Chemex vs Hario V60 – Which One Should You Choose?

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As pour-over coffee is receiving more and more attention, Chemex and V60 have become familiar names among coffee lovers. You can discover and taste delicious coffee with these two coffee brewers. 

Their main differences lie in their grind size, taste, filters, etc. Get yourself ready and go further into the comparison battle of Chemex vs V60 with us!

What Is Pour-Over Coffee?

Before we get to know more about Chemex and V60, let’s start with knowing what pour-over coffee is. Pour-over is a simple way to make intricate and tasty coffee. This kind uses a filtration method, which needs a filter and a dripper. 

To brew pour-over versions, you pour hot water onto the grounds. The water then will extract the flavors and compounds. Then, the brew seeps through the filter, and you get a freshly-made cup of Joe.

This method accentuates the flavor of your beverage, allowing caffeinators to taste even the most subtle note of the coffees. That’s why many people are choosing pour-overs over other brewing methods.

What Is A Chemex?

In 1941, intending to brew a perfect cup of Joe, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm invented the ChemexCoffeemaker. The brand has grown to be a symbol of American design throughout the years.

Chemex has a remarkable design, helping it earn its place in Brooklyn Museum, Corning Museum of Glass, etc. A Chemex is made from beautifully clear glass, often used in labware. 

This kind of glass delivers no flavors or chemicals into your beverage, nor does it absorb any odor, giving you the best experience when using the product. 

After undergoing many processes, the glass will reach the consumer’s hands in the shape of an hourglass brewer, adorning a wooden neck and a leather tie in the middle. There are also full-glass designs, giving it a clean and modern look. Very few products can match Chemex’s perfect blending design. 

This product offers us a wide range of choices when it comes to size. With four series: The Ottomatic, The Classic Series, The Glass Handle Series,  and The Handblown Series, this brewer is available in three, five, six, eight, and ten cups versions. You can go and buy one without worrying about size limitations.

Given such effort put into its stunning look and good quality, Chemex consequently comes with a higher price (at least when compared to Hario V60).

Pros:

  • Sturdy construction
  • Elegant look
  • High-quality material
Cons:

  • Higher price
  • Requires paper filters

What Is A Hario V60?

Hario V60 is also a convenient way of making a great cup of Joe. The brand first came out in 1921 October in Hiromu Sibata Works in Kanda Sudacho, Tokyo. 

It has been famous for designing and producing quality heat-proof glass in Japan for over a decade, which explains the name “Hario” – “The king of glass”. The V60 version is one of its most renowned coffee wares. 

This variant has a cone shape, and its sides are angled at 60 degrees, which explains its name. Unlike the one-piece design of Chemex, this brewer doesn’t have the “cup” underneath the dripper for the brew to drip into. Thus, you can either make do with your own cup or use a Hario server.

The ridges on the inner surface of the dripper are another different feature of this product. This feature helps even the flow of water and prevents the filter from sticking to the dripper.

This Japanese brewer also has a large hole at the bottom of the dripper. This means the paper filter can protrude through the hole, and you can adjust the pouring speed to get the best taste to your own liking.

This version comes in different sizes and materials. Available sizes are 1, 2, 4, and 6 cups models. There are four different materials for you to choose from: plastic, ceramic, heat-proof glass, and metal. You can also pick different colors and designs if you want.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Easy to use
  • Convenient features
Cons:

  • Requires paper filter
  • Need certain pouring skill

As we have just introduced above, each product has its own advantages and disadvantages. When seeing these two brewers in the mall, you surely will wonder which one to buy. Chemex vs Hario V60, which one suits you better? Keep scrolling down to know!

Chemex vs V60: Main differences

Grind Size

Grind size intricates the size of the individual grounds. The size will determine how fast the grounds melts into the water, giving the water a brown color and a coffee-like taste. Hence, when brewing, this criteria is very important. Even a slight difference can cause a great change in the taste, so we should choose the most suitable one for each pour-over brewer.

Hario V60 has a thinner filter than the Chemex. So, the brew will soak through the filter a little faster. To make up for this thinness of the filter, we recommend using a finer grind. But you can choose whichever fits your taste buds better.

As for Chemex, it has a thicker filter between the two. Consequently, the water will stay inside the filter with the grounds longer before dripping down into the lower half of the brewer. 

Besides, if you use a fine grind size, the ground will get stuck at the bottom layer of the filter. This can cause over-extraction. It will be better if you choose a coarser grind size for Chemex for these two reasons.

