To help you decide on the best Chemex coffee maker for you, we take a look at the different choices available. Read on to find out more.
If you want the ideal coffee taste, but don’t want the hassle of figuring out the complexities of the perfect drip coffee, then the Ottomatic 2.0 is the best Chemex coffee maker for you.
However, our favorite is still the individual handblown Chemex. Each one has its own unique quirks, but they all look gorgeous and make great coffee.
It is a little expensive, though, and there are Chemexes to suit virtually all budgets. For instance, the Funnex and Chemex Classic are both excellent introductions to this brand of coffee maker.
The Coffee Maker In A Museum
Invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm, Chemex has been around for generations. This pour-over coffee maker is well-known for its iconic design, earning it a place in more than one art museum.
The enduring popularity of Chemex is due to more than its timeless, elegant looks; it also makes excellent coffee. It is known for creating one of the purest brews and is considered the coffee lovers’ coffee maker.
If you’re considering joining the club and investing in a Chemex, informing yourself of your options may be helpful. While the Chemex Classic is most people’s go-to choice, all you have to do is look at Chemex’s Amazon store to realize that there are multiple choices.
Why Is Chemex So Expensive?
The main reason Chemex coffee makers cost more than other brands is that they are made out of different materials. Chemex uses borosilicate labware-grade glass to manufacture its coffeemakers. This is the same glass used as lab equipment, as it is free from impurities and is non-porous.
Using a lower-quality glass would result in the material trapping fine particles every time you make coffee or clean your coffeemaker, meaning chemicals and old coffee end up in your fresh java.
There is also a lot of care that goes into making and inspecting these coffee makers, which results in higher manufacturing costs. Quality specialists take the time to inspect every Chemex. They look for flaws in the glass and other potential issues.
This additional step results in a longer production process, but it ensures that every product meets the outstanding quality standards of the brand. These coffee experts also polish the coffee makers and add the rawhide tie that is characteristic of the Chemex Classic series by hand.
What Makes Chemex So Special?
You can recognize the classic Chemex from a mile away, with its hourglass shape, polished wood collar, and leather tie. It is a design that has stood the test of time and continues to be a stylish addition to any home.
The use of borosilicate glass is one thing that makes Chemex special. No matter how old your coffee maker is, your drink will never contain any off-flavors or odors.
Another thing to look out for is the proprietary filters used in Chemex coffee makers. These filters are based on laboratory paper and are thicker than regular paper filters, meaning they are more effective at removing oils, acidity, and sediment.
These unique filters are responsible for the wonderfully clear cups of coffee you get from a Chemex coffee maker. In other words, when you choose Chemex, excess coffee grounds will rarely end up in your cup. When it comes to brewing coffee, a Chemex is considered the cleanest brew you can get.
If you love pour-over coffee, you might find our guide on the best coffee grinders for pour-over coffee helpful.
How To Pick The Best Chemex For You
Chemex coffee makers come in different styles, shapes, and sizes. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding which Chemex is for you.
Before examining how many cups a specific Chemex brewer makes, note that one cup in Chemex language equals five ounces. If you’re in the habit of drinking large mugs of coffee, you may easily drink 10 ounces or more at a time.
Knowing how much coffee you and your family typically drink will help you decide which size Chemex to go for.
Different types of Chemex coffee makers come in different sizes. For instance, the handblown Chemex is the only coffee maker available in a 13-cup size, while the Funnex can provide a maximum of 15 ounces of coffee. However, the most popular sizes of this coffee maker are the 6-cup and the 8-cup versions.
Different Chemex coffee makers also offer varying degrees of versatility. While the Funnex, for instance, is a portable coffee maker that you can take with you on camping trips or to the office, the other coffee makers aren’t designed to leave your home.
On the other hand, while Funnex only provides five to 15 ounces of coffee, the other coffee makers are available in multiple sizes.
The 3-cup Chemex coffee makers are the least versatile of all Chemex, as this model comes with a smaller and steeper drip cone than other Chemex models. Thus, it takes a different half-moon filter, whereas all the other coffee makers use the same size Chemex filters. Therefore, if you have the 3-cup and another size Chemex, you must purchase two different types of filters.
Ease Of Use
Because of its design, which features a large opening at the bottom of the drip cone, as opposed to a series of small holes in the base of the dripper (as found in many other types of pour-overs), the Chemex requires patience and skill.
To brew a good cup of coffee with a Chemex, you must be more careful with variables such as water flow and grind size. This is especially true if you opt for the more complex Chemaer, a model aimed at coffee aficionados.
If you lack the patience and the interest in playing around with brewing variables, you are better off investing in the Ottomatic 2.0, which does much of the work for you. If even that seems too challenging, you may be better off with your traditional espresso machine or French press.
The Chemex coffee maker is more expensive than most other pour-over coffee makers. However, the different models vary significantly in price.
The Funnex and the Glass Handle series are your cheapest options, while the Handblown, Chemair, and Ottomatic 2.0 are far more expensive. Which option you choose will depend on your budget, but they are all built to last with quality materials that don’t quickly deteriorate.
7 of The Best Chemex Products
To help you gauge which type of Chemex coffee maker would be the best for your needs and pocket, I have compiled a short overview of some of our favorite coffee makers and a bonus top pick of an innovative Chemex kettle.
