Chemex Handblown Vs. Classic: Is There A Difference?

If you’ve joined the pour-over revolution, you need to decide which to invest in when it comes to the Chemex Handblown vs. Classic pour-overs.

Chemex handblown vs. classic
Chemex handblown vs. Classic

A Chemex coffee maker is ideal for coffee connoisseurs who enjoy the process of brewing coffee. Apart from its beautiful design, which has won it a place in the permanent collections of multiple prestigious museums worldwide, Chemex produces a delicious clean cup of coffee.

Since I have been using my Classic Chemex on nearly a daily basis for many years now, I recently decided to spoil myself with a Handblown Chemex. If you’re wondering what the differences are for the Chemex Handblown vs. Classic pour-over coffee makers, read on.

A Short Overview Of The Chemex Handblown Vs. Classic

The Chemex is a manual pour-over coffee maker that has been widely popular among coffee lovers since its invention in 1941. The Classic Chemex boasts an elegant hourglass carafe with a wooden collar and leather tie around its neck for handling purposes. The wonderfully clear cup of coffee you get from the Chemex is due to the proprietary bonded filters that this coffee maker uses.

Since they are thicker and heavier than normal paper filters, they prevent most coffee oils, acidity, bitterness, and sediments from landing in your brew. The result is a light-bodied, full-flavored cup of coffee.

The Handblown Chemex series is hand-produced in small batches by professional glassblowers. This means that each unit is unique and features slight variations in structure and size. It is precise because of these small “defects” that a Handblown Chemex is so special.

 What Does The Handblown And Classic Chemex Have In Common?

Chemex with filtered ground coffee
The Chemex features a beautiful hourglass body

Both the Handblown Chemex and Classic Chemex feature the same beautiful hourglass body made from borosilicate glass. Apart from being resistant to shock, cracks, and chipping, borosilicate glass imparts no unwanted flavors or chemicals to your coffee. Both coffee makers also use the same patented filters, which are unbleached to ensure that your coffee brew is free from chemical-based undertones and bitterness.

Comparison Between The Handblown Vs. Classic Chemex



The Handblown Chemex costs more than double what its Classic counterpart costs.

Although the Classic Chemex is more expensive than most other manual coffee makers, it is much cheaper than the Handblown Chemex.

The glass of the Handblown Chemex is a bit thicker than that of the Classic Chemex, which also makes it a bit heavier. Due to the added thickness, the Chemex is more durable and less likely to shatter.


The Classic Chemex is more fragile than the Handblown Chemex because of its thinner glass. This means that it’s more susceptible to shattering if dropped.

The Handblown Chemex is available in 3-, 5-, 8-, and 13-cup sizes.

The available sizes for the Classic Chemex are 3, 6, 8, and 10 cups.

With the Handblown Chemex, the coffee stays hotter for longer. This is due to its thicker glass that retains heat better.

The thinner glass of the Classic Chemex doesn’t retain heat for as long.

Since it’s handcrafted, each Handblown Chemex has slight variations in size and structure.

All Classic Chemex units feature a uniform design since they are mass-produced.

What’s Better About The Chemex Handblown?

Because the Chemex Handblown is produced by hand, it is truly a collector’s item. When I bought my 8-cup Chemex Handblown, it felt like I had added a piece of modern art to my home. This coffee maker is made from thicker glass, which makes it more durable and improves its ability to retain heat, definitely scores it some bonus points.

What’s Better About The Classic Chemex?

Preparing of tasty coffee in chemex on table
Classic Chemex gives you a flavorful, clear coffee

The major advantage of the Classic Chemex over the Handblown version is that you get the same flavorful, clear coffee from this coffee maker as you do from its more artsy handblown counterpart — but at more than half the price.

Who Should Go For A Handblown Chemex?

If you’re a seasoned pour-over junkie, who perhaps already has a Classic Chemex in your home, it may be time to break the bank and splurge on a Handblown Chemex. As far as I am concerned, a Handblown Chemex is an heirloom that can be passed on from one generation to the next.

Who Should Go For A Classic Chemex?

The Classic Chemex is a good option for someone new to the pour-over coffee method or the Chemex. Since a Handblown Chemex is quite pricey, it’s perhaps sensible to first try out the brews that the Classic Chemex produces.

Also, brewing coffee with a Chemex requires a bit of time and effort. By trying out the Classic Chemex first, you can gauge whether this brewing method is well-suited to your lifestyle.

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Chemex Handblown Vs. Classic

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  • Niki B

    Born and bred in South Africa, Niki B now does her writing from the distant shores of South Korea. A self-proclaimed coffee addict by day, and a writer by night, she gladly shares her knowledge with fellow coffee lovers.