V60 vs chemex: A big decision you’ll need to make if you want to brew coffee, especially if you’ll be homebrewing is choosing the perfect coffee maker for your roasts.
If you’ve settled on a manual coffee maker, the V60 and Chemex are two popular devices you’ll come across and they’re compared a lot among coffee aficionados.
Let’s look at each of them in detail.
A Little History Of The V60
The Hario V60 popularly called the V60 dripper was launched by Hario, a chemist in Tokyo. He started with the production of several glass products and after sufficient investment in research, produced the Hario glass.
Hario glasses were heatproof and spurred the production of a glass filter coffee syphon in 1949.
The V60, which is so-called because of its V-shaped structure with its edges each making a 60° arc, went through various stages of development before being launched in 2004.
It’s designed to hold a paper filter with a drip hole at its bottom and spiral ribs on its inner aspect. The ribs prevent the paper filters from sticking to its body while brewing.
The original V60 owes its sturdy ceramic nature to Arita yaki, a Japanese porcelain manufacturer. It also sports a cream white body. Recent versions have been produced with glass, metal, plastic and even copper with pink, yellow and red bodies available.
A Little History Of The Chemex
The Chemex is a manual coffee maker made just like the V60, by a chemist Peter Schlumbohm and released by the Chemex Corporation in 1942.
Its signature hourglass flask with a wooden neck makes it easy to spot at any café. This exquisite design has earned it a place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Special Chemex filters are also included in the pack to help with flavor processing during brewing. While the pour-over drip coffee method is how things work with the V60, Chemex uses an enhanced but similar process called cold filtering when brewing.
V60 vs Chemex: What’s The Difference
There’s a lot that separates these manual devices so let’s look at each in detail.
The simplistic design of the V60 makes it a more portable option for making pour-over coffee.
Its design makes it suitable for placing the filter only, you’ll need a separate jar to collect the coffee that’s brewing which will be attached underneath.
After inserting the filter at the top of the device, things like your pour speed and the angle used while pouring begin to influence the final taste of your coffee.
Hario does produce filters which you can use with the V60 but you can get paper filters you’re comfortable with as the type of filter used doesn’t influence brewing unlike in the Chemex. Brewing with medium or fine grounds produces a better drink.
Hario filters aren’t as thick as Chemex’s so it will allow more acidity into your brew.
There’s a learning curve to it so it will take some time to perfect your brewing technique. There are different sizes of the V60 so you can get the larger sizes if you plan on brewing for a large number of people.
There are a lot of differences with the Chemex. It works only with coarse and medium grounds and its filters are double bonded so it tends to trap more of the flavor and acidity than the V60.
The grounds need to be continuously soaked and just like Hario, the pour-over technique is a very important factor that influences taste.
It’s also not as portable as the V60, brewing time is longer and cleanup is a problem due to difficulty navigating the hourglass device.
The filters go on top and they produce sediment-free coffee. A standard Chemex should fill up to three cups so you’ll get a larger quantity than with the V60.
More fragile materials are employed in making a Chemex so it’s generally more expensive than the V60.
The Hario V60 and Chemex coffee makers are two attractive devices, there are not too different from each other so personal preference will come into play when choosing. You can either go for the portable and affordable V60 or settle for Chemex’s exquisite design and exciting features.
Many coffee aficionados or just anyone who’s been around the industry for some time has heard a thing or two about coffee filters. So we’ve put together this coffee filter guide to help you navigate the entire landscape.
Bleached or unbleached filters, paper or metal filters and arguments over different manufacturers do dominate a lot of coffee blogs.
We’ll look at all the variants with a little introduction about each if this is the first time you’re coming across them.
A History Of Coffee Filters
Coffee filters have been around for a long time now, many organic filtering methods were used in the past but the coffee sock is the most popular one.
Made of cotton and folded into a sock-like filter, the coffee sock was very common until very early in the twentieth century when paper filters were beginning to get increasingly popular.
Melitta Bentz, a coffee lover in East Germany started trying out paper of different sizes and materials to remove as much grounds as she could from her coffee as other methods weren’t working.
She found the perfect solution in her son’s blotting paper which held the most grounds and then applied for a patent.
