It was the kind of warm DTLA afternoon you'd feel late into the night. I was sweating, standing behind the bar of Spring for Coffee. Sweating, not because of the heat but because I was nervous. I had never been behind a bar before and a coffee celebrity was entrusting me to serve customers. I had also never served customers before.

They called it a Handsome Take Over. Yes, we were handsome BUT to be clear, Handsome was the name of our soon-to-be roaster retail shop. We were guest barista-ing to keep the buzz going and showcase our coffee. Oh yes, another reason to be nervous...I barely knew how to brew coffee. And the Chemex I was brewing on? Oh yeah, never used one of those before either.

So put the beans to the grind, wet the filter, dumped the excess water, emptied the grind and started pouring. There's so much to take into consideration while pouring...flow rate, precision of pour, weight on the scale and brew time. I was nervous because in my mind, messing up just one of those aspects would completely throw off the whole taste of the cup.

I didn't have a steady hand and occasionally I poured too close to the rim but surprisingly, the end result wasn't catastrophic. A couple more pours and I was a Chemex brewing pro. I fell in love with Chemex products that day.

I wish I could say I'm reminded of my nervousness every time I make coffee but I'm not. I didn't realize my first Chemex story until I sat down to write this now. It brought back a lot of memories of that time of my life and how far I've come on my coffee journey. Also made me realize I've dialed down the nerdiness and rules I acquired from my peers during that time.

The one thing that makes the biggest difference, even to this day, is the size of the grind. So if you get that one right, you'll have a great cup brewing with a Chemex no matter what.

Holding a pouring kettle and preparing my morning brew is comforting. It's meditative. Being nervous brewing coffee tells a lot about who I was back in those Handsome days. I was probably a more nervous and anxious individual overall. But it does feel nice to learn new skills.

So let's talk about the real reasons behind using a Chemex on the daily:

The Best Filter Ever

Chemex bonded filters are the most unique thing about this brewer (and my #1 reason for using it). The pool of coffee at the end of the filter is the most crystal clear, cleanest, purest coffee you can get from any manual brewer. I love a clean cup. They're all made in the USA. The filter machines are ancient and only a couple of them exist in the world! They're all at Chemex HQ in Mass. 

Easy to clean

You know that paper filter we were just raving about? Well, all you have to do is pick it up and toss it in the trash. How's that for coffee clean up? Pour the coffee into your cup, give the glass a little rinse with water, place upside-down to dry and voila! Finito. Cleanito.

Easy to Use

As mentioned above in my first-time story, if you get the grind right, you'll have a cup of excellence no matter what. It's so easy to use, even a noob can do it!

Beauty and Elegance

Need I say more? The Chemex is a hand crafted American Home staple. It's so pretty and I love pretty things. 


Chemex celebrated its 77th birthday last year.

Even though there's a "handblown" series, all the brewers are made by hand.

Chemex is on permanent display at Brooklyn Museum and in 1943 it was named "best designed product" and displayed at MOMA. 




Journey Into Coffee - Noob Makes a Chemex