All About Coffee
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Coffee is said to be a native of Arabia, but is has spread from thence throughout the tropical portions of the world and parts of the temperate zone ; it will grow in any climate where the temperature does not fall below fifty-five degrees. The best coffee of commerce comes from Arabia, and is known as Mocha, the next best is the Java, and after that the Ceylon, Bourbon, and Martinique. The principal supply of the United States, however, is derived from Brazil, which furnishes three fourths of the whole import. This is known as the Rio, and is the kind always supplied unless another variety is asked for. The only way to secure pure coffee is to buy the raw beans, roast, and grind them at home. When coffee is bought already roasted, the disadvantage is in its losing its delicate aroma very rapidly ; when it is both roasted and ground, it very generally is adulterated with chicory, pease, or potatoes. Good coffee cannot by any means be made from it, and in many cases dangerous decoctions have been made from adulterated coffee. In buying raw coffee, choose that which is dry and light ; the coffee which feels dense and weighty is green. Coffee which is from eight to ten months old is the best selection.
The roasting of coffee in a proper manner requires great nicety, and cannot be done successfully without the aid of some such apparatus as those to be had for that purpose iii the better class of furnishing stores. They are inexpensive, and the supply of charcoal needed for them is very trifling indeed ; not sufficient to justify their disuse. The cylinder which contains the coffee should be only half filled, and it should be turned rather slowly over the fire, which should never be very fierce, until a strong aromatic smell is emitted ; the movement should then be quickened, as the bean is in that case quite heated and it will scorch before it is roasted through if slowly finished. When the coffee is of a light, chestnut brown color, which can be ascertained by sliding back the door of the , cylinder and looking at it occasionally towards the end of the process, spread it quickly over a large dish, beat up the white of an egg with a tablespoonful of melted butter, and stir up well with it, and then cover it over with a thickly folded cloth. Let it remain thus until it is quite cold; then put it into canisters or bottles where the air cannot get at it.
For grinding coffee there are two kinds of coffee mills, those which are portable and others for fixing against the walls. It should be ground to a moderately fine powder if it is too coarse the essence will be only partially i extracted from it in making, while if it is too fine the water will not percolate through it and it will not be clear. No more should be ground at a time than will suffice for a single 1 making.
Coffee (boiled). Allow a tablespoonful of ground coffee to each person ; and for each tablespoonful a coffeecupful of water. Let the water boil, and while it is boiling stir in the coffee ; allow it to boil hard five minutes, then set it where it will simmer for ten minutes ; pour out a large cupful, hold it high over the coffeepot, and pour it in again ; repeat this, and then set it on the stove where it will keep hot without simmering for five or 1 ten minutes longer. Coffee made thus will be perfectly clear unless it is mismanaged. 1 Should fining be necessary, however, use a pinch of isinglass, or a small piece of the skin of salt codfish, or, better still, the shell of a raw egg with little white aderring to it.