To help you settle this matter once and for all, we’re going to talk about the differences between pour over coffee vs chemex, and go over what advantages one might have over the other.
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It would be fair to say that the Chemex’s greatest asset is that it needs no extra parts. As it is, you only need a coffee filter: It is a brewer and a decanter at the same time.
Another point in its favor is that making coffee is a little bit easier and faster than with the Hario; When with the Hario you would need to fetch a few things, With the Chemex you only need a paper filter –Chemex filters– which are kept next to it anyway.
Last, but not least, the Chemex looks cleaner, cooler than the Hario wherever you put it. Its shape and glass material makes it look like something out of Walter White’s laboratory.
However, we have to say that the Chemex is a little annoying to clean. It is not easy to clean inside it without struggling, and since it’s made of glass and it’s quite big, breaking it is an ever-present risk.
It is definitely something to keep either at your place or at the coffee shop. Taking it anywhere with you would be either frustrating because of its shape or really stressful because it’s glass.
Chemex filters are thicker, and the space that holds the coffee grounds is more restricted than the Hario’s. Coffee made in the Chemex has a certain kind of blonde quality to it (under-extracted, sometimes) and you can’t play a lot with it. It will produce similar coffee time after time. Take a look at our piece dedicated only to Chemex coffee in our BREWGUIDE ongoing series “Brew Guide: Chemex Coffee“.
Summary: Good, convenient brewer, although it can prove unpractical sometimes. Not very good for experimenting.
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The Hario is many people’s favorite way of drinking drip coffee, and it’s easy to see why. It has a very elegant design, but it’s neither too classic nor too modern, so anyone can dig it. Check out “5 Best Drip Coffee Makers” to see the best drip coffee maker for you.
You can either use the V60 to make several cups at once, using a decanter, or just put it over your mug or cup and brew one single coffee for yourself.
The dripper, the most essential part, can be bought in different materials. So there you have different options for different people. Another good thing about the Hario is that it is great for experimenting. You can use anything to filter your coffee and water will not clog thanks to its design, and being able to use different things as a receptacle helps to experiment.
Portability, while a great feature, can be a double-edged sword: It is true that by only carrying your Hario around, you could virtually make good coffee impromptu with just a few items, but this frequently leads to misplacing that one most important part. It’s small and, frankly, easy to miss.
The Hario, though, does not compare visually to the Chemex. It is definitely not as impressing as the Chemex is, and could even be mistaken for a plain coffee cup.
Summary: Great for experimenting, available in metal, glass, and plastic. Portable and durable. Easy to lose while working because of its size.
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So What’s the Best Choice?
Just because of our long history with the Hario, we choose to brew using the Hario more often. We already know it inside and out and we trust it completely to make good coffee every time.
This is not to say that the Chemex is inferior: The Chemex is a great addition to your repertoire even if you already own a Hario. It’s great for coffee in the morning since it usually yields sweet, bright coffee.
So while Hario is definitely ahead of the race, Chemex is slowly gaining momentum and we are very excited to see what’s going to come next from the creators of the Chemex. Thank you for reading ‘pour over coffee vs chemex’ with us today! Let us know in the comments below if you have either a Chemex or if you’re experimenting with a Hario at home.
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