In July 1908, the Melitta Bentz Company was founded and this contributed to the rising popularity of paper filters at the time because other companies got into the market.
Bleached Vs Unbleached Coffee Filters
Bleached coffee filters are filters that have been whitened. Chlorine or oxygen can be used in bleaching.
The technology is at an advanced stage currently so using a bleached paper will change your coffee’s flavor neither will it hurt you.
Emissions during manufacturing can be harmful to the environment so oxygen-bleached papers are the eco-friendly devices.
Unbleached coffee filters are brown just like the color of their source material, wood, so most of the white paper you see around (not just coffee filters) are bleached papers.
Filter Quality and Thickness
These are two features many people don’t check when buying a coffee filter but they can affect your coffee’s taste.
Even when you’re on a budget, try to buy your filter from the trusted brands so you don’t get something of poor quality.
The papery taste that comes with most of the unbleached filters is a problem that has to do with quality and using a bleached filter solves that.
Thick filters will trap oils and some part of your flavor out of the drink so you should consider this if you need a lot of those to get a good drink but if you’re brewing with a strong grind and you need to step down its flavor, you’ll need that trapping effect and a thick filter will be perfect for that.
Filters that are too thin will trap grinds that are larger than average and let most of your water in.
Bleached coffee filters generally have to go through more processing than the unbleached variants but surprisingly, the unbleached papers are more expensive, maybe this is due to the natural feel they come with.
Oxygen bleached papers are thicker and slightly more expensive than the chlorine ones.
Paper Vs. Metal Coffee Filters
One problem you’ll face if you drink a lot of coffee is having to buy a lot of paper filters since you can’t reuse them.
Metal filters are reusable and are the budget option in the long run but they don’t come without problems.
Metal filters have to be washed after each use and it can be quite a hassle if the grounds get sticky but paper filters just need to be discarded.
Paper filters also remove more cafestol, a substance which raises the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in your body but since no metal filter has to be processed by bleaching, unbleached paper filters, which will remove cafestol and prevent bleaching agents in your drink is the healthy option.
Coffee filter guide: The Best Option?
The answer to that is quite subjective, some coffee brewing machines don’t accept certain filters and issues around cost, safety and environmental friendliness can affect your choice.
There are a few things you shouldn’t take for granted if you’re trying to brew coffee with a good taste and flavor, the type and performance of your coffee grinder are two very important factors that could make or break your brew.
You can actually get ground coffee at your grocery store but at that point, there are a few things about the final taste you no longer control.
Why You Need A Coffee Grinder
The first and probably the most important reason is so you’ll be able to tweak the flavor of your coffee into something you’re comfortable with.
You can’t do this with pre-ground coffee because the bean variety used during production may not have been standard.
Also, coffee beans contain flavor and aroma compounds, if you buy coffee grinds that have been too long on a store shelf, you’re getting grinds that have lost a huge portion of their flavor.
This is different with a coffee grinder as you’ll have fresh grinds anytime you want to brew coffee.
Types Of Coffee Grinders
Coffee grinders can be classified by their mode of operation and the type of cutting employed so you’ll have burr and blade grinders that have two different ways of crushing coffee beans and the manual and automatic grinders with different modes of operation.
Burr Coffee Grinders vs Blade Grinders
Coffee grinders prepare the grinds either with burrs or with blades.
Burrs are groups of triangular objects with sharp pointers that work by crushing the beans to produce uniformly sized grounds.
They can give you uniformly sized fine, medium or coarse grinds. You can control the size of the final grinds by adjusting the distance between the burrs.
This is the grinder of choice for most baristas, so if you want to make coffee that good, that’s what you should get.
There are different types of burr grinders, they could be flat or conical, steel or ceramic and stepped or stepless burr grinders.
Conical burrs provide more surface area for the coffee beans than flat burrs. Steel burrs are cheaper than ceramic burrs but they don’t last as long when grinding.
- Stepped and stepless burrs are two designs used to adjust the distance between the burrs when you need to change the size of the grind. Stepped grinders use levers to adjust the size of your grinds.
These grinders use blades that rotate at a fixed speed in an automatic machine or at random speeds in manual grinders.
Blade grinders produce coffee grinds that aren’t uniform in size and that leads to the production of flavors that are inferior to that produced by the burr grinder.
