Hario V60 vs Chemex – Who Takes The Prize For Best Pour Over?

hario v60 vs chemex

What’s The Difference Between A Hario v60 and Chemex Pour Over?

When it comes to the right coffeemaker, you’ve got options, though two of the top contenders are arguably the V60 and the Chemex brands. Both have their perks, as it turns out, but what are the real differences that you need to consider?

V60 is a much more personal and portable option, providing 1 to 2 cups of fine-flavored coffee due to its thin filters, fine grounds, and easy cleanup afterward. By contrast, Chemex makes a good cup of joe, and some models can produce 10 cups at a time, and while it’s harder to clean up, it’s easier to use.

There’s a lot more to these brewing beauties than we can quickly summarize, so to help you make an informed decision, we’ll give you an in-depth comparison of the Hario V60 and Chemex coffeemakers. Now, we’ll see how they compare, and by the time we know, you’ll know which brewer is the best for you!

V60 vs. Chemex – How We’ll Compare Them

With so many bells and whistles, a practical comparison is the only way. After all, glancing at the boxes and ads is all about flash – not so much practicality. To clear the fog, we’re going to compare the following features from both of these options:

  • Filters
  • Funnel design
  • Grind granularity
  • Sizes
  • Quality of brew
  • Ease of Use
  • Cleanup

This should help give you a better mental image of what each model brings to the table so that you can compare it to your requirements and see which one will be the best investment. Let’s take a look!

Filters

Filters are certainly something to consider. Too thin, and the water flow might pass too quickly, but too thick and you might miss out on some of those delicious oils that make the difference between a ‘good’ brew and an ‘exquisite one’.

V60

The V60 utilizes thin paper filters that still produce a fairly clear brew and function quite well in securing the grounds and passing along some of those delicious oils that we’ve grown accustomed to in our morning rituals.

This certainly bodes well for the flavor and fullness, a positive mark toward the V60’s finished brew.

Chemex

Chemex, by contrast, has a thicker filter, which will catch most of the oils rather than allow them to increase the fullness of your coffee. It still makes a mean cup, but it will be a cleaner, more balanced brew.

Depending on the beans you are utilizing, this may not be a bad thing, but for some, this may be a bit of a ‘turn-off.’

Funnel design

The Funnel design is also important, as a clever funnel can make a difference in the results of your morning brewing. To that effect, we’ll compare the two brands to see what funneling variables they bring to the table.

V60

The funnel of the V60 has a layout of ridges that help to direct the water flow slightly while also creating a separation between your wet filter and the cone’s walls. Your coffee thus makes a smooth exit through the sides of your filter, flowing neatly down to the funnel below.

Chemex

Chemex doesn’t utilize any special ridges, trapping the coffee in a small niche between funnel and filter so that it brews and most will escape through the bottom portion of the Chemex funnel.

Grind granularity

As well all know, the grind size needs to be as close to perfect as you can get it if you want to optimize the chances of that perfect cup of joe. In the sections below, we’ll talk a little more about the grind requirements of each to paint a clearer picture of where your grounds will be concerned.

V60

With the V60 and its thinner filters, you want to target as fine a grind as possible. Thin filters mean that the water for your pour-through will pass considerably faster than a thicker filter, so if your grind is not fine, you just won’t get the cup of manna you’re counting on.

In practice with the V60, it’s a little forgiving, so you can go with a predominantly fine ground, along with a little coarse if you like, so the ground requirements won’t be so difficult when you’re bleary-eyed and ready for the first cup of the morning.

For the best flavor, a medium-fine grind with a nice, slow pour will build a robust and full-flavored brew.

Chemex

With its thicker filter, you’ve got a little more leeway in the coarseness of your grounds, and that’s a nice little option that Chemex brings to your brew.

With Chemex, you want to target a medium-coarse grind, although you have a little leeway to personalize, as you can make it a little coarser or finer, as you like, with great results.

Servings

Depending on your morning java requirements, the number of servings produced with each brewing session will be an important factor in your decision.

While a single or double-brewing option might work for exact requirements, not everyone wants to invest the time when a comparable result can be had with much less investment time. The V60 and Chemex differ here, as we’re about to show you.

V60

The V60 falls a bit more into the personal indulgence category because it is designed to deliver 1 or 2 exquisite cups of coffee at a time. If the coffeemaker is just for you and someone special, then this can be just about a perfect fit, and the results are definitely worth your while.

That said, if you have guests over often, this might be a problem, with 1 to 3 minutes brewing time for 1 cup and 3 to 4 for 2 cups. Plus, of course, the wrist calisthenics is involved for those mornings when you have quite a few more guests than you expected.

Chemex

Chemex doesn’t mind if you have extra guests and comes in various volume-related options. Depending on your needs, your Chemex might be able to produce 3 cups at a time, up to a ‘Devil’s dozen’ of 13 cups for those who love to entertain.

