V60 Coffee Vs. Chemex: Which Should You Choose?

In this post, I will share an in-depth comparison between V60 Coffee and Chemex. I will help you understand their pros and cons. Therefore, by the end of it, you will be able to make an informed decision on which way to go.

Read on to get this and more information. First, let’s understand the meaning of these terms.

What is a Chemex?

A Chemex is a heat-resistant hourglass-shaped vessel. The pour-over device has a small ridge for spouting and comes with a heatproof wooden collar on its waist. There is also a leather band on the Chemex, which makes it easy to handle.

In 1941, Dr. Peter Schlumbohn invented the first Chemex vessel in a chemistry lab. The scientist also came up with thick filters for extra clear coffee.

Since then, the brewer has been receiving many awards because of its elegant design and style. You can also find it on display in a museum of modern art.

What is V60 Coffee?

The V60 is a pour-over from a Japanese glass company by the name Hario.  The term Hario means king of glass. The pour-over is named V60 because of its perfect 60-degrees cone angle.

Hario V60 comes in a wide range of materials such as glass, copper, stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic. The coffee brewer has a unique wavy design that gives water direction for the perfect extraction.

The compact design of a V60 makes the brewer more portable as compared to all-glass Chemex. It is therefore ideal for coffee aficionado travelers.

What is a Pour-over Coffee Process?

In simple terms, a pour-over coffee involves hand-pouring hot water over the coffee grounds. The process is similar to that of a drip coffee maker. However, in pour-over, you control the water flow as compared to using the drip coffee machine. The method also gives you control over the final coffee product.

How Do You Make Coffee Using V60 and Chemex Pour-overs?

Whether you are using Chemex or V60, the pour-over process is similar. First, you need to heat your water using a kettle before pouring it into the brewer. I recommend you use the gooseneck kettle as compared to the regular kettle.

With the gooseneck kettle, you gain control over the water flow. It also allows you to slowly pour the water, thus, maximizing the coffee flavor.

Now, make sure you add a little water to the coffee grounds at the beginning. It makes them expand and release any hidden carbon dioxide. After a few minutes, slowly pour the remaining hot water over the coffee grounds. The process creates a clear, clean, and crispy cup of coffee.

What Is The Difference Between V60 Coffee And Chemex?

Well, there’re quite a number of things that differentiate the two coffee makers. Look at these main differences:

Grind Size

One of the things that make the two different is the coffee beans’ grind sizes. Chemex’s pour-over design is for a medium-coarse coffee grind. Still, I can pardon you if your coffee grind is a bit coarser or smoother.

On the contrary, the coffee grind you use in a V60 brewer dictates the final coffee product. If the coffee grind is fine, and you pour the hot water slowly, you will definitely make strong coffee.

However, if you decide to use a medium grind and pour the water faster, your cup of coffee will be weak.

Ease of Use

You might be asking yourself; which of the coffee brewers is easier to use? To me, both V60 and Chemex are pretty easy to handle. You can make your favorite cup of coffee using any of the two without any struggle.

Nevertheless, if you need to perfect your coffee brewing technique, I recommend the Hario V60. It is slightly trickier.

The bottom line is that both the Chemex and V60 are pour-overs. So, you need to invest in a gooseneck kettle for you to achieve excellent results.

The narrow-spouted kettle gives you control over the water flow. Therefore, you can ensure maximum and even extraction of your brew from the coffee grounds.

Funnel Design For V60 Coffee and Chemex

what differentiates the Hario V60 from the Chemex are the ridges inside of the brewer’s cone. You cannot find them in a Chemex. The ribs help separate the wet filter and the cone walls. They also allow the coffee brew to exit via the filter sides, thus, neatly flowing down to the funnel bottom.

The Chemex, on the other hand, doesn’t provide that kind of route for your brew. Instead, your coffee flows through the narrow space in between the funnel and the filter. Therefore, most of the coffee exits via the funnel bottom.

In both V60 and Chemex, the exit holes are large than those for other pour-overs. That’s the reason you need to be very keen on the grind size and pouring speed when brewing.

Filters for both V60 Coffee and Chemex

The filter you use when making your brew is as vital as the grind and technique. Both the Chemex and V60 use paper filters. Nonetheless, Chemex makes use of a thicker filter as compared to the V60. The filter inhibits the passage of any sediment producing clear coffee.

