This thing is the cleanest! It makes great round-flavored coffee but cools fast, Pre-rinse your filters, it's worth it!
Positive Product Points
Great coffee, easy to completely clean, good looks. Undesireable flavors seem to recede
Negative Product Points
Coffee cools fast and it's slow to brew. Perhaps some aromatics of great coffee are lost especially with the heavy filters.
I am mostly writing this review to recommend pre wetting paper filters. You know this thing makes good coffee and will make even better coffee with a decent grinder. I endorse pre wetting the bleached filter papers, and I do it like this. Boil water in my glass tea-kettle (Whistler, $12 or so) when the glass chemex lid on the teakettle rattles annoyingly, take it off; set it on a cutting board; use some hot water to rinse the filter on a plate; let it drain almost vertically, and rinse it again. Put the filter on the chemex; add grounds. Wet grounds; wait a few seconds and fill it to the filter lip; stir, consider second filling or intermediate fillings. When done brewing, cap the chemex with the lid.
If you pre rinse your filters for any type of drip brewing you will notice the difference, especially if you use the heavy brown ones
I see a lot of interesting oil in the filters. I find the coffee good, but honestly like the results from the Capresso st600 even better. Perhaps the Capresso delivers more aromatics, while the chemex is round and rich, but a touch boring. I wonder how this would be with a permanent filter. I am using local roasted quality coffees within two weeks of their roasts.
For value-priced beans (like trader joes) I don't believe there is any better brewing system than the Chemex, (I have not tried a balance brewer)and for great beans it's also a very good maker. Truly superior value.
Dickson Brothers Hardware is just about the best reason for me to go to Harvard Square now. They have amazing things like sheet brass and soft, sheet copper, all sorts of odd hardware useful to any coffee geek. If you are fortunate enough to have a great hardware store in your town, try to support it!