Chemex vs French Press: The Pros and Cons of Each Coffee Making Method
published on: 2022-05-11
Are you thinking between Chemex and French press as coffee making method? If so, you’ve come to the right place to help you make a good decision which of these wonderful coffee preparation methods would be more suitable for you.
In this article we’ll discuss Chemex vs French press in terms of:
- coffee preparation time
- ease of brewing
- quality of coffee
But first, let’s take a look at each of these methods individually to make sure we’re on the same page of what is Chemex and a French press.
What is Chemex (aka pour over)?
Chemex is a manual coffee brewing method that was invented back in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm.
It’s basically a pour over coffee maker, which means you’ll be pouring hot water over your ground coffee beans to brew the coffee. The result is a cup of coffee with less bitterness and more clarity than other methods.
To make a Chemex, you’ll need:
- Chemex coffee maker
- Chemex filter
- ground coffee beans
- hot water
To make proper coffee on Chemex the recommended grind size is a bit coarser than you would use for a normal pour over. This is because the Chemex filter is thicker than a regular paper filter, so it needs a little help letting the water through.
Why should you use Chemex to prepare coffee?
The pros of using Chemex are:
- chemex coffee tastes great
- chemex is easy to clean
- chemex makes a very clear cup of coffee
The cons of using Chemex:
- chemex brewing can be slower than other methods
- you need to buy the chemex coffee maker and filters separately
Chemex requires more active time than for example drip coffee from ready ground beans.
So if you’re looking for a quick cup of coffee, Chemex is probably not the best option.
What is a French Press?
French press is a coffee brewing method that was invented in the 1930s by an Italian designer Attilio Calimani.
It’s a manual coffee maker that uses a plunger to press hot water through your ground coffee beans. The result is a cup of coffee with more oils and caffeine than other methods.
To make a French press, you’ll need:
- French press coffee maker
- ground coffee beans
- hot water
The grind size for French press should be somewhere between drip and espresso - not too fine and not too coarse.
The pros of making coffee with a French press are:
- it’s faster than other methods
- it’s easier than other methods
- it makes a more full-bodied cup of coffee.
The cons of making coffee with a French press are:
- the coffee can be more bitter than other methods
- you have to clean the plunger after each use.
Now that we know what these two methods are and what are the main pros and cons of making coffee like this, let’s compare Chemex vs French press in terms of preparation time, ease of brewing, quality of coffee, and price.
Chemex vs French press: Coffee preparation time
When it comes to preparation time, Chemex is a bit more time-consuming than French press.
You need to boil the water and let it cool down to the right temperature before brewing.
Then you need to grind your beans and measure the coffee grounds.
With French press, on the other hand, you can just boil the water and grind the beans at the same time.
Typically it takes roughly 5 minutes to make a cup of coffee on Chemex, when the normal brew time for French press is 4 minutes. With French press you can also make many cups at the same time when with Chemex you’ll often be making smaller quantities.
So in terms of coffee preparation time French press wins vs Chemex.
Chemex vs French press: Ease of brewing
When it comes to ease of brewing, French press is again more straightforward than Chemex.
With Chemex, you need to be careful not to over-extract the coffee and make sure the water temperature is just right. The recommended water temperature for Chemex is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (90-95 Celcius).
If you do it wrong, the coffee can come out bitter.
With French press, on the other hand, you just need to put all the ingredients in the pot and press the plunger down when 4 minutes have passed. Ideal brewing temperature for French press is between 195-200 Fahrenheit (90-93 Celsius).
So in terms of ease of brewing, French press is easier than Chemex.
Chemex vs French press: Quality of coffee
When it comes to the quality of coffee, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Some people prefer the clarity and lack of bitterness that comes with Chemex-brewed coffee.
Others prefer the full-bodied taste and higher caffeine content of French press coffee.
So in terms of quality of coffee, it’s a tie between Chemex and French press.
Chemex vs French press: Price
In terms of price, French press is the winner.
You can find a good quality French press for around $30.
A Chemex coffee maker, on the other hand, starts at around $40 and goes up to $100.
So if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, French press is the way to go.
Conclusion: Chemex vs French press
So which one should you choose - Chemex or French press? It all depends on your personal preferences.
If you like a light and clear cup of coffee, Chemex is a great choice.
If you prefer a full-bodied and strong cup of coffee, French press is the way to go.
And if price is a factor, French press is the more affordable choice.
Whichever method you choose, make sure to enjoy your cup of coffee!
Filed under: chemexfrench pressbrewingcomparison