Chemex, Hario V60, Kalita Wave, Woodneck. They’re all different variations of the same thing: Pour over coffee.
Pour over coffee is a simple brewing method where coffee is placed in a filter and hot water is poured on top (one time) directly into a flask or a cup. Brewing coffee using this method is so popular because it brings out many of the nuanced flavors and aromas of the coffee, making it incredibly popular among coffee connoisseurs.
Some people favor the Chemex while others prefer the Hario V60 to extract their coffee goodness. While both of these methods are fairly similar, they can produce slightly different results.
The comparison between Chemex and Hario V60 comes down to design, convenience, technique, and taste. While the Chemex produces more consistent coffee the V60 can result in more complex brews. They’re similar in that they are both pour over coffee methods but differ slightly in the method of brewing.
Chemex vs Hario: Design
Designed in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm, the Chemex is a beautifully designed glass coffee maker with a wooden and leather handle at its center. This coffeemaker comes in various sizes (3, 6, 8, and 10 cup sizes) and is ideal for those looking for a coffeemaker that can double up as kitchen decoration!
The Hario V60 is now a standard in the world of cone-shaped pour over drippers. It has spiraled ridges on the inside of the brewer which are meant to allow for even extraction of the grinds. What’s great about the Hario V60 is that it comes in many different colors, materials (copper, ceramic, glass, steel, plastic) , and sizes (01, 02 and 02 which translate to 350ml, 600ml, and 1L respectively) – so you can get the one that’s suits you best.
Chemex vs Hario V60: Grind
A major consideration when brewing coffee using the Chemex and Hario V60 methods is the grind size. Since both of these brewing techniques use different filters, it’s very important to get the grind of your coffee just right. This might need some experimentation because results might vary slightly from one coffee to another.
When brewing using the Chemex, use a medium-coarse grind. Coffee ground to this level should look a little bit like coarse or rough sand. For reference, it should be a little bit finer than a French Press Grind. You may need to adjust the grind a little bit, where a 350ml brew would be finer than a 1L brew.
The Hario V60 is best brewed with a grind that is finer than the Chemex. The level of this grind should be finer than sand but not as fine as an espresso grind. Again, adjust your grind size slightly depending on the quantity you’re brewing with smaller amounts using more finely ground beans.
Chemex vs Hario V60: Brewing Method
Both of these techniques require the use of a simple coffee filter. However, for best results, make sure you’re using a coffee filter designed specifically for the coffee maker you’re using.
Before you start brewing, be sure to have a gooseneck kettle. These kettles have long thin spouts that are important when brewing pour over coffee because they allow you to control the quantity poured very precisely.
Check out these two great gooseneck kettles:
How to Brew Coffee with Chemex (8-Cup)
The Prep: The first thing to do is boil your water. Next, place your Chemex coffee filter into the top of the glass flask. Rinse it out by pouring the hot water through the filter and into the glass bottom as you would when brewing the coffee. This step also heats up the glass container in preparation for the filtered coffee.
First Pour: Place 42g (or 6 tablespoons) of the ground coffee in the center of the filter and pour about 150g of water over it (Use a gooseneck kettle for more precision). When pouring, use a circular motion to ensure proper extraction. Once finished, turn your timer on and wait 45 seconds for the coffee to bloom.
Second Pour: Once 45 seconds have elapsed, slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee until the it reaches about 750g of water. Again, ensure you’re pouring in a consistent circular motion and avoiding the sides of the filter. Once water is poured, allow time for it to completely pass through the filter and into the flask. Remove the filter, give it a swirl and enjoy your Chemex made coffee!
Total Brew Time: 4 – 5 minutes
Here’s our Top Chemex Coffee Maker and Filter:
How to Brew Coffee with Hario V60 (1-mug)
The Prep: The first step with the Hario V60 is to boil water. Next, place the Hario V60 brewer on top of a mug and put a V60 coffee filter into the top of the brewer. Rinse it out by pouring the hot water through the filter and into the mug. This step also heats up the cup in preparation for the filtered coffee.
First Pour: Place 21g (or 3 tablespoons) of the ground coffee in the center of the filter and pour just enough water to cover it completely (use a gooseneck kettle for more precision). When pouring, use a circular motion to ensure proper extraction. Once finished, turn your timer on and wait 15 seconds for the coffee to bloom.
Second Pour: Once 15 seconds have elapsed, slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee until it reaches about 360g of water. Again, ensure you’re pouring in consistent circular motion and avoiding the sides of the filter. Once water is poured, allow time for it to completely pass through the filter and into the mug. You should have around 10oz of brewed coffee. Remove the brewer, discard the grounds and filter and enjoy your Hario V60 coffee!
Total Brew Time: 3 – 4 minutes or as little as 2 minutes for smaller brews.
Here’s our Top Hario V60 Coffee Maker and Filter:
Chemex vs Hario V60 Brewing Methods Compared
While the two brewing methods are quite similar (pour, rest, pour) the V60 can be a much more difficult brewing method to execute perfectly.
You really have to ensure that the water temperature, the coffee amount, grind level are all perfectly optimized to get the perfect cup. Because of this, the V60 tends to produce less consistency than the Chemex.
On the other hand, the V60 allows you to control much more of the variables and produce a wider range of interesting tastes and flavors. So if you’re looking for a quicker easier brew, the Chemex is definitely the way to go but if you’re looking to experiment and (possibly) discover something new, the V60 is ideal.
Chemex vs Hario V60: Taste
While both brewing techniques result in a very similar cup, their main difference is the ‘brightness’ or ‘clarity’ of the brew.
Because the Chemex uses a thicker filter when brewing, many of the oils are filtered out. This tends to yield a brighter or cleaner cup than the V60 which produces coffee with slightly less clarity.
When it comes to taste, each method will produce different results depending on the coffee being used, the roast level and the slight differences during brewing.
Which One Should You Get?
The Chemex is definitely the easier brewing method that produces larger amounts of coffee per brew. This method will yield a brighter cup and makes it easier to brew consistent cups, although it takes a few minutes longer to brew. The Chemex is also a beautiful looking coffeemaker and looks great in most kitchens and homes.
The Hario V60 can produce an incredible and wide range of results if all of the variables are controlled. While this brew method takes less time, it also produces less per brew. The Hario V60 is ideal for those looking to experiment with different brews and coffees and ‘engineer’ their own perfect cup.
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