Buying Guides

Chemex Review

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Chemex Review

We have taken the time to review a lot of coffee makers and coffee products to help you determine which is right for you. So, what if you could own a simple coffee maker in both appearances and use that is designed to brew the best cup of coffee ever?

Today we are taking an in-depth look at the Chemex Coffee Maker and breaking down why this simple, organically shaped, and wonderfully crafted machine is said to brew the purest cup of coffee you can imagine.

Take a look at other pour-over coffee maker options in our guide!

Things to Consider Before Buying a Chemex Coffee Maker

The Chemex coffee maker is a classic pour over coffee maker.

In a nutshell, the drip pot method features a pour-over dripper in combination with a carafe. Depending on the drip pot you choose and the fineness of the coffee grounds you prefer, they work just like a typical pour-over coffee maker. Simply heat the water, pour the hot water over your coffee grounds, and you have coffee in a few minutes.

If you want a coffee maker that is quick and hassle-free, then the Chemex may not be your ideal fit. It is fairly easy to use, but as a drip pot/pour-over coffee maker, it requires more patience and finesse. Instead of purchasing a drip pot, you may be more suited for a French press or automatic dripper.

Chemex Overview

The Chemex coffee maker is recognized worldwide as a pour-over coffee maker and is pretty easy to find in most kitchen shops. It doubles as both a lovely kitchen tool and a top-performing coffee maker because it balances performance and aesthetics seamlessly. Because of this, the Chemex is probably the most popular coffee maker across the classes.

The Chemex comes in a large range of sizes and two different styles. You can choose between the all-glass handblown Chemex and the Classic Series Chemex. Between these two options, the Chemex can satisfy almost everyone.

When it is used correctly, the Chemex produces coffee that is smooth and packed with flavor. It does require a bit of practice to master, but the coffee it makes will please even the pickiest of pour-over coffee enthusiasts.

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series - 8-Cup - Exclusive Packaging

Things We Like

  • The design is classic and beautiful
  • It can produce 3 to 10 cup sizes
  • The coffee is clean and rich

Room for Improvement

  • Since it is made of glass, it can shatter and is fragile
  • It does not keep coffee hot for long
  • It can be hard to locate the proprietary filters it requires

Features and Benefits

Though pour-over coffee has only recently gained popularity, the Chemex has been around for longer than 70 years. Throughout that time, it has been regarded as one of the best pour-over coffee makers. This hourglass-shaped glass coffee maker is perfect for those who enjoy manual coffee as it requires a bit of practice and finessing to master the process.

Now that we have gone over a bit about what the Chemex is, let’s break down some of the best features it has to offer.

Aesthetics

The Chemex coffee maker is a way to add some modern art to your house that also serves a useful purpose. The aesthetic appeal of the coffee maker may not seem like something worth considering, but since it is handblown, its beauty is a well-established fact. It is even displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

If you have friends who love coffee, there is not a better gift than the Chemex. It is a piece that anyone would love to display at the forefront of their kitchen.

The Chemex is more than a pretty art piece with a wooden collar and leather tie – it also brews fantastic coffee from your favorite ground coffee. Chemex is able to fulfill most coffee needs with the choice between a three, six, eight, or ten cup brewer. You can choose between two different styles as well to make the product even more appealing to each person.

Ease of Use

The Chemex is simple to use as it requires very little to set up; all you need is the glass carafe, coffee filter, coffee grounds, and water. Unlike coffee machines, the Chemex doesn’t require electricity and the process is generally intuitive.

It might take a few initial practices to perfect the coffee to your liking, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an easy ritual well worth the reward. Some even compare the preparation to traditional tea ceremonies and enjoy the meditative experience as an additional perk.

Click here to read our article about how to use a Chemex. 

Ability to Control the Brew

The Chemex uses proprietary filters with a double-bond, so they are thicker than most filters you have used. Thick filters can impact the drawdown, which is a good way to pull a lot of flavor into your coffee. They also get rid of the polyphenols, which are the element in brewed coffee that gives it a bitter taste. The special filters are a huge contributor to the amazing tasting coffee that Chemex is popular for.

How else can you control the taste of your coffee? You’d probably rather not just have some brown water. With all coffee makers, ratio and grind fineness gives you the most control over the flavor in your cup. The most important way to control the brew is by focusing on grind size (and maybe the grams of coffee you use). The Chemex recommendation is a medium-coarse grind for optimal coffee brewing.

If you prefer darker coffee, the Chemex will bring you into a whole new world. The thick filter removes the majority of the bitterness that many associate with darker roasts. Ideally, you should use a medium-fine ground to extract more flavor into your cup.

Non-porous, Borosilicate Glass

The Chemex carafe is heat-resistant, borosilicate glass. Apart from the aesthetics of it, the glass also contributes to the great-tasting coffee results. The glass allows coffee to brew without imparting additional flavors as some other mediums would. The result is rich, full-bodied coffee without the usual bitter taste.

The benefit of using the Chemex is knowing that the coffee beans you purchase will turn into the best coffee they can be. The Chemex coffeemaker will not compromise the quality of the coffee beans, so you can be confident the extra money you spend on premium beans will get you the premium coffee you expect.

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series - 8-Cup - Exclusive Packaging

Portability

The Chemex is quite portable in the sense that it does not require a lot of accessories to make it work. If you bring your kit with you, you could be brewing coffee with the Chemex anywhere you want as it doesn’t need to be plugged in to operate.

However, it is mostly glass and can be a bit more fragile to travel with if not properly stored and protected.

Must-have Paraphernalia of a Coffee Enthusiast

The Chemex is not a cheap product, but you would not expect a piece of modern art to be cheap, and this is modern art mixed with a coffee maker. For a coffee enthusiast, this piece of art is worth the cost for the quality of delicious coffee and the experience.

Specialty coffee is one of the finer enjoyments in life, and owning a Chemex coffeemaker gives you the control and freedom to enjoy coffee the specific way you prefer. Not to mention, the artistic piece adds a little bit of fanciness to everyday life.

Alternatives

If you do not like using paper coffee filters or are concerned about the environmental impact that single-use filters have, you may want to consider a Hario Woodneck instead. Unlike the Chemex, the Woodneck uses a thick cloth filter that does not generally comprise flavor.

We have mentioned that the Chemex is a pretty expensive pour-over coffee maker. For about a fraction of the cost, you can try the  Hario V60 coffee maker. It also produces high-quality flavors depending on what you like.

The Chemex does require a bit of patience in the process of perfecting. If you are someone who does not want to spend a lot of time learning the ins and outs and would opt for convenience, you may be more interested in trying out a  French press instead.

Conclusion

There is not another pour-over coffee brewer that has existed as long as the Chemex has. There are many reasons for this. The design is timeless and classic and produces some of the finest coffee you will taste.

The Chemex allows you to take the time to perfect your process every step of the way. You can choose from many different models like the handblown Chemex and the Classic Chemex. There are multiple add-ons, accessories, and designs to choose from so you can create your own unique coffee experience.

If you are a coffee-snob or a hardcore brewer, the Chemex is an essential piece of equipment to have in your arsenal for when you need multiple cups of coffee. You cannot call yourself a home barista if you do not own a Chemex.

Happy Caffienating!

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