Most budget grinders are blade grinders though so if you want to try some of the benefits of grinders without investing too much, it’s one you can buy.
Automatic vs Manual Grinders
Automatic coffee grinders are machines, so all you need to do is push a button and your coffee grounds are set. Manual grinders need you to expend a bit of your energy to get the final result.
Making coffee for one or two people is usually not a problem with manual grinders but you’ll need more coffee grounds when you’re dealing with ten or more people and it’s very easy to develop muscle fatigue after all that grinding.
Automatic grinders save time so if you’re in a hurry and you need a quick cup of coffee that’s what you want but if you’re someone who cares about inhaling some of that coffee aroma while grinding, manual grinders are what you need.
Manual grinders are more portable so you can include them in your backpack when going camping.
5 Best Automatic Coffee Grinders
1. Capresso Infinity Grinder
This grinder from Capresso uses a conical burr which can produce up to 450 revolutions per minute of grinding. Grinding starts after you set the timer.
It can produce fine to coarse grounds. The upper conical burr can be removed so you won’t have problems with cleaning and grind time is from 5 to 60 seconds.
The grinder sits on a heavy duty zinc makeup so is very durable. It can hold up to 4 ounces of ground coffee and about 9 ounces of coffee beans.
2. Baratza Encore Grinder
Here’s another conical burr grinder, there’s a switch to start and stop grinding and another button that produces a quick and immediate grind.
There are 40 different grind settings so apart from choosing between coarse or fine grounds, you can also use grind settings for popular brewing devices like the Aeropress and French Press.
It can hold up to 10 ounces of coffee beans.
3. Quiseen Coffee Grinder
This is more of a budget automatic grinder, it has a one-touch operation feature so if you want an automated device without a lot of settings, this should do.
It uses a stainless steel blade so if it’s something you plan on using for a long while, replacement blades are things you should include in your budget.
It holds 2.5 ounces of coffee grounds so you’ll use it a lot if you’re serving lots of coffee.
4. Breville BCG820BSSXL Grinder
It uses an LCD display so you can have a good view of the entire process and 60 grind settings so you can be as flexible as you want while grinding.
Your coffee grounds go directly into a portafilter and it can hold up to 18 ounces of coffee.
5. Baratza Vario Grinder
The Vario grinder is one of the expensive devices out there but it does have some exciting features.
It’s a ceramic flat burr grinder, with a digital control panel that uses an LED display. There’s a 1 to 10 scale denoting settings for fine and coarse grounds.
Grounds are stored in a portaholder and the machine can hold up to 6 ounces of coffee grounds.
There are 230 grind settings on this machine so this is something you’ll need if you run a cafe where you’ll be making lots of coffee.
3 Best Manual Coffee Grinders
1. Hario Coffee Mill
This is a manual coffee grinder using ceramic burrs and you don’t need to preheat your coffee beans before grinding.
The ceramic burrs are adjustable so you can tweak grind size, this grinder can hold up to 100g of coffee grounds.
Its rubber base keeps it fixed while grinding so you shouldn’t be worried about any slips.
2. KONA Coffee Grinder
The KONA grinder is a manual coffee grinder using ceramic conical burrs. It’s lightweight and portable so this is something you can use on a camping trip for two.
Its stabilized burr mechanism will give you more uniform grinds than most manual coffee grinders.
3. Porlex Coffee Grinder
The Porlex grinder is a Japanese manual coffee mill with a stainless steel makeup.
It uses adjustable ceramic conical burrs which can produce anything from fine to coarse grounds.
It can store up to 20g of coffee grounds. It comes with a handle at its center to provide stability during grinding and has a lightweight design.
How To Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder
You can still get coffee grounds without a grinder, look at some of the ways to do this:
You can use a blender to get coffee grounds though the consistency of your grounds will depend on the kind of blade used in the blender.
Test your blender with just a tablespoon of whole coffee using the pulse setting to see the quality of your grinds and to confirm that the glass can handle the coffee beans.
2. Mortar and Pestle
You can use this to grind your coffee beans but you need to grind a little quantity at a time so it doesn’t spill out of the mortar.
