If you are old school or have a high aesthetic sense, you must love Chemex, a device to brew coffee. And why should you not? Chemex brewed coffee satisfies our taste buds like no other pour-over coffee maker does.
Actually, it’s all due to the Chemex filter. They are 30% thicker than conventional filters. The dense filter removes extra fats and oils, leaving behind a cup of coffee that is clean, smooth, and free of sediment and bitterness.
The unique properties of Chemex filters make it hard to find the best Chemex filter alternatives. But worry not! While no other filter can brew coffee like the Chemex filter, we have found a few options that can make do.
But before moving to the alternatives, you should understand how a Chemex coffee maker works and what makes the Chemex filter unique so that you can substitute it accordingly.
Chemex Coffee Maker
The Chemex coffee maker uses infusion to brew coffee. It’s a pour-over coffee brewing system introduced in 1941 by a German chemist, Peter J. Schlumbohm. The Chemex coffeemaker comprises a glass flask in the shape of an hourglass with a conical funnel-like neck.
How Does Chemex Work? There is a specific technique to brew coffee using Chemex. However, the process typically goes like this.
- Firstly, the filter is placed correctly in a Chemex.
- Coffee grounds are added.
- Near-boiling water is used to wet the coffee grounds.
- After that, the remaining water is carefully poured through the grounds once the coffee is bloomed.
The coffee takes 4 minutes to brew in a Chemex. Chemex can yield 3, 6, or 8 cups of coffee, depending on the size of your vessel.
Chemex filters are special bonded paper filters. Chemex filters are significantly thicker than standard coffee filters used in drip coffeemakers. Let us tell you the specific properties of Chemex filters that Make them better than regular filters.
· High-Graded Material
They are created using special fibers of the highest quality. They can filter even the tiniest traces of undesirable oils and fats besides the solid sediments out of your coffee.
· Special Formulation
The sturdiness of the Chemex filter gives optimal time for coffee grinds to steep. It controls the filtration rate, enhancing the flavor of your coffee.
· Folding Ability
The Chemex filter is also folded into a cone form, just as researchers do in the lab. The cone’s shape promotes equal coffee extraction as the water travels through the grinds to the cone’s peak.
· Thick Density
Additionally, due to the thick density of the Chemex filter, it does not collapse under the weight of coffee grinds and water during filtration.
The Best Chemex Alternatives
Several other filter choices are available as an alternative to the Chemex filter. But remember that the final cup of coffee you brew won’t have the distinctive flavor that the Chemex filter brings to the coffee.
· Regular Coffee Filters
The most straightforward and obvious approach would be to use a conventional coffee filter designed for a regular coffee machine if you are out of Chemex filters.
The thickness of the filters makes the most difference. As previously stated, Chemex filters are 20–30% thicker than typical coffee filters.
A standard coffee filter will function in a Chemex coffee maker if you’re more concerned about getting buzzed than making the ideal cup of coffee.
Regular filters won’t stand stiffly like Chemex filters are supposed to. Thus you might need to pour hot water slowly and hold the side of one (or three) of them exceptionally carefully to prevent the sides from caving in.
· Pour Over Coffee Filters
If you have to switch out your Chemex filters for paper filters, it would be ideal if you could find ones that were made for pour-over coffee makers.
Though not quite as long-lasting as a Chemex filter, they will be thicker and more resistant to vigorously poured water.
Pour-over filters are also flimsy. You should be cautious about collapsed sides, so pour slowly and keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t collapse.
· Paper Towels
You can also use paper towels if you’re out of other options. Paper towels are, as you can think, relatively thin and weak compared to the thick, uniquely designed Chemex filters, yet they are doable.
The advantage is that paper towels are an everyday household staple with a fine weave. They will effectively filter away the majority of the coffee sediment.
However, as most paper towels are bleached, they will alter the taste of the coffee. Additionally, the water will generally go through rapidly, producing coffee that may be weaker than you are accustomed to.
CoffeeSock, aka reusable cloth filters, is available for pour-over coffee makers. If you are looking for something that fits into the Chemex exactly as the Chemex filter, the CoffeeSock is perfect for you!
It is made to fit Chemex coffee makers. These specific filters can last a year or longer.
Moreover, the good thing is they are composed of organic cotton, which is the best material for a fabric filter because it won’t significantly alter the flavor of your coffee.
· Metal Coffee Filters
Metal filters are an additional substitute for Chemex filters. The fact that a metal coffee filter is reusable is its main benefit. You don’t have to worry about throwing it away every time or buying more of it all the time.
However, the drawback is that metal filters won’t completely stop coffee bean oils and fats from contaminating your freshly made coffee.
The Best Chemex Alternatives – In Summary
Although you can use any other filters mentioned above, only the original double-bonded filter will produce the distinctive coffee flavor for which the Chemex is renowned.
However, suppose you don’t want to restock filters again and again. In that case, you can spend your money on a reusable permanent filter, like a metal cone or a cloth filter.
Paper filters can be used for Chemex but are more likely to rip apart, particularly at the seams, due to their fragility and thinness.
Additionally, they adhere to the Chemex’s borders and the built-in spout, limiting airflow
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