Coffeemaker Showdown 009: Chemex vs. Hario V60

Chemex vs Hario V60

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This 9th iteration of the Coffeemaker Showdown series I’m taking a side-by-side look at the Chemex and the Hario V60. It’s Chemex vs Hario, let’s go!

This is a showdown that I think will require several rounds, so for now I’m just going to publish the first round and then update this post with the subsequent rounds later on.

After all, these are arguably the two most popular pour over coffee makers out there right now, so I really have to make sure I test the crap out of this.

If you’d like to see the individual reviews for each of these coffee makers, follow the links below:

Chemex 6 Cup

Hario V60

Chemex

Chemex 6 Cup

For those who are just getting to know the Chemex, you are likely curious about how such a simple device could produce coffee that allegedly tastes so good.

Well, believe it or not it has less to do with the Chemex itself and more to do with the the filters that are meant to be used with it. More on this in a bit…

Aside from the coffee, the first major appeal is the design.

For one, the entire coffee maker with the exception of the collar is made from sturdy borosilicate glass. This makes the brew process completely transparent.

The Chemex is also on display at the MOMA in New York, so that’s certainly an endorsement for its aesthetic appeal.

Another major selling point is that the Chemex is one of the few coffee makers out there that is manufactured here in the USA. There are only a handful of coffee makers that can still claim the same.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, there are the filters. They are thick paper that prevent sediment and other undesirable bitter compounds found in coffee from passing into the final cup. With Chemex filters you get an extremely clean cup of coffee.

Hario V60

Hario V60 Glass

The Hario V60 has many of the same draws that the Chemex has, particularly from a design and materials perspective.

It comes in a ceramic, glass, plastic or copper version (possibly more options). It also has a very small footprint and looks great.

Many people who only brew a single cup of coffee at a time are drawn to the Hario V60 because it is inexpensive, brews quickly, uses solid materials, and makes great coffee.

As far as the filters go, I think they are some of the best in the business. While they aren’t as thick as the Chemex filters, they are still thicker than many alternatives.

How These Coffeemaker Showdowns Work

If this is your first coffeemaker showdown, welcome! Basically, I take two coffee makers and declare a winner amongst the 9 rating categories I normally look at in my reviews. These are:

Price, coffee quality, coffeemaker quality, durability, brew speed, versatility, appearance, ease of use, and cleaning ease.

You can learn more about how I rate coffeemakers here.

The Showdown

Results

It’s almost impossible to ensure that all variables are the same across both coffee makers. Additionally, I usually run very few trials across a very small sample size of people, so the results will never be perfect.

So here’s what I did in the first round of this showdown:

  • 19 grams of medium-fine ground coffee
  • 342 grams of 205˚F water
  • Medium-dark roast coffee (Guatemala Acatenango Finca) from Totem Coffee Company.
  • Pulse brew (6 pours) across 2 separate brews (I didn’t brew simultaneously)
  • Blind taste of the two coffee samples once they cooled down

Price

The V60 is the cheaper option between these two coffee makers, frequently hovering in the $10-$15 range. The Chemex is usually at least $35, but it depends on the size you buy.

Winner: Hario V60

Coffee Quality

Neither cup of coffee was great, as you may have seen in the video. I over-extracted both, which I think had more to do with the water temperature than anything else (I could be wrong).

In either case, the lesser of the two evils in terms of bitterness was the Hario V60.

Of course, taste isn’t the only thing that matters. Plus, this was only one trial/round of testing.

Winner: Hario V60

Coffee Maker Quality

I have to give it to the Chemex here. Not a single issue with the design, and the glass is pretty solid.

Winner: Chemex

Ease of Use

Some would argue that one is more difficult to use than the other based on their different flow rates, but I think this is a little bit too nit-picky for the average user.

Winner: none

Cleaning Ease

The Hario V60 is easier for the simple fact that it doesn’t have a carafe attached to it. Frankly, I’ve never had issues cleaning either of these coffee makers, but I’ve heard the Chemex does get a little cloudy after some time if you tend to use darker roasts.