This is a noisy alternative to using coffee grinders so it’s not one you can really use outside your home.
You can crush your beans in a plastic bag if you have a hammer you can use. Make sure the bag is made of high-quality plastic so it’s not one that can be destroyed by pressure.
There are many methods of making good coffee out there but the cafetiere and drip coffee makers are two very popular techniques.
The argument over which is the better of the two is one lingering discussion that may not end anytime soon.
A French press is also known as a cafetiere is a coffee brewing device invented in 1929. The phrase cafetiere is more popular in the United States and Canada where it is used than in France where it’s called cafetière, meaning coffee maker.
A narrow cylindrical glass or plastic beaker, a lid and a plunger that fits in the cylinder are common features of the modern cafetiere.
Drip coffee makers need electricity to work and they can maintain temperature so the coffee stays as hot as you want.
Most of them are completely automated so you have very little control over how the coffee turns out.
Cafetiere vs Drip Coffee: What’s The Difference?
There are many features we can use for comparison so let’s look at them:
You don’t need to buy coffee powder for any of these devices as both can handle coffee beans. The quality of grinds instead is very important.
Coarse grinds work with the cafetiere and medium grinds are the case with the drip coffee maker.
Both machines can produce a variety of flavors but one factor that can make or break your coffee flavor is your bean type.
That has nothing to do with the machine you use and it’s something you’d have to handle when shopping. Check for reviews of coffee beans with quality flavors before buying.
Machine filtering is also something that can affect flavor and this is an area where the cafetiere wins as it doesn’t use a filter.
2. Brewing Time
Drip coffee makers are what you want if you need a cup of coffee in good time. The cafetiere has to handle more manual operations than the automated drip device so this isn’t surprising.
There’s also a learning curve with the cafetiere so you’d spend less time making coffee as you get used to it.
Things like heating the water to the right temperature and how to operate the plunger really do matter when you’re just starting out with the cafetiere.
That’s different from the drip maker where everything works at the push of a button.
Clean-up times for both machines are about the same, a simple rinse would do for both with a filter change needed for the drip maker.
The only problem with the cafetiere is removing the leftover grounds as you can’t leave any inside because they’ll produce bitter coffee the next time you use them.
3. Ease Of Use
The cafetiere is portable, if you have a coffee travel kit you can take it with you on vacation or even camping. You can’t do this with the heavier electrical drip machine.
Brewing coffee is easier with a drip maker as everything is automated and you only need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to be fine.
The only thing that’s outside the machine’s control is the grind so if it’s anything apart from a medium grind you’ll get a bad coffee.
The cafetiere allows you vary the grind quality, water temperature and plunge rate so if you want that barista experience, this is the one for you.
4. Capacity and Durability
Both devices can provide up to ten cup servings (4-5 oz per cup) but the drip maker can do this at once so it will be the more appropriate choice when serving a crowd.
Many people would bet on the cafetiere to outlast the average drip machine and here are some reasons for that: the final coffee drink is liquid and this can make the drip wires break down.
Also, many of the drip coffee makers are made with brittle glass so a little push off balance can destroy your coffee maker.
Caftiere’s come with simple and separate parts that can be replaced when faulty so they’re the more durable option.
Over time, cafetieres are a more economical option. They come in a wide price range and have good products at both extremes.
You’d need to get a separate kettle for heating water as that’s not in the coffee set.
Drip machines have a decent $40-$300 price range and you’ll need to get a lot of filters if you’re getting the low-end products.
The expensive drip coffee makers come with more controls and settings so you’ll get less automation with a $40 device.
6. Brewing Method
The cafetiere and the drip coffee maker brew coffee in different ways.
Here’s how it works for the drip machine:
#1. Pour clean water into the reservoir. It doesn’t need to be hot as the drip’s internal heater will handle that.
#2. Add a filter and fill the device with medium ground coffee. This is important ‘cause if it’s too coarse or too fine you won’t enjoy the drink.
#3. Push the start button to initiate brewing and wait 4-8 minutes for it to get done.
Here’s how it works for a cafetiere:
#1. Preheat your device to warm it up a bit and enable it keep your coffee hotter longer than it normally would.
#2. Pour the hot water out and dry your press.
