trener1 Senior Member Joined: 16 Jun 2008 Posts: 3 Location: brooklyn, ny Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed Sep 22, 2010, 5:43am Subject: Chemex vs Aeropress
So my trusty old Presto drip machine gave out (well actually the carafe broke) so I am in the market for a new brewer. Was looking at either the Chemex or the Aeropress, they both get great reviews, so for everyday use what would the experts here recommend?.
I think you'll find that the two give different kinds of coffee. I would be hard put to describe it exactly (especially as I've only had a couple of cups from a Chemex). Chemex gives you a classic clean drip coffee, while the AP cup is more like a smoothed-over press cup.
For everyday use? The AP might have a slight edge since it's plastic instead of glass. Cleanup from either one is trivially simple. The AP brews faster than the Chemex by a couple minutes.
I have and enjoy both. make sure you pair either one with a decent burr grinder or else you are missing e reason to use these brew methods. I find the aeropress a bit more dummy proof. still trying to perfect my chemex technique.
The Aeropress is a lot more tolerant of fines from my less-than-acceptably-consistent grinder. Paper drip cones tend to stall with fines. But the Chemex lets you get more water in contact with the grounds, so you get more extraction, and can use less coffee. The Aeropress generally underextracts compared to many other methods, especially when there's a lot of bloom--there's just not much room for water in there. So it's a good idea to dose more, and it gives a different flavor profile, which IMO is pretty good.
The Clever Coffee Dripper is a gravity dripper like the Chemex, and it's plastic, which has advantages and disadvantages. You can do a few more tricks with it than with a Chemex. I say that having no firsthand experience with the Chemex, so there's that.
lee_sill Senior Member Joined: 30 Sep 2010 Posts: 1 Location: Louisville, KY Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Mypressi V2 Grinder: Baratza Maestro Vac Pot: Yama 3 Cup Drip: Chemex, V60 Roaster: Modified Poppery II
Posted Fri Oct 1, 2010, 7:17am Subject: Re: Chemex vs Aeropress
In my view, the Chemex is actually one of the easiest, nearly dummy proof, methods of brewing. As long as you have quality coffee, and work with proper brewing parameters like dosage (start at 60g of coffee per liter of water poured, so 6g per 100ml, or if you like to use ounces, you can go 2g of coffee per 1oz of water and adjust to taste), temperature (195 - 205 degrees f) and brewing time (3 - 4 minutes) you are going to have a decent cup, even if you are still working on your method. You have the ability to brew a single cup or 10 cups, all with the same set up. You can brew a decent Chemex with a blade grinder, but I would really recommend investing into a quality home burr grinder (Skerton, Mini Mill, Maestro, etc...) soon for consistency of grind and a better cup.
Now, I DO love the Aeropress! But I actually think it can be a bit more complex method, because the slightest variables can make a HUGE difference in the cup. I would start with a Chemex as your first purchase, but if you find your self enjoying slow-coffee brewing methods, go for the Aeropress too and have fun playing around with it!
PS - Along with a good burr grinder, a good investment would also be a nice kettle for a precise pour, such as the Buono.
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