Have you ever wanted to know the difference between two of the most recognizable pour-over coffee brewers out there? This article is the ultimate showdown: Chemex vs Hario V60.
I will be comparing the difference in taste, the grind size, the filters used, and much more! There is so much to talk about. Grab yourself a cup of coffee, and start reading away.
What is pour-over coffee?
The first step in understanding the difference between the Chemex and the Hario V60 is knowing what pour-over coffee is.
Pour-over coffee is coffee made by pouring hot water on top of ground coffee beans. This is also called “slow coffee.” The water pouring is mostly done by using a gooseneck kettle. But most people tend to use a normal kettle in which they boil their water.
Now that you know that pour-over coffee is made by pouring water onto ground coffee beans let me explain what a Chemex is.
What is a Chemex?
A Chemex is a glass design pour-over brewer. The most iconic-looking coffee brewer out there. There are many variants out on the market today, but the most classic is still the one with the glass design with the wooden collar and leather string attached. I have this version of the Chemex as well, and it looks like this:
The Chemex shape looks like an hourglass, with the wooden collar and a leather string added. There is also a full glass design, without the wooden collar and the string. Most people like this design because it looks clean and modern and can easily be washed in the dishwasher.
What is a Hario V60?
The Hario V60 is the second pour-over coffee brewer, which is widely known in the coffee world. The Hario V60 has the same V-shape as the Chemex but doesn’t have the added room on the bottom where the coffee is dripped into.
For the perfect brewing, you can either place the Hario V60 on your cup (when making a cup of joe for yourself) or use a Hario V60 server. This makes it look like a Chemex and is best used when making coffee for more than one person.
The Chemex has a clean design on the glass. This way, water can easily pour down to the little hole and drip down some delicious coffee. The Hario V60, on the other hand, has many ridges where the water will need to go through. The ridges look like this:
This is one of the biggest differences between the two pour-over coffee brewers. The clean design on the Chemex will provide the water an easier escape through the ground coffee beans.
When using the Hario V60, I noted that the coffee has a harder time getting straight through the filter because of the ridged design. This is where the difference in taste comes in, which I will talk about right down here:
Coffee flavor comparison between the Hario V60 and Chemex
The Chemex was the first pour-over coffee brewer that I bought when I first started brewing coffee at home. It looked like the most fun way to make myself a cup of joe. Later on, I also added the Hario V60 to my coffee station at home. This was the best choice that I made back then.
Although the two pour-over brewers look rather simple, they will produce a great cup of coffee. The flavor profile is almost the same on both of the coffee brewers. The Hario V60 does have a bit more flavor, if you ask me.
The Hario V60 has more flavor because of the filter used when brewing with this coffee brewer. Chemex coffee is made with a thicker filter, which will block almost all the oil that coffee beans have.
When comparing the two coffee filters, you can see the difference in thickness:
The more oil and other small coffee flakes of coffee beans get into your coffee, the “fuller” your coffee will taste. For this reason, the French press is mostly thought of as the coffee with the biggest and fullest coffee flavor.
That aside, the Hario V60 will produce a cup of pour-over coffee which has a bit more flavor to it. The Chemex has a more balanced coffee flavor to it.
Although the difference is minimal, you will be able to taste a difference between the two. But I wouldn’t decide based on the flavor only, as there is much more to talk about.
What is the correct grind size to use for the pour-over coffee brewers?
Getting the right grind size is one of the most important things when brewing your own coffee at home. It can really make or break your day, in my opinion. The grind size can be pretty hard to nail every time. So I wrote an article about the grind sizes.
The grind sizes for the Hario V60 and the Chemex are almost the same in coarseness, but they differ slightly. Get to know why I use a different grind size for both coffee brewers, by reading along:
So, what is the correct grind size for the Hario V60?
When brewing with the Hario V60 at home, you want to aim for a pretty fine coffee grind. The V60 filters are thinner than the Chemex, making the coffee steep a tad bit faster than the Chemex.
I use a finer grind to compensate for the fastness of the coffee filter. But this ultimately comes down to your preferences. This is what the coffee grind looks like when I brew coffee with the Hario V60:
What is the best grind size when using the Chemex?
As I said before, the thickest filter of the two is the one of the Chemex. The water will have a bit more time to chill with the ground coffee beans before running through the filter entirely.