If you like to start your morning with good friends, discourse, and a fine bit of brew, Chemex will be the better fit unless you don’t mind the extra pour-over time or its ‘self-serve’ for all with friends who are practically family.

Quality of brew

There’s no point in a coffeemaker spitting out a weak, bland brew, and thankfully, neither the Hario nor the Chemex disappoints when it comes to the delicious taste that they’ll deliver you again and again.

There are differences; we’d be amiss if we didn’t go there, so let’s see how they compare!

V60

With its focused approach towards creating 1 or 2 perfect cups and its thinner filter ensuring that you’re not wasting oils essential to a fine coffee experience, the V60 produces a fuller, more flavorful cup.

It is important to note, however, that it’s just a little better, so this is something that you’ll need to decide carefully. If you are one of those who take the time to appreciate that morning cup, then this factor will make all of the difference, but read our Chemex comparison before you commit.

Chemex

If you prefer grounds such as Kona, which has a lower oil content, then the Chemex might be perfect. The thicker filter will give a balanced, easily reproduced perfect cup repeatedly.

If you prefer darker, oilier beans, however, then the Chemex might disappoint you in this regard, as those filters will trap a lot of the oils and rob you of some of the fullness you could have otherwise experienced.

Ease of Use

Some coffeemakers are a little more complicated than others, although, with repeated use, this will not necessarily be a problem. Still, ease of use is certainly a valid concern when you’re a bit bleary-eyed in the morning and readying your pour-over cup of heightened consciousness.

We’ll contrast these models now so that you can get a glimpse of what you’re in for with each.

V60

The V60 is slightly harder to use than the Chemex because it will be less forgiving if you pour the water too hard. The thinner filter means that without a slow, steady pour, the water will go through too quickly and thin out your morning cup of manna.

This isn’t always a problem with a fine grind, but if you have a mix that includes a bit of the coarse stuff for a more robust flavor, you might need a little more practice than you would with the Chemex.

Chemex

Chemex will cut you a little slack where the force of the pour is concerned and in cases where the grind you purchased differs from what you expected. That said, you’ll certainly experiment with your tempo for both models, but overall the Chemex provides a more predictable cup for every pour.

Cleanup

Cleaning up after you’ve been thoroughly caffeinated and treated to a delicious morning brew is another aspect you’ll want to consider, especially if you sometimes rush to get out of the door and start your day. Let’s see how these two models play out on the post-brew tidy-up factors.

V60

The Hario V60 features an all-glass design that will make it the easier-to-clean the pair. That said, this could be a non-factor, as both are designed so that you can simply rinse them and pop them into the dishwasher.

Chemex

The Chemex has a lovely look that comes at the cost of making it slightly harder to clean. The hourglass design features a rustic wooden collar whose color will deepen nicely with further use, but it also adds an extra variable in the cleaning process.

As we said before, however, you can also ‘rinse and load’ your Chemex into the dishwasher if you like, so the difference is a matter of some quick spot-cleaning, as long as you don’t leave it sitting around for too long.

The Breakdown

FactorsV60Chemex
FiltersThin, paper filter for more fullness and flavor.Thicker filter for more balanced results, at the cost of more trapped oils.
Funnel designRidged design helps to steer the water and provides a small separation between the filter and wet funnel.No ridges, but rather incorporates a natural ‘grind trap’ niche at the center of the hourglass design
Grind Granularity Medium-Fine Medium-Coarse
Servings1 – 23 – 13
Quality of BrewSlightly better taste, as more oils are passed through for a fuller, stronger flavor.Provides excellent taste with grounds that are not oil-heavy but less fullness and flavor with oil-heavy grounds.
Ease of UseThe slight learning curve, as too fast a pour can produce thinned results with mixed coarse and fine groundsMore forgiving of the pour pace for a wider range of grounds
CleanupFaster to clean with all-glass constructionSome additional quick spot-cleaning is to be expected

Final Thoughts

Today we’ve taken a closer look at the virtues and the caveats of the Hario V60 and Chemex coffeemaker products, so it’s time to render a final verdict. Overall, the V60 provides a fuller, more flavorful cup for personal use for yourself or couples than the heavier filtered Chemex.

However, remember that Chemex will allow you to produce considerably more cups for Kona and other oil-light grounds that will still make for a fine coffee experience if these grounds are your preference.

Ultimately, it’s going to depend on your individual needs. While we favor the V60 for its transfer of those oh-so-essential oils, now that you’ve got the scoop on how they compare, you’re well equipped to choose the coffeemaker that fits your specific needs.

Don’t worry – whichever one you choose, you’ll still be enjoying a fine cup of joe, but for those of us who are a little picky about the perks, then we hope that the decision will now be crystal clear!

Christopher Mize
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