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Coffee-Making 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.

Coffee pot

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 especially convenient.


In this percolator, 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, is sometimes preferred for the making of coffee.

drip pot or coffee biggin

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.


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Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Volume 5.

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