#3. Fill the device with coarse coffee grinds.
#4. Add water at 205°F (96°C) to the coffee.
#5. Leave for 30 seconds and stir. Add a little hot water at this point while stirring.
#6. Place the lid over the beaker and pull the plunger up.
#7. Leave it to brew for 3-5 minutes.
#8. With one hand on the lid, push the plunger down with the other. Watch the grinds at the bottom so the plunger doesn’t squeeze them because this will change the taste.
#9. Pour your coffee out and enjoy, try not to leave anything in the container as it loses taste and heat with time.
That’s it for the cafetiere and drip coffee maker. While one demands your concentration and gives you control over much of the process, the other automates everything and requires little from you.
Differences in personality and lifestyle will mean that neither the cafetiere nor the drip coffee machine will work for everyone at all times and in all places.
It’s up to you to choose the perfect fit and this post will guide you with that.
Your brewing method plays a huge role in determining how tasty the final cup of coffee will be, and your coffee maker influences the brewing method.
This post compares the more common cafetiere to the new Aeropress, both great coffee makers with differences in versatility, brewing time, ease of use and other factors that shape the quality of the coffee.
What’s a cafetiere?
Referred to by names like the press pot or coffee plunger, a cafetiere is a manual coffee brewing device invented by Paolini Ugo and patented in 1929.
The modern cafetiere (or french press) can be identified by its cylindrical beaker, a plunger on top and a tray for coffee grounds underneath.
Material variations of this basic design exist, so you could find the beaker in glass, plastic or stainless steel variants with or without insulation.
The plunger could be long and extended from the top lid or short and fixed to it.
What’s the Aeropress
The Aeropress is a manual coffee maker invented in 2005 by Aerobie president Alan Adler.
Methods of brewing include the traditional and inverted method.
In the traditional method, the coffee grounds are placed in the bottom of the larger cylinder while the smaller one serves as a plunger to force the coffee through the filter.
The inverted method is very common with experienced baristas and coffee makers, here the position of the cylinders are changed and once brewing time is complete, they’re returned to their original positions and plunged normally or horizontally.
The inverted method makes it possible to brew using coarse grounds and not fine grounds like in the traditional method.
Cafetiere vs Aeropress: What’s The Difference?
They’re two separate coffee makers so let’s compare them using these features:
Aeropress allows you choose between a paper or a metal filter so you can influence the strength of your coffee flavor.
It also the better option for making lattes and cappuccinos along with coffee.
You can brew without the filter on an Aeropress but it won’t produce the delicious result on the cafetiere which doesn’t need a filter.
The cafetiere produces good coffee but only if you use coarse grounds. With the Aeropress, you can work with fine grounds using the traditional method and coarse grounds with the inverted brew.
2. Brewing Time
The Aeropress takes less time as compared to the cafetiere, generally, the rule is that the coarser the grind, the more time spent during brewing and the coffee press traditionally works with coarse grinds.
Apart from that, the long minutes spent with a coffee press is also due to the time spent figuring out how to pour the water and how much pressure to apply on the plunger.
Both devices are manual coffee makers so there’s a bit of a learning curve initially and you should expect to spend less time as you develop experience with these machines.
3. Ease of Use
The Aeropress is more convenient for the average coffee maker as it’s faster to brew with it.
Also, clean-up time is shorter with it except you spill coffee on the cylinders and table while plunging (this should reduce with experience).
The Aeropress is more portable than a standard cafetiere except you get the mug type variant.
Both machines enable you tinker with your inner barista as you’ll be able to vary the degree of your grounds, water temperature and plunge rate.
4. Capacity and Durability
While the Aeropress can only manage one cup per brew, the cafetiere will provide up to ten cup servings (4-5 oz per cup) so the latter will be a good fit for five people while the former will get you exhausted.
The hard plastic makeup of the Aeropress makes it more durable than a cafetiere especially when it’s made of glass.
The plastic is BPA-free too so your drink is not likely to be contaminated by chemicals.
Aeropress retails for between $29-$40 depending on how many accessories are included in the bag while you can get a good cafetiere for $30.
The initial investment doesn’t tell the entire story as you’ll need to buy replacement filters if you use an Aeropress.
