Chemex is shown with a paper filter on it

Chemex vs Aeropress: Know The Exact Difference

Henry Muller

If you're a coffee fanatic, you will relish the nuanced flavors and aromas that a well-brewed cup can offer. Though there are numerous ways to brew coffee, the Chemex and Aeropress methods have gained popularity over time for their unique approaches.

Both produce high-quality coffee using manual brewing methods but have specific differences. In this blog, we'll dive into the differences between Chemex and Aeropress, their similarities, and which one is better for you.

What is Chemex?

The Chemex is an elegant and versatile pour-over coffee maker well-designed with a modern appearance. It is a great invention by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, designed in 1941.

It's an hourglass-shaped glass vessel with a wooden collar and a leather tie known for its sleek design and convenience. The Chemex coffee maker yields a cleaner and brighter cup using a thick paper filter. It extracts most of the oils and sediment from the coffee.

What is a Chemex pour-over maker good for?

Chemex is perfect for creating a large batch of cleaner and brighter cups of coffee. The unique flavor profile of specialty coffee beans shines well with this method.

Its thick paper filters clear most of the coffee's natural oils and sediments, resulting in a cup that embraces the coffee's clarity and subtle flavor profile. If you prefer a light and refreshing brew, then it's perfect.

When is Chemex not adaptable to use?

While Chemex is known for producing flavorful cups, it may not be the best choice for brewing a single cup. It lacks portability due to its large size, which makes it less preferable for travelers or those with limited kitchen counter space.

Additionally, it is time-consuming, as you need a slow and steady pour to achieve the desired results. When you wish your coffee to have a richer body and more oils, you must not go for the Chemex method.

What is Aeropress?

Aeropress is a coffee maker invented by Alan Adler in 2005. In comparison to Chemex's simple design, the Aeropress is fairly modern and compact. Known for its simplicity and versatility, this finely designed coffee maker is made of a plastic tube with a plunger and a paper or metal filter.

The Aeropress uses a mixture of air pressure and immersion brewing to brew a flavorful cup. Aeropress takes less brewing time and a fine-grind size to brew coffee with a heavier body and more oils. You can also brew French press-styled coffee using an Aeropress.

What is an Aeropress coffee maker good for?

The Aeropress is best known for its ability to brew concentrated and full-bodied coffee cups with diverse flavor profiles. It has a quick and hassle-free process, making it an excellent choice for busy mornings or when you're on the go.

If you love experimenting with brewing factors to achieve different flavors and are looking for a portable appliance, then try Aeropress.

When is Aeropress not adaptable to use?

If you prefer a milder and more filtered coffee with bright flavor notes, then the Aeropress may not be able to satisfy you.

It is versatile and portable, but the coffee that it produces is too intense or robust, which is not liked by coffee lovers with light brew preferences. Also, if you want to brew coffee in large batches, Aeropress is not the right choice.

Aeropress vs Chemex: Quick Comparison

Let's see the difference between Aeropress and Chemex based on different factors and see how they both differ:

1) Brew time

If you want a single cup with less brew time, then go for Aeropress, but if you are fine with slow brewing speed, then pick Chemex.

Also, Aeropress uses immersion brewing where coffee grounds are fully submerged in hot water, which is responsible for the rapid extraction of flavors.

This direct contact between water and grounds speeds up the brewing process. while chemex with its pour-over method takes more time.

2) Brewing capacity

For brewing larger quantities of coffee, Chemex is perfect, but for single servings, Aeropress is a good fit. The Chemex has a large glass or ceramic vessel which makes it feasible to carry a significant amount of brewed coffee.

It comes in different sizes, with the larger ones adept at brewing multiple cups together. This makes it ideal for serving coffee to large groups or preparing a batch for the day. While Aeropress is a single-serving coffee maker with a limited brew volume.

3) Brewing complexity

Aeropress is easy and convenient, while Chemex is complex as it requires more precision and patience.

In Aeropress, with a plunge-and-extraction system, you steep the coffee grounds in hot water and then apply air pressure to extract the brewed coffee which makes the process simple and can be learned quickly by both beginners and experienced coffee fans.

