Buying Guides

Moccamaster vs. Chemex

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Coffee purists like to carry on about the values of pour-over coffee, the smooth, clean coffee that only comes with the tedious process of heating your water and then filling the carafe with boiling water, little by little.

But come on, who wants to waste that time? And especially when two coffee maker

companies have perfected the pour-over taste that the coffee community loves in an automatic drip machine. 

I’m talking about the Chemex Ottomatic 2.0 and the Technivorm Moccamaster. Let’s take a closer at both and find out which is better!

moccamaster vs chemex

Call Me Chemex

Many think of Chemex as nothing more than “fancy” drip/pour-over coffee makers, but Chemex designs visually stunning, elegant drip coffee makers that provide delicious coffee. 

Brief History

Chemex first began in 1941, when Dr. Peter Schlumbohm invented the Chemex Coffeemaker, and it is still family-owned. Every Chemex coffee maker is still inspected, polished, and hand-tied before heading to your home.

The double-bonded paper filters were invented simultaneously and continue to be hand-cut. Every coffee maker is made from one piece of borosilicate glass and adorned with a wooden collar and colorful rawhide tie. 

Why Choose Chemex?

This “fancy” drip/pour-over coffee maker is about design and function, and it will elevate your brew methods and your coffee drinking.

Every coffee snob and coffee expert loves the look and differences in flavor from a cup of coffee brewed by Chemex. 

In 1943, the Museum of Modern Art displayed the iconic glass carafe as one of the best-designed products. The Illinois Institute of Technology selected it as one of the best-designed products of modern times.

And it is part of permanent collections at the Brooklyn Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, and MOMA, NY.

And with the introduction of the Chemex Ottomatic, which rapidly boils fresh water to the correct water temperature, this “fancy” drip/pour-over coffee maker now meets the default SCAA Gold Standard for delicious coffee.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and Europe (SCAE) look at several criteria to meet the Golden Cup Standard of brewing.

Those criteria are also known as the Four T’s of the perfect brewing method. They include coffee to water brew ratio, brew temp, turbulence, and total dissolved solids. 

Did you know? Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and the fictional James Bond all had their favorite cup of coffee brewing in a Chemex.

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Meet the Moccamaster

The Technivorm Moccamaster is the number one choice for people who love excellent coffee. They produce a variety of coffee machines for every coffee drinker.

Brief History

The Dutch-based Technivorm Moccamaster has manufactured their handmade drip coffee brewer since 1968. Though this is an expensive drip coffee maker,

Technivorm Moccamaster ensures exacting standards and has earned the right to call themselves a master in brewing.

And Technivorm Moccamaster believes so strongly in their exact standards that they back every classic coffee maker with an industry-leading 5-year product warranty and lifetime repairs. 

Why Choose Moccamaster?

Technivorm Moccamaster tops nearly everyone’s list for quality and flavor in every cup of coffee. It will transform your morning routine.

The SCAA awarded the Golden Cup Standard to Moccamaster for twelve separate models. This certification only comes after rigorous quality control and laboratory testing.

However, they all meet the exacting standards of coffee temperatures, water distribution, brew cycle time, and total dissolved solids. That means no matter which you choose, you’re purchasing a quality coffee machine.

And Technivorm Moccamaster comes in various shapes and sizes to suit every coffee connoisseur.

They make the CDT Grand, which comes with a 15-cup thermal carafe that will keep the whole office happy, or the Cup-One Brewer, which makes a single cup of coffee at a time.

One of my favorites, the Technivorm Moccamaster KBTS, includes an 8-cup thermal carafe and slides seamlessly under your kitchen cabinets.

You really can’t choose a bad Moccamaster. You’ll be happy with the amazing coffee that all of them make.

The Showdown

Let’s take a closer look at a head-to-head comparison between the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT and the Chemex Ottomatic. These two expensive drip coffee makers promise easy-to-use functions, excellent coffee taste, and a design any coffee lover will appreciate.

Technivorm Moccamaster KBT and the Chemex Ottomatic comparison

Technivorm Moccamaster KBT Coffee Brewer

The KBT coffee brewer is the coffee companion you’ve been seeking. It features a manual drip-stop brew basket that allows you to control the flow of coffee. 

This is truly a hands-on brewing experience, where you can open the brew basket and stir up the coffee grounds, ensuring an even water distribution. Or let the coffee grounds steep longer for a more robust flavor.

Technivorm Moccamaster KBT brew basket

In addition to the manual drip-stop, the KBT includes a 10-cup thermal carafe. This stainless steel carafe will keep your coffee fresh for an hour. If you switch to the travel lid, you’ll keep your coffee hot all day long.

This machine comes in polished silver, black, and stone grey. There are also several features that I love.

9-hole Water Outlet Arm

The showerhead outlet arm ensures an even water distribution over the bed of coffee grounds, contributing to differences in flavor compared to chain coffee stores or a cheap coffee maker.

