Chemex vs. Aeropress: which one is better?
These machines are great and will always make you the best coffee. They are reasonably priced and rely on simplicity to get the job done. Let’s learn more about them.
Need a hot cup of coffee quickly? This coffee maker will prepare it in under one minute. It produces coffee that is similar to espresso by forcing hot water and steam through grounds and a filter to extract the flavor.
The Aeropress was invented in 2005 by Alan Adler while trying to make his coffee less bitter. That is how he came up with this pressure-based brewing tool. It consists of a filter cap, plunger, and metal or paper filters.
Brewing with the Aeropress
Aeropress forces coffee through a filter (paper or metal) directly into a cup. The filter prevents oil and the sediments from getting in the cup resulting in a perfect cup of coffee. The AeroPress consists of two plastic cylinders. The larger one, which is the brewing chamber and the second one, the plunger that fits into the brewing chamber.
Once you press the plunger down slowly, it pushes the water, adding pressure for better coffee extraction. The pressure is generated entirely by hand as you compress the coffee between the plunger and the ground coffee bed or micro-filter.
The full process takes less than 3 minutes, and the resulting brew is quite clean and much stronger compared to what you get with a Chemex. Read more on the Aeropress technique here.
- Place the Aeropress on top of your preferred mug.
- Pour a little water onto the round coffee filter to avoid any paper taste in your final result while you preheat your vessel.
- Add the coffee.
- Pour the remaining water into the Aeropress and gently press the coffee into your cup consistently until most of the water is gone.
- Short steeping time
- Provides great control of the pressure
- Small and portable can be used even for espresso
- Requires filters that are specific for an Aeropress
- Produces a single cup at a time
Chemex has been around since 1941. It was invented by Dr. Peter Schumbohm. Its design is simple (one piece of glass shaped like an hourglass). The glass is heat resistant and features a wooden handle in the middle of the vessel. The handle allows you to lift your Chemex and pour the coffee. This design additionally makes sure you get a clean cup of coffee with no sediment and additional flavors. Thanks to the thicker-than-usual paper filter and slow extraction.
Brewing with Chemex
- Begin by placing a paper filter into the Chemex and rinse it with hot water to remove the paper flavor and make the filter stick in place, then pour it back into the pitcher.
- Add your coffee.
- Then pour a small amount of hot water into the Chemex and allow one minute and thirty seconds for the water to drip into the Chemex.
- Add the remaining water and wait for your coffee to brew before removing the filter.
- Elegant design
- Great filtration capability to get rid of sediments
- A flexible process that offers room for customization
- Designed using corrosion-resistant material
- Coffee is not as strong as the other methods
- Glass can break when not handled properly
- The process can be quite complicated for beginners
Differences of Aeropress vs. Chemex
To brew with a Chemex, you have to wait for around 6-7 minutes to taste your coffee. Note that this will vary depending on how finely your coffee is ground. If using an Aeropress, your brew time is nearly cut in half. You brew can even be ready in under 3 minutes, thanks to the much pressure applied.
Skilled level required
New to the brewing game? The Aeropress will not disappoint you. It is easy to use, clean, and requires no special training to start using it. On the other hand, Chemex is designed for more skilled coffee lovers, and that is reflected in the brewing process. Basically, the Aeropress is the easiest coffee machine to master.
Design and aesthetics
If looking for something stylish and unique, you won’t go wrong with a Chemex. Made out of glass vessel and fastened with a cord, and wooden handle, you will truly love seeing it in your house. Aeropress is not that stylish but free of BPA, eco-friendly, and does a good job. So if looking for something to complement your décor, buy a Chemex.
Which makes more coffee at a time? If serving a large crowd, use a Chemex as it has a 6-cup serving chamber. The Aeropress, although brews very fast, only makes one cup at a time.
While both coffee makers are designed to last longer, the Chemex is more delicate as it is made of glass. So if prone to dropping things, it makes sense to buy an Aeropress, which is made of heavy plastic.
Which makes better coffee?
Love espresso-based drinks? If yes, you will love every moment you brew with Aeropress. It makes coffee that is similar to espresso. That is a richer, stronger, and bolder brew. But if your taste buds appreciate coffee that is not intense, then grab yourself a Chemex.
While both the Chemex and Aeropress are fairly priced, Aeropress is less expensive than Chemex if you consider the amount of money you will spend in the long run on Chemex filters. These filters are a bit costly. You can still buy a Chemex if you love its coffee.
Infusion vs. immersion
A Chemex uses the infusion technique to make coffee. In this technique, hot water is poured continuously through a bed of coffee ground sitting on top of a filter. You need to be observant to maintain even saturation of the ground and prevent channeling. Otherwise, you will get an uneven cup of coffee.
Now comparing the two techniques, immersion (used by Aeropress) and infusion, we prefer infusion because of its effectiveness at the extraction of coffee compounds. The continuous pour of pure water makes sure you extract at maximum capacity.
Both makers are portable compared to the standard electric coffee machines. You can bring them on your next camping trip.