SELECTION OF COFFEE
Many varieties of coffee are to be had, but Mocha, Java, and Rio
are the ones most used. A single variety, however, is seldom sold alone, because a much better flavor
can be obtained from blend coffee, by which is meant two or more kinds of coffee mixed together.
It is usually advisable to buy as good a quality of coffee as can be afforded. The more expensive
coffees have better flavor and greater strength than the cheaper grades and consequently need not be
used in such great quantity. It is far better to serve this beverage seldom and to have what is served the
very best than to serve it so often that a cheap grade must be purchased.
For instance, some persons think that they must have coffee for at least two out of three daily meals, but it is
usually sufficient if coffee is served once a day, and then for the morning or midday meal rather than for the
After deciding on the variety of coffee that is desired, it is well to buy unground beans that are packed in
air-tight packages. Upon receiving the coffee in the home, it should be poured into a jar or a can and kept tightly
NECESSARY UTENSILS.--Very few utensils are required for coffee making, but they should be of the
best material that can be afforded in order that good results may be had. A coffee pot, a coffee percolator, and
a drip pot, or coffee biggin, are the utensils most frequently used for the preparation of this beverage.
If a COFFEE POT is preferred, it should be one made of material that will withstand the heat of a direct flame. The
cheapest coffee pots are made of tin, but they are the least desirable and should be avoided, for the tin, upon coming
in contact with the tannic acid contained in coffee, sometimes changes the flavor.
Coffee pots made of enamelware are the next highest in price. Then come nickel-plated ones, and, finally, the highest-priced
ones, which are made of aluminum. The usual form of plain coffee pot is shown in Fig. 2.
PERCOLATORS are very desirable for the making of coffee, for they produce excellent results
and at the same time make the preparation of coffee easy. Those having an electric attachment are
The ground coffee is put in the filter cup a and the water in the lower part of the pot b. The water immediately passes
into the chamber c, as shown by the arrows. In this chamber, which is small, it heats rapidly and then rises
through the vertical tube d.
At the top e, it comes out in the form of a spray, strikes the glass top, and falls back on a perforated metal plate
f, called the spreader. It then passes through this plate into the filter cup containing the grounds, through which
it percolates and drops into the main chamber. The circulation of the water continues as long as sufficient heat
is applied, and the rate of circulation depends on the degree of heat.
The DRIP POT, or coffee biggin, as it is sometimes called, one type of which is shown in Fig. 4, is
sometimes preferred for the making of coffee. This utensil is made of metal or earthenware and operates
on the same principle as a percolator. The ground coffee is suspended above the liquid in a cloth bag or
a perforated receptacle and the water percolates through it.
In case a more complicated utensil than any of those mentioned is used for the making of coffee, the directions
that accompany it will have to be followed. But no matter what kind of utensil is selected for the preparation of coffee, it
should be thoroughly cleaned each time it is used. To clean it, first empty any coffee it contains and then wash every part carefully and scald and dry it. If the utensil is not clean, the flavor of the coffee made in it will be spoiled.
METHODS OF MAKING COFFEE.-- Several methods are followed in the making of
coffee, the one to select depending on the result desired and the kind of utensil to be used. The most
common of these methods are: boiling, which produces a decoction; infusion, or filtration, which
consists in pouring boiling water over very finely ground coffee in order to extract its properties; and
percolating, in which boiling water percolates, or passes through, finely ground coffee and extracts its flavor.
For any of these methods, soft water is better than water that contains a great deal of lime. Many
times persons cannot understand why coffee that is excellent in one locality is poor in another. In the
majority of cases, this variation is due to the difference in the water and not to the coffee. From 1 to 2
tablespoonfuls of coffee to 1 cupful of water is the usual proportion followed in making coffee.