French Press vs Chemex: Which One Fits For You?

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/07/21 •  7 min read

The Best Answer:

It depends on what you want, for instance, if you want more clarity or prefer a stronger flavor go with the French Press. If you prefer more natural oils in your coffee and a smoother taste goes with the Chemex.

The Chemex and the French Press are both two very different and unique ways to brew coffee. For example, Chemex filters out many of the oils in coffee that people consider undesirable while the French Press doesn’t so well.

In this article, we will compare the French Press and the Chemex. First, we will look at how they both work, and then we will go over what you need to have for each of them, you know all the technical stuff that isn’t too exciting.

Then we will discuss some of their pros and cons, like which one is easier to make coffee with, which one has a better flavor, etc.

The French Press

french press vs chemex

The French Press is a brewing device that is made up of two parts, the plunger and the carafe. The plunger has a mesh filter at the bottom of it and when you press down on it, it forces the coffee grounds up to brew. The filter then separates the grounded coffee with the rest of the drink and you end up with a delicious cup of joe!

French Press Coffee Grind Size

The right grind size for the french press is somewhere between a coarse and a fine grind. Some people like to use coarse grind more but this is only a personal preference. The intensity of the coffee flavor depends on the size of the grind and many people report different tastes with how much coffee they use in their press.

Picking the correct grind size for your french press is important because different grind sizes will produce different brews. Changes in the grind size can have a huge impact on the flavor of your coffee.

French Press Water Temperature

The water temperature that you use when brewing coffee with a French Press has to be between 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit. It will work at lower temperatures but it will be a little bit harder to achieve the perfect brew.

Generally, most people like to use below boiling water which is around 200 degrees and then let it cool down as it brews.

French Press Price

The French Press is an affordable option when it comes to brewing coffee and the quality of the coffee you get greatly depends on your budget. If you are looking for something around $20, you can find some pretty nice selections.

For those that want a French Press that costs more than $20, there are a couple different options. The most expensive option would be a Frieling Stainless Steel French Press which costs $120 but this brewing system also has additional features and it’s not for beginners.

Cleaning The French Press

Cleaning a French Press is pretty easy and simple. Some people like to use dish soap or baking soda for their cleaning routine which might be the best option for you.

The first step would be to rinse out any leftover grounds from your filter. If there are any stubborn chunks of anything that just won’t come out then you can soak it in water with some soap for awhile before scrubbing it clean.

You want to clean the carafe as well because if left unclean, it will leave residue on your next cup of coffee and affect the flavor.

French Press Brewing Time

Brewing coffee with the french press takes around 5 -6 minutes. During that time you should continuously pour hot water over your grounds to ensure you are brewing them evenly.

The best way to brew your coffee is to add some boiling water in the carafe and then wait for it to cool down for 30 seconds before pouring it out and repeating the process.

Doing this will allow the carafe to be warmer before you add your grounds and your final water in the pot, making the taste even fuller!



Read Also: French Press vs V60

The Chemex

french press vs chemex

The Chemex is a brewing cone and filter system that is enjoyed by home baristas and coffee lovers around the world.

When you want to brew your own coffee, this is one of the best options out there because it allows for a full range of control over your cup of joe! It’s not that hard to clean either, which makes it perfect for any barista looking to create amazing drinks.

Read Also: Chemex Brewing Guide

Chemex Coffee Grind Size

The Chemex requires a medium-coarse grind. Grind too fine and your brew will be watery but grind too coarse and your coffee may taste burnt.

Although, I’ve seen some people use the ‘French Press’ method with their Chemex, which is to use a coarser grind (which would be similar to the french press). Don’t try to complicate things if you are a beginner.

Chemex Water Temperature

When making coffee in a Chemex, the water temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s just slightly lower than boiling water but not as hot as many of the other brew methods out there.

This is considered the perfect temperature for brewing coffee with a Chemex. If you use water that is too hot, it will burn your grounds and you might end up with an unpleasant aftertaste.

Chemex Price

The Chemex can be pricey depending on what materials you buy your coffee maker out of. It is made of glass and so it’s easy to break which means it’s not suitable for travelling or camping.

The cost can vary from $30 to $100 depending on the size of your brewer.

Cleaning The Chemex

Cleaning your Chemex is pretty easy. You just have to remove the filter, soak the carafe in hot water add some dish soap for about 5 minutes, and then wash it out.



Read Also: Chemex vs AeroPress

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ

chemex vs french press

What’s the Point of a Chemex?

The Chemex gives you more control over the coffee you’re making by allowing you to grind your own beans and brew to your taste preference. The glass carafe also keeps the warmth of the coffee for longer so you can enjoy it for longer.

Is Chemex hard to use?

Chemex is not a difficult device to use, but if you are a beginner you might have trouble following some of the more complicated directions of the Chemex.

Is French Press coffee smoother?

French press coffee is a little less smooth than Chemex coffee because of the coarser grind. Because of this, you may notice that there are some grounds in your cup if you are not using a strainer when pouring.

French press coffee also tends to have a slightly stronger flavor and more body than Chemex.

Last Thoughts

If you are looking to get some delicious coffee made in a way that allows you to control the flavor of your cup, then choose Chemex. It is one of the best ways to get great-tasting coffee and it can be enjoyed by anyone!

If you want a stronger coffee and more body go with the French Press!

In the end it depends on your own personal taste and preferences, but both of these options are great for anyone who wants to get some fresh and tasty drinks in their coffee!

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Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.