Chemex Vs Aeropress (Pour Or Press Manual Brewing?)

Brewing your morning coffee should be simple, right? It shouldn't take too long and be ready for you quickly to kick start your day. However, with the many brewing options now available out there, it can be easy to get caught up in decisions.  

Is it better to pour or to press? Which method is quicker? Which one produces the better brew? 

Fear not! This guide will look at two different manual processes that have become quite a staple; the Chemex vs. AeroPress. Here, we will discuss each brewing method and which one is the best option for you. 

The AeroPress is a newer addition to the coffee scene. It was introduced in 2005 by Alan Adler, who became frustrated with the options available. 

Its design makes it quick and easy to brew your coffee and with much fewer resources.  

The coffee travels through a paper filter, removing the oils and impurities from your cup. 

Its fast-brewing method and low acidity means you can enjoy a full-bodied, rich coffee with a softer, smoother flavor. This is for those who want a decent brew quickly and easily. 

AeroPress Coffee

How Do You Brew AeroPress Coffee? (Barista Tips) 

It may look complicated to a novice, but the method is more straightforward than you may think. The plunger comes in two parts; a smaller and larger cylinder.  

Using a finer grind will be more beneficial, as coarser grinds will resist the air pushing through, making it harder to extract. To brew your coffee in the AeroPress, follow these steps below: 

  • Clean the filter and cap with water and clip to the large cylinder. Place on top of a mug. 
  • Add roughly 2 tbsp of ground into the large cylinder. 
  • Pour hot water about halfway up and stir the ground for 10 seconds. 
  • Fill the cylinder to the fill line.  
  • (optional) brew for up to 2 minutes for stronger coffee. 
  • Plunge to pour the coffee. 
  • Discard the grounds and enjoy!  
  • The paper filter is also reusable – simply rinse well and use again!  

Brewing Chemex Coffee (Overview & Why People Enjoy It) 

The Chemex is a good example of manual filtered coffee. It's been on the scene since 1941 – invented by Peter J Schlumbohm, an American chemist who initially designed the Chemex for other purposes. He found that it could make excellent filter coffee and branded it as such.  

The Chemex is renowned for its smooth and less acidic taste. The filter stops the natural oils from the ground from entering your coffee and takes minutes to brew.  

This is for those coffee enthusiasts who are looking for a sophisticated way of brewing for a group of friends.  

Brewing Chemex Coffee

How Do You Brew Chemex Coffee? (Barista Tips) 

Getting used to a Chemex can take some patience and skill. It's not the easiest brewing method, but once mastered makes great tasting coffee. You will find the best use with a goose-neck kettle.  

A coarse grind is best because a finer ground will filter water through too quickly. It's recommended to only use Chemex filters once, but they can be used multiple times with a thorough rinse. The method is as follows:  

  • Shape the filter into a cone, ensuring the tip doesn't have a hole. Place into the top of the Chemex. 
  • Add your coffee ground.  
  • Gently pour over hot water in circular motions.  
  • Wait approximately 1 minute for grounds to bloom. 
  • Pour over the rest of the water in circular motions until at desired level. 
  • Wait for all the coffee to filter through.  
  • Remove the filter and discard the grounds. Serve and enjoy!  
Chemex style Coffee

Using a goose-neck style kettle will ensure even distribution and easier pouring. A standard kettle won’t be as smooth pouring as a goose-neck.  


AeroPress Vs Chemex (Which Is Better At Brewing Coffee?) 

Because of their different styles (pour over and pressure brewing), the AeroPress vs. Chemex both produce different styles of coffee. Additionally, they both have their merits for different situations.  

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Chemex 

AeroPress 

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Chemex
aeropress

Design 

Hourglass design with a sleek wooden handle. Easily holds enough grounds for your brewing. 

Two plastic cylinders designed to push air through into the water and brew very quickly.  

Grind Size 

Coarse grind so that the water does not travel through the filters too quickly.  

Medium to fine grind, for richer and stronger brews. 

Brew Time 

5 – 7 minutes, while the water filters through. 

1:30 – 3 minutes. The air pressure pushes the water through the grounds quickly. 

Ease Of Use 

Can be complicated to master. The method requires patience and practice in perfecting. 

Can be difficult the first time, but once used to the design, it is much easier to use.  

Servings 

6 – 10 cups of coffee. Large beaker design makes way for more brew. 

Up to 4 cups. Can’t produce as many because of its smaller design. 

Taste 

Rich, bold flavors in a clean brew thanks to the filter. 

Strong, aromatic, and clean flavors. The size of the brew means more flavor packed into your coffee.  

Additional Items 

Requires filters sold separately. Chemex also recommends only using their filters as they’re thicker.  

Comes with 350 filters on purchase. Also comes with a muddler and funnel in packaging. 

Portability 

Fragile, best designed to stay in one place in the kitchen. 

The plastic design makes it easier to carry around and take on camping trips.  

Grind Tips For Both options

Using a coarser grind in an AeroPress may prove more difficult to plunge, as the air cannot escape as easily with a finer grind. Additionally, a finer grind may move too quickly through a Chemex.  

It’s all about experimentation! Try a coarser or finer grind to find the perfect coffee for your tastes. 


Hario V60 V Chemex Vs AeroPress Differences 

The Hario v60 is another new addition to brewing coffee, introduced in 2005 by Japanese glass and coffee specialists. It's a more portable version of the Chemex and is able to withstand hotter temperatures. The sides are ribbed to allow more room for blooming.  

Comparing this to the Chemex, it initially feels superior. The design comes in ceramic, glass, or plastic. It doesn't brew as many coffees as a Chemex can, but if you're looking for yourself or traveling, this is a great way to get the benefits of a Chemex without the risk of damaging yours. 

Because the v60 produces similar results to a Chemex, it would also be better for those who find the strength of an AeroPress too much. The v60 is a great addition to your brewing collection for a smooth, aromatic fix of coffee in your day! 

hario v60

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the ratio of coffee to water in a Chemex? 

For a standard 8-cup Chemex, you want about 45 grams of coffee in the filter. Pair this with approximately 720 grams of hot water to brew, and this should produce 8 cups bursting with flavor. 

Can you use any filter with Chemex? 

You can! You can use cone-shaped filters made of paper, cloth, or metal. You want to use filters based on their thickness; a thin filter isn’t going to brew the coffee as well as the water flows too quickly.  

How many times can you reuse AeroPress filters? 

Users report getting about 20-30 uses from a single filter. Once finished, simply rinse thoroughly, and place back into the cap to dry for the next brew.  

Why does my brew taste bad? 

It could be down to the extraction. If you use too much water, for example, your brew will taste bitter and strong. Too little water will result in it being sour and under-extracted. You want a balance of 1:2 on coffee/water. 

Can you brew cold coffee in an AeroPress?

Yes! This process takes approximately 2 minutes instead of 24 hours. First, use a very fine grind. Next, pour over room temperature water to the #2 line. Stir for 60 seconds rather than 10. Once ready, press the cylinder slower than usual, and dilute your brew with ice-cold water. The flavors are acidic, sweet, and aromatic.  


Conclusion

Manual brewing isn’t as complicated as once thought. It’s easy to do in the comfort of your own home and produces brilliant cups of coffee.

The Chemex is for a sweeter, smoother brew, and the AeroPress is for those who wish to have a quicker, stronger brew.

For camping, we recommend the AeroPress as you'll have an easier time carrying it around. But whatever you choose, you'll get yourself an aromatic, flavorful brew each time. Happy brewing!