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.