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Bennett Winch SC Holdall

Chemex Coffeemaker

Chemex Coffeemaker
Chemex Coffeemaker
photo © Coffee Circle, Chemex
photo © Chemex
Chemex Coffeemaker
photo © Chemex

photo © Chemex
Chemex Coffeemaker promotion, 1948
photo © Chemex

photo © Chemex via Instagram
The Chemex Coffeemaker is still a popular item
photo © Chemex via Instagram

James Bond uses a Chemex Coffeemaker in the novel From Russia, with Love (1957) by Ian Fleming. Bond, when in London, is brewing his breakfast coffee with a Chemex, using coffee bought from the De Bry's shop in New Oxford Street. De Bry doesn't exist anymore but the Chemex company is still active, and with the current popularity of special (slow drip) coffee and retrodesign, the coffeemaker is doing very well.

"Breakfast was Bond's favourite meal of the day. When he was stationed in London it was always the same. It consisted of very strong coffee, from De Bry in New Oxford Street, brewed in an American Chemex, of which he drank two large cups, black and without sugar." - Ian Fleming, Chapter 11, From Russia, With Love (1957)

In the next paragraph, Fleming also mentions Tiptree 'Little Scarlet' strawberry jam, Cooper's Vintage Oxford marmalade and Norwegian Heather Honey from Fortnum's.

The Chemex has become a design icon in the coffee world ever since its invention. The unique and simple shaped Chemex Coffeemaker was invented in the early 1940s by German inventor Peter Schlumbohm, made simply of glass and a wooden collar handle, inspired in spirit by the Bauhaus school of design and in form by laboratory equipment such as the Erlenmeyer flask. Schlumbohm set up the Chemex company during the Second World War in America, and was able to make it a successful product, due to his promotional activities (product placement, giving away free coffeemakers to key people), the pure design that appealed to many from the early start, and the quality of the coffee.

The Chemex Coffeemaker consists of a narrow-waist glass flask and uses proprietary paper filters, the Chemex-Bonded Coffee Filter, made of chemically bonded paper (of thicker-gauge paper than the standard paper filters for a drip-method coffeemaker) which removes most of the coffee oils, and so brew coffee with a taste that is different than the taste of coffee brewed in other coffee-making systems.

Vintge Chemex Coffeemakers can easily be found on eBay, but the Chemex company still exists and makes the exact same coffeemaker, so you can get a new one for example on,, or the Chemex website. The Chemex "Classic series" and more expensive "Handblown series" are the original model, now available in different sizes.

Find the models and accessories (including the equally designy kettle that keeps the water at perfect brewing temperature) on

fellow kettleAnother popular choice for a gooseneck kettle (which is easier for pouring and keeping the right temperature) is the Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Gooseneck Kettle, available on Amazon for $131.

The quality of the design of Chemex coffeemaker was recognised early on and to prove that, the Chemex is part of New York’s Museum of Modern Art collection and other design museums.


Chemex in Other Movies and Series

The Chemex Coffeemaker can be spotted in several movies (Harper, Rosemary's Baby) and television series, for example, Friends and Mad Men (in Don Draper's kitchen). If you spot one, let us know!


Other machines used by James Bond

In the movie Live And Let Die (1974), when we get a rare peek into Bond's own apartment, we do see Bond making a coffee (for M) but then he is using a La Pavoni Europiccola machine, another classic coffeemaker that is also still available today.


Which coffee would James Bond use?

In the novel that mentions the Chemex, Bond uses coffee bought from the De Bry's shop in New Oxford Street. But it doesn't mention the type of coffee.

In other novels, James Bond drinks Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee (read more). Ian Fleming, who lived in Goldeneye, Jamaica, mentions the type of coffee in the novel Live And Let Die ("Blue Mountain coffee - the most delicious in the world", Chapter 17). Author Jeffery Deaver also has Bond drink "a cup of fiercely strong Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee" in the novel Carte Blanche (2011).

Thanks to Mike and Harold for the alert

Product Code: 

Summer Essentials 2024

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