French Press vs Chemex Coffee Maker- Which is Right One?

Written by | Updated On January 16, 2020

How do you prefer your morning coffee? Do you like it rich, full of flavor and full-bodied or do you like it clean and bright? Whatever your preference is, the choice lies in either a Chemex or French press. Sometimes, you might find that you like your brew rich in the morning and a little bright in the afternoon.

For you to get the right cup of coffee, you have to choose between French press or chemex. Let us have a closer look at the two types so that it can be easier for you to determine between French press vs Chemex coffee maker.


Chemist Peter J. Schlumbohm is the brain behind the Chemex coffee device. The device dates back to 1941. Chemex adopts the cold filtering process where a solution is made and poured into the funnel, the liquid is then pulled out of the solution by gravity. Chemex brewing utilizes infusion method that looks like drip coffee although it is pour over system.

It uses a chemex coffee filters that are thicker as compared to other pour over systems. In as much as the method is slow, you can be guaranteed of the richer chemex coffee.

Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup - Exclusive Packaging - CM-8A

How to Brew Using Chemex

To achieve chemex coffee brewing, you need to have a chemex coffee maker. Fit in the chemex metal filter (or Chemex specific filter paper) into the funnel, add medium ground coffee beans into the filter paper. Pour in some hot water of around 195-200F and let the grounds soak to bloom for about 30 seconds.

Then slowly add more hot water in a swirling, circular motion to ensure that all the ground coffee has been covered. You can now leave it to sit for the liquid to come out. This process takes almost 6 minutes. The chemex pour over coffee maker makes from 3 to 8 cups.

What comes out is a crisps clean cup of coffee. Chemex is a perfect choice for light and medium roasts.

Advantages of using Chemex

  • The coffee comes out less bitter and with less or no acid at all.
  • The coffee comes out clean with no oils, acids or any sediment
  • It is easy to use as it requires no technical knowledge.
  • Clean-up is easy, you just remove the filter and replace. You don’t have to wash the insides to clean out the grounds.
  • Chemex coffee pot has an attractive design in your kitchen.

And what are the disadvantages

  • Requires regular replacement of the filter which means no cup of your favorite drink if you run out of filters.
  • It can be expensive because of the filters as compared to the French press aside from the fact that a Chemex is more costly than a French Press.
  • You will need a gooseneck kettle for quality brewing which means an extra cost if you don’t already own one.
  • You will need to learn how to properly pour your coffee from the Chemex to the cup, otherwise, you will end up with a messy cup and surface. It takes time to perfect the pouring technique.

French Press

The French Press was invented in the 1930’s by an Italian designer, Attillio Calimani. When you master how to use the French press, it makes some of the best coffee in the world. This method provides you with french press paper filters brewing so that you can get the best extraction of your coffee beans.

A typical French press has a plunger section that is attached to the lid with a mesh filter at the end made from stainless steel and a brewing chamber. A French press can be made from glass, ceramic or stainless steel material.

Many people love French press brewing process because it is simple and takes less time. This is especially if you have an automatic french press coffee maker.

How to use the French press

To brew using the French press, you need to get the best grind for french press. Then, grind your coffee and put into the brewing chamber. Then pour some hot water into the chamber and let the coffee bloom for about 30 seconds.

Next, pour the remaining hot water and let the coffee brew for another 3-4 minutes. Then finally push the plunger down slowly to the bottom of the carafe. It takes about 3-5 minutes to make your coffee with the French Press. If you are preparing coffee for many people, make sure you have a large french press coffee maker.

 Advantages of the French Press

  • No expenses of purchasing filters or replacing them.
  • It is easy to clean the brewer as its wide hence a hand can fit in well during cleaning as compared to Chemex.
  • The French press is environment-friendly as there is no wastage of paper in form of filters.
  • Versatile, you can use the French press to make tea, cold brews or double brewed coffee

Disadvantages of the French press

  • The coffee made is not clean, it may have some residue.
  • It can be a hassle to clean out all the ground coffee from the brewer


Both the French Press and Chemex have their strengths and weaknesses. What to go for largely depends on your preference. We can conclude as follows though:

Time: Chemex takes slightly longer than French Press therefore if you need a faster way of brewing, go with the French Press

Flavor: The French takes it all when it comes to a rich flavor as the hot water and ground coffee sit together to extract the full coffee. However, if you need light clean coffee, go with Chemex

Ease of use: French press requires the least effort whereas Chemex gives the advantage of having control of the brewing process. All in all, when done correctly, both give you the best coffee.

French press vs chemex, which one is suitable for you? I believe that by now it is easy to choose the method that you love. I have given you a detailed guide to help you decide if you need a french press or chemex. Depending on how you love your coffee, you can choose the brewing method that you love.

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