Dobyns and Martin, Grocers

1602 Pious Ridge Rd.
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411

304-258-2070


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Directions for Preparing True Coffee

Coffee, Directions for preparing true coffee
Secrets concerning Arts and Trades, 1755 (title page missing) transcribed from French to English 1755.

LXXXVI. Directions for preparing the true coffee.

1. True coffee must be torrified (vulgarly roasted) in an iron pan, or in a glazed earthen pan, over a clear charcoal fire without flames. Turn it with a wooden stick while it is on the fire, to make each grain take the roast more regularly and equally; and shake it now and then by tossing it up from the pan into the air, and in the pan again. It is well and sufficiently roasted when it is all of a dark brown or the colour of tan.

2. There is a much better method of roasting it which is infinitely less troublesome and more handy, by which coffee is excessively well and regularly roasted. It is by means of a certain iron drum made in the form of a lady’s muff-box, with a handle at one end, an iron pegg [sic] at the other, and a latch-door in the middle. By this door you introduce the coffee, which you fasten in by means of the latch. Then propping it on the top of a chaffendish made on purpose, in which there is a charcoal fire, you roast the coffee by turning the drum over it with the above-mentioned handle; and thus the coffee roasts in the above-mentioned manner.

3. When the coffee is roasted, you grind it, in small mills which are made purposely for it, and the powder you keep closely confined in a leather bag, or better still, in those leaden boxes of Germany with a screwing lid. However it is still much preferable to grind no more at a time than what one wants to use at once.

4. The liquor of coffee is made by putting one ounce of that powder to three quarters of a pint of boiling water to make three full dishes, or four small ones of coffee. And, after an infusion of five or ten minutes, during which it is kept boiling, the coffee is fit for drinking.

5. Observe that the strength of the powder occasions an effervensence [sic] in the water when you put it in boiling; therefore to avoid that inconveniency which would procure the loss of the most spirituous part of the coffee, you must take the water from off the fire and pour some into a cup first, before putting the powder into it, then stir with a long handled box spoon, the powder in the water, avoiding to touch the bottom of the coffee pot, which would immediately make it rise and run over. If however, it should mauger all your cares, you then stop it by pouring on it the water which you spared on purpose for it in the cup from the beginning. Then, bringing it to the fire again, you let it boil gently, as we said before, the value of five or ten minutes.

6. There are nice people who, not content with this plain way of preparing the liquor of coffee, make the following additions to it. First, they pour it clear from its ground into a silver, or other coffee pot; and, taking red-hot tongs from the fire, melt between them, over the liquor of coffee, two or three large nobs of sugar, which drop from the tongs into it; then they extinguish the tongs themselves in it afterwards. This ceremony gives it, it must be confessed, an admirable flavour and most agreeable taste. Some put superadditionally [sic] to it again one spoonful of the most per perfect distilled rose-water. This last is excessively good for head-akes, if, while boiling hot, filling a cup with it and putting a tea spoonful of rose-water, you set yourself a-breathing the fumes; and, in order to breathe them more perfectly, throwing an handkerchief over your head; and letting drop over the cup, bring it round again to you, while you keep your nose over it. Thus you prevent the evaporation of the fumes, and gather them all yourself. There is not so strong a head-ake which can resist this operation. pp 197-198