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To Make Coffee


To have the coffee right is one of the difficulties of the housekeeper. The making of coffee is a very simple operation, but the nicety and care with which it is prepared mark the difference between the good and bad decoction. The best quality of coffee carelessly made is not as acceptable as that well made from an inferior bean. Coffee readily absorbs foreign flavors. If the pot is wiped out with a soiled cloth, or if the coffee is strained through a flannel not perfectly sweet, the coffee betrays it. If the spout is allowed to collect a film of stale coffee, it will ruin all the fresh coffee put into the pot. To have perfect coffee, use an earthen or china pot, and have the water boiling when turned onto the coffee. Like tea, the results will not be right if the water is allowed to fall below the boiling-point before it is used. Have the coffee ground to a fine powder in order to get its full flavor as well as strength. There is great waste in having coffee ground coarse. A pound will go three times as far in the former as in the latter case, therefore a good coffee-mill is an economy in a household. Like tea, it should also be freshly made. It seems to lose its fine flavor if kept hot for any considerable time. Black coffee is usually made by dripping. Any coffee is better made in that way, using less coffee if less strength is desired, but a strong infusion diluted with hot milk makes a better drink than weak coffee flavored with milk.


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The Century Cook Book (1901).

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