (the tiny microscopic holes) to less the coffee pass through fast enough. These are prone to getting blocked by the coffee solids rendering the filter useless and resulting in super slow brew times.

Our Recommendation: Only use original Chemex brand filters with your Chemex machine so you know for sure they’re up to scratch.

The Green Pods Reccommends Chemex original bonded filter paper

Chemex Bonded Paper Filters 

  • 20-30% thicker than the competition, specialty fiber filter design keep bitter elements, oils, and grounds out of your cup 
  • Fits all CHEMEX Coffeemakers
  • Removes bad fats, bitterness, acidity and sediments that other types of filters leave behind.
  • Manufactured in the USA from North American materials only and are sustainably harvested.
Buy On Amazon Check On CHEMEX.COM

3. Using Too Much Coffee

Thirdly, make sure you are not using excessive amounts of coffee grounds in your paper filter as the weight of the wet grounds can collapse the filter into the draining hole at the bottom of the upper cone, blocking the liquid from seeping through properly.

Chemex recommends you use a tablespoon of grounds for every cup of coffee. This aligns with the SCAA’s recommendation of a brew ratio of between 1:15 and 1:17 or 13 grams of coffee to 200ml of water. For a really strong coffee, a brew ratio of 1:12 may be required.

chemex coffee maker full of ground coffee

Read More: Check out this article we we deep dive the perfect amount of coffee to use in your chemex

5. The Water

Secondly, the water used is important. In some cases, high mineral content in the water can cause the pores in the paper filter to clog. Try filtered water and see if this makes a difference.

We’ve recently switched to always filtering our water we make coffee with, and really notice the difference


Still, having trouble with your Chemex coffee? Check out this article which troubleshoots why your chemex coffee is tasting so bitter.

 Happy brewing!

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