Making That Morning Cup Of Joe
The way we prepare that coffee has changed. Way back in the stone age that was my grandparent’s era, coffee grounds were added to a pot of boiling water. Oops! I left out the grinding of said coffee. Those grounds were then added to the pot of water with a pinch of salt and an egg shell. The egg shell was added because great grandparents said to add it. No one remembers why. After boiling for several minutes, the pot was set aside to allow the grinds to steep and settle to the bottom. This twenty minute process filled the house with that wake-up coffee aroma. Then the coffee was poured carefully into a cup keeping the settled grinds on the bottom of the pot. When finished, the grounds would be saved for tomorrow’s pot, mixed with new grounds. Coffee was expensive and grandma stretched all the flavor and caffeine that was possible out of those grounds. Eventually the grounds ended up in the garden to help grow the vegetables.
My mom had it a little easier making the morning cup of joe. She purchased the coffee already ground. It came in a one pound tin can. The can was opened with a special key which grabbed a tin strip and would wind the strip off the can separating the top from the can. The top would generally slice your hand during the removal process, that was bad, but the can when empty made excellent storage units for nuts and bolts in dad’s workshop, that was good. Mom didn’t boil the coffee in a pot; she percolated it in a coffee kettle or special percolator. The grounds were added to a filter on the top of the pot and when the water was brought to a boil on the stove it was fed up a tube into the grounds and then filtered back into the kettle.
The percolator system took about ten minutes. It made wonderful coffee, brewed to mom’s desired strength. The percolation made a popping noise which woke up the house and the smell of fresh coffee drew everyone into the kitchen.
Years ago, Joe DiMaggio invented a new coffee maker, “The Mr. Coffee.” It heated the water electrically, and brewed the coffee much faster. It did require expensive filters and did not produce that wake-up pop-pop of the percolator. The wake-up smell still wafted through the house every morning. Mr. Coffee was easier and faster than the old pot, or the percolator, but it needed to be replaced every other year. The old pot or the percolators were indestructible.
We now have the “Cups” machines. They only need to be filled with water every two or three days. The water heats up in this electric machine almost instantly, and is filtered into premeasured cups. This new machine makes coffee one cup at a time, so there is little waste. It is fast, convenient and clean. The coffee grounds cannot be reused or recycled, there is no morning music from the brewing process, and there is very little wake-up smell.
What a wonderful world we live in today. Everything is so easy and fast.
I sure enjoy my morning cup of joe.
I do sorta miss that percolator music and the wake-up smell of coffee wafting through the house. The vegetables miss the grounds, (who am I kidding; the vegetables are all frozen in the freezer.) The time I save brewing my morning cup of joe, and the quick clean-up after is really appreciated. I use those extra 15 minutes to spend 15 more minutes of doing nothing in my retirement.
It does give me enough time for an extra morning cup of joe.