Filters

There are two kinds of filters used for pour-over coffee makers: metal filters and paper filters. As for paper filters, you should buy ones made by the two brands so that they fit the size of your brewer.

The main difference between their filters lies in the thickness of the paper. Chemex filters are thicker than Hario V60’s. Different filters produce different textures, which we will discuss in further detail below. After each use, you can throw away the paper filter or compost it, as it is disposable. 

There is another option for you, which is metal ones. They are made from stainless steel. You don’t have to worry about them getting rusty. 

Simply clean the filter after using it, and it will be ready for the next use. Most of all, using a metal version will save you a good amount of money since you don’t have to buy stacks of new ones, as in the case of paper filters.

Coffee Flavor

Despite the two products’ simple looks, you’ll be surprised at how good the drink tastes. It’s all up to whether you have carried out the steps properly. They are using freshly ground beans to brew, choosing the right water temperature, the right water-to-bean ratio, and mastering the pouring skills. If you have, getting a perfect cup of Joe won’t be much of a problem to you.

Another plus point is that your coffee will be sediment-free when using paper filters. 

If you are having a hard time deciding between these two, you can try going to a coffee store where they serve the drinks using both types. 

Have a sip of each yourself, and you’ll know which one you prefer. In fact, these two brewers produce fairly similar flavors, but for pour-over lovers, there are some small differences between them.

Chemex uses a thick filter to absorb more oil and catch the fine grounds before falling onto our brew. The result will be a lighter brew with a silky texture. Also, a thick filter will do most of the work for you. Even if you are a beginner, it’s still harder to mess up your cup. In addition, the high-quality glass of this American brewer doesn’t transfer any flavor to the brew, maintaining the original taste of the beans to give you the best experience.

Its opponent uses a thinner filter. That’s the main factor that leads to their different tastes. It produces a medium-bodied brew and highlights the distinctive flavor of the beans. 

If you’re a fan of strong coffee, this one will suit your needs. However, with the thinness comes to the risks. Your cup will be more likely to get bitter, weak if you don’t get the brewing time right, as well as other factors.

Ease Of Brew

Unlike other types of coffee machines, where you just need to press the button, then wait for your hot cup of Joe to be made, pour-over makers require you to do almost everything yourself. Thus, to have a cup just as you want, you will need to improve your brewing skills.

Because the flow of water plays a very important role in making this type of coffee, we recommend you use the gooseneck kettle. This kettle allows you to control the water flow better to get the right level of extraction.

To brew coffee with Hario’s product, put the dripper on your cup or the Hario server first. Then, place the filter in the dripper. Add your freshly ground beans and pour hot water over the coffee ground in a circular motion. Next, wait for the coffee to drip into your cup, remove the filter and the dripper, your cup is ready!

As for the other one, the process is pretty much the same, except for several following points. It has the bottom part to contain the brew, so you can skip the first step. Also, as we mentioned above, while the V60 needs a fine grind size, this one requires coarser ground. 

Durability and Maintenance

Obviously, when you spend your money on a certain device, you’ll expect it to remain useful and durable for years to come. Therefore, the last factor you need to consider to make a final decision is durability and maintenance.

When it comes to durability, we prefer Hario V60 to Chemex. The former offers us the plastic model, which we find nearly indestructible. This model also has a lower price when compared to the other ones, making it a great choice for you if your budget is not so large.

On the other hand, its rival is only available in glass. You’ll have to be more careful around this one. You may want to put it in a safe corner of your house, out of children’s reach. 

After finishing your cup of Joe, it’s time to clean the brewer. Cleaning Hario V60 is pretty simple, just a quick rinse under running water, and your brewer will be nice and clean. 

Cleaning the other one is somewhat difficult because of its shape. It’s hard to reach the lower half of this hourglass-shaped brewer unless you have a brush with a long handle. You also need to remove the leather tie and the wooden neck before washing because exposure to water will damage them.

Chemex Vs Hario V60: Which Is Right For You?

Through this Chemex vs V60 article, have you made up your mind on what to choose? We won’t decide for you, because buying or not is a matter of personal preference.

If you have a rather tight budget, then the latter is a nice choice. If you can spend more money on your love of coffee, go for the former, a modern, luxurious brewer that makes delicious cups.

When considering ease of use, making a cup of Joe would be easier with the former if you are a newbie. It is also a great choice for those who enjoy a sweeter, cleaner flavor. However, if you like a cup with more body or have mastered the pouring rate, you might want to have the other in your house. 

Consider every aspect carefully and make your own choice! After all, both of them are well-known pour-over makers, no matter which one you choose. They are absolutely perfect for making an amazing beverage!

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).