4) Portability

Aeropress is comparatively more compact, which makes it travel-friendly, while Chemex lacks portability. The Aeropress is small and light, making it effortless to carry in a backpack, or a suitcase.

It is ideal for coffee enthusiasts who want to brew a single cup of coffee anywhere they go, whether at home, in the office, or while traveling. Chemex consists of a larger glass or ceramic vessel with a wide opening at the top and a conical shape which makes it less portable.

5) Easy maintenance and cleaning

Both are easy to clean, but comparatively, Aeropress is easier. The Aeropress is low-maintenance due to its straightforward design. With fewer components and no delicate glass, it's less prone to breakage and stands the test of time.

The Aeropress can be quickly disassembled, rinsed, and cleaned, making it a hassle-free option for everyday use. In contrast, the Chemex's glass construction requires more maintenance to avoid breakage, and its thicker filters can be difficult to clean thoroughly.

6) Cost considerations

The Aeropress is a cost-effective option with its affordable initial price. Also, its filters are relatively inexpensive.

In contrast, the Chemex is quite costly due to its higher upfront investment, and its specialized filters add to the cost. While both methods offer amazing coffee, the Aeropress stands out as the budget-friendly alternative for coffee enthusiasts.

7) Environmental impact

Chemex's thick paper filters are recognized for their sustainability, majorly because they are less prone to tearing and require fewer substitutes.

In comparison, the disposable filters often used with Aeropress, contribute to more waste in the long run. The  Chemex filters align well with eco-conscious coffee lovers, as they reduce the environmental influence associated with frequent filter disposal.

8) Durability

The Aeropress is known for its durability, made with sturdy materials that can be good for regular use without a high risk of breakage.

Its strong design is perfect for various settings, especially travel scenarios. In comparison to this, the Chemex has an elegant yet delicate glass structure that requires more careful handling to stand the test of time.

While the Chemex's glass may be delicate, its aesthetic charm and unique brewing process often make it worth the extra effort.

Similarities between Chemex and Aeropress

Despite the differences, Chemex and Aeropress have some similarities too.

Both are manual brewing processes that provide complete control over various brewing parameters, like water temperature, grind size, and brew time. This control aids in brewing customized coffee cups by adjusting different parameters to match various coffee preferences.

Additionally, both devices produce high-quality coffee. The paper filters used in the Chemex and the optional metal or paper filters for the Aeropress can remove unwanted sediments and oils, resulting in a clean and flavorful coffee cup.

Aeropress or Chemex: Which is better?

Both Chemex and Aeropress can produce flavorful cups of coffee, but ultimately, what suits you will depend on your coffee preferences and lifestyle. If you like bright coffee and want a classic appliance to satisfy your large brewing requirements, then pick Chemex.

If you crave a concentrated and full-bodied coffee that is portable and feasible for travel, then Aeropress is the better choice.

Wrapping up

In the end, the choice between Chemex and Aeropress depends on your preferences, lifestyle, and the coffee experience you seek.

Both methods are great options for manual coffee brewing and can lead to exceptional coffee experiences.

The Chemex is elegant and precise, while the Aeropress is simple and quick to use. Explore different coffee beans, grind sizes, and brewing techniques to find your ideal cup.


1) Aeropress or Chemex: Which is more beginner-friendly?

Aeropress is more beginner-friendly as it has less brewing complexity while Chemex is complicated as it requires precise pouring.

2) Can I make espresso-like coffee with Aeropress and Chemex?

While none of them produces true espresso, the Aeropress can create a concentrated and full-bodied coffee that resembles espresso. Chemex yields a lighter and less concentrated brew.

3) Can I make cold-brew coffee using Chemex and Aeropress?

Yes, you can make cold-brew coffee using both Chemex and Aeropress. For Chemex, you must adjust your brewing method with cold water and a longer steeping time. With the Aeropress, you can make cold-brew coffee by using a lower coffee-to-water ratio and steeping it in cold water.


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 ...