The Hario V60 and the Chemex are two of the most popular pour over coffee makers on the market today. If you are beginning to explore the exciting world of pour over coffee you may be wondering what the difference is between the Hario V60 and the Chemex? In this article we are going to cover the main differences between these two pour over coffee makers. If you are on the market for a pour over see our guide to the best pour over coffee makers.
The Hario V60 is really the iconic pour over and the one which is most commonly used in specialty coffee shops as well as in home brewing setups. Hario is a Japanese coffee company that literally means ‘King of Glass.’ As well as the V60 they offer a range of other coffee related products. The most distinct aspect of the V60 is the huge hole at the bottom of the brewer (as opposed for example to the three small holes in a Kalita Wave). This makes for a very fast brew and means that the length and quality of extraction is really determined solely by the skill of the brewer and grind size.
On the positive this means that the V60 can make some delicious brews which really showcase different flavour profiles with clarity. On the negative, this means that the V60 does have a fairly steep learning curve attached especially for people who have little or no prior experience with pour over. The Hario V60 is a small brewer that you place on top of either your cup or carafe. It is available in two different sizes and in glass, plastic, ceramic, or metal. The plastic is cheapest and is actually probably the best version as it has the least heat loss during brewing.
The V60 is the favourite brewer of many specialty coffee fans. If used correctly then it allows for great depth of flavour and a very light and bright brew.
The Chemex is another iconic and elegant pour over coffee maker. In fact, it is so elegant in look that it is actually on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The most obvious difference between the V60 and the Chemex is that the Chemex is a single piece of blown glass that includes both the brewer and carafe/decanter. So as well as allowing you to brew in it, it doubles as a coffee server. And it simply does look stunning.
Another major difference between the V60 and the Chemex is that the Chemex is designed to make larger brews of coffee. It comes in various sizes, but really is designed to make multiple cups of balanced coffee at a time. By contrast, while the V60 can make multiple cups it has a smaller capacity and is more regularly used to make single batches of coffee.
Like the V60, the Chemex has a single large hole at the bottom of the cone through which the coffee passes. The major difference in terms of flavour is determined by the filter papers used. The Chemex uses very thick filter paper which makes for a very light and bright brew. But realistically the final flavour will be largely determined by the beans used, the grind size, the grind size consistency, and the skill of the brewer rather than whether it is made on a V60 or a Chemex.
For either the V60 or the Chemex you really ought to use high quality, freshly roasted single origin beans. Beans ought to be no more than a month past the roast date and the higher quality the grinder used the nicer the flavour. Pour overs are really made for single origin coffee roasted often light-medium. The purpose of this brewing method is particularly to showcase the different flavour distinctives of different beans. As such it should always be drunk black with no additives, and produces a very light and bright coffee that is similar in consistency to a tea. For those starting off Ethiopian or Columbian beans are often a pleasant flavour on either V60 or Chemex.
Well we hope this has cleared up any questions you had regarding the Hario V60 and the Chemex. Both Pour Overs are excellent options if you are looking to start brewing Pour Over coffee.