The V60 filters also make a clear brew. The good thing is that you can easily find them in your day-to-day shopping.

Coffee Quality For V60 and Chemex

Now, when it comes to the strength and the device that produces delicious coffee, I can say it is a matter of preference. It all depends on what you want, and that dictates the brewing device you choose to use.

As I said, the filter papers for the Chemex are thicker, which makes the coffee lighter, while the one from the V60 has more body. But both coffee brewers make delicious coffees.

Another consideration is whether you are making one coffee cup at a time or several cups for a large group. The V60 will allow you to brew only a single cup at a go, while the Chemex can enable you to make up to thirteen cups at a time.

Variety of Sizes and Style

The design of a Hario V60 allows you to make one or two coffee cups at a time. Therefore, the brewer is not ideal if you need coffee for a large crowd. It comes in various materials, which includes:

  • Ceramic
  • Plastic
  • Stainless steel
  • Heat-proof glass
  • Copper

A majority of these materials come in a standard size. However, you can buy ceramic, metal, and plastic devices in portions that can make up to four coffee cups at a time. The most affordable V60 models are the plastic ones. They are for coffee brewing beginners.

On the contrary, Chemex has a variety of sizes that range from three to thirteen cups. They also have three brewer lines:

  • The classic – It is a natural wooden collar with a leather band and comes in a wide range of colors.
  • Glass handle – The collar has a glass handle instead.
  • Hand-blown – It resembles the classic but skilled artisans put on it small batches.

Price

At this point, it is all about your budget. How much money do you have and wish to spend on a coffee brewer device? If you are working on a tight budget, you will have to source a cheaper brewer.

The Hario V60 comes in various models. Some are cheap, while others are expensive. If you need a low-price device for a start, you may have to buy the plastic ones.

The Chemex is a bit expensive but not as much as the high-end espresso machines. Though, it won’t hurt investing in an elegant and classic designed coffee brewing device.

Cleaning

Now, when it comes to cleaning the coffee makers, the credit goes to Hario V60. That’s because the device is easy to clean due to its material and shape. The many V60 models available are dishwasher safe. Therefore, you can easily access all the device’s parts for thorough cleaning.

On the contrary, the Chemex comes in such a tricky hourglass form. Accessing the lower segment of the carafe can be quite a challenge. Besides, you can easily damage the wooden handle with water. The Chemex comes out as a top-rack dishwater-safe, though you can increase its lifespan by handwashing.

Durability

In terms of durability, I would recommend the Hario V60. Its plastic design seems unbreakable. It is also safe to carry while traveling because you won’t encounter breakages.

Its Chemex counterpart is durable too. The glass design keeps its fresh look for a while. However, my concern is with the wooden collar, specifically the leather string. It gets damaged with water easily.

That is why I advise if you need your Chemex to look new for years, go for the one with a complete glass design.

V60 Coffee and Chemex: Which Should You Choose?

Both V60 and Chemex are pour-over devices for brewing coffee. Besides, both devices are of high quality and require special filters. Therefore, I would say the choice between one and the other is a matter of preference. That’s because whichever you use, you still get a tasty cup of coffee.

With that said, I can’t fail to acknowledge that the minor differences in flavors matter to most coffee lovers. Therefore, I advise the following:

Purchase the Hario V60 if:

  • Most of the time, you will be making a single cup of coffee at a go.
  • You don’t want a device that can easily break. For this reason, you will have to avoid the glass and ceramic models.
  • You want a brewer you can carry when traveling with a lot of ease.
  • You seek to be fully in control of the customized cup of coffee.
  • You prefer a brewer you can thoroughly clean without any hindrance.

Look for the Chemex if:

  • You need clear and bright coffee from the thicker filters.
  • Your aim is to brew a number of coffee cups at a time.
  • You are in love with the elegant design and won’t mind leaving it on your counter as a piece of art.
  • You would love to be pardoned with your kind of grind or pour.
  • You cannot go for any plastic brewer.

Parting Shot

I conclude by saying, whether you decide to use the Hario V60 or Chemex, enjoy your flavorful, tasty, and healthy coffee. Nothing can stop you now.