This is why I will use another coffee grind for the making of Chemex. This grind size is just a bit coarser than the Hario V60. It’s a tiny detail, as it is just 2 turns coarser on my coffee grinder. But your Chemex will thank you for it, as it will now be able to extract the coffee beans the best way possible.
The coffee grind that I use when making coffee with the Chemex looks like this:
What kind of filters are used?
As I said before, the difference in the filter between the Hario V60 and the Chemex is the thickness of the paper filters.
Both the Chemex and the Hario V60 use a paper filter for the best extraction. Alternatively, you can use stainless steel coffee filters for the Chemex and Hario V60. You can check out the filters by clicking on the names of the coffee brewers I mentioned above.
This way, you won’t have to get rid of the filters every time you make a nice cup of coffee. You can just clean the stainless steel filter and use it the next time.
Which of the two is easiest to use?
This is where it gets exciting for most people. Which of the two coffee brewers is easiest to use? Well, both the Chemex and the Hario V60 have the same difficulty level.
If you just started brewing coffee at home and are looking for a pour-over coffee brewer, I suggest buying a Chemex. The Chemex will be a bit more forgiving when pouring too hard, getting a different coffee grind than you had anticipated, and looks better, in my opinion.
The Hario V60, however, isn’t that hard to use compared to the Chemex. The only thing you really have to master for the best extraction is the tempo that you pour water on top of your ground coffee.
When pouring too hard, most of the water you add will run straight through the paper filter and leave an under-extracted coffee for you to “enjoy”.
What is the difference in size between the two coffee brewers?
The Chemex has a few different sizes to choose from:
- 3-cups version
- 6-cups version
- 8-cups version
- 10-cups version
The most commonly used brewing capacities are the 6 and 8 cups versions. The bigger the size, the bigger the belly of the Chemex becomes. This way, the Chemex can hold more coffee.
You will also be able to choose either the “original” Chemex with the wooden collar or opt for the full glass design instead.
The Hario V60 comes in 3 different sizes:
- Hario V60 01
- Hario V60 02
- Hario V60 03
The difference between the 3 V60’s is the number of cups it can hold. The 01 version is great when brewing for one cup of joe at once.
The Hario V60 02 is most commonly bought and can brew up to 4 cups of joe. The 03 version will hold up to 6 cups of joe and will be best for bigger families looking for a great pour-over coffee brewer.
Now that you know the different sizes, you will also have to choose between the materials used. I use the plastic kind of V60 at home, which is great. But there are also glass, ceramic, metal, and copper editions of these brewers.
Which of the two is most durable?
When talking about durability, the Hario V60 has my preference. The coffee brewer has a plastic design that seems unbreakable. The hard plastic will keep nice for a long time to come. I’ve had the Hario V60 for over a year now, and the coffee brewer still looks the same as the day I opened up the package.
The durability of the Chemex is fantastic too. The glass design is great and will be looking fresh for a nice period of time. However, the wooden collar, and especially the leather string attached to my Chemex, shows some light wear.
The wooden collar has turned a bit darker color, and the string has seen better days. This is because of the water used when cleaning. If you want to get a clean-looking Chemex for the years to come, I suggest going for the full glass design Chemex.
If you want to get the most out of the coffee brewers, you to clean them after each use. Down below, you can check out how to clean your coffee brewers the right way:
- 5 Ways to Clean a Chemex (Explained With Photos)
- 4 Ways to Clean a Hario V60 to Get It Brand New Looking
By comparing the two pour-over coffee brewers, you will be able to decide which to buy. Down below, I made a quick cheat sheet for you to see which of the two suits your needs best.
|Looks great||Easy to clean|
|Better for brewer a bigger batch||Great for brewing one cup of joe|
|Thicker filters, cleaner tasting coffee||Thin paper filter which results in a fuller tasting cup of joe|
|Great for beginners||Less forgiving, a bigger challenger to get that perfect brew|
|Fine/ medium coffee grind||Fine coffee grind|
|Multiple sizes, but fewer different versions available||Multiple sizes and versions available|
Well, this was my comparison between two great coffee brewers I use at home. It really depends on whichever you like best and what amount of coffee you tend to make. I would choose the Chemex over the Hario V60, just because it looks more pleasing.
If you’re just getting started with brewing coffee at home, you can check out my beginner brewing guides to making coffee. I’ve listed the articles of the Chemex and Hario V60 down below.
Which pour-over coffee brewer has your preference? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!