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Apr 11, 2008 03:50 PM

Chemex coffeemaker in Toronto?

There's a few posts about Chemex coffeemakers, but not too recently. So, just wondering if anyone knows of a retailer in Toronto who is selling these?

I know Chemex sells direct through their website, but I'm a hands on guy. I want to look at it before i buy it.

At the Bay downtown the other day, I spotted a Bodum version of this style of coffeemaker they've branded as the Kona. It's basically the same thing as a Chemex - an all in one manual pour filter coffee maker. It comes equipped with a gold filter basket and a plastic sleeve for the indented middle. I think it was priced aroung $60. I thought it looked a little fragile and nowhere near as attractive as the Chemex model.

So, other than a lead on Chemex in Toronto, can anyone comment on if they believe it's worth the search? Should I settle for the Bodum version? Or even find a cheaper Melitta type arrangement if i just want to experiment with manual drip?

I have a starbucks espresso machine for espresso (occassionaly great, usually ok results) and a french press I'm very happy with for regular brew.

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  1. The closest place I've seen them is at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.


    1. Green Beanery might have it, but call first as I'm not really sure. Green Beanery definitely has the Yama, which is something of a cult brewer in Japan.

      2 Replies
      1. re: embee

        Greenbeanery has the Kona, the Yama, and my favorite for small amounts (two mugs) the Aeropress, but no Chemex.
        Try to visit them in the Annex. They are terribly disorganized, but there is a good selection of first class coffee equipment there, at not for profit prices.

        Chemex and its large 12" filters are on eBay. The hand blown German models are the most elegant. I don't know if a Swissgold filter fits, but maybe the Kona filter could fit.

        The Melitta two piece is inexpensive and flimsy. I managed to knock the top section, full of hot coffee, onto my foot. Last time I used it!

        1. re: jayt90

          Note that the Yama, cool though it might be, is a vacuum brewer and is really a very different type of coffee maker.

          I've also had issues with the Melitta two-piece pourover brewers, the glass tends to break on me when I'm cleaning them. I've been through a few of them now.


      2. I have seen it in a shop somewhere, I think it was that kitchen wares stoer in the middle of the upstairs at St Lawrence market, but please call before you head over just for that, I might be mistaken!...good luck...

        1. I know where I can find a used one from the 1960s..

          1. I ended up at the Green Beanery on the weekend, at the new location at Bloor and Bathurst. It's a pretty impressive space. They apparently had just opened it recently. They had some displays up of merchandise (felt very Yorkville to me, with lots of glass and metal) but were not brewing any coffee yet. They had to tell this repeatedly to whoever came in the door. Not sure why they weren't brewing coffee, they had an espresso machine set up behind the massive bar that dominates the space. They did in fact end up pulling some shots for an italian couple who were browsing the beans.

            Did pick up the Bodum Kona model with no spout. Have tried it several times and I'm pretty happy with the results. Still working out the kinks in terms of proportions and grind. I'm finding it's taking me about 6 minutes to pour 32 ounces of water through the grounds. So not sure if I've got too much coffee at too fine a grind? My grinder is mediocre and produces a fair bit of dust. I'm also a bit suspicious of the gold filter that came with the Kona. Due to the supporting plastic webbing between the gold mesh, I think the drainage is a little off.

            This is quibbling, of course. The coffee so far has been balanced with nice body.

            And I did check out the Yamas. The ones fueled by gas flames are particularly appealing, with a 19th century mad scientist look. Guess it's next on my list...

            Will probably also end up picking up Chemex eventually, if only for the design.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pantz

              Good to know Greenbeanery is finally open on Bloor St. Let's hope the bean prices stay low. They will have to have customer oriented staff now that they're main street and prime time. I expect embee will have something to say about that! Did the place smell of roasting? They had neihborhood problems when they were in a house on Brunswick.
              What kind of grinder? I use a KA burr most of the time, but if ambitious, I get superb grinds with a Zassenhaus manual. Can't face it in the morning, however.
              In my bygone days with a Chemex, 5 minutes would be normal, so 6 is not out of line, but their excellent, heavy paper filters will take a fine grind.