Bodum pour over and chemex brewer are shown beside each other.

Bodum vs Chemex: Which Pour-Over is Better?

Henry
Henry Muller
Barista

Hey there, pour-over pals! Today, we have our evaluative glasses on to help you choose between two of the most popular pour-over brands - Bodum and Chemex. Yes, with these strong contenders on both sides of the ring, we are all set to start the match, ‘Bodum v/s Chemex’.

But before we start, it is important for you to set your priorities straight. There are multiple factors that we consider while we analyze a pour-over and you must know which ones you have to get right. Do you want to brew a big pot of coffee or just a couple of cups? What kind of filters do you prefer? How much time and effort can you invest in daily coffee-making?

What is your budget? Once you get clarity on these things, it’ll be child’s play for you to pick one between Bodum pour-over coffee maker v/s Chemex pour-over.

Bodum pour-over coffee maker: Overview

What is the Bodum pour-over maker?

Known for its sleek and stylish coffee products, this coffee maker is produced by the brand, Bodum. If you bring one home, you will get a carafe or mug, a metal mesh filter, and a lid. You simply place the filter on top of the carafe, add coffee grounds, pour hot water over the grounds, and let it brew.

The metal mesh filter allows the coffee oils and some fine particles to pass through, resulting in a fuller-bodied cup of coffee. It's a popular choice for those who enjoy a robust and flavorful brew.

Pros

What we like the most about the Bodum coffee maker is that it is user-friendly and won’t scare even the most inexperienced coffee brewers.

The metal mesh filter used in Bodum allows more oils and solids to pass through, resulting in a robust and full-bodied cup of coffee.

It ranks high on affordability too! If you don’t wish to spend much here, then the Bodum coffee maker will work in your favor.
Known for its stylish and modern designs, it will add an aesthetic touch to your coffee brewing routine.

Cons

The metal mesh filter in a Bodum pour-over does not provide the same level of filtration as paper filters, It allows more oils and fine particles to pass through which results in a slightly different taste and mouthfeel.

Also, cleaning the metal mesh filter requires more effort compared to disposable paper filters. It needs to be rinsed thoroughly to remove any trapped coffee grounds.

The strength of the coffee is often lacking when brewed with this method.

Chemex: Overview

What is a Chemex coffee maker?

This is another fantastic brewing device that has gained quite a reputation in the coffee world. The Chemex is a glass carafe with an hourglass shape, designed to make pour-over coffee.

It uses a unique thick paper filter that offers excellent filtration, resulting in a clean and crisp cup of coffee. To brew with a Chemex, you place the filter in the top part of the carafe, add coffee grounds, and pour hot water over them in a slow and controlled manner. The coffee then drips down into the carafe, and you can serve it directly from there.

The Chemex is not only admired for its brewing capabilities but also for its elegant design, making it a stylish addition to any coffee lover's collection.

Pros

Chemex undoubtedly gives you a great coffee experience. The thick paper filters used in Chemex provide excellent filtration, resulting in a clean and crisp cup of coffee with minimal sediment or fine particles.

As it comes in a range of sizes, you can pick a Chemex that suits your needs.
The Chemex has a sophisticated feel to it. The hand-blown glass carafe and the wooden handle reflect elegance which makes coffee-making more enjoyable.

The paper filter doesn’t let unwanted particles pass through, minimizing the chances of the coffee getting bitter.

Cons

The paper filters remove some of the oils and sediment, resulting in a lighter-bodied cup compared to brewing methods with metal filters. This may be a con for those who prefer fuller-bodied coffee.

The Chemex carafe is made of glass and requires careful handling to avoid breakage. It may not be the most suitable option for outdoor or travel use.

Differences between Bodum and Chemex

The main difference between a Bodum and a Chemex is that the Chemex has a wooden handle, while the Bodum’s handle is cork. Also, the Chemex has a distinctive glass bubble which marks its halfway point. Also, the Chemex uses a proprietary paper filter with a flat bottom, while the Bodum uses a standard metal cone filter with a circular base.

1) Brewing methodology

Bodum and Chemex both use pour-over brewing methods, but they have slight differences in terms of design and filters used. Bodum typically uses a metal mesh filter, allowing more oils and fine particles to pass through, resulting in a fuller-bodied coffee. Chemex, on the other hand, uses a thick paper filter that produces a cleaner cup with less sediment.

2) Brewing control

Both Bodum and Chemex offer good brewing control. Bodum allows you to fine-tune your extraction by controlling brew time and water flow rate. Chemex, with its thick paper filters, provides excellent control over the flow rate and extraction, resulting in a consistently clean and smooth cup of coffee.

3) Time required

In terms of brewing time, Bodum and Chemex are relatively similar. Both methods require a few minutes for the water to pass through the coffee grounds. It is important to note, however, that factors such as grind size and amount of coffee can influence brewing time.

