Best Coffee for Chemex (5 Top-rated Options in 2021)

It is daunting to choose the best bean when it comes to brewing coffee with Chemex. The reason why it is harder than picking a regular coffee is the brewing process. Chemex brewer needs a special type of bean that releases the flavor quickly and rewards you with an amazing cup of joe.

When I first started drinking Chemex coffee, the initial cups tasted bad, and the reason was a bad selection of coffee. So, I did extensive research and collected some information about the best bean for this special brewer. My top pick is Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean Coffee, but there are also different options that make Chemex coffee taste delicious.

In this post, you will find the top coffee for Chemex, so selecting the bean or ground option will be a cakewalk. Moreover, the article covers a buying guide and the right brewing process, which assures that you’ll have a flavorful cup every time.

Barista making a coffee using chemex

Best Coffee For Chemex Coffee Maker – My Picks:

#1: Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean Coffee: Best Overall 

Lifeboost has been there in the market for years, and coffee enthusiasts know this brand because of its quality and taste. However, if you need 100% organic and USDA-certified coffee for Chemex, you need to try Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean Coffee

It is a dark roast, but the flavor is great because the coffee is free from mycotoxins and pesticides. Grown in the mountains of Central America, the whole bean coffee has a rich and complex flavor profile.

The acidity is just perfect and does not disturb your stomach at all. Another impressive thing about this coffee is that it is non-GMI, which makes it a great choice for anyone. You’ll enjoy the flavor notes of chocolate and cherries with every sip. 

Lastly, it is clean and low acid coffee, which is good for your health and is a nice option if you love drinking coffee every day.

More Details:

  • Origin: Central America  
  • Roast: Dark
  • Type: Whole Bean
  • Organic: YES 
  • Weight: 12 Oz

What are the Pros?

  • It is a fully organic coffee
  • Tested by third-party for pesticides and mycotoxins 
  • Available in the form of ground coffee as well 
  • It has a pleasant aroma

What are the Cons?

  • Some users said that it has a lasting bitter taste 
  • The packet does not keep the coffee fresh for longer 

#2: Café de Loja Medium/Dark Roast Coffee: Best Medium Roast

This single-origin coffee from Café De Lojs is the best medium roast to brew with a Chemex, thanks to its ultimate quality! It is a medium roast coffee, and every drop that you brew with these beans carries an amazing flavor and aroma.

Grown at higher altitudes, the beans are dense and flavorful. Furthermore, the coffee has the right amount of acidity, which makes it great for first-time coffee drinkers as well as coffee enthusiasts. 

I felt that the flavor profile has the required crispiness, and it is clean. Furthermore, the coffee is free from toxins, and the manufacturer has not used pesticides, yeast, mold, and mycotoxins, which keeps its freshness intact.

Overall, if you need a combination of taste, caffeine, and aroma, Café de Loja Medium/Dark Roast Coffee is your way to go. The beans come packed in a paper packet with a degassing valve, so they stay fresh for longer.

More Details:

  • Origin: Ecuador 
  • Roast: Medium/Dark
  • Type: Whole Bean
  • Organic: YES 
  • Weight: 32 Oz 

What are the Pros?

  • It contains 100% Arabica bean 
  • The coffee is low in acidity 
  • It has a complex flavor profile 
  • The aroma is great 

What are the Cons?

  • The flavor changes slightly depending on the batch 
  • This coffee has a watery consistency 

#3: Ethical Bean Fair Trade Organic Coffee: Best Value for Money Option

Here’s another whole bean coffee with a classic flavor and fantastic roast profile. Roasted by experts, the beans help you get consistency and a nuanced flavor in every cup.

Moreover, Ethical Bean roasts the coffee in small batches that help it keep the quality intact. Coffee drinkers love this coffee for its purity and structure. Furthermore, it has cigar-box/tobacco aromatics, so you’ll love smelling it before drinking.

I’d recommend this coffee to start your morning with, as it contains good caffeine to give you a surprise. Lastly, it comes with KOSHER certification and is an organic coffee. 

More Details:

  • Origin: South and Central America
  • Roast: Medium
  • Type: Whole Bean
  • Organic: YES 
  • Weight: 12 Oz 

What are the Pros?

