Best Chemex Coffee Makers + Alternatives

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

The Chemex coffee maker, a pour-over brewer, is more than a coffee-making apparatus—it’s a design marvel. The captivating blend of its glass flask, wooden collar, and leather tie represents the perfect fusion of style and functionality.

So much so that its elegance has found a place in The Museum of Modern Art, New York. But beyond aesthetics, the Chemex is also an efficient coffee brewing workhorse.


Top Chemex Coffee Makers to Consider

Chemex Classic Series 8-Cup

Leading our list is the Chemex Classic Series 8-Cup, admired for its seamless amalgamation of visual appeal and practical use.

The Classic Series, marked by its iconic wooden collar and leather tie, is the original Chemex design, available in various sizes: 3, 6, 8, and 10-cup models.


  • Symbolic model
  • Adequate brewing capacity for most households
  • Fair pricing
  • Traditional wooden collar and tie


  • Fragile due to thin glass construction
  • Absence of handle for ease of use

Chemex Glass Handle Series 3-Cup

Our value-for-money pick is small yet ultra-efficient, boasting a useful handle.

The Glass Handle Series comes with a heat-resistant handle for easy handling, a practical feature that wins many hearts, even if it deviates slightly from the traditional Chemex aesthetic.


  • Ideal for single users or couples
  • Handle for effortless maneuverability
  • Suitable for travel


  • Absence of traditional Chemex wooden collar and leather tie

Chemex Handblown Series 3-Cup

The Chemex Handblown Series is the premium choice, exuding a perfect balance between design and engineering. Available in 3, 5, 8, or 13-cup variants, this series stands out for its design, although it’s more costly than the others.


  • Traditional aesthetic charm
  • Expertly crafted
  • Easy to clean and store
  • Resilient to heat, odors, and residues


  • Higher price tag

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 Trip Down Memory Lane: The Chemex Story

Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, a prolific German inventor with over 300 coffee maker designs to his credit, moved to the United States in the 1930s. Here, his inventions transformed refrigeration technology. Among them was a unique coffee glass that doubled as a filtering device—the precursor to today’s beloved Chemex.

The Chemex is a pour-over coffee maker that involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds and letting it filter through. This method of rapid extraction brings out the best coffee flavors and aromas. This simple technique has consistently delivered delectable coffee for more than eight decades, establishing the Chemex as a favorite among pour-over coffee devices globally.

Is the Chemex Right for You?

woman pouring liquid on jar

The Chemex suits coffee lovers who enjoy the ritual of brewing and can spare a few extra minutes each day. If you favor a clean, sharp coffee experience, this device could be your match made in coffee heaven. The Chemex works well with all roasts but particularly excels with light to light-medium varieties.

However, the Chemex may not be for you if:

  • You oppose using single-use paper filters: Consider the Hario Woodneck instead.
  • You prefer stronger, textured coffee: An immersion brewer like a French Press could be a better choice.
  • If you’re reluctant to learn new brewing techniques: The Clever Dripper could be your go-to.


How to clean a Chemex coffee maker? 

Cleaning is straightforward—rinse the carafe with warm soapy water or place it in the dishwasher. Remember to remove the leather tie before washing. Weekly cleaning or cleaning between different coffee types is advisable.

How to keep the coffee fresh and hot? 

Though the Chemex retains heat relatively well, for added insulation, wrap it in a cloth, heat it on a gas or glass-top stove, or immerse it in a hot water bath.

Why should I brew with the Chemex? 

Specialty coffee is best brewed with the pour-over method. The Chemex comes with a non-porous borosilicate flask that doesn’t retain unpleasant flavors, is non-toxic, and is easy to operate. Even novice users or low-quality beans can produce excellent results. Its scientific-grade double-bonded filter paper efficiently absorbs coffee oils, exposing the beans’ delightful flavors. Plus, it adds a touch of beauty to any kitchen counter!

Why does my coffee taste bad? 

Here are some potential reasons:

  • Poor water quality: minerals in water significantly impact coffee extraction. Use distilled, mineral, or filtered water.
  • Unsuitable coffee roast: Chemex works best with light to light-medium roasts.
  • Stale coffee beans: Use freshly roasted beans, ideally within 5-14 days after roasting. Consider buying whole beans and grinding them just before brewing to prevent oxidation and maintain freshness.

Why does brewing with the Chemex take a while? 

For efficient usage, ensure that the 3-layer side of the filter is against the spout. If not, it will block the airflow. To expedite brewing, insert a chopstick or a metal straw along the spout to create a larger air gap.

Why does brewing the Chemex take less time than usual? 

If your coffee brews quickly and tastes watery, your grind might be too coarse. Grind finer to solve this issue.

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. Remember to support us by purchasing through the Amazon/Walmart/Impact Radius links provided. Last update on 2024-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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


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.