4) Effort required

Both brewing methods require a certain level of effort, but they are not overly complicated. With Bodum, you need to ensure an even pour and consistent water flow. Chemex requires similar attention to the pouring technique and maintaining a steady flow rate. However, with practice, the process becomes more intuitive and enjoyable.

5) Flavor and extraction

Bodum tends to produce a bolder and more robust cup of coffee due to the metal mesh filter, allowing more oils and solids to pass through. Chemex, with its thicker paper filters, produces a neat cup of coffee with clear flavors. The choice between the two depends on personal preference for flavor profiles.

6) Design and aesthetics

Bodum is known for its sleek and modern design, often featuring a glass or stainless steel carafe with a stylish handle. On the other hand, Chemex has an elegant and timeless appearance given its hourglass shape and glass construction.

7) Ease of using

Both Bodum and Chemex are relatively easy to use. You simply need to add coffee, pour hot water over the grounds, and let it brew. However, some people find Chemex's thicker filters a bit more challenging to work with, as they require careful pouring to avoid clogging.

8) Ease of cleaning

Both Bodum and Chemex are easy to clean. Bodum's metal mesh filter can be rinsed and cleaned easily, while Chemex's paper filters can be discarded after use, leaving you with a simple rinse of the glass carafe.

9) Durability

Both Bodum and Chemex are known for their durability. Bodum's stainless steel and glass construction is sturdy, while Chemex's high-quality glass is designed to withstand regular use. However, proper care is always recommended to ensure their longevity.

10) Cost of buying

In terms of cost, Bodum pour-over brewers are generally more affordable compared to Chemex. Bodum offers various models at different price points, making it a budget-friendly option. Chemex, being a premium brand, tends to be slightly more expensive.

11) Material used

Bodum uses a combination of glass, stainless steel, and plastic in their pour-over brewers. The Chemex is primarily made from non-porous, non-absorbing glass.

12) Filter options

Bodum typically uses a metal mesh filter, which is reusable and allows more oils and fines to pass through. Chemex uses its proprietary paper filters, which are disposable and provide excellent filtration for a clean cup of coffee. Both options have their benefits depending on personal preferences.

13) Taste of coffee

The taste of coffee can vary between Bodum and Chemex due to their different filters and brewing methods. Bodum's metal mesh filter allows more oils and solids into the final cup, resulting in a fuller-bodied and potentially more complex flavor. Chemex's paper filters produce a clean and crisp cup, accentuating the bright flavors and reducing any bitterness.

Chemex vs Bodum: Which is better?

Now, if you enjoy a fuller-bodied cup of coffee with more oils and robust flavors, Bodum might be the better choice for you. Its metal mesh filter allows more of those elements to pass through, resulting in a bolder brew. Plus, it is eco-friendly as compared to Chemex.

On the other hand, if you prefer a clean and crisp cup with the utmost clarity of flavors, Chemex could be your go-to. The thicker paper filters of the Chemex remove oils and sediment, resulting in a bright and refined brew. And let's not forget the timeless elegance of the Chemex carafe, which adds a touch of sophistication to your coffee brewing setup.

Ultimately, it's about finding the pour-over method that aligns with your taste preferences, brewing style, and aesthetic sensibilities!

Wrapping up

With that, we come to a close. The battle of the pour-overs ends and we hope you have better insight regarding the coffee-makers now. Have a good look at their features and limitations and it won’t be that difficult to choose one for yourself. We’ll be back with more interesting info from the world of pour-overs. Till then, happy brewing!

FAQs

1) Can I use any type of coffee beans with both Bodum and Chemex pour-over methods?

Absolutely! Both Bodum and Chemex pour-over methods are versatile and can be used with any type of coffee bean. Whether you prefer light, medium, or dark roast beans, the pour-over technique allows you to highlight the unique flavors and characteristics of each coffee variety. Experimenting with different beans can be a fun way to discover your favorite combinations and explore the diverse world of coffee.


2) Are there any specific brewing techniques or tips to enhance the quality of coffee with Bodum or Chemex?

Here are some brewing techniques and tips to enhance the quality of your coffee with Bodum or Chemex:

Use freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them just before brewing to maximize freshness and flavor.
For Bodum, you can experiment with the grind size to find the right balance. A slightly coarser grind may work well with the metal mesh filter, allowing the water to flow freely.
With Chemex, try the "bloom" technique. Pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds, let it sit for about 30 seconds to release gasses, and then continue with the rest of the water.

3) Can I use alternative filters with Bodum or Chemex, such as reusable metal filters or cloth filters?

It is possible to use alternative filters with both the Bodum and Chemex pour-over methods. Bodum comes with a reusable metal mesh filter, which extracts more oils and provides a fuller-bodied cup.. However, if you prefer a cleaner cup, you can explore using paper filters specifically designed for Bodum pour-over brewers.

Similarly, while Chemex is designed to work with its proprietary paper filters, some coffee enthusiasts will want to try using reusable metal filters or cloth filters as alternatives. These filters can offer a different extraction profile and potentially result in a new flavor experience.

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Henry Muller

Team TAB
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I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...