Chemex vs French Press – Who’s The Winner In The Coffee Battle?

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The Chemex and the French Press are the most frequent and popular brewing techniques. The major difference between Chemex vs French Press makers is their different brewing coffee processes.

What are the fundamentals of these two coffee brewers? What’s the difference between the two? And which one is best for your caffeine requirements? Now, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Chemex and French Press brewing.

Comparison Between Chemex vs French Press

First, you have to know how these tools work. Hot water and the grounds will combine in a metal beaker of the French Press. 

A plunger with a screen is squeezed into a beaker, then retaining the grounds beneath this screen, and letting you pour hot espresso.

Meanwhile, the Chemex is a pour-over coffee maker that requires a human operator. The unit is usually a glass flask with a paper filter (they can also exist in plastic). You can add the coffee grinds placed in the filter and pour hot water into them.

When utilizing any device, there are certain manual procedures needed. To keep apart the new coffee from the coffee grounds in a French Press, plunge the mesh plunger. When using the Chemex, you have to pour boiling water slowly on the top.

Both alternatives require three or four minutes to brew. If you brew the coffee too fast, then the hot water doesn’t absorb enough of the chemical compounds, the coffee becomes watered down. If you wait too long, the coffee will get bitter.

What Is Chemex?

In the 1940s, a chemist created the Chemex. To construct his coffeemaker, he joined an Erlenmeyer flask with a glass funnel.

The result is an hourglass-shaped glass flask. The wood collar is attached to the flash’s neck, allowing you to pour coffee without coming into contact with the hot glass.

In the funnel-shaped top part of the machine, there is a conical coffee filter that is thicker than regular drip coffee filters. This might have a few advantages such as resulting in a cleaner brew and eliminating coffee oils.

Next, you can add the grounds before inserting the filter. Then, slowly pour hot water onto the grounds. The freshly brewed coffee will drop into a lower flask through the filter.

When the coffee is ready, you can throw the filter away and pour the delectable drink into your cup.

While the principle is straightforward, there are several techniques to brew with a Chemex. As the coffee brews, some users softly twist the flask to make sure that the water is uniformly dispersed over the grounds.

What Is French Press?

French Press was created and patented in 1929 by an Italian inventor named Paolini Ugo. In certain areas, it’s also known as a coffee plunger, a press pot, or a press pot.

The Italian designers Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta patented it in 1929. It became a common sight across Europe, and it began to be linked with French cafés and kitchens.

The manufacturer applies a French method of coffee preparation to this design. A pot filled with coffee grinds and hot water was necessary for this procedure. You can use a cheesecloth screen stuck to the rod and push it into the pot.

This is the same approach used in the current design. The common French Press has a stainless steel material and looks similar to a pitcher. It includes a metal screen that is located inside the pitcher under the lid.

Another advantage of the Chemex is that it is just stunning to look at. They do appear to be sculptures. In comparison to the drab drip machine in your kitchen, the Chemex is a considerable upgrade.

Chemex vs French Press

Time

With a French Press, you can make coffee in just five minutes. This does not account for the time used to grind the grains and heat up the water. You also get the benefit of walking away and doing other tasks during extracting time.

Whereas, Chemex will produce different amounts of coffee as you desire in four minutes. However, you have to be there all the time to slowly pour water into the filter.

So, as you can see, the French press takes less effort in this regard.

Ease Of Use

With water temperature (from 195 to 200F), the coffee grind (medium or coarse), and extraction duration (4 minutes) you’ll get a predictable and steady cup of coffee. This is a good choice for a coffee beginner because it’s difficult to mess up.

The appropriate coffee grind, water temperature from 195 to 200F, and about four-minute extraction time will offer a perfect cup of coffee.

In contrast, the Chemex technique is a bit more complicated to learn. It requires a few extra processes and a higher level of concentration on detail than the French Press. Chemex filters are bigger and 30 percent thicker than regular coffee filters, necessitating the use of a Chemex-specific paper filter.

A Chemex takes a little more expertise than a French press, meaning you will have to add water to your coffee and leave it to sit in 2 or 3 minutes. The reason for this excellent taste is that it needs some skill to remove the beans uniformly.

Pour water spirally after the coffee blossoms to ensure uniform extraction. The ground must undertake a constant temperature and brewing duration, as this impacts the ultimate product.

Overall, French Press is the best choice.

Clean Up

A Chemex requires a bit more effort upfront, but cleaning is sudden.  All you need to do is discard the filter, clean the pot, and use it all day.

Scraping old coffee grounds out of the French press after extraction takes away part of the pleasure. On the other hand, the brewing chamber is considerably easier to clean than the Chemex’s narrow neck.

Overall, Chemex is the best option on this ground because we haven’t yet figured out how to get the grounds out of a French Press quickly and effectively.

Cost

Paper filters are an extra cost with Chemex, and it is ideal to use the Chemex brand.

While the French Press’s a one-time investment that does not necessitate the purchase of further accessories.

Although both are quite cost-effective and equally priced, the French Press does not require filters, making it a more economical choice in the long run.

Taste

The Chemex delivers a clean and bright coffee with almost no leftover sediment thanks to the filter. On the other hand, when you use a filter, it will collect oils that contribute to the overall flavor profile and even health advantages.

Remember, don’t take the final sip! The sediment that a French Press in coffee is one of its drawbacks. 

Using a high-end French Press (some with multiple filters) and grinding coffee beans at the correct setting will reduce a portion of it, but it isn’t easy to get rid of all of the tiny silt. 

On the reverse, without a filter, it allows the oils to stay, resulting in a rich and full-bodied flavor.

Portability

If you’re seeking a more portable coffee brewing option, both the Chemex and the French Press are popular choices. They are among the more portable coffee options accessible today, whether you travel frequently or wish to go camping.

In addition, the Chemex and the French Press are both self-contained systems. Both of them do not require an electrical connection, and you need to heat water in addition to the fundamental equipment.

The Chemex is made of glass with its pot and the top conical filter holder being one continuous piece. Although they are made of tough heavy-duty glass, the Chemex is actually a fragile product.

Meanwhile, numerous manufacturers now provide ceramic, stainless steel, and plastic versions for the traditional glass French Press. On the market, there are many French Presses that can carry in a backpack and endure the rigors of the route.

The French press is the greatest option for portability.

Chemex vs French Press, Which Coffee Machine Is The Best For You? 

The Chemex and the French Press are early twentieth-century innovations that have become popular methods for making coffee.

Both alternatives need a bit more effort than a conventional drip coffee maker. So, which choice should you select?

A Chemex is the best alternative for individuals who don’t like bitter coffee. The thick filter helps to remove oils and acids, making the coffee more digestible.

On the contrary, for those who like bitter and strong coffee taste, French Press will be the optimal choice.

Conclusion

So, Chemex vs French Press, which one is your choice? Both these two coffee makers produce excellent coffee taste. French Press produces a richer brew, while the Chemex produces more like what we would get from a drip machine.

The choice depends on your time restrictions and the way you want to utilize your coffee maker.

Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California, Berkeley. And then, I finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). ugvermont.com is a website that I dedicate my whole heart to sharing all knowledge related to coffee. Read more