  • It’s a versatile coffee you can brew with different coffee makers 
  • Roasted by experts 
  • It contains a good amount of caffeine 
  • It does not have a bitter aftertaste 

What are the Cons?

  • Some batches may have small stones, so screen before grinding 
  • The packaging could have been better 

#4: BLK & Bold Special Edition Coffee: Best Flavorful Coffee

If you prefer a flavorful coffee that tastes sweet and has fruity notes, choose BLK & Bold Special Edition Coffee. Made using 100% Arabica bean, this is a medium roast coffee with an amazing flavor profile.

The coffee has prominent notes of caramel and a smooth profile that makes you crave another cup. It is a special edition NBA coffee, and the packaging says it all. The coffee belongs to Ethiopia, so you will smell some spice in it.

Furthermore, it comes with KOSHER certification, so you can be sure that there are no chemicals or pesticides used to grow it. 

Lastly, the coffee leaves a caramel flavor on your tongue, and there is no bitter aftertaste.

More Details:

  • Origin: Ethiopia 
  • Roast: Medium
  • Type: Whole Bean
  • Organic: YES 
  • Weight: 12 Oz 

What are the Pros?

  • It has a smooth and rich flavor profile 
  • The coffee tastes great and sweet 
  • Roasted in small batches 
  • You can buy it in pre-ground form as well 

What are the Cons?

  • It has an average aroma. 
  • Grinding the beans take time 

#5: Allegro Coffee Mocha Java Ground Coffee: Best Pre-Ground Coffee

Now you can brew Chemex joe while traveling with this pre-ground coffee from the house of Allegro Coffee. Sourced from Sumatra and Ethiopia, this is a high-quality coffee made with Arabica beans.

The medium roast works best with a Chemex and rewards you with a flavorful taste. The coffee has prominent notes of berries, chocolate, and warming spice. 

As it is a Mocha-flavored coffee, you will get the taste in every sip. Grown using the environment-friendly approach, this is an organic coffee that does not contain any pesticides or chemicals.

Moreover, it is gluten-free, which makes it ideal for drinking every day. The only downside about this coffee is the packaging, you need to transfer the grounds immediately to an air-tight container, else the coffee will get stale.

More Details:

  • Origin: Ethiopia and Sumatra 
  • Roast: Medium
  • Type: Pre-ground 
  • Organic: YES 
  • Weight: 12 Oz 

What are the Pros?

  • The ground consistency is ideal for a Chemex brewer 
  • It has a smell of warming spice 
  • Grown using eco-friendly methods
  • It has a syrupy blend 

What are the Cons?

  • The coffee gets stale quickly 
  • Some customers said that the flavor of mocha is not prominent 

Buying Guide: How to Buy Good Coffee for Chemex 

Chemex coffee maker standing on a pile of coffee beans

Selecting the best coffee bean or pre-ground coffee for Chemex requires you to focus on several factors. These factors will affect the flavor, consistency, and aroma. 


The first thing you need to keep in mind is choosing the right origin. The origin of the coffee affects the flavor profile and the taste. There are five major contributors of Chemex coffee, including:

Brazilian Coffee 

Brazilian coffee has a very sweet smell and fruity notes. Furthermore, the aroma smells slightly grassy and is really refreshing. Talking about the taste, it tastes like chocolate and has a nutty flavor. Also, some coffee beans have a caramel sauce-like flavor. 

Reasons to Choose Brazilian Coffee: It has an amazing taste with a balanced flavor profile. Also, it is sweet and does not taste very bitter, making it ideal for first-time drinkers.

Peruvian Coffee 

Would you like coffee that smells like fresh spice? Then, Peruvian coffee is your way to go. It is slightly sweet and has hints of corn. Furthermore, the coffee tastes like dark chocolate, and you’ll smell cinnamon and aroma.

Reasons to Choose Peruvian Brazilian Coffee: It is perfect for brewing a cup of bright coffee. Also, the coffee offers quick extraction, so you do not have to wait to drink it.

Ethiopian Coffee 

Ethiopian coffee should be your choice if you need something that tastes super sweet and fruity. It has a similar aroma to that of Peruvian coffee, and you will smell spices. 