Also, the Aeropress has a lot of accessories so you’ll need to spend some money on replacements if any gets missing.
The only drawback for your cafetiere is if the glass beaker gets broken as you’ll need to buy the entire set again.
Both coffee makers feature a simple design that makes them easy to use and maintain.
cafetiere range in size from 8 oz to 48 oz so the larger the beaker size the more the amount of coffee it can make while the Aeropress comes in only one 8-ounce size.
A coffee’s body and flavor influence the richness of its taste.
The body is more pronounced in the cafetiere ‘cause an Aeropress’s filter will absorb the oils and other particles that make up the body.
Conversely, the flavor is more pronounced in the Aeropress due to the same principle. The Aeropress traps the oils and foreign matter that can mask the clarity of a coffee’s flavor.
This can be a good thing though if a coffee originally has a bad flavor so the masking effect will prevent it from influencing the taste.
8. Brewing Method
Here’s how it works for the cafetieres:
#1. Put the fresh coffee grounds into the beaker
#2. Add water at 205°F to the coffee, just enough to saturate it.
#3. Leave it to sit for 30 seconds.
#4. Then add more water till it gets to the top of the cylinder
#5. Mix a bit and leave for 3-4 minutes.
#6. Place the lid over the beaker and push the plunger down
#7. Pour out your coffee and enjoy.
Here’s how it works for the Aeropress:
#1. Pour your grinds through the funnel into the bottom tube
#2. Using water at 175°F, fill the cylinder to about the “2” mark and stir for ten seconds.
#3. Add the top cylinder and plunge.
#4. Add more water to the already brewed coffee and you’re done.
With the inverted method, you can use coarse grinds but make sure you invert the device to its original position before plunging.
Cafetiere vs Aeropress:Winner?
Look at the features that appeal to you and go for the coffee maker that wins those areas. Happy brewing!
Anyone who’s been making coffee for some time will agree it takes some practice to get used to making a good cup of coffee and a lot of that is down to the coffee maker you choose.
If you don’t want to be too involved in the entire process from machine to cup, an automated machine will work for you but if you want control on the final taste, manual brewing is your best bet.
What’s the Chemex?
Dr. Peter Schlumbohm invented the Chemex coffeemaker in 1941.
He applied his knowledge of chemistry in the design of a machine that could perfectly extract flavors from a coffee bean.
The tool has an hourglass-shaped glass flask with specially designed Chemex paper filters that are thicker than the ones on a drip coffeemaker.
The double bonded filters help produce coffee with a better flavor and remove cafestol, a cholesterol-raising agent from coffee beans.
There are also wooden collars around its neck that make carrying easier when the device is filled with hot coffee.
What’s the Aeropress?
Aeropress is a coffee brewing tool invented in 2005 by Alan Adler. It’s the only brewing device in the world with its own world championship.
A standard Aeropress consists of a paper filter dispenser, filter holding screen, stirring paddle, scoop, funnel, two tubes- a top tube used to measure water and a bottom tube which receives the top tube.
The top tube has a flexible airtight seal which contributes to creating a perfect brew.
Chemex vs Aeropress: What’s The Difference?
There are many features we can use for comparison so let’s check them out:
1. Chemex vs Aeropress: Versatility
A versatile coffee brewer is one that can produce a wide range of flavors and produce lattes and cappuccinos along with coffee.
A manual coffeemaker which you can’t use to tweak flavors is not too different from an automated machine because it strips you of control.
Aeropress is the more versatile option, it allows you try the different variants apart from regular coffee. It also lets you make strong espresso coffee if you remove the filter.
You can’t get the same result with the Chemex even if you take off the filter.
2. Chemex vs Aeropress: Brewing Time
It’s faster to make coffee on an Aeropress with an average brewing time of three minutes as compared to the seven-minute duration recorded on the Chemex maker.
Brewing time on a Chemex also varies with the type of coffee grinds so while some can take as little as two minutes, you’ll need about eight minutes with others.
It also brews with the drip process so you can’t control the speed of water that moves through the grinds.
With Aeropress, you can have a 30 second brewing time because you actually force the water through the grinds and you can decide how fast that happens.
3. Chemex vs Aeropress: Ease Of Use
Both devices make it very easy to make coffee but the shorter wait time on the Aeropress makes it a bit easier to use.
