I’ll be honest with you: I did not try pour over coffee until much later in my coffee brewing adventures. But once I did, I was hooked. With that said, two of the most iconic pour over brewers are the Hario V60 and the Chemex. So if you wanted to get into pour over coffee and had a choice between Hario V60 vs Chemex, which one should you go for?
Comparing Hario V60 vs Chemex
At their core, the Hario V60 and Chemex are both pour over coffee brewers. They make a similar cup of coffee, but there are a few differences between the two which make them both stand out in their respective fields.
Let’s take a deeper dive: under each subsection, we’ll talk about the V60 first, followed by the Chemex, and finally we’ll give a verdict.
The Hario V60 is incredibly simple yet complicated at the same time! To an unassuming observer, it may seem like a simple funnel, but there’s good reason the Hario V60 is so popular: the little nuances in the design and build are what really makes the V60 shine.
The 60 in the name indicates that the funnel forms a perfect 60 degree angle on all sides. Inside the funnel, there are little curved ribs. The ribs help regulate the flow of water and air around the coffee as you brew it.
One more thing worth noting in the Hario V60 is that the opening at the bottom of the funnel is very large. This means that the funnel itself will provide very little resistance to the water as it filters through the coffee.
Controlling the flow rate will completely depend on the grind size you use and the speed of your pour.
Around the bottom of the funnel is a little lip that lets you place the V60 on any kind of cup or vessel for brewing.
Finally, there is a little handle on the side of the dripper that makes it easy to work with.
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The Chemex is incredibly iconic. It was invented in the 1940s and the design has not really changed much from the original.
You’ll find the Chemex peppered into pop culture, too. From episodes of Friends to Mad Men, the Chemex is everywhere.
The unique hourglass shape looks just beautiful combined with the wooden neck and the leather tie.
The funnel itself is quite straightforward: just insert a paper filter in the funnel and begin pouring. A little ridge along one side of the funnel promotes airflow by preventing a vacuum, and it’s also useful for pouring out the brewed coffee.
The clear glass everywhere means you can watch the coffee drip from the funnel into the container below. The sight of freshly brewed coffee dripping and steaming up the container is just something else!
There are a few varieties of the Chemex, too, from the classic with the wooden neckpiece to a newer one with a handle built in for easier gripping.
Both the Hario V60 and Chemex are very well designed, but the Chemex gets a slight edge thanks to its legendary aesthetics. It doubles as an excellent brewer and an awesome decoration for your countertop.
The V60 is very functional, but it can’t compete with the Chemex in looks.
The Hario V60 comes in a ceramic model or a plastic model. I personally have the plastic model as it is both less expensive and more durable.
Whether you choose to get plastic or ceramic is completely up to you. Obviously, the plastic one is easier to travel with and less prone to breaking if you’re a klutz like I am.
The plastic is not indestructible, of course, but it can handle a topple from your kitchen counter better than the ceramic version.
The ceramic one is also much heavier, which means it will feel more solid in your hands.
Also, both the ceramic and plastic ones are dishwasher safre.
The Chemex coffee maker is made from a single piece of glass. As you can imagine, if you blow up glass into such a shape, it’s bound to be delicate!
That doesn’t mean you can crack it with your bare hands, though. The glass is actually quite tough, as it needs to be able to handle rapid temperature changes from when you pour hot water, especially if you are brewing over ice.
The Chemex is dishwasher safe, too.
Still, glass is glass, and if you mistakenly knock it on the kitchen floor, bye bye Chemex.
The Hario V60 wins in durability. Sure, the ceramic V60 is still prone to breaking, but the Chemex is a lot more prone to getting knocked over and cracking into a million pieces.
The Hario V60 comes in two sizes: 01 and 02. The 01 size is meant for 1 to 2 cups, and the 02 size is meant for 2 to 4 cups.
Being able to brew 4 cups in one go is a nice touch, and if you prefer to brew for only yourself, the 01 size is perfect.
You could also just pick up one 01 brewer and another 02 brewer for both occassions.
The Chemex is available in a variety of sizes, being able to brew 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 13 cups of coffee. That’s a lot of different sizes!
The smallest size is 3 cups, in which you could just brew one cup, but 2 or 3 cups would be better suited, simply because the funnel is larger.
