As much as we rain praise on the Chemex, it has an enormous flaw: The coffee cools down way too quickly. On the depths of Coffee Internet, debates rage about the best way to keep Chemex-brewed coffee hot. As it turns out, Chemex already makes an accessory for preserving your coffee’s heat.
Chemex’s $7 glass topper is exactly as it sounds — a borosilicate glass disk to place over the opening of a Chemex. The carafe isn’t insulated, and if you’re brewing correctly, your water shouldn’t exceed boiling temperature, or 212°F. As a result, a majority of heat loss comes from evaporation through the Chemex’s large opening. The topper limits heat escaping, and it also protects your coffee from airborne pollutants.
Other variations of a Chemex topper are available, too. Some complain that users must hold the Chemex-branded topper when dispensing coffee to prevent it from being displaced. The Able Brewing heat lid is made of a pliable elastomer, or type of rubber, which plunges into the Chemex opening for a more snug fit. Plus, you can pour coffee without worrying about the lid shifting.
The biggest qualm Chemex users have about heat stoppers is that they leave the pour spout exposed for heat to continue to escape. A wooden lid, from random Amazon brand Zeme, blocks the entire Chemex opening, including the pour spout. This, of course, means you can’t pour coffee while the lid is on, but it does provide the best coverage compared to other lids. And the wood material matches the Chemex’s iconic wood collar. While the former options fit all Chemex sizes, the wood lid only fits 6-, 8- and 10-cup Chemexes.
The Chemex produces some of the cleanest, brightest cups of pour-over coffee. Sadly, it doesn’t maintain the coffee’s heat, so you’re stuck drinking a room temperature brew. Buy one of these lids and your morning coffee will hold you over longer.