9-hole Water Outlet Arm

The gentle pulsing imitates a “fancy” drip/pour-over coffee maker, and it is the biggest advantage, especially for a cup of black coffee. It will soon become your flavor preference.

Copper Heating Element

Every Moccamaster includes a copper heating element that rapidly heats water to the ideal temperature for fantastic coffee. The perfect temp for hot water is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Copper Heating Element

But let’s not forget that brew time is as essential as hot coffee. According to the National Coffee Association, 4-6 minutes for coffee to contact heated water during the brew cycle is all that’s needed.

These precise brew parameter controls deliver a perfect cup of coffee every time.

5-year warranty

Who doesn’t love the idea of a 5-year warranty with lifetime repairs? If you brew as much as I think you do, then you’ll love that every Technivorm Moccamaster comes standard with this warranty.

This means your expensive coffee machine will last for years. In addition, it lets you know that Technivorm Moccamaster is a company that stands behind its product.

Downsides

The biggest downside for a “fancy” drip/pour-over coffee maker like the Moccamaster is that it doesn’t do anything but brew black coffee.

This is not an espresso machine, it will not make cold brew, and without the manual drip stop, it can’t make anything but a whole pot of coffee. 

switch buttons

It also doesn’t let you program any brew size and has no temperature control features. And it doesn’t wake you up with a fresh pot of coffee in the morning. In addition, the plastic does have a cheap feel and must be hand-washed.

Finally, all plastic parts contain zero toxic chemicals.

Things We Love

  • 5-year warranty
  • Thermal Carafe model

Things We Don’t Love

  • Cheap feeling plastic
  • No programmable features
  • No brew sizes

Chemex Ottomatic 2.0 Coffee Maker

The Chemex Ottomatic 2.0 is unlike any conventional drip coffee maker. Originally designed as a manual pour-over coffeemaker, Chemex recently upgraded its automatic drip coffee maker to simplify your morning routine.

Trust me. Your coffee friends will flip when they see the clean lines of this elegant automatic drip coffee machine sitting on your counter.

This coffee brewer is compact and petite, standing at just 11.5 inches. That means it’s a perfect fit on any countertop or small living space.

The Ottomatic includes the Six Cup Classic Series Coffeemaker that holds up to 30 ounces of fresh water. The Six Cup Classic is made of non-porous Borosilicate glass, with a conical funnel-like neck.

The Ottomatic can also fit the 3-, 6-, and 8-cup glass series or the 3- and 5-cup handblown series of coffeemakers. So you’re not limited to only six cups.

The Ottomatic also includes a water reservoir that holds 30 ounces, a glass cover, cleaner, and a small pack of Chemex bonded filters. The heating plate shuts off automatically after 90 minutes.

There are a few incredible features we think are worth noting.

Sprayhead Technology

The “Greedy Cup” spray head technology that comes standard in the Ottomatic 2.0 allows for a pulsing water bath over the ground coffee beans.

It also maintains the ideal temperature of 195-205 degrees to keep your coffee hot and flavorful.

With the staged brewing cycle, this machine adjusts the rate of water and allows you to brew a single cup, half carafe, or full carafe without any difference in taste.

Iced Coffee Feature

With the upgrade to the Ottomatic comes the Iced coffee feature. So if you love cold brew, you’ll enjoy the mellow coffee that Chemex brews. 

With a simple switch, you can turn off the continuous heating plate. Add ice to the carafe, and you’ll have a pot of cold coffee in no time.

Downsides

Chemex only offers a 1-year limited warranty on their products, which doesn’t give you much peace of mind. Especially when juggling a solid glass carafe!

They also require a lot of complicated brewing procedures that aren’t very clear in the manual that comes with it.

You’ll need to know how to fold the filters, how to use the filter clip, and which paper filters are best so that you’re not left with a discernible paper taste. It may be more than you’re looking for in an expensive coffee machine.

Also, like the Moccamaster, there is nothing programmable about the Chemex. It will make delicious coffee, black and hot, and that’s about it.

Things We Love

  • Iced Coffee Function
  • “Greedy Cup” spray head technology

Things We Don’t Like

  • 1-year warranty
  • Complicated brewing

Wrap Up

If you’re ready to ditch your previous coffee maker and you’re looking for the pour-over flavor that coffee aficionados rave about, consider a Chemex Ottomatic or Technivorm Moccamaster.

These two brands have taken the coffee scene by storm, and you will not regret making that switch.

However, their price tags can be high, especially for a simple coffee machine. Be sure to check out our reviews of all the Best Drip Coffee Makers and find the one that suits your personal tastes and budget.

But if you want my opinion, after considering both exceptional machines, I lean towards the Technivorm Moccamaster.

Not only does it brew excellent coffee, but it’s easy-to-use and includes that 5-year warranty. But no matter which you pick, you’ll love the coffee.

Happy Caffeinating! 

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