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Dec 1, 2011 10:35 AM

Manual Coffee Makers and What is the Difference btwn Chemex and Melitta??

I'm looking for something that is non electric, NOT plastic, and preferably doesn't use paper filters. I've used a french press but often don't drink the coffee fast enough before it gets bitter. My husband is a slave to his electric drip, but I feel it has an inferior taste and it has all plastic innards.

While I've basically narrowed it down to the Chemex or a Melitta (ceramic version) that I plan on using with a reusable mesh filter (linked below) I found on amazon. I'd also love to learn the difference between the Chemex and Melitta. I've done some research, but it basically looks like the Chemex is a Melitta that has a reservoir on the bottom.

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  1. Identical in brewing process: hot water hand-poured over grounds arranged in a conical configuration. Basically the same equipment too, except that (as you pointed out) the pot is attached to the funnel on the Chemex. Each brand has its camp of loyalists.

    I've never used Chemex, as my mom started with Melitta. I have a friend who uses Chemex & it sounds like it's a little more fussy to use than a Melitta. Personally, I don't care for the all-in-one design of the Chemex.

    Several years ago I started down the path you're on now. I priced a nice Zojiroshi thermal pot, a ceramic Melitta funnel, a reusable filter, & a copper kettle, all for nearly $200. It was at that point where I decided to buy a TechniVorm instead. :-D (Obviously, the TechniVorm doesn't meet your No Plastics requirement, but they did choose premium materials for each part of the brewer & minimized contact as much as they could.) I've never been happier with any coffee brewing device. It met all of my requirements (except for the minimal pastics contact) & eliminated all of the fuss for me.