Brewing coffee at home can become a whole different world when you get into different coffee makers, tricks, techniques and coffee beans. And two of the most common brews that coffee connoisseurs currently enjoy are Chemex and pour over coffee.
Both pour over and chemex coffee makers are a staple for coffee enthusiasts everywhere, which is why you may be asking yourself, well what exactly is the difference and more importantly, what brew method is better?
Well my coffee loving friends, prepare yourself.
What’s the Difference Between Chemex and Pour Overs?
When it comes to brewing itself, there isn’t much of a difference between pour over and chemex coffee at all. In fact, they fall under the same brewing method. A Chemex brewing system is just a specific type of pour over coffee maker.
Both coffee makers involve a coffee filter and funnel-shaped carafe. You place the coffee in the filter, boil water, pour water to soak the grounds and voila, a fresh brew begins to fill the carafe.
Pour over and Chemex produce are the same type of brew and both produce better than average cups of coffee. However, there are a few differences to note.
Premium pour-over filters can be found anywhere. They are fine mesh, stainless steel circular filters with a pointed end. the pointed end allows the coffee to drip into the brewer and the fine mesh ensures that no grounds slip through. The mesh also allows pour over filters to catch and keep most of the flavourful coffee bean oils.
On the other hand, Chemex filters are only distributed and sold by the Chemex company. They’re made of thick paper, which is folded into a cone shape and placed inside the carafe. These filters are not reusable but are still considered environmentally friendly since the paper is recyclable.
Another difference is the grind. Chemex uses a coarse grind, similar to a French press. This is required for flavour extraction from a thicker filter. Meanwhile pour overs use a finer grind, similar to table salt.
Unlike an automatic coffee maker, both pour overs and Chemex and their removable filters are relatively easy to clean between brewing. We also suggest, for both coffee makers, use a coffee grinder to make fresh grounds for every brew.
With a difference in filters comes a difference in price. Chemex’s one-of-a-kind paper filter can only be used once per brew, so you will need to continually buy filters, which will eventually rack up in price. High-quality pour overs however, have a fine mesh stainless steel filter than can be reused over and over.
Other than the filter cost, the two coffee makers are roughly listed at the same price.
A pour over coffee maker brews coffee in 3-5 minutes depending on the design. Meanwhile, a Chemex will take a little bit longer, roughly 5-7 minutes. The coffee in a Chemex drips at a slower pace due to the thicker filter.
Now here’s the million-dollar question, which coffee maker brews better tasting coffee? Well, that depends on what your taste buds prefer.
Since the filter in a premium pour over is made of fine mesh it catches all of the flavourful coffee bean oils. This gives the brew a smooth, bolder taste.
Premium Pour Over Coffee Makers
With a Chemex, the filter is thick and will give more of a clean, lighter and sweeter taste. Unlike metal filters, a paper Chemex filter will remove more of the cafestol in your grind, which is a molecule found in unfiltered coffee.
The one thing that pour overs do have over Chemex coffee makers, are that their brew is actually customizable.
You can adjust the boldness of the coffee by adjusting your pouring method, pouring time, grind size and the temperature of the water. Therefore, they’re a great option for coffee lovers who like bold or light tasting coffee.
Since the Chemex filter is so thick and it takes longer for the coffee to drip through, there isn’t much you can do to change the brew to make it stronger.