1. Classic Series
The Classic Series Chemex is the original Chemex coffeemaker. It features the iconic Chemex shape, wood collar, and rawhide leather tie that distinguish this brand. This coffee maker offers simple function and visual elegance. However, it is more expensive than other pour-overs on the market.
The Chemex Classic is available in three-, six-, eight-, and 10-cup sizes. You can also choose from rawhide colors, including Original Leather, Kelly Green, Saffron Yellow, and Royal Blue.
2. Glass Handle Series
The Glass Handle series features the same hourglass carafe as the Chemex Classic. However, the Chemex Glass Handle series has a graceful and sturdy handle instead of the wood collar and rawhide leather tie, which serves as an insulated handle in the classic edition.
As with the carafe, the handle is resistant to heat, so it will not burn your hand. This coffee maker is also available in three-, six-, eight-, and 10-cup versions, producing a different amount of coffee.
3. Handblown Series
Spoil yourself with a handblown Chemex if you don’t mind splurging on a manual pour-over brewer. These coffee makers are hand-produced by artisan blowers. Because they are made by hand, each model features slight variations, which make them unique.
The beauty and fine artistry of the handblown Chemex have earned it a home in the permanent collection of multiple museums. This coffee maker is available in three-, five-, eight-, and 13-cup versions.
As a buying guide, we must tell you that the higher price for these coffee makers doesn’t guarantee a better taste. You are paying for the craftsmanship.
4. Ottomatic 2.0
As its name implies, the Ottomatic 2.0 is an automatic Chemex coffee maker. This coffee maker is a good option if you’re a coffee drinker who doesn’t like to fret about water temperature and pouring techniques.
The machine automatically takes care of brewing variables such as pre-infusion and the correct extraction time. Plus, you can make both hot and iced coffee.
The Ottomatic also comes with a hot plate, automatically switching off after 90 minutes. Although the Ottomatic 2.0 comes standard with a six-cup Chemex Classic, it can accommodate any Chemex model except for handblown eight- and 13-cup coffee makers.
The Funnex is a portable little coffee maker with superb functionality making it the perfect brewer for the office, campus, or camping ground. Made from double-walled borosilicate glass, the Funnex is surprisingly sturdy. The coffee maker has a silicone gasket, which can be used with all cups, mugs, and thermoses.
Despite its diminutive size and lower price, Funnex brews a quality cup of coffee. It works with the same proprietary filters as the other Chemex models. Also, its conical shape allows for proper water-to-ground contact.
The Chemaer was designed for those who take the brewing process seriously. It came about when company chiefs at Chemex interacted with the specialty coffee community and came up with the idea of combining a coffeemaker and an aerator.
It’s ideal for anyone who enjoys experimenting with brewing methods to bring out the maximum flavor from the coffee beans. It works similarly to other Chemex, with the difference being that coffee makers can swirl brewed coffee against the paddles on the side of the Chemaer to enact different reactions from their brew.
It’s a tool made for experimenting and definitely one for the Chemex brew veterans out there. If you lack interest in playing around with brewing variables, such as water ratio and the size of the coffee grinds, then you may be better off choosing a different option.
7. CHEMEX Handblown Glass Water Kettle
The last item on our list may not technically be a coffee maker, but it is still an iconic piece of design that would look perfect in any coffee lover’s kitchen. This kettle is a thing of beauty; after all, hot water is vital to the Chemex experience.
Many of you will associate the gooseneck kettle with quality coffee makers, but this one can do just as good of a job.
It has non-porous glass, so no matter the amount of water within it, it imparts no ﬂavors of its own. It is ideal for use when making the perfect cup of coffee, and from a design perspective, it pairs perfectly with any of the Chemex coffee makers.
The various Chemex models can function as the perfect coffee maker, depending on your budget, needs, and lifestyle.
Instead of looking for the best Chemex, I focused on the distinguishing characteristics of the various models to determine which Chemex is best for you. We put a particular focus on budget, style, and practicality.
Why You Can Trust Me
Since my parents were passionate about their coffee and Chemex coffee maker, my relationship with Chemex started as a child.
Horrified about the watery and flavorless coffee I was being served on campus, I invested in my 6-cup Chemex Classic when I was a freshman. The rest, as they say, is history.
Is Chemex coffee really better?
Whether or not Chemex brewed coffee is better than regular pour-over coffee comes down to personal preference. It is undoubtedly considered a cleaner cup of coffee than most of its counterparts. That is because the all-glass construction of the coffee maker, paired with the trademark filters, means that this coffee maker brews with minimal sediment.
What is a Chemex coffee filter made of?
Chemex’s paper filters are based on laboratory-grade paper and are explicitly designed to filter out impurities from coffee brewed in the coffee maker. They are made from a special paper material that is 20-30% heavier than other pour-over coffee maker paper filters. They are celebrated as one of the best filters available for drip coffee.
Why is Chemex So Expensive?
The most expensive type of Chemex is the handblown type. They are considered valuable because each coffee maker is created individually and, therefore, unique. Thus, when you buy a handblown Chemex, you receive an individual coffee maker that is exactly like no other, carefully made by a craftsperson. There are cheaper types of Chemex available, such as the Funnex and the Classic Chemex.