chemex & tulips

© Piotr Skubisz | (image by © Piotr Skubisz |

I used my first chemix coffee maker in Cambridge, MA.  I had rented an apartment on Walker Street, a British-like bed-sit which required a descend down some stairs.  It had access to a garden filled with roses, a lovely landlady, the late Natalie Grow, and in the cupboard, two glass apothecary jars, and a chemix with some filters. It was so beautiful, an oversized hour-glass-shaped glass beaker with a wooden corset , held together by a leather cord with two wooden beads on the end.  The corset must keep in the heat, I reasoned, or help protect the glass.  (Turns out, it was an effective way to protect the hand while pouring.)  It was scientific, aptly named.

I’d never used one before , but it seemed easy to figure out.  Heat water, pour through the chemix lined with paper & filled with ground coffee.  I didn’t rinse the filters first.  That would not have only improved the taste but preheated the coffee contraption.  I can’t remember the coffee I drank in Cambrige, but I remember the Chemex. And I remember Natalie. One of the first bank presidents in the country, and a yogini, she had visited India four times, chramingly bulldozed her way to a Master’s.  At 78, she was radient with energy.

On my move-in day, she kept a vase waiting for me filled with white tulips.

3 thoughts on “chemex & tulips

  1. Indira Ganesan

    Princess Diana had just died. Did we drive up together with my parents? Can’t remember. Did we drink coffee? You fixed a table for me made from a printer in its box with a piece of cloth. You tucked in the ends (a Di touch!) & said, don’t forget a printer is under there!


  2. Yan Jing's Family

    Foggy memories. I remember Natalie’s tone. The garden. I left the Temple Dogs and drove you up? Caravan?
    Was it March 1? Did Yan Jing come? I don’t remember the Chemex.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.