The taste of the coffee sometimes has an overload of sweetness, and there is no bitterness at all. Some coffee beans grown in this region have hints of honey, which enhances the sweetness.

Reasons for Peruvian Ethiopian Coffee: It has a sweet and fruity taste and is great for brewing with Chemex. Grinding these beans is easier, and you can do the job with a manual burr grinder. 

Costa Rican Coffee 

Costa Rican coffee is popular for its nutty smell. Also, it has floral notes, and the slightly sweet aroma makes it an amazing choice. The joe carries a chocolate-like taste, and you’ll get the flavor of agave syrup, nuts, and more. 

Reasons to Choose Costa Rican Coffee: It has a good balance and is on the stronger side. Moreover, the floral notes make it smell good, and you will always enjoy the aroma before sipping the coffee. 

Guatemalan Coffee 

This coffee is for those that love a strong smell and an intense flavor profile. The coffee smells like black pepper and cinnamon and has a taste of pure chocolate, which is the reason why it looks so brown. 

Reasons to Choose Costa Rican Coffee: Folks that prefer a strong joe should consider Costa Rican coffee for Chemex. It has a strong taste with a slight sweetness that cuts down the bitterness. 

Organic or Conventional 

After choosing the origin, you need to select between organic and conventional. Organic beans are free from chemicals, pesticides, and other harmful elements making the coffee fit for everyday drinking.

On the other hand, conventional coffee is grown with pesticides, but that does not make it dangerous if you go for a renowned brand. 

If you prefer organic coffee, make sure to look for Fair-Trade certification before buying it.


While everyone has different preferences when it comes to choosing the roast, I’ve tasted all types of roasts and have come to a conclusion that medium roast works well with Chemex.

The medium roast does not hide the flavor, and you get a better character as compared to the light roast. Furthermore, a darker roast is sometimes overpowering, which is not that great.

You should try all roasts to get a good idea of why most coffee lovers prefer the medium-coarse one.

With these things in mind, you can choose coffee for Chemex. Just compare different options based on these factors to make an informed choice. 

How to Brew Chemex Coffee at Home: Step-by-Step Process 

A man brewing Chemex coffee at home. He's pouring 3 glasses with Chemex coffee for his guests

Brewing coffee with a Chemex is no rocket science, but it requires precision, and you need to keep several things in mind, including the water temperature and the ingredient quantity. 

Things You Need: 

  • Chemex coffee brewer 
  • Square coffee filter 
  • Pouring kettle (I prefer gooseneck kettle)
  • Timer 
  • Burr grinder (an automatic one)
  • Scale 
  • 600 ml water, plus some more for rinsing the filter 
  • Craft coffee beans (36 grams or 5-7 tablespoons)

The Brewing Process: At a Glance 

  • Total Brewing Time: 3.30 Minutes 
  • Mugs Per 12 oz bag: 18
  • Cup Characteristics: Clean and Refined 
  • Yield: 2 mugs 

Step 1: Heat the Water 

Start by heating the water inside the kettle and bring it to 205 degrees. Boil it for some time, and let the water sit for 30 seconds before you use it for brewing.

Step 2: Insert the Coffee Filter 

Now put the coffee filter inside the coffee maker, and make sure it covers the brewer’s head properly. Tap the filter with your finger, and press it gently so that it settles down properly.

Step 3: Pour Hot Water on the Filter 

Pour hot water on the filter to rinse it thoroughly. Some folks don’t follow this step, and this makes the coffee taste like paper. Also, rinsing the filter helps sealing it inside the coffee maker and results in proper brewing.

Step 4: Weigh the Beans 

If you are using pre-ground beans, skip this step, and hop on step 5. I prefer using the whole bean because it carries an amazing flavor, and you can extract it quickly when brewing coffee. 

After weighing the beans, put them in a burr grinder. The consistency of the grind should be medium, coarser than table salt, and finer than sesame seeds. 

Step 5: Put the Beans in the Filter 

Pour the ground coffee on the coffee filter and shake the brewer gently so that the coffee settles down properly. 

