Which Chemex should you buy?

by Jeremy

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.

Classic Chemex Family

Why Chemex, and which size is best?

Not all coffee makers are trendy enough to 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.

Category3-cup Classic Chemex6-cup Classic Chemex8-cup Classic Chemex
Capacity2 cups3.75 cups5 cups
Size (height x diameter)8.25 x 3-inch8.5 x 5.125-inch9 x 5.25-inch
FilterCHEMEX Unfolded Half Moon Filters FP-2, FP-2NCHEMEX Bonded Filters FP-1, FC-100, FS-100, FSU-100CHEMEX 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 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 most miniature 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 an excellent 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 circle and square pre-folded filters.

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