Chemex coffee - a hand filter with tradition

Chemex coffee only really became fashionable with the third coffee wave (from 2002) . During this time, which actually continues to this day, coffee lovers began to learn about and engage with specific properties of coffee, such as regional conditions, cupping profiles and, above all, the various preparation options. Chemex coffee is still a favorite for coffee fans around the world. That was a very brief review. In the following blog article, we will take a closer look at this coffee and the long history of the hand filter . We hope you enjoy reading, Elias Fischbacher from the Wildkaffee Rösterei.

Chemex coffee - hand filter inventiveness made in Germany

In 1935, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm was one of 360,000 exiles who fled the German Reich. He gave up his homeland and fled from Nazi-ruled Germany to the USA. As was the case for many other refugees, starting over there was not easy. Even back then, Peter Schlumbohm was a person who made it his mission to make the everyday lives of his fellow human beings easier. It was not without reason that he was already working as a scientist during his time in Germany, focusing on his doctorate in chemistry.

Due to his years of experience as a chemist, Schlumbohm was familiar with the common methods of filtration and extraction - in addition, he was a great fan of hand-filtered coffee . And it was precisely this experience that he put into the invention of the Chemex brewer. This is where the name Chemex coffee came from, which obviously contains the chemistry reference. User-friendliness was always an issue for Peter Schlumbohm. In his life, he registered almost 300 patents .


A guarantee for hand filter enjoyment for 81 years

Let's go back to the product of desire in more detail - coffee from the Chemex. If you look at the glass container, you immediately notice the similarity to the Erlenmeyer flask . In the initial phase, the inventor from Kiel tinkered with a funnel that he placed on the flask in question. It took many attempts to find the right design for the hand filter.

At first he simply lacked the details, but little by little Schlumbohm was able to work them out thanks to his excellent knowledge of chemistry. He added a small groove to the hand filter to allow the steam to escape. He used the wooden panel to give the end user a certain level of comfort. The handle ensures that you don't burn your hands when brewing. Since then, the design of the Chemex has remained unchanged.


Unique hand filter - taste meets stylish design

Schlumbohm thought differently at the time and was spot on with his assumption that really good hand-filtered coffee is a science. The coffee from the Chemex is used with a special filter paper that is 20-30% thicker than conventional filter paper. Would you like more information about filter paper? Then read our filter paper comparison. The paper ensures that the natural suspended particles and oils in the coffee are perfectly bound and filtered out. This ensures a very aromatic and absolutely not bitter end result.

In the coffee scene, Chemex coffee is referred to as a unique preparation method , as there are simply huge differences to a "normal" filter coffee made with a hand filter. Schlumbohm's goal was to get the multifaceted flavor out of the bean without it being drowned out by bitter substances.

The whole thing should be possible in the simplest way possible. We think he has succeeded brilliantly with this hand filter method. The coffee combines excellent hand filter enjoyment, stylish, almost artistic design and high user-friendliness in one. Even today, every single carafe is mouth-blown in the USA. Each Chemex hand filter made from heat-resistant quality glass is therefore unique.


The Chemex as an international shooting star

Just two years after its invention, the Chemex hand filter found its place in theNew York Museum of Modern Arts . Works of modern and contemporary art have been exhibited there for almost 100 years. Chemex coffee was later even awarded by the Illinois Institute of Technology for being one of the best designed objects.

The Chemex has also been seen in films and series. In the James Bond novel “From Russia with Love” by Ian Fleming, James Bond brewed himself two cups of the finest Chemex hand filter coffee, black and without sugar.

In the American series "Friends," Joey Chandler always makes his coffee in a Chemex coffee hand filter. Chemex coffee can be seen in the background in some episodes. Curiously, in the series the hand filter is also used to serve orange juice. We've never seen that before, but it shows us that Chemex coffee is, like its history... very diverse.

If you fancy a freshly brewed Chemex coffee, then take a look at our shop . There you will find light and medium roasts that are perfect for hand filter preparation .