The Ultimate Guide to the Best Chemex Pour Over Brewers and Carafes

Are you tired of settling for mediocre pour-over coffee? Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just seeking that perfect cup to kick start your day, we've got you covered. In this article, we delve into the world of the best Chemex pour over and other top-notch brewing methods. From the Hario V60 to the Kalita Wave, we'll explore the unique features that make each of these single cup brewers shine. And if you're craving a double-walled carafe with exceptional heat retention, stay tuned as we unveil the top pick that will elevate your coffee experience to new heights. Get ready to take your mornings from ordinary to extraordinary with these exceptional coffee brewing tools.

Kalita Wave

  • Size: 185 (2-4 cups), 155 (1-2 cups)
  • Material: Stainless steel, glass, ceramic
  • Design: Flat-bottom

The Kalita Wave is a pour-over coffee maker that differs from other popular options like the Chemex and Hario V60. Unlike them, it doesn't have a cone shape. Instead, it features a flat bottom with three drain holes, which ensures better contact between water and grounds. This design makes it more forgiving and easier to use for beginners or those without a gooseneck kettle. The flat bottom also produces a stronger cup of coffee compared to cone-shaped brewers, so if you prefer a clean cup with a lighter mouthfeel, this may not be the best choice.

The Kalita Wave is made of stainless steel, which has its advantages and disadvantages. It is highly durable and lightweight, making it ideal for travel. However, stainless steel doesn't retain heat well, so it should be preheated with hot water before use. This coffee maker is a great option for those who value durability and portability. - Jack Seemer, Executive Editor

Chemex Classic

  • Size: 3-cup, 6-cup, 8-cup, 10-cup
  • Material: Glass
  • Design: Conical

Before owning a Chemex, I was drawn to its iconic mid-century modern design and its affordability as an original 1948 piece in MoMA's permanent collection. Even though it makes great coffee, its design was the initial appeal for me. However, after brewing with it every day, I began to appreciate the coffee it produces. The Chemex demands precision - from using high-quality coffee to grinding it to the right consistency, pre-soaking the filter, pre-heating the carafe, blooming the coffee, and pouring the water in a controlled manner with a gooseneck kettle. It may not be suitable for everyone due to its specific brewing requirements.

The Chemex is not only beautiful but also versatile in terms of size options, making it perfect for serving a crowd. I have the 6-cup version, but it's important to note that the measurements aren't exact - it brews around 32oz max, equivalent to about three 10oz mugs.

The downsides of the Chemex are well-known. Its proprietary filters, which significantly impact the taste, can be quite expensive. It requires attention to detail and proper cleaning due to its fragile glass construction. However, placing it on a stovetop can help retain heat while brewing multiple cups. It's essential to consider the pros and cons before investing in a Chemex. - Johnny Brayson, Associate Editor

Hario V60

  • Size: 01 (1-2 cups), 02 (1-4 cups), 03 (1-6 cups)
  • Material: Ceramic, stainless steel, glass, plastic
  • Design: Conical

Over the past ten years, I've brewed countless cups of coffee with my Hario V60 brewer. Despite my extensive experience, it's hard to pinpoint specific details about it because it has seamlessly become a part of my daily brewing routine.

The Hario V60 is a simple coffee brewer that gets the job done. It is easy to clean and easy to use. However, it's worth mentioning that it is fragile and will break if dropped. Its appearance is rather unremarkable, with a wavy design that adds a playful touch. It requires separate filters and is best for brewing a single cup of coffee, although you can experiment and use it for multiple cups if you prefer. - J.D. DiGiovanni, Managing Editor

Miir Pourigami

  • Size: Single cup
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Design: Conical

The Miir Pourigami is a portable pour-over coffee maker made up of three stainless steel panels that can be easily assembled into an inverted pyramid shape. It's compact, measuring only 3.38 in x 4.49 in, making it perfect for brewing single cups of coffee on the go. When not in use, the panels can be disassembled and packed flat, taking up minimal space in a bag or backpack.

This coffee maker is not only portable but also extremely durable, eliminating the worry of damaging it during travels. The coffee it produces is surprisingly good - simply add a paper filter, your preferred roast, and hot water. The panels can be easily washed and reused for future brewing sessions. - John Zientek, Senior Editor

Best single cup brewers: Hario V60 & Kalita Wave 185

The Kalita Wave's flat-bottom design makes achieving consistent results easier compared to the more conical models like the Hario V60 or Chemex. In those models, water has to flow through a finer point, spending more time in the grounds around that area. This requires more precise water aiming to ensure full extraction from all the beans. With the wide and flat base of the Kalita, this precision is less necessary, simplifying the brewing process. However, it's important to note that using specially-shaped Kalita filters may be a bit more challenging to find compared to filters for other pour-over coffee makers. The Kalita Wave 185 can brew up to 12 ounces at a time and is available in glass, stainless steel, and ceramic variants, all of which are dishwasher-safe.

The Hario V60 performs just as well as the Kalita Wave but requires more finesse. Like the Kalita and Chemex, it requires specific filters. It stands out for its affordability, with a plastic model costing only $12. It is available in stainless steel, ceramic, and glass for those looking for more durable options. - [Author not specified]

Best double-walled carafe: Fellow Stagg [XF]

Double-walled glass models have become popular for their ability to maintain the temperature of liquids without the industrial appearance of thermal carafes. In our search for the best pour-over setup, we discovered that these double-walled models, although not as effective as thermal insulated carafes, do keep coffee hotter for a longer time compared to single-walled competitors like the Chemex.

Fellow, known for their minimalist designs on high-performing coffee brewers, offers a pour-over coffee brewer with a unique cylindrical shape instead of the more common conical or wedge-shaped brewers. This shape, combined with a flat bottom, allows the water to saturate the coffee grounds for a bit longer, resulting in more flavor extraction. This aspect makes the Fellow Stagg [XF] easier to use for beginners compared to more advanced options like the Hario V60. The Stagg can brew two large cups of coffee and features a gasket at the bottom of the dripper, which helps secure it to the carafe and maintain the coffee's temperature. It also comes with a ratio aid for those who prefer not to weigh their grounds. The dripper and carafe should be hand washed. - [Author not specified]

So, whether you're a coffee aficionado seeking the perfect pour over or a casual coffee lover looking to elevate your brewing experience, there's no denying the power of the Chemex pour over. With its timeless design, excellent heat retention, and smooth, clean cup of coffee, it's no wonder the Chemex Classic has become a staple in coffee connoisseur's kitchens. However, if you're looking for something slightly different, the Kalita Wave offers its own unique brewing style that results in a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. Whichever you choose, both the Chemex and Kalita Wave are sure to awaken your senses and take your coffee brewing to new heights. Happy sipping!

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