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Is Chemex Coffee the Same as Pour Over Coffee? What’s the Difference?

Some of you may have heard of, and are curious about, what Chemex coffee is and how it might be an alternative to your current coffee choice. This article will be covering pour over coffee and Chemex coffee.

Some people compare Chemex coffee to pour over coffee and say that Chemex coffee is simply pour over with a slightly thicker filter. That statement is not entirely wrong. The two methods are quite similar and the filter is the main difference. However, Chemex coffee is still quite unique in its own right and is different enough from pour over coffee to make a significant difference in taste.

If we want to know about these two methods, we first need to go over their differences and then have a look at each method individually.

How Is Chemex Different From Pour Over Coffee?

chemex-coffee-brewerSo, there are a few differences and some reasons to choose Chemex over pour over

  • Chemex Coffeemakers were invented/improvised from a chemistry flask. Every step of the process is done in the Chemex brewer, rather than having a separate server and carafe.
  • It is essentially an improved pour over coffee maker. Where a pour over coffee maker can leave a plastic taste behind, which may make the coffee unbearable for some people, a Chemex Coffeemaker is made of pure glass so there is no taste left behind.
  • The Chemex filters are significantly thicker than normal coffee filters. While it is not necessarily a special filter, it is a higher grade filter.

For the most part, you’ll get a much smoother taste from Chemex coffee because of the thicker filter. Not everyone will enjoy the taste, though, so it’s all a bit of a preference thing.

Is Pour Over Coffee better than Chemex Coffee?

For the most part, I would have to say no. Although preference in taste can make a bit of a difference, most pour over coffee makers have plastic in them that leaves a taste behind that isn’t present when you use a Chemex coffee maker. Now I will say that pour over coffee is already better than automatic coffee, so even if you don’t choose Chemex coffee I would still recommend getting a pour over kettle at least.

Most manual methods of making coffee are better than using drip coffee, as manual methods offer more versatility and choice when making your coffee. The kettles for pour over coffee can get somewhat expensive, so it may not be a feasible choice for everyone.

Pour over coffee is a method created by Japanese people to have a unique way of making coffee. One thing you should know about this special style of Japanese coffee is that it isn’t something you can just pour and go. It requires a special kind of kettle, a certain kind of carafe, and good beans. This particular method of making coffee requires a lot of patience as it is one of the most time-consuming methods of brewing coffee.

The method uses a narrow spout to produce an even, steady stream of water – instead of flooding the filter and letting it drip, you deliver a continuous, measured amount of water over a period of several minutes. This method may seem to be a bit tedious and annoying to take so much time to brew the coffee, but it is well worth the wait.

The resulting coffee tastes different than most other methods of making coffee you can find. The flavor can be sweet and bright, something quite distinct in coffee. It is rare to have coffee that tastes as unique as this method, so I really think this method of coffee making is worth all the time it consumes.

Chemex coffee does not stray all that much from these steps. You largely follow the same instructions to make it.

If you are looking into using this method, I would take a look at some grinders, as grinding your own coffee beans for this can make it all the more personal. I would also recommend this for Chemex coffee for the same reason. Not to mention that Chemex requires a specific grind level to get perfect coffee.

Now if you’re looking into getting a pour over coffee kettle, there are several you can find, but I would personally recommend this Stagg pour over kettle.

Now let’s take a look at the Chemex coffee brewing method.

Is Chemex Coffee better than Pour Over Coffee?

pour-over-coffee-vs-chemexChemex coffee is one of the only methods that provide a nearly completely clean cup of coffee, far more so than any other method. Personally, I enjoy having the oils and such in my coffee, but I would say this method of making coffee is much better than using pour over coffee.

Brewing Chemex coffee is somewhat different than pour over coffee. Because of the thicker filter, the Chemex Coffeemakers require a specific grind level. although you can experiment with different grind levels, as some may take longer or go quicker, depending on whether it is thicker of finer.The grind of your coffee needs to be quite fine, more so than that of French Press, but not so much that the grind looks like sand. This part is very important, as it prevents the coffee from pouring through too fast, and not coming through at all.

As with most brewing methods, the ratio of the coffee depends on the desired taste you want from your coffee. Typically, a 1:10 or 1:15 ratio will be about average (Coffee per Gram to Water Per 10Ml).

Chemex coffee has a bit of an interesting backstory to it. It was created by a scientist, hence why the Chemex Coffeemaker looks like a chemistry flask. Peter Schlumbohm, a German chemist and inventor, designed this coffee maker back in 1941. He had over 3000 patents, but this was arguably his most popular invention. It did not, as many believe, come out of the Third Wave Brewing Movement.

Most aspects of using this method can be experimented with to change the outcome. However, the recommended temperature is around 90-98 degrees Celcius, the filters are typically 30% heavier than an average filter, and brewing Chemex coffee will, on average, only take about 3 to 5 minutes.

So, overall, I would say that using a Chemex Coffeemaker could be a much better alternative to regular pour over coffee, as it is quite a unique method and provides cleaner coffee.

So Chemex or Pour Over Coffee?

I would say it really falls down onto preference. For the most part, a Chemex is designed to use heavier filters and give cleaner coffee, but you can use the same method to make regular pour over coffee.

Chemex Coffeemakers can be more expensive than a typical pour over coffee, so you may choose pour over to save some money, although the price difference is quite low.

Either way will do you just fine, but if you are looking for a way to get cleaner coffee, I would recommend looking at Chemex Coffeemakers.