Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How to Make Good Coffee, 1895

Currier & Ives, 1881 (Library of Congress)
"COFFEE THAT IS GOOD. To make good coffee is apparently not so simple as it may seem, if general results count for anything... There is no better stimulant in the morning than a delicious cup of coffee, and there is no better way of preparing it than according to the following recipe: Do not buy the coffee already ground, for it loses its fine flavor more rapidly when in the ground form than when whole. Have a small coffee mill and grind it yourself. A mixture of two or more kinds of coffee will give the most satisfactory result. Two thirds Java, with one third Mocha, will make a rich, smooth coffee. Now for the recipe: Put one cupful of roasted coffee into a small fryingpan, and stir it over the fire until hot, being careful not to burn it. Grind the coffee rather coarse and put it in a common coffeepot. Beat one egg well, and add three tablespoonfuls of cold water to it. Stir this mixture into the coffee. Pour one quart of boiling water on the coffee, and place the pot on the fire. Stir the coffee until it boils, being careful not to let it boil over; then place on the back of the stove, where it will just bubble, for ten minutes... After it has stood for five minutes, strain it into a hot coffeepot, and send to the table at once." 
C. F. Lawlor, The Mixicologist
Breakfast shortcut: just stir the egg into the coffee!


  1. Egg in coffee is so intriguing to me! I first read about the practice in the old "Betsy & Tacy" autobiographical book series, which took place in Minnesota around the turn of the last century. The practice is Swedish and usually one puts the entire egg, including shell, into the grounds.

  2. I wonder if it's meant to bind the coffee grounds? I'm almost tempted to try this but I can't get past boiling the coffee ....

  3. Growing up, when my mom had no milk for her coffee, she would beat an egg yolk with sugar until it froth and pour coffee into the mug. I tasted it and it was good, dark but good.

  4. Yes, burnt coffee always wakes you up.


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