One of the new trends in the world of coffee enthusiasts is pour-over coffee. What is pour-over coffee? And why is it so trendy?
Pour-over coffee is a brewing method in which you pour hot water over the coffee grounds. It is a slow pour and brews similarly to a drip coffee maker but with the benefit of simplicity and improved flavor. It is a simplistic way to brew that takes away technology and leaves you to your own devices.
Two of the best pour-over brewers you can find are the Chemex and V60. Each has excellent reviews, but which one is the better choice? This article will compare Chemex vs V60 to answer that question.
What is a Chemex?
A Chemex is a classic pour-over brewer made of glass. It has an hourglass shape, accentuated by a wooden collar and tied leather band.
This classic design is why many people gravitate toward it. It looks good in any kitchen. But there are different styles of Chemex if the classic design isn’t your preference. You can even find ones made from hand-blown glass.
The Chemex also comes in different sizes, making it great for those who entertain guests often. Or for those that drink coffee throughout the day.
What is a Hario V60?
A Hario V60 is a Japanese-made pour-over brewer that has a specific v-shape at a 60º angle all the way around.
It has ribbed siding that allows for the best extraction of the coffee by distributing the water evenly. As the water pours into the brewer, air flows through, which improves the extraction process and enhances the flavor.
This brewer is made from various materials such as ceramic, plastic, glass, stainless steel, and copper. The glass is the most popular variation of the Hario V60.
Chemex vs V60 Key Differences
When it comes to comparing Chemex and V60, there are several key differences that set these two popular pour-over brewers. Understanding these distinctions can help you decide which is best suited to your personal preferences. So, let’s dive into the details and explore the unique characteristics of Chemex and V60.
Grind size matters, even for pour-over coffee makers. The size of the coffee grounds you use determines the strength of your coffee.
Since the Chemex and V60 have different filtering mechanisms, they support different size coffee grounds. It is where the two differ the most. Grind size influences the extraction of the flavors.
The Chemex better supports a medium coffee grind but accommodates other-sized coffee grounds well enough to make flavorful coffee no matter what you use.
The V60 is more finicky and supports fine to medium coffee grinds. The difference with the V60 is that the strength of the coffee varies depending on the grind size and how quickly or slowly you pour.
Because of that, you have to be careful, or you will end up with coffee that is too strong or too weak.
The design of a pour-over coffee has a lot to do with how it funnels the water through the coffee grinds, which will affect the taste of the coffee.
As previously mentioned, the V60 has a V-shaped design with ridges. The ridges allow air to flow freely during the process, which produces better extraction.
The Chemex does not have ridges, so the filter sticks to its sides, and the water flows through it and into the bottom of the brewer through the coffee grinds. The water can flow evenly through the coffee grounds as a result of the way the filter adheres to the brewer.
Of the two, the Chemex gets more consistent results and requires no mastery of pouring.
The type of filters used in the Chemex and V60 are the same: paper. However, the thickness is not.
Chemex filters are slightly thicker than V60 filters, which results in a clean brew. Since V60 filters are thinner, tiny particles can sneak through the filter and into the brew, depending on the grind size.
Chemex comes in many sizes, with some supporting a few cups of coffee and others supporting up to 13 cups. The size selection for the Chemex is more numerous than for the V60.
The V60 comes in a few different sizes but doesn’t support more than a few cups of coffee, making it better for people that drink only one to two cups of coffee a day.
Pour-over brewers are known for producing some of the best-tasting coffee. The direct extraction techniques make the flavor come through beautifully.
The answer to this one is tricky. Technically, the V60 produces better flavor, but that is if you know how to use it properly. It takes time to perfect the skill of using the V60.
Chemex does a great job of producing flavorful coffee and is more user-friendly. It’s just not quite at the level of the V60 once mastered.
Ease of Use
When it comes down to brewing with the Chemex and V60, it is not difficult. It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t take much to understand.
That said, Chemex is certainly easier to use and get things right. If you don’t have the time to learn how to fine-tune your skills on the V60, the Chemex is the way to go.
Chemex is made of glass, which is not the most durable material you can use, even if it is high quality. It can last through many uses if you are careful not to break it. The wooden collar will wear over time, so that is something to consider.
Since you can get the V60 in various materials, you will find that it is the most durable of the two. It is hard to break stainless steel or even plastic if thick enough.
Chemex: Pros and Cons
Chemex is made of borosilicate, non-porous glass. This type of glass does not absorb chemicals or odors, so it is safe to use as a pour-over brewer.
The Chemex’s design is patented and specifically designed to allow for brewing and refrigeration storage of coffee for later use while keeping the coffee fresh.
It can be used for beverages other than coffee, like tea. The filters are not included in your purchase.
A key feature of Chemex is how consistently it brews. It leaves room for user error so that even beginners can use it without massively messing up the first cup.
- It comes in various sizes.
- Nice, timeless look
- Easy to use
- Its thicker filters ensure a very clean brew.
- Only Chemex filters work with it.
- Not easily portable due to the risk of breaking
- Filters not included
Hario V60: Pros and Cons
The Hario V60 comes in white or red and in different materials. You can buy the brewer with a pack of coffee filters to get you started.
Its inner spiral shape allows deep extraction, producing aromatic, rich, and flavorful coffee. It has a large hole for pouring, which allows for slow or quick pouring, so you can control the strength of your coffee.
It has a 3-cup capacity and brews an even cup of coffee if handled correctly.
An interesting fact about the Hario V60 is that each one is hand-made by a craftsman in Japan.
- You can use any brand of filters.
- Available in different materials
- It takes time to master the pouring process
- The filter sometimes lets small particles through
Which One is Better?
Both pour-over brewers are great to have and come with positive features that lead to great-tasting coffee. Determining which one is better is not an easy task. And the answer is more about the person than the brewer. Let’s go over a few features you can look at to decide for yourself.
One doesn’t stand out over the other regarding convenience. Yes, Chemex is easier to use, but both are equally convenient in how you use it.
The Chemex is less portable because it is made of glass, but not impossible to transport if properly stored. Larger sizes may be a little more of a problem because they take up more space.
Traveling with the V60 is much more convenient because it’s not as fragile, but using it can be daunting for a beginner.
The process for the Chemex takes less time because it isn’t as finicky as the V60’s. It filters the water through the coffee grinds evenly, which makes it take less time since you will get the same strength of brew every time – as long as you use the same amount of coffee grounds.
The V60 takes more time because the rate you pour the water into the filter varies. If you want strong coffee, you have to take time pouring the water into the filter so that it doesn’t rush through and produce weak, flavorless coffee.
The one that produces the best brew will meet the standards of a clean, flavorful coffee that is excellent at producing your desired strength. Not every brewer is equally created, and that is certainly the case for the Chemex and V60.
If you want a consistent brew every time that extracts the flavors of your grinds well every time, Chemex is your brewer.
Unless you are a seasoned pour-over coffee maker, the V60 will give you results that are all over the place. But if you know what you are doing, depend on the V60 to brew a better cup of coffee.