Winner: Hario V60

Durability

The Hario V60 barely wins out here because the glass is a tad bit thicker. Plus, it’s a smaller coffee maker so it’s harder to accidentally bump it against say, your faucet.

Winner: Hario V60

Brew Speed

The Hario V60 is faster with all else being the same, given the larger hole at the bottom. But brew speed in pour over is largely contingent on the user’s pour rate and the coffee’s grind.

Winner: Hario V60

Appearance

The Chemex is in the MOMA. ‘Nuff said, man!

Winner: Chemex

Versatility

The Chemex will allow you to brew more cups of coffee, but aside from this there are no additional frills that either of these coffee makers can offer over the other.

Winner: none

Chemex or Hario V60?

While the Hario V60 beat out the Chemex by a score of 5-2, I still wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. There are certainly other things to factor into your decision, but I’ll try and make it easy for you.

Choose the Chemex if…

You want to be able to make more than just a couple cups of coffee at a time, support companies that manufacture their products in the U.S., and/or have the best-looking coffee maker possible, then the Chemex is definitely the way to go.

You can buy the Chemex 6 cup coffee maker on Amazon here:

Choose the Hario V60 if…

You’re looking to make just 1-2 cups of coffee at time but also want to improve your pour over technique to ultimately make the best coffee possible.

You can also buy a separate carafe for the Hario to make more than a few cups of coffee, but I’m personally not a fan of having too many separate parts.

You can buy the Hario V60 on Amazon here:

Share your questions & comments!

I’d love to hear what you think about this coffeemaker showdown, so if you have any comments or suggestions please leave them below. Same goes for questions, ask away!

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  • so you did a “showdown” between two coffee makers, both of which you had no idea how to properly use as you over-extracted both, yet you had no idea why you over-extracted, and you have a website called The Coffee Concierge… In conclusion, you’re an idiot and have no idea what you’re talking about, this showdown is hot garbage.

    • Benji, thanks for your time and work.. but I gotta agree with him.
      I left here with nothing. Anyone who finds this page is going to be looking for info from someone who knows what they’re doing.
      You should take the time to redo this and then we’ll check out the rest of your site.

      • Thanks for your feedback, Mr. President. I do have plans to redo the video, but it isn’t a top priority right now. Also, the takeaway is that coffee makers don’t matter as much as you may think. That’s a fact, and I’m sorry I didn’t make that clearer.

  • Pretty stunning how some people can be so unappreciative of other people’s efforts.

    Personally, I’ve been using the pour over method for years and if there’s one thing I’ve learned….it’s not an exact science.

    What you’ve offered with your website is an extensive amount of information that’s enough to educate anyone with half a brain about the different brewing methods, pluses and minuses, giving a general idea of how to brew a decent cup of coffee.

    In the end, it comes down to personal taste and the information you provide gives a great starting point with a host of additional reviews and recommendations regarding various coffees and brewing equipment. All for zip, zilch, nadda…..in other words..,, for nothing…FREE!

    However, there’s always going to be a select group of morons who’ll have something particularly rude to say and will just be looking for a way to criticize and not have anything constructive to offer.

    Thanks Benji for a great website and a plethora (I like that word) of FREE and useful information.

  • I have to agree with the haters here. I came here to learn about the nuanced differences between V60 and Chemex, and you didn’t rehearse before prime time — so in the end, this is not useful information.

  • Great comparison. I recently had the opportunity to try coffee from a Chemex that my nephew received as Christmas gift. It was awesome. So awesome that I was motivated to buy my own pour over set up. I did some homework and decided on the Hario V60. I didn’t want to be a copy cat. lol I must say, by following some YouTube instructional techniques I was able to make a pretty darn good cup of coffee with the V60. Your showdown article was informative. Disregard the haters Benji. Some people just can’t help themselves.

    • Thanks, Jeff! Glad to hear you found something that’s working for you. And I’m not worried about the haters…if anything, they’re just reminding me to update this and make it better.

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