a) Can it be done?
b) Would it make a difference (for the better), thus negating the need for the Chemex vessel itself?
A great question that I knew I had to get the answer to.
Why use a Chemex filter without a Chemex vessel?
This is a fair question, so I’ll do my best to answer it.
You see, many coffee fanatics (including the Chemex brand) will tell you that the proprietary filters are what make the Chemex’s coffee as special as it is.
They are thick paper, and as such, filter out more bitter compounds than competitor filters (allegedly).
Many would tell you that the Chemex itself is just an attractive, but unnecessary bonus.
Considering the vessel itself costs more than single drippers like the V60, it’s no wonder that coffee drinkers would forgo the Chemex knowing that the filters were the key ingredient in the brew process.
At first, I was skeptical because I had a hard time getting the filter to sit in the V60, but once I pushed the filter to the bottom of the dripper it seemed like the perfect fit.
- 15 grams of medium-grind, medium roasted coffee
- 270 grams of 202˚F water
- 3:30 targeted brew time
- Pulse pour (9 pours)
It was very close, but the Chemex filters were the winner in this experiment. Of course, this was just my personal opinion.
In fact, the girlfriend chose the Hario filters. But like I said, it was very close.
The Hario filtered cup definitely had more oil on the surface and more aroma.
The Chemex filtered cup had a more balanced flavor though, making it a more palatable cup of coffee.
From the same reddit discussion mentioned above, there were multiple people saying that doubling the Hario filters would result in pretty much the same cup of coffee as that which you’d get from a Chemex.
I also plan to run an experiment where I test the Chemex filters in the Hario V60 and the Chemex and compare blindly.
This could actually be round 2 of the Coffeemaker Showdown comparing the Chemex to the Hario V60, so I think that’s what I’ll do.
Try it yourself!
I’d love for you to try this coffee experiment yourself and do a blind tasting with some friends and/or family. Leave a comment below sharing your results, and I’ll be happy to add your results to this post.