The Aeropress comes with its components unassembled but you only have to go through that setup once and you won’t have any problems after that.
The Chemex brewing process is a bit tedious as you’ll have to pour the water in a certain manner but everything’s not always perfect on an Aeropress.
You should be a bit careful while pushing on the top tube so you don’t spill coffee and hot water.
Also, clean-up time is shorter on the Aeropress as all you need to do is throw the unused coffee grinds away and rinse the device.
4. Chemex vs Aeropress: Capacity and Durability
The Aeropress only makes one cup at a time but the Chemex maker houses a six-cup chamber.
If you’re making coffee for a large number of people, using an Aeropress will get you exhausted quickly so it’s not something you should try.
The makeup of both coffeemakers points to the Aeropress being the more durable option as its heavy plastic core can resist a good amount of stress.
Chemex’s glass core is brittle and renders the entire set redundant if it breaks.
5. Chemex vs Aeropress: Cost
Chemex is more expensive than Aeropress, both on first purchase and in the long run.
That’s because the thicker filters on the Chemex are more expensive to get and you can’t get clean flavors without them but if you need a device that produces a high volume of coffee, the initial investment can be worth it.
6. Chemex vs Aeropress: Design
The hourglass-shaped Chemex machine has a more stylish design so if you’re participating in a brewing competition or just has an eye for aesthetics, it’s one you’ll admire.
7. Chemex vs Aeropress: Brewing Method
Both devices brew in different ways. Here’s how it works for the Aeropress:
#1. Heat your water to about 175°F. You can heat it to boiling point first then allow it cool to this temperature.
#2. With your Aeropress scoops, measure two servings of coffee beans and grind till fine. Coarse and moderate grinds won’t produce tasty coffee.
#3. Wet the filter and pour in the coffee grinds through the funnel.
#4. Then add water to the top tube and insert the plunger so you can push to force water through the coffee grinds.
#5. Taste the coffee and if it’s too concentrated you can add more water to dilute.
Here’s how it works for the Chemex:
#1. Heat your water to 205°F by heating to boiling point and allow to cool for 30 seconds.
#2. Unfold the Chemex filter then insert in the top of the brewer then pour hot water for about 5 seconds.
#3. Using coarse grinds, pour into your filter and shake the device till they’re settled.
#4. Then pour water into the grounds to wet them and let it sit for about 45 seconds. This is called creating the bloom, so water reaches the coffee grinds and releases carbon dioxide from the coffee.
#5. After the 45 second wait period, continue pouring hot water through the filter and do this for two minutes.
#6. Allow all the water to drain through the filter, remove the filter and discard unused coffee grinds.
Chemex vs Aeropress: Winner?
Seven features on both the Chemex and the Aeropress have been reviewed in this post. The former wins on some and the latter wins on the others.
Check the features that appeal the most to you and that will help you choose the perfect fit.
Manual coffee-brewing methods are all the rage today and the Chemex and cafetiere devices are partly responsible for that.
You’ll get a coffee that’s more flavorful and one which guarantees you more control when you get a manual machine. They’re quite portable as compared to the automated ones and allow you room for creativity.
Before we get into specifics, let’s look at each of them.
What’s the Chemex?
The Chemex works through a process called cold filtering where a solution of coffee grounds and hot water is poured into a filter and gravity is used to separate the liquid coffee from its residue.
The machine was invented by a German chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm in 1941.
The Chemex is also a work of art, its hourglass design has earned it a place in the Museum of Modern Art.
The device uses filters but they’re specially designed filters which are thicker than the ones on a regular coffee maker.
These filters prevent the coffee bean oils from influencing its flavor and they trap cafestol, an agent which raises the cholesterol levels in the body.
What’s the Cafetiere?
The traditional cafetiere is a cylindrical pot with a vertical plunger at the top though we’ve had modifications to this design in recent times with the pot coming in glass, plastic or stainless steel variants.
Also referred to as cafetière, press pot or coffee press, it was invented in 1929 and was patented by Attilio Calimani in the same year.
The cafetiere works mainly with coarsely ground coffee and is very popular among coffee lovers due to its simplicity and ease of use.
