The Specialty Coffee Maker Obama Introduced To The White House

There is a rich history of coffee appreciation in the White House, with former presidents enjoying a cup of joe in their own unique way for centuries.

Theodore Roosevelt famously downed about a gallon of coffee a day (via National Parks Service). When Harry Truman became president, his staffers worked diligently until they could brew coffee exactly the way he and First Lady Bess Truman liked it, according to the Harry S. Truman National Historic site. And as notes, in a letter that John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, some months after the Boston Tea Party, he told her he was done with tea and had started drinking coffee instead. "Tea must be universally renounced. I must be weaned, and the sooner, the better," he wrote.

The coffee kept flowing when President Barack Obama took office, where his preference for a specific type of coffee maker was introduced to the White House.

A manual pour for the highest office

In 2016, the White House received delivery of 150 Chemex coffee makers, all adorned with the iconic presidential seal, explains MassLive. The wildly popular device uses the pour-over method to transform coffee grounds into the sunshine in a cup that lifts us from our morning fog.

The Chemex coffee maker was invented in 1941 when Dr. Peter Schlumbohm used his background in chemistry and physics to design a vessel that would offer "perfect extraction and perfect filtration." While there are many ways to make a cup of coffee, from a Keurig to a French press, the Chemex saw a resurgence in popularity around the time of the White House order, thanks to "hipsters" who take their coffee brewing and drinking very seriously (via MassLive).

While we don't know for sure what drew President Obama to the company, Chemex touts values that could make its products more attractive to an American president. For starters, Chemex is an American company that strives to incorporate American business in its manufacturing process. Even though the glass is made in Taiwan and Germany, for example, it comes from sand that was mined in New Jersey, notes MassLive. The company is also committed to sustainability. According to their website, Chemex filters are biodegradable and compostable. They also encourage users to recycle or upcycle their chipped and no longer usable units.

Despite the unclear reasoning, especially as President Obama himself seems to prefer tea over coffee (via Boston Globe), the Chemex purchase earned President Obama cool points (via Twitter) and brought a new standard of coffee to the highest office in the land.