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Okay, I loved the '70s too. I loved my Schwinn Stingray, I loved my Matchbox cars, I loved "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters." (Am I dating myself here?). But that wood collar with the leather band on the traditional Chemex models is a bit anachronistic. I mean, it serves a function; you do need some insulation for your hand as you pour your Chemex coffee.
If you don't like 70's aesthetics, you have an option with this 3 cup model called the CM1-GH. It's sleek, it's clear and makes coffee the same as the other Chemex models. Being much more compact than it's larger siblings, it's the right choice if 6 cups is just too much coffee.
The glass handle is thick and sturdy but hey, it's glass. My estimation is that you would probably crack the carafe itself long before you would crack the handle, so this model is no more or less fragile than the others.
The key advantages to using a Chemex are still true: the coffee-water mixture is the right temperature (between 195-205°F) from the beginning of the infusion; you control infusion time based upon the fineness of your grind and pouring technique; and lastly (and I think, of great significance) is that you can keep this system very clean. It yields about 16 fluid oz. of coffee.
A disadvantage of paper filters is they can impart a flavor to the brew, especially the thick Chemex filters, so pre-wetting the filter is key to excellent brewing especially since paper taste and heat loss are more noticeable when brewing with smaller brewers l.
You will need to buy Chemex filters. Other brands of filters don't work well with Chemex because the drip opening is large. The weight of the coffee and hot water will probably make a thinner filter break at it's seam. Want to impress your friends? Tell them that your Chemex is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. We have a page with full instructions for Chemex brewing.
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