Best Chemex Coffee Makers + Alternatives

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 29th, 2023

The Chemex coffee maker, a pour-over style brewer, is a simple yet remarkable piece of design. Its iconic glass flask, adorned with a wooden collar and leather tie, is a testament to the fusion of form and function. Its elegant aesthetics have even earned it a place in The Museum of Modern Art in New York. But the Chemex is not just a pretty face; it’s a coffee brewing powerhouse.


Best Chemex coffee makers

Chemex Classic Series 8-Cup

The Chemex Classic Series 8-Cup leads our selection for its harmonious blend of aesthetic appeal and practical utility.

chemex

The Classic Series, with its characteristic wooden collar and leather tie, is the original Chemex design. It’s available in 3, 6, 8, and 10-cup sizes.

Pros:

  • Quintessential model
  • Generous brewing capacity for most households
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with the classic wooden collar and tie

Cons:

  • Glass construction is thin and delicate
  • No handle for easy handling

Chemex Glass Handle Series 3-Cup

This is our pick for the best value! It may be small, but it’s ultra-efficient and has a convenient handle. 

The Glass Handle series features a heat-resistant glass handle for easy maneuvering. Despite its slightly less traditional aesthetic, its practicality makes it a popular choice among users.

Pros:

  • Perfect for individual users or couples
  • Convenient handle for easy maneuverability
  • Ideal for travel

Cons:

  • Lacks the wooden collar and leather tie characteristic of Chemex

Chemex Handblown Series 3-Cup

This is Chemex’s premium model with a great dive between design and engineering. The Handblown Series, arguably the most beautifully designed, is available in 3, 5, 8, or 13-cup variants. Please note that this series is pricier than the others.

Pros:

  • Classic aesthetic appeal
  • Expertly crafted
  • Simple to clean and store
  • Resistant to heat, odors, and residues

Cons:

  • Comes at a higher price point

For a better brewing experience, you might want to consider the following items:

All these can help you have a clearer brew, thus, a livelier and greater-tasting coffee!

A Journey Through Time: The History of Chemex

Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, a prolific German inventor, patented over 300 coffee maker designs throughout his life. In the 1930s, he migrated to the United States, where his patents found their way into refrigeration technology. Among his inventions was a unique coffee glass that doubled as a filtering device – the forerunner to the Chemex we know and love today.

The Chemex is a pour-over coffee maker, a method that involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds and letting it drip through a filter. This rapid extraction brings out the best flavors and aromas from your coffee. The filtration process also results in a clean, fresh cup. Despite its simplicity, the Chemex has consistently delivered delicious coffee for over 80 years, solidifying its position as one of the most beloved pour-over coffee devices in the world.

Is Chemex Right for You?

The Chemex is an ideal choice for those who enjoy the ritual of coffee making and have a few extra minutes to spare each day. If you appreciate a clean, crisp coffee experience, this might be the perfect device for you. While the Chemex can accommodate all roasts, it particularly shines with light to light-medium varieties.

woman pouring liquid on jar

Please don’t purchase a Chemex if…

  • You don’t support the use of single-use paper filters. If this is the case, you might want to look into the Hario Woodneck instead. 
  • You like stronger-tasting and highly texture coffee. Consider immersion brewers instead, such as a French Press.
  • You’re not willing to learn the ropes. Try the Clever Dripper instead. 

FAQs

How to clean the Chemex coffee maker?

Thankfully, this is easy to clean. Simply rinse the carafe with warm water with soap, or you may even throw it into the dishwasher, just don’t forget to include the leather tie. It’s best to clean it weekly or every time you brew a different coffee type.

How to keep the coffee fresh and hot?

While the Chemex coffee maker retains heat rather well, you can insulate more by wrapping it around a cloth, using a gas or glass-top stove when heating, or placing it in a hot water bath.

Why should I brew with the Chemex?

  • Specialty coffee is best brewed with pour-over rather than immersion methods. 
  • It has a non-porous borosilicate flask that retains no unpleasant flavors, is non-toxic, and is easy to operate.
  • It works great, even for new users or for low-quality beans.
  • It houses a scientific grade double-bonded filter paper, which works efficiently in absorbing coffee oils, thus, exposing the beautiful flavors of the beans.
  • It looks beautiful on any kitchen counter!

Why does my coffee taste bad?

Here are some of the reasons why you’re coffee may not taste its best when using the Chemex:

  • Poor water quality: minerals in water affect coffee extraction significantly. Opt for distilled, mineral, or filtered water instead.
  • Inaccurate coffee roast: the Chemex works best with light to light-medium roasts. If you brew dark, you will not have the best-tasting coffee with this device.
  • The freshness of the coffee beans: After roasting, it’s best to use up your coffee within 5-14 days to ensure freshness. You may also opt to buy whole beans and grind them yourself to avoid oxidation, as oxidation hastens staleness. 

Why does brewing with the Chemex take a while?

For more efficient usage, make sure that the 3-layer side of the filter is lying against the spout. If not, it will stick against the spot and block the airflow. To make the brewing quicker, insert a chopstick or a metal straw along the spot to create a bigger air gap.

Why does brewing the Chemex take shorter than usual?

If your coffee brews quickly and also taste watery, the culprit may be your grind being a little too coarse. Just grind finer to fix this problem. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.