This is the fabled Chemex coffeemaker. Developed in 1941, the Chemex is still American-made and has been produced in Pittsfield, Massachussetts for over seventy years. When inventor Peter Schlumbohm passed away in 1962, the New York Times named the Chemex as "One of 100 Best Modern Devices." The Chemex is also part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Unique in design, the Chemex reminds one of an Erlenmeyer Flask with a conical neck and uses proprietary Chemex filters that are also made in Pittsfield.
You may have seen versions of the original model with the wood and leather-wrapped neck - the classic Chemex design. The version we use at Spro and offer here is the six cup, glass-handled model. This version allows for easier cleaning and a more authoritative grip when pouring.
While the shape is distinct, the "magic" of the Chemex lies in its paper filter. Made of pine fibers, the filter is what makes a chemex: The Chemex. The Chemex filter removes almost all of the sediment and oils, producing a very clean and transparent cup of coffee. Alternative filters, from paper to metal mesh, exist that fit in the Chemex but the results are dramatically different and really are something else entirely.
Brewing with the Chemex is relatively straightforward: we suggest a heavy pre-rinse of the paper filter to eliminate any residual paper tastes, then a medium-ground coffee and hot water. Clean up is also quite easy, pull the paper filter (with spent grounds), toss in the compost pile and rinse the brewer.