Coffee Experiment: Using Chemex Filters with a Hario V60

Chemex filters with Hario V60

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A fantastic question was asked in the r/coffee sub-reddit the other day about using Chemex filters in a Hario V60. The question was two-fold:

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.

Can you use a Chemex filter with a Hario V60?Chemex Filter in a Hario V60

Yes!

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.

Experimental Parameters

  • 15 grams of medium-grind, medium roasted coffee
  • 270 grams of 202˚F water
  • 3:30 targeted brew time
  • Pulse pour (9 pours)

The Experiment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKq6P6jYkTE

Results

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.

Future Iterations

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.

Interesting.

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.

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  • I had a hare brained idea this morning and tried this, then looked for others who had done it and found this.

    I cut the chemex square down by a third on two sides and found it fit much better.

    My comparison was against Hario unbleached filters and the chemex paper was way better. I’ll confess, the unbleached filters were an accidental purchase and I prefer their bleached ones over unbleached. So, I’ve failed to control all the variables…

    I appreciate the trials and attempts to control the variables in this and your other posts. Thanks! Great site.

  • Hi, thanks for the info. I keep cracking my chemex and am looking for an alternative. Are there any other filter vessels that the chemex filters will fit or should I just get the hario?

    • Hi Hamid,

      As long as the filter cone has a cylindrical bottom (as opposed to a flat bottom) it should do just fine. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of many alternatives that are like the Hario’s bottom, so I’d probably just go with that. Even the glass version is way thicker than the Chemex’s glass.

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