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View Diary: The Morning Cup o' Joe: Making Coffee Over The Ages (150 comments)

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  •  My great-grandmother had a percolator. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith930, Pandoras Box

    She would scoop some grounds out of a coffee can (my grandfather used coffee cans to store just about everything), and pour it into the little metal basket, and plug in that cloth covered cord.  My job was to watch it perk (magical!) and unplug it when it reached both the right frequency of bubbling into the glass dome, and the right richness of color.  Then I would inform her that it was done.  I loved the smell, but didn't care for the taste.

    Later, I worked in a restaurant...my job included cleaning out the giant coffee maker, and making the first pot.  I kept if going all day, and my own cup was filled all day, as well.  By the end of my shift, every clinking fork would make me jump.

    Later still, I discovered that jet aircraft ran on equal parts kerosene and coffee.  Without coffee, they will not go.  The coffee makers in a KC-135 can also be used to heat cans of soup, make ramen noodles, any number of things.  The coffee makers on a 737 barely make coffee, but can be counted upon to leak all over the floor first thing in the morning, due to air bubbles in the water line.

    I spent a couple of months in Turkey, addicted to Turkish coffee, and several in Saudi Arabia.  Since Friday is the holy day, families like to head out into the desert on Thursday evenings, and get in touch with their nomadic roots.  They pile into the family car, or double-cab pickup, and make their way to their own traditional spot.  The men roll out huge hand-woven rugs on a flat spot or a hilltop, and make a fire.  The kids play soccer ("football"), except for one young boy in charge of roasting the coffee.  A few handfulls of beans are roasted over a fire in a cast iron skillet.  When done, they are ground, with some cardamom, in a mortar and pestle.   Then they are dumped into a tall, elegantly curved pot (to catch some of the grounds, as you describe), with a long and curvaceous spout, water added, and then cooked over the coals.  Then the old men sit around and tell stories, and watch the stars come out.

    I could do it that way the rest of my life, if I had a group of like-minded old men to help carry on the tradition with.  Instead, I get up and make coffee for my partner in her stovetop espresso maker (one cup, very strong), and then make my own in the very same model percolator that my great grandmother had.  I still love to watch it perk, and unplug that cloth covered cord when it is done.  Full circle.

    When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

    by Bisbonian on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:43:14 PM PDT

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