Joesmith123 Senior Member Joined: 21 Nov 2013 Posts: 1 Location: San Francisco Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 11:46am Subject: Chemex, Hario v60, or Kalita Wave?
I currently own a Chemex, and I have yet to brew that heavenly cup of joe. It tastes more of a coffee flavored tea to me. I am looking to buy a Hario v60, or a Kalita Wave. Any suggestions on which brews a better cup? I don't necessarily care about the labor involved, or the cleaning process, All I care about is the result. Do they both produce a cup that is similar to the chemex? If so, I will just stay with the chemex. Please let me know which produces an all around better cup of coffee. And also the pros and cons, and taste profiles of both. Thank you
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 2:06pm Subject: Re: Chemex, Hario v60, or Kalita Wave?
The Kalita bed geometry lends itself to a more even extraction than cone-shaped brewing methods. Also, the density of the Kalita filter media is more uniform than Chemex filters. As a result, the Kalita is more forgiving to brew with. There is also a distinct difference in the cup in terms of taste, aroma and color.
Having said that, you should be able to brew a heavenly cup with any one of these brewers. You may be getting a thin cup because something else is sub-optimal (coffee-to-water ratio, grind size, water quality, brew method, etc.). If so, changing the brewer won't fix that.
jaybar Senior Member Joined: 13 Sep 2011 Posts: 177 Location: Brooklyn Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 3:52pm Subject: Re: Chemex, Hario v60, or Kalita Wave?
Each brewing method has an optimal batch size. Some require a better grinder than others. For a good chemex one needs to understand the interaction between grind size, dose and temperature. Think of this as a series of three point interactions for various batch sizes. I find the hario least forgiving and the chemex most forgiving. Not in the general sense, but for a brew method's optimal batch size. In theory, kalita should be the easiest of the three, but my vision and coordination make the kalita brewers more difficult for me than chemex
Posted Fri Nov 22, 2013, 2:07am Subject: Re: Chemex, Hario v60, or Kalita Wave?
You should be able to get a decent cup of coffee with the Chemex. Many swear by it.
No doubt you've tried varying the grind but if if it's thin and weak you probably need a finer grind. You also want to make a decent amount say 20fl oz and aim for a brew time of 4 minutes. You don't say what grinder you are using but a blade grinder wouldn't be a great idea with the thick Chemex papers.
For me The Kalita Wave is my go to method for consistency and great results but all of these brewers need a bit of technique and fair bit of practice. A decent Swan Neck kettle like the Hario Buono is pretty much essential - certainly for the V60.
The long and the short though is if you can't get satisfactory results from the Chemex your probably not going to solve your problems by switching to the Kalita or Hario.
Posted Tue Nov 26, 2013, 1:57am Subject: Re: Chemex, Hario v60, or Kalita Wave?
+1. The "coffee flavored tea" description I find really puzzling. With the thick Chemex filter the tendency I fight is a cup that's overextracted and too strong. Maybe the OP is down-dosing a bunch? 35g or 1.25 oz would be about the right amount of coffee for that 20-oz four-minute brew.
tglodjo Senior Member Joined: 16 Oct 2012 Posts: 210 Location: Jackson, TN Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Nov 26, 2013, 6:41am Subject: Re: Chemex, Hario v60, or Kalita Wave?
Other responses have eluded to it, but none have asked: - What beans are you using? How fresh are they? - What grinder are you using? - What is your dose (coffee:water ratio)? - How do you pour?
There's no reason you can't get a fantastic brew with your Chemex. It's my go to brewer for batches larger than one or two cups. When I'm doing single cup brewing, I use both the Kalita and V60 depending on the type of bean.
GarryG Senior Member Joined: 18 Mar 2004 Posts: 28 Location: Massachusetts Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini II Grinder: La Cimbali Jr.,Breville Drip: Chemex, Krups, Bodum...
Posted Mon Dec 9, 2013, 12:11am Subject: Re: Chemex, Hario v60, or Kalita Wave?
I agree with the other posters who say it's unlikely a different filter coffeemaker would make a big difference in your results. Your "tea" reference does sound as if you might be under-extracting. The most likely cause of that is too little coffee or too coarse a grind, but should be easy to fix by experimenting with grind, water temp and pouring technique. On the whole, a Chemex is a pretty forgiving brewer.
A Chemex can deliver a very clean version of whatever your coffee has to offer, but not everyone loves filter coffee. The same coffee in a press pot will have a similar flavor profile, but will be chewier with more body. Put it in a good espresso machine, and it will have a whole new, very intense personality. I do Chemex and espresso every day and love them both, but if I could only have one, it would be the Chemex.
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