Exploring Alternative Brewing Devices: Chemex, V60, and Beyond

While traditional brewing methods like drip coffee machines and French presses are widely known, alternative brewing devices offer coffee enthusiasts a chance to explore different flavors and brewing techniques. Two popular alternatives are the Chemex and V60 pour-over methods. These devices not only produce excellent cups of coffee but also provide a unique brewing experience. In this guide, we will compare and contrast the Chemex and V60 brewing methods, highlighting their unique characteristics, advantages, and brewing techniques. We will also explore other alternative brewing devices that coffee enthusiasts can consider on their quest for exceptional coffee.

The Chemex:

The Chemex is an iconic brewing device that combines functionality and elegance. Its hourglass-shaped glass vessel and wooden collar give it a distinctive look. Here are some key features and advantages of the Chemex:

  • Unique Filter: The Chemex uses a specially designed, thick paper filter that removes more oils and sediment from the coffee, resulting in a clean and smooth cup.
  • Brewing Capacity: The Chemex comes in various sizes, allowing you to brew larger quantities of coffee in a single brew. It’s ideal for serving multiple people or when you want to enjoy multiple cups throughout the day.
  • Heat Retention: The thick glass of the Chemex helps maintain the brewing temperature, ensuring optimal extraction and flavor development.
  • Brewing Technique: To brew with a Chemex, you’ll need to preheat the vessel, wet the filter, add ground coffee, and pour hot water in a circular motion, allowing the coffee to bloom and then adding the remaining water in controlled pours.

The Chemex brewing method emphasizes a slower extraction process, resulting in a clean, balanced, and less acidic cup of coffee.

The V60 Pour-Over Method:

The V60 pour-over method, developed by Hario, is a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts due to its simplicity and versatility. The V60 features a cone-shaped dripper with spiral ridges and a large hole at the bottom. Here are some key features and advantages of the V60:

  • Spiral Ridged Design: The spiral ridges inside the V60 dripper promote even extraction by ensuring that water flows evenly through the coffee grounds, enhancing flavor and aroma.
  • Controlled Extraction: The large hole at the bottom of the V60 allows for greater control over the flow rate and extraction process. This control allows you to adjust brewing variables, such as grind size and pouring technique, to achieve desired taste profiles.
  • Brewing Capacity: The V60 comes in different sizes, allowing you to brew single cups or small batches of coffee based on your needs.
  • Brewing Technique: To brew with a V60, you’ll need to preheat the dripper and vessel, add ground coffee to the dripper, pour hot water in a circular motion, and control the flow rate by adjusting the pouring technique and speed.

The V60 pour-over method offers more control and customization options, allowing you to explore a wide range of flavors based on different brewing variables.

Comparing Chemex and V60:

While both the Chemex and V60 offer excellent brewing capabilities, there are some key differences between the two methods:

  1. Filter Type: The Chemex uses a thicker paper filter compared to the V60, resulting in a cleaner cup with fewer oils and sediment. The V60’s thinner paper filter allows for a bit more body and oils to pass through, resulting in a slightly different flavor profile.
  2. Brewing Time: The Chemex brewing process typically takes longer due to its thicker filter and slower flow rate, resulting in a longer extraction time. The V60, with its larger hole and faster flow rate, allows for a shorter brewing time.
  3. Brewing Technique: The pouring technique and style differ between the Chemex and V60. The Chemex requires a slower, controlled pour with circular motions, while the V60 allows for more flexibility in pouring techniques, such as a continuous pour or pulsing pour.
  4. Cup Profile: The Chemex generally produces a cleaner and more balanced cup with pronounced clarity of flavors. The V60, with its ability to control the brewing variables, offers a wider range of flavor possibilities, allowing you to highlight specific characteristics of the coffee.

Both the Chemex and V60 offer unique brewing experiences and the opportunity to explore different flavor profiles. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preference and desired brewing style.

Beyond Chemex and V60:

While the Chemex and V60 are popular alternative brewing devices, there are other options worth exploring in the world of alternative brewing. Here are a few notable ones:

  • AeroPress: The AeroPress is a versatile and portable brewing device that combines elements of immersion and pressure brewing. It allows for quick and convenient brewing, offering a wide range of flavor possibilities.
  • Kalita Wave: The Kalita Wave is a flat-bottomed dripper with a unique wave design and multiple drainage holes. It offers excellent temperature stability and promotes an even extraction, resulting in a balanced and flavorful cup.
  • Syphon (Vacuum Pot): The syphon brewing method utilizes vapor pressure and vacuum suction to create a clean and flavorful cup of coffee. It provides a visually captivating brewing experience while producing a unique cup of coffee.
  • Clever Dripper: The Clever Dripper combines the immersion and pour-over brewing methods. It allows for easy and controlled brewing with the convenience of a drip brewer and the flavor clarity of a pour-over.

These alternative brewing devices offer different brewing techniques, aesthetics, and flavor profiles, providing endless opportunities to explore and expand your coffee brewing repertoire.


Alternative brewing devices like the Chemex, V60, and other methods allow coffee enthusiasts to delve into the realm of flavor exploration and brewing techniques. The Chemex offers a clean and balanced cup with its unique thick paper filter, while the V60 allows for more control and customization. Both methods have their advantages and unique brewing experiences.

As you venture beyond the Chemex and V60, other alternative brewing devices offer exciting opportunities to discover new flavors and brewing styles. The AeroPress, Kalita Wave, syphon, and Clever Dripper are just a few examples of alternative brewing methods that can elevate your coffee brewing journey.

Embrace the diversity of alternative brewing devices, experiment with different brewing techniques, and enjoy the journey of exploring new flavors and brewing experiences. Cheers to the world of alternative brewing and the endless possibilities it offers in creating exceptional cups of coffee!

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