I am not entirely sure who would brew 13 cups in one go, but if you were having a party and wanted to show off your pour over skills to everyone as they patiently waited for you to grind and brew 156 grams of coffee grounds, sure!
The sheer variety of the Chemex coffee maker sizes make it the winner here. While the Hario V60 is good for one to two people, you just have a much wider choice with the Chemex and that’s why it is the winner here.
Ease of brewing and filters
Brewing pour over coffee with the Hario V60 is a bit of a challenge, but it’s one of the most rewarding brews to drink. Because of the larger opening, the flow control depends entirely on the grind and the speed of your pour. That’s why it’s critical to have a pour over kettle with the V60.
It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is, and you would probably get the hang of brewing within 2 or 3 tries.
For more information, check out our Hario V60 recipe and brew guide here.
For best results, you want to use Hario filters. Hario filters are not very easily available everywhere, but you should be able to find them on Amazon most of the time.
The Hario filter is designed specifically for the V60, so while you could use a similar sized filter from another brand, you would get a slightly different tasting coffee.
Note that I say different and not bad. There’s no one definition for a great cup of coffee. If you like it, you like it!
The Chemex is actually a little more complicated to brew with than the V60. One of the main reasons for this is the much, much thicker filter that comes with the Chemex.
Interestingly, Chemex filters are just a circular piece of paper that you fold over in half two times to make a funnel. The thickness of the filter before folding is already much more than that of the Hario V60.
This ends up with one side of the filter being one layer thick, and the other side is three layers thick. The resulting coffee is quite interesting!
The Chemex coffee maker produces the cleanest cup of coffee you’ll ever drink. Whether you prefer a clean cup of coffee or a slightly murkier brew is completely a matter of personal preference.
However, because of the extreme thickness of the filters, you may expect the brew to complete slower than in the Hario V60.
This means that there is a longer extraction time, too. People have experimented with modifying the extraction time by either using less coffee and a finer ground, or using more coffee with a coarser ground.
Again, it is totally a matter of personal preference and it’s up to you to figure out what works best for you.
The Hario V60 takes much less time to brew than the Chemex, that’s for sure. You will either like the coffee from the thicker filter of the Chemex coffee maker or you may find it a little too clean.
Overall, the V60 is a more flexible brewer, and it’s the winner here.
The Hario V60 is quite cheap: the plastic dripper is very inexpensive, and the ceramic ones are not that much more costly. The cost of filters will add up over time, of course, but a pack of 100 filters should easily last you a month.
The Chemex is more expensive than the Hario V60, even though it’s just by a few dollars.
However, it is worth noting that the Chemex is much more delicate than the V60, so you may end up buying another Chemex to replace the one you break.
The Hario V60 is cheaper than the Chemex but not at a cost of quality. It wins in this category.
Pour overs are generally considered the toughest brews to master, but they’re one of the most rewarding ways to make coffee. Both the Hario V60 and the Chemex are really great pour overs. Of course, a great cup of coffee is only possible with the right coffee beans.
Both of these brewers bring the best out of light and medium roast coffee beans.
Which one you choose to get out of these two really depends on personal preference. As you saw, between Chemex vs V60, it’s a pretty close call!
- Durable, ceramic body retains heat to help ensure a constant temperature throughout the brewing cycle.
- Cone shape helps to better accentuate coffees with floral or fruit flavor notes.
- Spiral ribs allows for maximum coffee expansion.
- Large single hole can change coffee taste according to the speed of water flow.
- Designed and manufactured in Japan
- CHEMEX - simple, easy to use with timeless, elegant design
- All CHEMEX Coffeemakers are made of the highest quality, non-porous Borosilicate glass which will not absorb odors or chemical residues
- The patented CHEMEX pour-over design allows coffee to be covered and refrigerated for reheating without losing flavor
- All CHEMEX Coffeemakers are measured using 5 oz. as 1 cup
- Use CHEMEX Bonded Filters FP-1, FC-100, FS-100, FSU-100
Frequently asked questions
Is Chemex really better?
This is a really subjective question! The Chemex looks better without a doubt, and it brews great coffee, but it’s hard to say if it is objectively better than the Hario V60. The Chemex does brew the cleanest possible cup of coffee thanks to its thicker filters.
Can you use Hario Filters for Chemex?
You can use Hario filters for the Chemex, but you won’t be able to get the same results as you would if you use the original Chemex filters.
Last update on 2021-01-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API