Chemex vs Cafetiere? What’s The Difference?
Both coffee makers share some similarities in features but their differences set them apart. Let’s look at each in detail:
The cafetiere produces good coffee but only with coarse grounds, quite different from the Chemex that works with coarse or medium grounds.
The double bonded filters on a Chemex work to produce a consistent flavor by trapping foreign matter but the coffee body and oil do influence flavor in a cafetiere.
Also, a coffee press can be used to brew loose tea or make cold brew coffee but these drinks are not as good when made with a Chemex.
2. Brewing Time
It takes seven minutes to brew coffee on a Chemex device but this time is only four minutes on a cafetiere and there are a few reasons for this.
First up, the drip process is the technique used on a Chemex and one of its disadvantages is that you can’t control the speed at which water moves through the coffee grounds.
The plunger on the Coffee Press enables you vary speed so that halves the time spent.
You’ll also have to keep the grounds continuously saturated on a Chemex but no continual pouring is needed when brewing with a cafetiere.
3. Ease Of Use
Both devices make it fun to manually brew coffee but the shorter time spent on the cafetiere makes it easier to use.
Perfection isn’t repeatedly attained with a Chemex machine ‘cause once you’ve identified a good technique to pour out the water, you’ll need to maintain it until you’re done brewing.
You can tweak the grind quality and water temperature with a cafetiere without the need for mechanical accuracy and its design makes it more portable than the Chemex.
Cleanup time is shorter on a cafetiere because it’s easier to clean inside and get rid of unused grounds.
You’ll only have problems with cleaning the plunger and this gives the Chemex a bit of an edge as it has no plunger.
4. Capacity and Durability
A cafetiere will provide eight to ten cup servings of coffee while a Chemex maker will do only six (4-5 oz per cup), this is largely due to their cylindrical and hourglass designs.
Both devices can come in glass variants so if you’re using these, you should be very careful while brewing so you don’t break the pot.
Durability depends largely on the manufacturer as some of them use extra thick glasses and BPA-free lids in their devices.
Chemex and cafetiere generally start off at the same cost but the Chemex becomes more expensive as things like a gooseneck kettle and a scale improve the quality of brewing.
Filters are not needed on a Coffee Press so the double bonded Chemex filters (which are more expensive than ordinary filters) are an ongoing cost.
Two factors affect the taste of the average cup of coffee, its body and flavor.
These factors can be contaminated by soil debris and other foreign matter but the brewing device used can extract the body and flavor from their mixtures.
The Chemex’s filter traps the oils in the coffee’s body and flavor so it provides you a cleaner cup of coffee.
Sometimes these oils do improve the taste of coffee, especially when you’re dealing with bitter coffee beans so you should ask before buying, the extent of flavor extraction it requires.
7. Brewing Method
What steps take you from coffee grounds to a cup of coffee? That’s the brewing method.
Here’s how it works for the Chemex:
#1. Heat water to 250°F. You can use a temperature scale to monitor this or simply heat to boiling point and allow to cool for 30 seconds.
#2. Unfold the Chemex filter and insert into the brewing pot then add the hot water continuously for five seconds.
#3. Pour your coffee grounds into the filter and shake a bit until they’re leveled.
#4. Add more water to saturate the coffee grounds and let this mixture sit for about 45 seconds. This is called blooming so the coffee will release its aroma while brewing is going on.
#5. Then pour the remaining water available for the coffee through the filter and allow it to drain through the filter.
#6. Draining should continue for about 3 minutes after which you can discard unused coffee grounds.
Here’s how it works for the cafetiere:
#1. Preheat your press by pouring hot water into it so it would be able to hold hot coffee for a long period but this won’t be necessary if an insulated glass is used.
#2. Pour out the hot water and leave 10 seconds to dry.
#3. Fill the device with coarse coffee grounds.
#4. Heat water to 205°F and add to the coffee.
#5. Allow to mix for 30 seconds and stir after that till your coffee is ready.
#6. Place the lid over the pot and push the plunger till your coffee is out.
Chemex vs cafetiere: Winner?
So what will it be? Chemex vs cafetiere?
There’s no one size fits all manual coffee maker so check for the features that appeal to you and make your choice.