Chemex vs French Press

By Paul Carabis | Reviews

Feb 07

The perfect morning coffee varies from person to person. Many people spend money going to coffee shops for their favorite brew, but it is actually more economical if you invest in your own brewing machine. For your ideal cup, it is usually a choice between French Press and The Chemex. The best one for you will depend on several factors. This article will compare the two popular coffee makers, and see which will tickle your interest.


Chemex produces your cup of coffee through Chemex paper filters. These filters are 30 percent heavier than the other types. They work to ensure that the machine does not make your coffee bitter. The use of filters will also produce a much cleaner brew, which means that you will never find any sediment at the bottom of your cup. Aside from the tiny coffee particles, you will also filter out so much more.

Another good thing about Chemex is that it filters the oil extracted from coffee. While it is one of the components responsible for that great flavor, this oil is also said to contain bad cholesterol. If you drink your coffee in moderation, then you do not have to worry about this. However, people who drink coffee as frequently as water, then this is something that they should take note of. If you are looking for a cleaner cup of coffee, then the Chemex might be for you.

French Press

The French Press is another crowd favorite. It makes rich and flavorful cups of coffee that will complete your day and boost your mood. Unlike Chemex, however, French Press makes less-filtered coffee. It uses a metal mesh filter that allows some particles to enter your cup, which is why the result always has so much body. The only downside is that you will find some sludge at the bottom of your cup. While this is completely a normal sight, there are coffee drinkers who prefer a cup without sediments.

French Press VS. Chemex

It is now time to compare the two coffee makers. When it comes to affordability, these two are both winners because they produce great-tasting coffee without making you break the bank. Below are other factors that you have to consider when deciding which between the two is best for you:

1. Brewing Time (bean to brew)

There will be days when brewing your coffee at home is no longer possible due to time constraints. Chemex can make your favorite brew in just around six minutes or less. This already includes the setting up of the filter, rinsing, and the entire brewing process.

Meanwhile, the French Press no longer requires you to set up the filter. You will also have the option not to pre-heat your cup and brewer if you are in a rush. The whole brewing process is only about four minutes or less. When it comes to brewing time, the French Press wins due to the absence of the filter.

2. Portability

Both brewers do not have the complicated buttons and the need to plug-in some things, unlike the fancier and more expensive models. These two win the portability category. The Chemex coffee maker is around 8.5 inches tall and weighs only less than two pounds. It does not have a plastic or metal casing.

The French Press is a bit smaller than the Chemex at less than eight inches, but they weigh nearly the same. The biggest difference, though, is that the French Press uses a combination of insulated plastic, stainless steel casing, and borosilicate glass.

3. Brewing Process

Brewing your coffee through Chemex stards with the grinding of the beans. It is extremely important that you use Chemex-branded filters and not just the regular ones. This is because the Chemex filters are designed to fit the mouth of the brewer. They are also thicker to ensure precise filtration. The result is a clean cup, free of gunk or sediments.

The French Press, on the other hand, requires you to focus on the grinding process, but without the need to set up any filter. The plunger has a built-in mesh that already serves as a filter, though not as clean as the Chemex filter. The brewing process for this machine will only take up to four minutes. You have to slowly press the plunger once you are done with the brewing to ensure the grounds remain at the bottom of the carafe.

Both methods need some extra effort, but it all boils down to the cleanup stage. Since Chemex produces a clean brew because of the filter, the cleanup will not take more than 45 seconds. The French Press, meanwhile, will leave coffee grounds at the bottom of the carafe, so expect the cleanup to take no less than three minutes.

4. End Result

The end result is the make-or-break part of your buying decision. At the end of the brewing process, the best coffee will be determined when you drink from each cup. The filtering process of Chemex makes the coffee bright, clear, and clean because the filter takes out the unwanted particles. The downside, however, is the filtering out of the coffee oils that give the drink its distinct flavor. It means that the richness may be reduced.

The French Press, meanwhile, skips the filtering phase. It relies on the mesh on the bottom of the plunger that serves as a filter. The machine focuses more on the brewing, giving you that rich, full-bodied drink filled with aroma. Unlike the Chemex brewer, this model leaves some sediments at the bottom of your cup. The gunk left behind is part of the normal brewing process, but some drinkers might not like it.

Each machine gives a different brew. The Chemex gives clean and bright coffee, while the French Press delivers a richer cup. It all boils down to how you want your cup of coffee to turn out.


The French Press and Chemex brewing machines are both high-quality brewers. The only difference is that the Chemex is best suited for pour-over-coffee drinkers, while the French Press is perfect for those who want it rich despite some sediments. They both have simple and easy-to-use features that let you brew your coffee with ease. The best one, however, will depend on your personal preference.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Paul Carabis, coffee lover (ok, maybe coffee addict). I started this website as a way to document the best coffee machines, products and information for personal use and it took off from there! Now I help thousands of readers per month and I trust that I've helped you too!