Chemex Vs Drip Coffee: What’s The Best Brew For Your Home?

Chemex vs drip coffee

Many of us greatly enjoy the convenience that drip-style coffee makers can provide for us.

In most cases, with just a few quick preparations and the touch of a button, we have freshly-made coffee in no time.

However, there are plenty of other methods out there for brewing coffee as well.

Many people find these approaches result in a much more enjoyable cup.

Naturally, that decision is up to you, the drinker.

That said, other options are worth a shot, right?

One of the brewing methods out there that is growing in popularity is the Chemex brewing method.

Read on to learn about how this method and the standard drip-style coffee compare!

Chemex Coffee: The Coffee Chemist

Chemex Coffee


  • Flavor is rich and less bitter than other options.
  • Results in a cleaner cup.
  • Allows for a lot of experimentation.
  • A relatively low-cost option.
  • It’s an impressive method to show guests.
  • Equipment is highly aesthetically pleasing.


  • Depending on how deeply you get into it, the equipment can take up a lot of space.
  • You’ll likely need a bottle brush for cleaning out the containers.
  • Some of the container options can get rather expensive.

The Equipment

Generally speaking, the Chemex method requires two things aside from your coffee and a mug to put it in.

You’ll need a Chemex container, which typically looks like a beaker you’d find in a science lab.

In addition, you’ll need a filter. Depending on the option you purchase, you may decide to use a reusable metal filter or the heavy-duty paper filters designed for these devices.

If you don’t want to have to worry about buying paper filters, then a metal one can work perfectly well. However, it may not result in as clean of a cup as the paper filters can.

If a clean cup is ideal for you, opting for either paper filters or both filter options is a good idea.

Typically, you can find find a basic Chemex container with a metal filter for anywhere from about $15 to $60.

The paper filters can range from $12 to $35 depending on the brand and how many you choose to purchase at once.

The Flavor

The filters that are often used through the Chemex method are quite thick.

Because of this, many people find that the flavor is much more pure and clean.

They tend to ensure that no grounds are able to make it into the finished brew.

Furthermore, a decent amount of the acid is also captured, resulting in a less bitter finished cup.

Because of this, it tends to have rich flavor when made correctly but is a little softer on the palate.

It is important to consider the grounds you use, as not all styles are going to achieve the same results.

Many prefer grounds that are slightly coarse so that they can bloom well without becoming a muddy mess in the filter.

However, each user is fully able to experiment with different grounds and water ratios as they prefer.

What Makes It Different?

Making coffee using the Chemex method can leave you feeling like a scientist.

There’s a lot of opportunity for trial and error until you find the perfect cup.

Chemex is a great option for those who want a clean, smooth brew that doesn’t contain the bitterness of other methods.

The containers used for this method also have a unique look that can really impress those who come over for a visit.

They’ll be even more impressed as they watch you make them a delicious cup of coffee using this method!

It’s also an option that isn’t likely to break the bank unless you decide you just have to have one of the more expensive model options.

However, it is important to keep in mind that many of these containers aren’t dishwasher friendly, so you’ll need a bottle brush or something similar to make sure they get a complete clean.

Drip Coffee: A Convenient Countertop Choice

Hamilton Beach 12cup


  • Often come at a lower cost than many other options.
  • Offer programmable options that you can set so that you wake up to freshly made coffee.
  • There are a wide variety of size options.
  • Depending on what you want, there are carafe and no-carafe options.
  • You’ll be able to experiment with water to coffee rations for the ideal cup.
  • These machines tend to be simple, easy to use and largely automatic.


  • Not all customers enjoy the resulting flavor of the coffee.
  • Forgetting grounds in the holder can result in mold.
  • Don’t typically offer as many bells and whistles as more technologically advanced options.

The Equipment

Most people are pretty familiar with what is out there when it comes to drip-style coffee makers.

However there may be some options out there that not everyone knows well!

There are standard options, in which you add grounds and water and push a button to get the brewing started.

In addition, there are other models that allow you to program a start time. This is a really great choice for those who want a fresh cup of coffee with minimal effort before work in the morning.

You can also find models that will allow you to have coffee poured right into your mug rather than using a carafe.

Furthermore, there are also options that offer reusable filters so you won’t need to worry about purchasing paper ones.

Depending on the kinds of features you want, the prices of these machines can vary pretty greatly.

On the lower end, some coffee makers can be found for around $12, but more complicated options can run upwards of $100.

The good news is, there is an immense variety at just about every price range in between, making it a very easy device to get on just about any budget.

The Flavor

There are a decent amount of people out there who consider drip-style coffee to be on the lower end of what they’re willing to consume.

People can find that it’s not strong enough, flavorful enough or just doesn’t live up to their expectations.

However, there is a lot of room for experimentation with one of these machines.

You get to choose the kinds of grounds you use as well as the ratio of grounds to water.

Because of that, there’s plenty of space to improve upon the process to make it work best for you.

It’s also a fantastic option for those who enjoy flavored coffee options.

Typically speaking, this is where most people who are new to making coffee start.

The brewing process is simple and easy, and even if you don’t like the results it’s a great way to pick up on how brewing coffee works.

Coffee Cup

What Makes It Different?

There are a lot of options out there for drip-style coffee makers.

From the different model options available to the vast amount of coffee types out there, the coffee world essentially caters to these machines.

Because of that, you’re free to try out different roasts, flavors, and different types of grounds to find your favorites.

Many also find that fresh beans and purified water can make all the difference in even the most low-quality drip-style coffee makers.

If you prefer to try a fresher option, all you need to do is pick up a solid coffee grinder.

For many who are just getting started, drip-style coffee makers can open the door to trying a number of different methods out there.

Or, you may find that you are perfectly happy with the results you get from it!

Which Is The Better Option?

Naturally, this depends on your personal wants and needs.

The biggest difference that may work to determine the answer is whether you prefer an automatic experience or one that requires a little more effort.

You may just find that you have use for both brewing methods, depending on whether or not you have the time to spend on brewing.

Largely, the prices for both methods are about the same if you’re looking for something modest and functional.

Another aspect to pay attention to is convenience.

If you want something that will wake you up in the morning with a fresh cup of coffee, a programmable drip-style coffee maker is a great way to go.

However, if you would rather trade that aspect for the ability to have full control over the entire process then Chemex may be the winning option.

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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