Chemex Vs V60

Which automatic pour-over coffee maker is the better choice – the Chemex vs V60?

There is little doubt that both of these two pour-over coffee brewers capable of producing incredibly delicious coffee, and at first glance, the two even look almost interchangeable. But what are the real differences, apart from a few superficial dissimilarities in design?

Stay tuned, coffee lover, because in this article we are going to look at both the Chemex and its closest competitor for the spotlight as the best pour-over coffee brewer around, the Hario V60. We will be comparing the two on all of the most important points, including design, features and price point. And just in case you are new to the concept of pour-over coffee makers, we’ll also give you an introduction to how a manual drip coffee maker like either the Chemex or the Hario V60 is going to transform the way you brew coffee forever.

If all this sounds good, then let us get started.

What are pour-over coffee makers?

If you what you are accustomed to is an automatic drip coffee maker, you are in for a bit of a revelation when you discover the kind of coffee that can be brewed using a simple gooseneck kettle and paper filters.

On the surface, it might seem like replacing your automatic drip coffee maker with a manual Hario V60 or Chemex coffee maker is trading down, or at least making life unnecessarily complicated for yourself. However, once you scratch the surface – and particularly, once you taste your first cup of freshly brewed coffee from a manual pour-over coffee machine, you will wonder why you haven’t made the switch sooner.

Pour-over coffee brewers like the Hario V60 and the Chemex enable coffee enthusiasts to brew the best coffee they have ever tasted. Whereas drip coffee makers are cable of brewing high-quality coffee, only a manual coffee maker like the Hario V60 or the Chemex coffee maker are cable of bringing out a truly unique coffee taste, where all of the original body and aroma of the ground coffee comes to the fore.

Say hello to a whole new way of brewing coffee

If you are new to pour-over coffee makers, you are going to appreciate this run-through of how to prepare the best cup of coffee of your life using one. True, brewing coffee using a pour-over brewer takes more time and effort than simply pressing the button on an automatic coffee machine – but the reward is worth it.

To brew a great cup of coffee using a pour-over, start by selecting your coffee beans or ground coffee. If you are a true coffee geek, you probably have a coffee bean grinder at home and can select the grind size that best suits the particular beans and brew you want to prepare. If you don’t have a bean grinder at home, that’s okay too – pre-ground coffee works almost just as well.

If you have never prepared coffee using pour overs before, it might take a bit of trial and error before you get the coffee grind to water ratio just right, not to mention the optimal grind size for the perfect flavour. Ultimately, the ideal measurements come down to personal taste, but as a rule of thumb you should use approximately 22 grams of coffee per 350 grams of water. You are also likely to find that a finer grind size is going to work better for brewing coffee with pour-overs.

Once you have your coffee grounds ready, place a paper filter inside the dripper and add the grounds. Gently shake/tap the filter to make sure the grounds have a relatively even surface.

Now, bring some water to the boil and pour hot water through the filter. Stabilize the filter with one hand while you pour water carefully with the other – this is so you don’t end up spilling boiling hot water over yourself.

Rather than just pouring the water through the filter, you want to do four pours per filter. This is true for both the Chemex and the Hario V60.

Release the magic of your coffee beans

You probably already know that good coffee starts with good coffee beans.

There are only so many ways that you can make the most out of your favourite coffee beans – one is to buy them whole and grind them fresh at home in small batches as and when they are needed, and the other is the brewing method you use when turning them into a great cup of coffee.

When using automatic coffee machines to brew coffee, what you gain in consistency you are going to lose in individuality. Inevitably, more of the aroma and taste of the individual beans is going to be lost when you use an automatic coffee maker. And so, to make the most of your beans and extract the purest essence of their flavour, you should be using a pour-over like the Chemex or the Hario V60.

First pour

The first pour is the most fun to do. This is because as the hot water hits the coffee grounds, CO2 is released and the coffee seems to swell inside the filter.

Pour slowly, letting the water move in a spiral from the outer edge of the filter to the middle. Make sure all of the grounds are saturated.

The first pour should take about 15 seconds. Once it is done, leave it to drip for about 30 seconds before commencing with the second pour.

