“One of the best designed products of modern times.”

The Illinois Institute of Technology

The chap who invented the Chemex – Peter Schlumbohm, in 1941 – apparently said this of it: “With the Chemex, even a moron can make good coffee.” Now, while we’re not entirely in agreement, the Chemex certainly is a delightfully easy way to make really good coffee.

It’s the distinctive shape that makes it so iconic (it has been part of the MOMA’s design collection since 1944), but the filters are also an integral part of the output: they’re made of bonded paper which is thicker than normal filter paper. Most of the oil from the coffee is removed by the paper which results in a much ‘cleaner’ brew.

Seven things…

1. The design hasn’t changed a jot since 1941 – can you improve on perfection?

2.  You can put your Chemex on a really low gas or a glass top stove to keep your coffee warm. Or just wrap a tea-towel round it.

3.  You should use a medium or coarse grind in your Chemex. Get some Chemex coffee →

4.  It takes three to five minutes to make your perfect Chemex coffee, but 4 minutes is the magic number!

5. If you’re going to put it in the dishwasher, make sure you remove the wooden bit

6. Here’s how you pronounce it: Chem (like chemical) ex (as in previous)

7. Peter Schlumbohm, the Chemex inventor, used the word ‘beautilities’ to describe his inventions; expect to hear us using this word soon…