Sunday 25th October 2020
You know who you are.
Follow Me

The greatest new old thing


Once, my friend Nancy—who  is something of a seeker and had for years eschewed traditional medicine in favor of ever-more exotic holistic and Eastern options—got a headache. Somebody offered her a couple of aspirin, and because it was a rather bad headache, she took them. The headache went away. “And I was like, Wow,” she remembers, “Western medicine is awesome.” The story amuses me, but it also resonates: sometimes in life, the best option is the one that appears the most prosaic. And I know I’m about to embark on an imperfect analogy, but this is very much how I’m feeling lately about coffee. My new favorite stop on the morning walk is the Mudpark kiosk right off First Avenue in the East Village. You can choose from the usual array here—Cappuccinos, Cortados, Americanos, and so on—but I always order up a large cup of old-school house blend. It’s wicked strong, but in a mild way that doesn’t turn your stomach inside out.

chemex drip

Today, I bought some beans so I can make it myself. And—because I haven’t owned an actual coffee maker since the Nespresso machine revolutionized my life a while back, I made another old-school move and acquired a Chemex drip coffee maker, which is not only a fantastic deal, but a really nice little piece of design.

Posted on January 30th, 2015 15 Comments

15 Responses

  1. Lisa Wallace says:

    Is the photo from Mudpark’s kiosk? Love it!

  2. c.w. says:

    When I left Seattle I stopped drinking coffee. I had become such a horrible coffee snob I didn’t think coffee outside the Seattle city limits could meet my standards. For the last twenty years or so I’ve been drinking tea instead. In January I went back to coffee. I did not buy a fancy espresso machine or a grind-the-beans-brew-the-coffee machine. I bought a French press. Like the Chemex, a nice design and truly old school. If it ever breaks (which is quite possible given my adventures with anything made of glass!) I’ll probably replace it with a Chemex.

  3. Carrie says:

    I love that aspirin story. I’m still in the stage of life where lots of my friends have small teething or feverish children and someone is always asking for a homeopathic remedy, or a cranio-sacral referral, or an energy worker – I’m often the one to chime in and say, “Try Children’s Motrin!”

  4. Ann says:

    If that is you in the photo, I love your coat!

  5. joannawnyc says:

    Is this the one at 1st & 1st by the F?

  6. Dana D says:

    Absolutely nothing better in the morning than a Chemex (I have the glass-only version…easier to clean). Fair-trade coffee beans, organic half-and-half and my Chemex and I am ready for the day.

    And lots of research suggests that moderate, morning coffee drinking is a habit of those who live a long life…

    • Viajera says:

      Is that the thingy where the top is a glass globe? I think those are one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and someday in my dream kitchen, I might have one. (Fear of explosions.) But you know, life is short, so *yes* in my dream kitchen, a glass globe-y coffee maker. I don’t have the counter space now, and my trusty French press gets me through.

      I do need someone to figure out the deal with the coffee oils though. Are they good for you or bad? Though a lot of times, oil turns out not to be as bad as people think. So, maybe yes to the oil. Oh, I give up!

      • Dana D says:

        I think the glass globe-y thing is an ultra-expensive brew thingy…I’ve seen those, they are beautiful. My Chemex looks like Kim’s minus the wood and leather and has a handle.

        Don’t know about coffee oil but I do know that a certain amount of dietary oil is a good thing…half and half has animal fat so I’m the wrong one to ask…it is hard to keep up with the dietary trends, but, don’t we have to enjoy this life a little? Doesn’t good, dark-roast coffee make life better?

  7. LMM says:

    Oh, I love Mud everything! (RIP, Astor Place Mudtruck that got me through grad school.) Their coffee is amazing.

  8. Beth says:

    ah yes! THAT’S where I saw that sign. Never have tried the coffee. Will do so now.

  9. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Whenever I go to Chicago to visit my daughter, my first stop off the el train is Intelligentsia in the Menadnock Bldg for a REAL cup of coffee. It could “grow hair on my chest” as my dad always used to say, but it is SO worth it!