Second pour

Before the second pour, add a little more fresh coffee grounds to the filter – this to release even more potent taste in the final brew.

For the second pour, start in the middle and make your way out to the edge of the filter, then back to the centre, moving in a spiral. Make sure to cover the ripples in the filter, to ensure that no specks of coffee grind get stuck there.

After the second pour, leave the brew to drip for about a minute before moving on to the third pour.

Third pour

After the second pour, the soaked coffee grounds inside the filter should have noticeably ‘shrunk’ and fallen to the bottom of the filter.

The third pour is identical to the second, but since the majority of the soaking has been accomplished, you can cut the time in half.

Fourth pour

For the ultimate coffee experiences do a fourth and final pour.

It doesn’t matter whether you are brewing a single cup or multiple cups of coffee – the brewing method is the same regardless.

Now that your coffee is ready, it is time to add any coffee oils, milks or sugars that you favour, and then take a sip. Chances are that the cup of coffee you have just brewed using your pour-over is much better than anything you have had from coffee shops in months.

Who pour-over coffee makers are perfect for

If you have made it this far into the article, chances are you are a major coffee aficionado and a pour-over coffee maker would be a good fit for you.

Another way of putting it would be to say that pour-over coffee makers are not for everyone. Not everyone is enthusiastic enough about artisan beans and tailor-made coffee brews to want to expend the relative time and effort required to brew coffee using a pour-over coffee brewer. Not when pressing a button on an automatic drip coffee machine is so much easier.

Pour-over coffee makes are only for the true coffee enthusiasts among us. If this is you, then you will not regret making the switch to a pour-over coffee brewer.

Now for deciding which one to go with.

Chemex

It is finally time for us to take the two coffee brewers that are the subject of this article and place them under a microscope. Let us begin with the Chemex.

The Chemex is produced by the synonymous Chemex company, which is a family-owned business located in Massachusetts in the US. The Chemex coffee makers are also manufactured within the US, using only the highest quality materials.

The Chemex pour-over is the Chemex brand’s proudest creation, and it comes in a few different sizes and models, including stunning hand-blown glass models.

All in all, it is no wonder why the Chemex coffee maker has won numerous awards for its design as well as for its science.

Chemex appearance

The first thing you are going to notice about the Chemex coffee brewer, no mater which model you pick, is how aesthetically pleasing it is. The fact that the Chemex design takes its cues from lab wear might have something to do with it.

The Chemex is made in a beautiful glass design with an hourglass shape and a small spout for serving the coffee. The glass vessel also features a wooden collar and a leather strap that makes it easy to handle, even when it is filled with boiling hot freshly brewed coffee.

Chemex filters

The Chemex filters were invented by Dr Peter Schlumbom who also designed the glass vessel itself. The Chemex filters are extra thick, designed to keep the coffee extra clear and free from rogue coffee grounds.

Chemex brews

Thanks to the specially developed, extra thick and Chemex filters, a Chemex brewed coffee is like no other.

Not only does the pour-over method of brewing coffee result in a full-bodied, aromatic and flavourful coffee brew that highly reflects the individuality and origins of the coffee beans that have been used, but the Chemex filters and overall design also mean that you get an absolutely clear and clean cup of coffee, with not a speck of wayward coffee ground to disturb your enjoyment.

Hario V60

Hario means ‘the king of glass’ and is a Japanese company founded in 1921.

Much like Chemex, Hario started out by producing glass and ceramic equipment for science labs and the medical industry.

Hario V60 appearance

The scientific origin is still reflected in the Hario V60 design, which looks very much like something you might come across in a lab.

Unlike the Chemex, the Hario V60 comes in an impressive array of colours and materials to choose from, including ceramic, copper, high-grade plastic, and of course, the classic clear glass model.

Hario V60 cone

Where the Chemex has its specially designed filters, the Hario V60 has its magnificent cone, which funnels the hot water into the coffee grounds at a perfect 60 degree angle. The 60 degree angle of the cone is so significant that the V60 even takes its name from it.

It is the spiral ridges on the inside of the Hario V60 cone that make it special by causing the water to flow exactly right, in a way that allows the coffee grounds to expand optimally with each pour as you go through the brewing process.