Step 6: Set the Timer and Start Pouring Water 

Set the timer to 0.00-0.45 seconds, and start pouring water on the ground coffee. Pour enough water so that the coffee starts blooming, and you’ll see bubbles over it. Once the timer starts beeping, hop on step 7.

Step 7: Pour the Remaining Water 

Set the timer: 0.45- 2.45, and then pour the leftover water on the coffee ground in a spiraling pattern. Try to avoid pouring it directly around the edges or in the center because it may make the consistency watery. 

Step 8: Let the Water Drain 

Set the timer: 2.45 – 3.30, and let the water drain through the filter. Now remove the filter and discard the grounds in the trash box, or you can use it to make compost. Finally, pour the coffee into a mug, and it is ready to serve.

Tips to Know When Brewing Coffee with the Chemex 

If you want the coffee to taste great, it is important to follow some tips. I’ve been using these tips for years, and the coffee tastes really amazing. 

Tip 1: Use Whole Bean 

A lot of people often ask me if they should use whole bean or pre-ground coffee. Well, whole bean coffee is best-suited for this coffee. When you grind the beans right before brewing coffee, you get the ultimate flavor and aroma. 

However, this is not the case when brewing joe with pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground should be your choice if you want to brew coffee while traveling.

Tip 2: Use a Gooseneck Kettle 

Using a gooseneck kettle is better than using a regular kettle. The spout helps you get better control over the water, and this helps in blooming the coffee properly. 

Tip 3: Always Use a Timer 

Relying on guesswork should not be your choice because brewing coffee is all about time. When you use a timer, you get a better idea, and it helps you brew delicious coffee every time.

Tip 4: Choose the Right Filter Paper 

Coffee filters for Chemex are available in a range of options, including craft paper, rounded, bleach paper, cloth, and square. All papers share the same density and thickness.

You should try different filters to settle down with the best one. 

Tip 5: Sprinkle Water in a Spiraling Motion 

Do not pour the water directly in the center, as the ground around the edges will remain dry, and you won’t be able to get the best flavor in the cup. 

Pour the water in a spiraling motion, and cover every corner.

Questions you may have

What Makes a Chemex Unique?

Invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm, a Chemex coffee maker makes brewing coffee easier. You can brew joe anytime and anywhere, without any electricity or any other resource. The thing that makes this coffee maker unique is that it lets proper infusion.

Also, the filtration rate is optimal, and the coffee drips slowly. Furthermore, the filter catches all oils and rewards you with joe that’s excellently clear and clean.

What kind of coffee is best for Chemex?

The coffee maker works well for medium, light, and dark roasts. I prefer using a medium grind because it results in better extraction and flow rate while brewing. 

However, one can only make a good choice of coffee after tasting multiple roasts. Start with brewing coffee with a light roast, and then switch to higher roasts depending on your taste requirements.

Why is Chemex coffee so good?

The coffee brewed with Chemex is cleaner and brighter than drip coffee, and that is why people find it more appealing and delicious. Also, the filter used in a Chemex slows down the rate of extraction, which helps extract the entire flavor in the bowl.

Is Chemex coffee expensive?

The cost of coffee depends on several factors, such as the brand you are going for and the type of coffee. It is not true that all Chemex coffee beans are expensive. There are plenty of affordable Chemex coffee beans reviewed in this article to help you make an informed choice.

Does Chemex coffee have more caffeine?

Yes, and the reason is longer steeping time! As you let the coffee rest for more time, it has a higher concentration, and you get more caffeine in the cup.

Final Words 

Nothing can replicate the taste of Chemex coffee, and that’s why you should definitely try it. Choose any of the options I’ve reviewed above and get a flavorful experience in every sip. 

Furthermore, read the buying guide, and go through the “how to brew” section to get your hands on the fantastic coffee.

The best coffee for Chemex in this list is Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean Coffee. If you are looking for pre-ground coffee, choose Allegro Coffee Mocha Java Ground Coffee

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Hi! My name is Luke. I’m a huge espresso fan, a dad, and a caffeine junkie (which helps a lot in being a dad to an early bird ;) ). Welcome to my blog, I hope you will enjoy every single second of being here