Which Chemex should you buy?

by Jeremy

Classic Chemex FamilySource: Chemex

Best answer: The Chemex pour over coffee maker comes in 3-cup, 6-cup, and 8-cup sizes. The right Chemex for you depends on how much coffee you’ll need. The 3-cup Chemex is perfect for the solo coffee drinker, while the 8-cup Chemex is for coffee-loving families or anyone that can’t imagine a day without their caffeine fix. But most coffee lovers will be satisfied with Chemex’s most popular size, the 6-cup, which makes about four cups of coffee.

Why Chemex and which size is best?

Not all coffee makers are trendy enough to be on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, but the Chemex is. This contemporary glass coffee maker (or should I say work of art) has been brewing coffee since 1941 and still finds its way into the hands of baristas and coffee buffs around the world today. What makes this pour over coffee maker special is its iconic and sleek hourglass shape. Also, since it doesn’t take up much space, it’s the perfect coffee maker if you’d rather avoid displaying a clunky coffee machine on the counter.

Chemex offers what other machines cannot: style and function. Because the Chemex coffee maker is made of high quality, heat resistant, and non-porous Borosilicate glass, it brews coffee that is, according to Chemex, “clear, pure, flavorful, and without bitterness or sediment.” Who doesn’t enjoy waking up to that? But which one is right for you? Here’s what these models have to offer.

Category 3-cup Classic Chemex 6-cup Classic Chemex 8-cup Classic Chemex
Capacity 2 cups 3.75 cups 5 cups
Size (height x diameter) 8.25 x 3-inch 8.5 x 5.125-inch 9 x 5.25-inch
Filter CHEMEX Unfolded Half Moon Filters FP-2, FP-2N CHEMEX Bonded Filters FP-1, FC-100, FS-100, FSU-100 CHEMEX Bonded Filters FP-1, FC-100, FS-100, FSU-100
Price at Chemex $39 $44 $46

Each Chemex coffee maker has an elegant design featuring a polished wood collar and a leather tie, with only the slightest difference in shape. One key customizable feature is the leather tie, which comes in eight traditional colors: original leather, kelly green, saffron yellow, gumball orange, crimson red, royal blue, concrete grey, and jet black.

When it comes to aesthetics, the 6-cup and 8-cup models look nearly identical with a classic Chemex hourglass shape, whereas the 3-cup is narrower and resembles a carafe. You can personalize your Chemex even further by engraving the wood collar or the glass with initials, a restaurant or brand logo, anniversary date, etc. Other than that, the main difference between each model comes down to capacity, size, and price.

3-cup Chemex: Who is it for?

Chemex Classic Lifestyle

Source: Chemex

The 3-cup Classic Chemex is the smallest Chemex model and can make up to two cups of coffee, following the standard that one cup of coffee is eight ounces. This option is ideal for anyone who lives alone or enjoys sharing coffee with some company on occasion.

Because this model is narrower than its larger counterparts, it’s a great option for smaller apartments or kitchens where counter or cabinet space is tight. Its smaller size also makes it easier to showcase permanently and even transport on a weekend getaway — although the Chemex’s fragile glass is not convenient for travel. Remember, this model can only be used with Chemex unfolded half moon bonded filters, whereas the 6-cup and 8-cup work with both circle and square pre-folded filters.

6-cup Chemex: Who is it for?

The 6-cup Classic Chemex is the most popular Chemex model, and for a good reason. It makes nearly four cups of coffee. This model is the best option for those who live with a partner or roommates or those who like to have a few cups of coffee. The 6-cup Chemex also has that classic Chemex look. Unlike the smaller Chemex, it has a more rounded hourglass shape, naturally making it a beautiful kitchen staple.

8-cup Chemex: Who is it for?

The 8-cup Classic Chemex isn’t drastically larger than the 6-cup, but it makes up to five cups of coffee. That’s one cup and a little extra than the 6-cup Chemex has to offer. If you’re the kind of person who would always rather have more coffee than less, this is the best size for you. It’s a great fit for coffee-loving families or those who need to keep the coffee pouring at brunch.

And if you don’t mind reheating your coffee later (Chemex claims the flavor will not change) or having it iced, the 8-cup wins. Because this size Chemex doesn’t come at a significantly higher price, it’s also the most bang for your buck.

If you have to pick one, go with the 6-cup

Chemex Classic Hero

Source: Chemex

The 6-cup Classic Chemex is my favorite choice, but you really can’t go wrong with any size. The coffee should still taste the same. The prices of each size are about $10 apart, so decide which Chemex to buy based on how much coffee you like to drink.

The 6-cup model hits that sweet spot for me: not too little, not too much. Chemex coffee will not stay hot for several hours, and since I’m notorious for throwing out whatever coffee I didn’t drink, this option is the most logical and least wasteful. The 8-cup option, on the other hand, is best for those who appreciate its larger size and who can never seem to have enough coffee. You can also always make less coffee with a larger Chemex, but not the other way around.

If you rarely need more than two cups of coffee at a time, then definitely go with the 3-cup model and save yourself the precious counter space. At the cheapest price point, this model can also be engraved and given as a gift. It’s a great option for restaurants (or brands) who can sandblast their logo and serve the lovely Chemex at a table for two. Whichever size you decide to go with, the Chemex coffee maker is guaranteed to be a reliable and trendy addition to your repertoire.

One size fits most

6-cup Chemex

The ideal size for most coffee fanatics

The 6-cup Chemex pour over coffee maker is the perfect size for most people. It has that classic Chemex hourglass look, won’t take up too much counter space, and makes a decent amount of coffee. You don’t need much more or much less than that.

Small but chic

3-cup Chemex

Minimalism at its finest

The 3-cup Chemex pour over coffee maker might only make two cups of coffee, but it’ll still look really cool in your kitchen. It’s the Chemex you should buy if you’re a solo coffee drinker working on mastering your brew, or you occasionally appreciate a cup (or two) of excellent coffee.

The bigger the better

8-cup Chemex

For those who can never have too much coffee

If you’re always seemingly running out of coffee, go for the 8-cup Chemex. It’ll make about five cups of coffee, which should be enough to curb at least a few caffeine cravings and keep your family and friends happy. Plus, you won’t regret it if you have any extra.

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