Ancient Chemex, Melitta drip, various Mr. Coffee, Capresso MT500
The Chemex is hands down the best coffee maker I have ever worked with. No moving parts, no electricity, no plastic, just glass, filter paper, coffee and water, and the best coffee I've ever made.
Positive Product Points
Negative Product Points
Glass, a bit delicate
Cleaning is a little awkward
Will not keep coffee hot for hours without additional help (warmer, carafe)
Manual drip process is a bit tedious (but on balance well worth it)
I am in love with my Chemex. I used one exclusively many years ago and had fond memories of it, but in the last few years I moved to electric drip machines for the convenience, finally ending up with a Capresso MT500, which after six months or so of experimentation finally gave me a fairly consistent pot of very decent hot coffee.
A few weeks ago the Capresso finally needed to go back to the factory for some work, and I pulled out my Chemex 13-pot handblown maker as a temporary substitute. OMG. What a revelation. It was the best coffee I had made since I last used my Chemex. The coffee is hot, strong, clear, and has no bitter taste. I can taste the difference in varietal coffees again. The caffeine buzz is more pronounced as well (big plus for me as a parent with 2 full time careers.) Every morning I hear "Great coffee!" from my audience.
It does require more attention, since you have to boil the water and pour it by hand. Also, I find that I end up pouring the first two cups, then saving the rest in a thermal carafe or Thermos. Minor details considering the results.
I noticed recently on their website that there is now a model with an integrated glass handle, which does away with their standard wood and rawhide arrangement. I imagine this would simplify cleanup a bit.
I bought directly from Chemex. The experience was painless, simple, and direct.