Espresso Vs Chemex Coffee: A Comparison in Brewing Methodology

Espresso Vs Chemex Coffee

When you take a look into the world of coffee, you’re likely to find a multitude of options out there.

There are different roasts, flavors and levels of grind coarseness.

On top of that, there are many different brewing methods, and they’re all worth trying out!

Two that have been growing in popularity are espresso and Chemex.

These two options are quite different, but can really open up the coffee possibilities!

Here, we’re going to take a look into these brewing styles.

That way, you can have a good idea of what they can offer when it comes to flavor, ease of brewing, brew strength and more!




Most people are familiar with espresso thanks to coffee shops that serve it regularly.

Many of us have seen images online of neat espresso art, or similar kinds of mentions of these fabulous beverages.

For those who aren’t as familiar with espresso, there are a few things that are important to know.

Espresso drinks are often on the smaller side, packing a large punch into a small package.

Because of that, they are ideal for getting a quick boost.

There are also a wide variety of different espresso drinks, allowing you to find the one you like best.

Generally speaking, those who are big fans of espresso tend to look for a solid espresso machine to use at home.

While these machines can be a bit pricey, they can often save you money over time when compared to getting your daily espresso from a coffee shop.

In many cases, they can also make the brewing process a lot quicker and easier.

Typically, you can expect espresso drinks to be quite strong. As a result, they’re definitely going to be able to give you a quick caffeine boost!


  • Packs more power into a smaller drink.
  • Smaller portion means fewer extra calories.
  • Often quite delicious.
  • Can be easy to make using espresso machines.
  • There are a variety of different types.
  • Great for those who prefer bold flavor.


  • Can be more expensive if you don’t make them at home.
  • Espresso machines are often pricey.
  • The bold flavor may not be ideal for everyone.


There are a multitude of reasons why some people prefer espresso over other types of coffee.

These can include the ability to get more of a boost with fewer calories attached, the bolder flavor or even the large variety of choices.

You also have the option to add in some other ingredients to bring down the intensity of the flavor if you choose.

That said, it is important to keep in mind that they can be somewhat expensive when purchased in a coffee shop.

Generally, it’s recommended that you look into an espresso machine if you plan on drinking them often.



Chemex coffee has been growing a great deal in popularity in recent years.

Largely, this is due to coffee lovers seeking out the brewing method that works best for them.

There are a number of benefits that can come with using a Chemex container.

Many find that they enjoy the flavor. While it may not be as bold as an espresso beverage, it’s often less bitter than many other options out there.

This is usually due to the Chemex filters, which are thicker than standard paper filters and absorb many of the coffee acids.

As a result, it’s a great option for those who want a brew that is a little smoother.

It is important to keep in mind that brewing coffee in this method does often require more effort than others. It’s more of a manual process.

Consequently, you’ll need to keep track of the time and temperature to ensure you get the perfect brew.

That also means you’ll likely need a good gooseneck kettle if you don’t already have one.


  • Equipment used for brewing is aesthetically pleasing.
  • Often filtered very well, resulting in no sediment in your cup.
  • You can make multiple cups at once.
  • Chemex containers can be purchased rather inexpensively.
  • Resulting brew tends to be less bitter.
  • You’ll feel like a scientist while making your cup.


  • Chemex filters can be more expensive than paper filters.
  • The brewing process is more labor intensive.
  • Some containers can be more difficult to clean out.


Many who enjoy this method of brewing appreciate the level of control they have over the process.

Chemex containers are also rather aesthetically pleasing, meaning they can sit on your counter without subtracting from the space.

In most cases, the containers are also rather affordable, unless you decide to go crazy!

It is important to remember that not all Chemex containers are dishwasher friendly, so you may need to invest in a bottle brush.

Chemex filters can also be somewhat on the expensive side when compared to standard filters.



The resulting brews from both Chemex and espresso coffee beverages can be quite different.

Espresso is known to be very bold and highly effective when it comes to providing the caffeine boost that many people need to get going.

As a result, the drinks tend to be quite a bit smaller than standard coffee drinks.

Espresso drinks are measures in terms of shots, meaning many of these drinks are between 1 and 3 ounces.

When you want something quick and efficient, espresso is certainly the option that is going to be ideal.

On the other hand, you may not find the same level of boldness in coffee brewed from a Chemex.

The thicker filters typically hold back more of the acids in the coffee, allowing for the results to be a little smoother and easier to drink.

If you’re someone who isn’t into the bitterness that coffee can often have, this method is absolutely worth a shot.

It is important to keep in mind that there are several key pieces of equipment that Chemex-brewed coffee may need in order to provide the best possible results.


One of the more difficult aspects of both of these brewing methods is the equipment needed.

Specifically, it is possible to make an espresso without an espresso machine, but it is a more difficult process.

In addition, espresso machines can be quite expensive, though you may be able to find some more affordable options from brands like Nespresso.

If you’re planning on having espressos every day or close to it, having an espresso machine around will definitely be worthwhile in the long run.

However, if it’s just the rare drink, sticking to a coffee shop can also be a good idea.

It’s greatly going to depend on your personal preferences!

On the other hand, Chemex containers can be found at quite affordable prices.

What’s important to keep in mind when taking this route is that you’ll need more equipment than you might with other options.

Things like a timer and scale, gooseneck kettle, Chemex filters as well as the container are all useful to have for this type of brewing.

A thermometer is also an ideal tool to have so that you can keep your water from getting too how and ruining the flavor of the coffee.

The good news is that overall, none of these items are all that expensive to obtain.

Which Is Best?

This is largely going to be up to the kinds of results you want.

If you’re unfamiliar with these types of drinks, then it’s a good idea to try them out at your local coffee shop.

That way, you’ll be able to get a good idea of what each option can provide.

From there, you’ll be able to decide which you may want to be able to make at home.

Generally speaking, Chemex coffee is a great option for those who want something a little less bitter while espresso is great for those who like something bold, effective and brewed in smaller amounts.

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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