In From Russia With Love, we’re given an extensive look at the life of James Bond when he is at home and between assignments. We’re told that when Bond is stationed in London, his breakfast is 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.
We then get the rest of the breakfast – items of which I’m sure we’ll discuss in a future post – followed by lament over his breakup with Tiffany Case.
De Bry was where Fleming himself got his coffee, but unfortunately the shop, which was a satellite location of a Paris-based chocolate maker and supplier of fine coffees* is no longer in business.
You can however, brew your coffee (Jamaican Blue Mountain, preferably) in a Chemex coffeemaker.
The official Chemex website tells you the history of this vessel, which was invented by a Doctor of Chemistry, who combined his knowledge of laboratory apparatus and the methods of filtration and extraction for the design.
In 1956 – the year in which Ian Fleming was writing From Russia With Love – the Chemex was selected by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the best-designed items of modern times. I can see Fleming finding this tidbit of information and making sure he included the product into the novel, to show how modern and savvy Bond was.