Hario V60 brews

Not least thanks to its inventive cone, the Hario V60 results in a flavourful, full-bodied coffee experience every time.

When you brew coffee using a Hario V60, you are guaranteed to extract and optimise the full flavour and characteristics of the coffee beans you are using.

Chemex vs Hario V6 differences

We have looked at both the Hario V60 and the Chemex coffee maker in a level of detail, but there is no better comparison than a head-to-head comparison where we look at precisely how the two coffee makers differ from each other.

Size options

When it comes to size options, the Chemex is the clear winner, simply because it offers more scope.

While the Hario V60 is perfect for brewing one or two cups of coffee at a time, the Chemex lets you brew upwards of ten. If you have a large family or often entertain coffee drinking friends, this difference is worth taking into account.

Grind size

A perhaps surprising but significant difference between the Chemex and the Hario V60 is the grind size for the coffee beans used.

The Chemex coffee maker is intended for use with medium to coarse grind sizes, while also being rather forgiving of finer grind sizes.

The Hario V60, on the other hand, does not offer quite the same leeway. Here, the grind size really matters and has a huge impact on how your cup of coffee turns out. With the Hario V60, a fine grind and a slow pour are necessary if you want a strong and aromatic cup of coffee, while a medium or a coarser ground and a quick pour make for a much weaker cup of coffee.

Filters

The Chemex and the Hario V60 filters are another significant difference worth contemplating.

While both coffee makers use paper filters, but there is a difference in thickness. The Chemex uses thicker filters that don’t permit a single grain of coffee grounds to pass through, which results in a clean and smooth cup of coffee. The Hario V60 filters are a little more standard issue, but still result in a rather clear brew.

Funnel

A final important difference to be aware of between the Chemex and the Hario CV60 is the design of the funnel.

Here, it is the Chemex funnel that is rather more standard, while the Hario CV60 filter has been developed to funnel water into the coffee grounds at an optimal 60 degree angle.

Chemex vs Hario V60 FAQ

Is Chemex better than V60?

There is no simple answer to the question of whether the Chemex or the V60 is the better pour-over.

If you are looking for a large-capacity coffee maker, want a pour-over that looks like a piece of art and want the cleanest coffee possible, then the Chemex is likely the best choice for you.

If, on the other hand, what you are after is a sturdy, one-cup coffee maker that give you complete control over the brewing process, then the Hario V60 is going to be just right.

Is Chemex easier than V60?

Yes, the Chemex coffee maker is slightly easier to use than the Hario V60.

The reason for this is the Hario V60’s 60 degree filter, which both gives you a high degree of control over how your coffee turns out, depending on which coffee grind size you are using in your filter, and how slowly or quickly you pour the water. With the Chemex, the process is slightly more standardized, meaning you have slightly less control over how your brew turns out – but also less of a chance of messing it up.

Is Chemex really better?

The answer as to whether the Chemex or the Hario V60 is the better pour-over coffee maker is highly subjective, as it depends on what you are looking for in a coffee maker.

If by better you mean more aesthetically stunning and with a greater capacity, then the answer might very well be yes. But if you are looking for a smaller and more sturdy coffee brewer, the answer is more likely no, the Hario V60 would be a better choice for you.

What’s better than a Chemex?

If you are looking for a pour-0ver coffee maker that is compact, sturdy and gives you the highest degree of control over the coffee you are brewing, then you cannot go wrong with the Hario V60.

Hario V60 vs Chemex – is there a winner?

All in all, you cannot go wrong with either the Hario V60 or the Chemex pour-over coffee maker. Both are fantastic devices, capable of brewing the best coffee you (or your spouse or your guests) have ever tasted.

While the two coffee brewers share many similarities, there are also a few crucial differences between them, which we have covered in this article.

All in all, if you are looking for a piece of art that is also a coffee maker and guaranteed to yield a clean and aromatic cup of coffee every time, the Chemex is a fantastic choice. If what you are after is a smaller, more sturdy machine that gives you a greater degree of control over the coffee brewing process, then the Hario V60 is the pour-over coffee maker for you.

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