Chemex vs Hario

If you are making coffee using a drip coffee maker and are looking to change things up, you might want to consider the Chemex or the Hario. Both of these provide a great cup of coffee. Let’s have a showdown, Chemex vs Hario! Which one is right for you? Let’s dig in and find out!

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PROS:

  • The glass is made with borosilicate glass, which is tasteless. This means the focus of your tastebuds will be the coffee and nothing else.
  • The power of the extraction process lies in their paper filters. This filter is another of Dr. Schlumbohm's inventions and is double layered in the front, soaking up a lot of the oils. It leaves your cup of coffee tasting smooth with a hint of floral notes.
  • Given that the filter is thicker, it is also more forgiving if you grind your coffee either way in the wrong direction from too large to too small.
  • The container, with an hour-glass shape, will allow you to make coffee for more than one person. As a matter of fact, you can choose from many different sizes, ranging from a three cup maker to a thirteen cup maker, perfect for those of us who prefer to drink coffee all day.

CONS:

  • You must use the paper filters in order to get the smooth, less acidic taste the company boasts. A wire basket will make your coffee taste much more like a drip coffee maker made it. Sometimes the filters can be hard to find as well.
  • Be careful when watching the Chemex! Not only is it more difficult to thoroughly clean, but it is also thin glass and easy to break.

This family-owned company started with chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, who studied how to maximize flavor and caffeine extraction. Built in the 1940s, the device was designed with beauty on the mind and has won numerous awards in the art community – including being placed in the museum of modern art. Keeping it in the family, the company focuses on making high quality, hand blown devices with the wood collar to help with better handling.

Hario v60

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PROS:

  • This maker is wonderful if you are looking to really have a lot of control over your pour. Yes, you can control the taste based on how fast or the method of how you pour. This is because of the ridges on the v60 create separations between the wet filter and the walls of the cone, which allows the brewed coffee to escape through the sides of the filter and flow neatly down the funnel to the bottom
  • They have a wide arrange of products. You can pick from several different styles of v60s including the glass, ceramic, and plastic. I have heard that the copper version allows for high thermal conductivity, meaning it will hold heat better making a better-tasting coffee. In addition, you have size ranges. You can choose to purchase one for just a few cups, benefits for people like me who are the only ones in the house that drinks coffee, up to the 03 which serves six cups.
  • Portability. I am a travel freak and my family goes hiking often. I don't have to worry about breaking the plastic Hario v60 while on a hiking trip or if I put it in my carry on and someone sets their luggage on top of mine. Not to mention, I'm the only one in my household who drinks coffee so I can make a batch of coffee for myself and throw away the filter, wipe down the v60, and we continue our trek around the world.
  • Price. The cost of the filters for the Hario is about half the cost of the Chemex coffee filters.

CONS:

  • Given the information that you have a lot of control, you should keep in mind that it will be harder to get the perfect pour. A few things you might want to note is that you must give your full attention to the pour, especially in the beginning when you are learning. Also, while a coffee pour-over kit would benefit from a gooseneck kettle, the Hario v60 almost requires one in order to get a great cup of coffee.
  • The size of your coffee grounds is more important with the Hario v60. Again, the thicker filter with the Chemex means you don't have to stress as much about the size, whereas with this brand, you want to make sure your grind is not too small otherwise you might choke out the water.

The Hario company was created in 1921 and they spent years working to find a glass that would be heat-proof. Their glass has silica sand, borax, boric acid, alumina in it; all of them are natural materials. In 1949, they brought this to the home through a glass filtered coffee system. The v60 was created much more recently, in 2005, and is already the most well-known of the Hario products.  They gave it this name because of its V-shaped, and that the sides are angled at 60 degrees. Ther Hario v60 also has several World Brewers Cup Championships wins under its belt as well.

Side by Side Comparison: Chemex vs. Hario v60

Design/Aesthetic

I have previously mentioned that the Chemex has won numerous awards for the design. Interestingly enough, you can purchase the design without the wooden piece in the middle, and instead it comes with a glass handle. This distracts from the view that made it win awards so I would not purchase this version, personally. The Hario v60 has a unique feature that you can set it on top of a coffee cup or add it to a stand and the brand is pleasing to the eye both ways. However, this award has to go to the Chemex.

Grind Size

With both brands, I highly recommend purchasing a good burr grinder, the use of store-bought ground coffee will not work as well with either brand. That being said, the Chemex requires a grind size that is medium-coarse but is much more forgiving if you go in either direction. With the ability to customize for the Hario, if you have a fine grind and a slow pour, you are going to have a strong coffee. On the other end, if you have a more coarse grind and faster pour, you will end up with a weaker coffee.  For consistency purposes, especially in the beginning, I would choose the Chemex.

Convenience

In my opinion, the Hario v6o wins this one hands down. It wins because, if given the right material, you can take it places you could not take the Chemex. With the Chemex you have to worry about it breaking for a number of reasons, the gentle glass being one of them. For someone, like me, who needs the convenience of being able to port it wherever they go without having to worry about it breaking- this is a no-brainer.

Funnel

As I noted before, the sixty-degree design in the Hario allows for the brewed coffee to escape in this way as well as directly through the bottom. For the Chemex, the coffee can only go through the bottom. Both of these have a large window to get through which is why grind size is so important. I think, given that the water can flow from more angles, the Hario v60 would be the winner on this one.

Ease of Use

I feel this one has been thoroughly discussed but in case you missed it, the pour over Chemex wins this one. If you are someone who wants quite a bit of customization, the v60 would be the better one for you; however, if you need to be able to drink the coffee on the first use after purchase, thanks to the filters on the Chemex pour over, you made the right choice.

Filters

Both brands require the use of a paper filter. I maintain that if you purchase a metal filter with them, you will not be changing the flavor up enough to justify purchasing something other than what you are already using. The good news is, likewise with both brands the filters are going to give you a more clean flavor since they don’t allow as much sediment to get through.

I would say this one is a tie since the Chemex does a better job keeping the oils out and the v60 filters are much easier to find.

Time

Neither of these machines should be bought with the thought process that you can push a button and walk away, as with a drip coffee maker; however, if you are wanting something a little bit faster to work with, the Hario v60 would be the winner. The recommended brewing times for the v60 is between two and four minutes, thanks to the larger hole at the bottom of the container. For the Chemex, the brewing time is between three and six minutes.

Brew

This one is totally up to you and your preference, to be honest. If you want a simple brew method that leaves you with a clean note, almost like a tea, then the Chemex is the way to go. If you prefer more complex notes and are good with experimenting, the Hario v60 would be a better choice for you.

Final Thoughts

In the Hario v60 vs Chemex debate, you have to decide which coffee pour over kit is best for you and your needs.

The Chemex is a good choice if you want an easy to use coffee brewer that has a very little learning curve. It is also a good choice if you want something that is, undoubtedly, a piece of art sitting on your counter. You can find this beautiful coffee brewer over at Amazon.

The Hario v60 is a good choice if you want something that is durable and easy to tote around, or if you desire something that allows you to have control and even give you a little fun with your brewing process. This brand would also be a good choice for the individual coffee drinker, as they only have to make one cup. To learn more, be sure to read the information over at this site.

We hope you found the perfect coffee maker. Check out all our coffee maker buying guides here.