If manual brewing were not preferred by so many millions of coffee lovers all over the world, there would be no such debate going on between Chemex vs AeroPress. The mere fact that both of these brewing techniques are so frequently compared with one another goes to show how much coffee drinkers enjoy a cup of fresh, hot, and delicious manually brewed coffee.
So how about we get into the specifics of each of these methods? This way, you can understand which particular brewing style can be your favorite.
The Upside of Manual Brewing
One of the most undeniable truths of manual brewing is that it allows you to customize your beverage. You can tweak the brewing time, grind size, and coffee beans you use. No doubt, the room to experiment is not restricted.
One other thing you might appreciate as a coffee enthusiast – tools for manual brewing are much more affordable. So you don’t have to spend more or extra. Buying an AeroPress or Chemex itself costs less than $100. Unlike the best automatic pour over coffee makers and other such fully or semi-automated machines.
But you do indeed have to purchase a coffee grinder in case you prefer freshly grinding your favorite coffee beans right before brewing. If not, there are plenty of freshly roasted ground coffees out there you can choose from.
This pour-over coffee maker is hourglass-shaped and made of borosilicate glass. The brewing tool either has a handle or it doesn’t.
What Grind Size Is the Most Suitable for Chemex?
The answer is medium-coarse.
Now that you know, let’s get on with the Chemex brewing process
- Place the paper filter into the coffee maker. Then rinse it using hot water for eliminating all that paper flavor, if at all. Make sure the filter is set about right before transferring all the water back into the pitcher.
- Now it’s time to add your rich, aromatic coffee. The grind size, once again, should be medium-coarse.
- The next step is to pour just a small quantity of hot water into the coffee maker. This is what is known as coffee blooming, and it takes around a minute.
- Then pour in the remaining water and let your coffee brew before you remove the filter.
The taste of coffee, in this case, is very clean. And it’s all because of the slow extraction and thicker paper filter. So if your favorite coffee beans consist of delicate floral or citrus notes, this type of brewing seems like the best option.
Pros of Chemex
- Chemex coffee maker is easy to clean
- Minimalist design, thus compact and more space-saving
- Somewhat affordable for preparing 8 cups of coffee at once
- You can control the temperature, grind, flavor, and pouring technique
The AeroPoress is a plastic, syringe-shaped coffee maker. The brewing tool includes paper filters, plastic filter, plastic housing, and plunger.
It’s the use of plastic that make AeroPress such a popular choice among campers, hikers, and the like. Because, unlike Chemex, its chances of breaking are nearly impossible. So you can carry the coffee maker with you, no matter where in the world you’re headed.
What Grind Size Is the Most Suitable for AeroPress?
It actually depends on the length of the brewing. If the brewing time is 1 minute, then a fine grind seems the most fitting. 2-3 minutes demand a medium-fine grind size. And over 3 minutes of brewing prepares the richest, boldest cup of coffee with medium grind coffee.
- To begin brewing, place the AeroPress over your coffee mug and a paper filter over the coffee maker filter.
- Then add your coffee grounds.
- Pour a small amount of hot water to initiate blooming. After about a minute, pour the rest of the water into the coffee maker. And then gently press down the plunger.
In the case of AeroPress, the taste of the brew is more espresso-like. It’s bolder and stronger than Chemex. Although Chemex coffee is cleaner, richer, and crisper.
Pros of AeroPress
- AeroPress coffee has a unique, intense flavor
- This method prepares a very flavorful brew faster
- Simple and straightforward brewing process
- Less susceptible to breaking, thus travel-friendly
Chemex versus AeroPress – Factors That Matter the Most
Chemex, no doubt, has the upper hand here because this coffee maker is available in multiple sizes. Such as 3-cup, 6-cup, 8-cup, and 10-cup. On the other hand, AeroPress is just one size, which brews 4 cups.
But then whether or not the brewing size matters to you actually depends on how much or how frequently you brew on a daily basis.
If you’re a coffee noob, then we highly recommend choosing the AeroPress since it’s the easiest out of the two. Plus, AeroPress brewing is more straightforward with no use of special coffee brewing skills.
But Chemex is a more suitable choice if you have a certain level of coffee-making experience. After all, manual brewing methods require skills. Allowing the grounds to bloom for about 30 to 45 seconds is a must before you pour all the hot water into the coffee maker. And then even the pouring technique should be very precise.
It goes without saying that Chemex looks unique and stylish in every kitchen. The design is simple, classic, and clean since the coffee maker is just a glass-made vessel with a cord and wooden handle. Chemex is not just visually appealing but also space-saving.
What about AeroPress? One look at Chemex and the other at AeroPress, and you know that the latter isn’t a very classy or stylish coffee maker. But then it’s still BPA-free and eco-friendly, much like Chemex.
Ease of Use
Hands down, AeroPress wins the prize when it comes to easy brewing. Because, with Chemex, you have to bloom the coffee grounds and then also pour the hot water a specific way. Unless you’re a dedicated at-home barista, you’re most likely to find this process tedious.
However, it’s important to note here that the AeroPress brewing technique can give rise to a lot of mess, which means clean-up may not be quick and easy. If you don’t know how much pressure to apply when pushing down the plunger, then spilling hot water and coffee grounds everywhere does indeed cause a nuisance.
In terms of experimentation, you get more versatility with AeroPress. For example, the inverted brewing method. While the only variation that Chemex offers is a cold brew, which is something you can’t prepare with an AeroPress.
AeroPress prepares the most flavorful, delicious, and strongest cup of coffee. The texture here is incredibly smooth because you have to apply pressure during the process of brewing.
The final brew is micro-filtered, right? So it’s clean and grit-free. And since the plunging part is not so hard, meaning the pressure applied is gentle enough, the nasty flavors and bitterness present in the coffee don’t get extracted.
Moving on to Chemex, the method requires no plunging. In that case, you’re free to experiment with or customize the brewing time, coffee strength, pouring technique, etc.
Is Chemex Better Than AeroPress – The Verdict
Frankly speaking, it’s all a matter of preferences. AeroPress may not seem like the most visually appealing coffee maker in your fancy kitchen, but it’s certainly a more suitable choice for those who enjoy portability and convenience. As for Chemex, it’s not the fastest or simplest, but this particular brewing method lets you customize your coffee better.
Brewing size also matters if you have to make coffee for more than just yourself. In that light, there’s no one right answer. There’s just a more fitting choice for your personal tastes and preferences.