brewing coffee

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Sawney Beane

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Dec 20, 2005, 4:12:46 PM12/20/05
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I like to make coffee one cup at a time. I heat a pyrex cup of
water nearly to a boil, throw in a tablespoon of coffee, stir, let
it steep, and pour it through a fine plastic filter into my
drinking cup.

My aunt prefers an electric percolator. She brought me her
48-ounce model to evaluate. Lately she has been using a smaller
one. When she tried the big one, she found it wasn't brewing good
coffee.

I used 24 ounces of water and three tablespoons of coffee. Perking
took 4-1/2 minutes. Then I put the grounds in half a cup of water,
boiled it, poured it through a filter, and drank it. That
convinced me that the perking had already removed most of the flavor.

The coffee in the pot was reasonably dark, but it wasn't as
flavorful as I'm used to. It's been so long since I've drunk
perked coffee that for all I know *all* perked coffee tastes like
this, but my aunt says it's inferior to the coffee from her other
percolator.

What could be wrong? Can a defective percolator destroy much of
the flavor as it perks?

John McGaw

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Dec 20, 2005, 4:46:10 PM12/20/05
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Do you really mean "percolator"? One of the old devices that boils water
in the bottom, shoots it up into the top where it drips through the
grounds and mixes with the water, boils again, etc, etc? If so then the
answer is likely that boiling coffee, under any circumstances, is not
conducive to good flavour. That is why these devices have pretty much
gone extinct. If you absolutely had to use a percolator (desert-island
conditions maybe) then you need to adjust the amount of grounds to get
the proper strength rather than boiling it longer which will just cause
it to become even more bitter and burned.

If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it
then you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal
filter (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my
personal favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality
beans and grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water
is perfect, using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the
amount of grounds to get the proper strength, and controlling the
temperature at which the water makes contact with the grounds (204-208F
is optimum).

And yes, before you ask, I _am_ something of a coffee snob...

--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
http://johnmcgaw.com

Jerry Avins

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Dec 20, 2005, 5:36:18 PM12/20/05
to
John McGaw wrote:

> If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it
> then you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal
> filter (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my
> personal favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality
> beans and grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water
> is perfect, using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the
> amount of grounds to get the proper strength, and controlling the
> temperature at which the water makes contact with the grounds (204-208F
> is optimum).
>
> And yes, before you ask, I _am_ something of a coffee snob...

That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those
tablespoons were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five
coffee cups. (A cup is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee
brewers are about six. If my coffee were ground coarsely enough to use
with fine mesh filters, I would need more yet. Paper filters let me get
more flavor grim the same beans by grinding them finer.

Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

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Dimitri

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Dec 20, 2005, 6:11:01 PM12/20/05
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"Jerry Avins" <j...@ieee.org> wrote in message
news:TaOdndcOTtf7GjXe...@rcn.net...

> John McGaw wrote:
>
>> If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it then
>> you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal filter
>> (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my personal
>> favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality beans and
>> grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water is perfect,
>> using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the amount of grounds to
>> get the proper strength, and controlling the temperature at which the water
>> makes contact with the grounds (204-208F is optimum).
>>
>> And yes, before you ask, I _am_ something of a coffee snob...
>
> That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those tablespoons
> were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five coffee cups. (A cup
> is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee brewers are about six. If my
> coffee were ground coarsely enough to use with fine mesh filters, I would need
> more yet. Paper filters let me get more flavor grim the same beans by grinding
> them finer.
>
> Jerry

Jerry,

Don't forget the average mug is 10 to 12 Oz.

Dimitri

--
I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of
natural causes.


Sawney Beane

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Dec 20, 2005, 6:14:11 PM12/20/05
to
John McGaw wrote:

>
> Sawney Beane wrote:
> >
> > What could be wrong? Can a defective percolator destroy much of
> > the flavor as it perks?
>
> Do you really mean "percolator"? One of the old devices that boils water
> in the bottom, shoots it up into the top where it drips through the
> grounds and mixes with the water, boils again, etc, etc? If so then the
> answer is likely that boiling coffee, under any circumstances, is not
> conducive to good flavour. That is why these devices have pretty much
> gone extinct.

That could be the answer, but I don't know why my aunt says her
other percolator makes better coffee.

As it has always been possible to brew coffee like tea, I wonder
why percolators were ever popular. Could it be that people liked
the taste they produced?

> If you absolutely had to use a percolator (desert-island
> conditions maybe) then you need to adjust the amount of grounds to get
> the proper strength rather than boiling it longer which will just cause
> it to become even more bitter and burned.

An electric percolator is thermostatically controlled. I don't see
how I could vary the perking time.

The coffee didn't taste burned or bitter, just weak. I have
neighbors who make drip coffee with about 1 teaspoon of grounds per
cup. That's weak for my taste. Once in a while they'll pour hot
coffee in my cup when I haven't asked. If I'm in a hurry I'll add
tap water to cool it. The coffee I perked today reminded me of
that weak mixture. Maybe boiling destroyed flavor.

>
> If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it
> then you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal
> filter (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my
> personal favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality
> beans and grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water
> is perfect, using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the
> amount of grounds to get the proper strength, and controlling the
> temperature at which the water makes contact with the grounds (204-208F
> is optimum).
>

Is it worthwhile to try to slow the cooling of the water after
contact? How do you measure the temperature? My infrared
thermometer reads boiling water at 186 F because there's so much
condensed steam above the surface.

What's wrong with paper filters?

When I visit relatives, they let me grind their top-quality beans
before each use in their French press. I have a French press but
prefer to brew it one cup at a time in a measuring cup. So far I
haven't noticed a significant difference between their fresh-ground
beans and my store-brand ground coffee.

Dimitri

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Dec 20, 2005, 6:29:41 PM12/20/05
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"Sawney Beane" <bead...@qwickconnect.net> wrote in message
news:43A873C9...@qwickconnect.net...

<snip>


>
> What could be wrong? Can a defective percolator destroy much of
> the flavor as it perks?

Using the same coffee grind for, steeped, drip and percolate is a mistake as is
using the same amount of coffee to water ratio.

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/05/grinding/

Joseph LIttleshoes

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Dec 20, 2005, 6:34:32 PM12/20/05
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Jerry Avins wrote:
John McGaw wrote:

> If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it
> then you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal
> filter (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my
> personal favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality
> beans and grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water
> is perfect, using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the
> amount of grounds to get the proper strength, and controlling the
> temperature at which the water makes contact with the grounds (204-208F
> is optimum).
>
> And yes, before you ask, I _am_ something of a coffee snob...

That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those
tablespoons were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five
coffee cups. (A cup is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee
brewers are about six. If my coffee were ground coarsely enough to use
with fine mesh filters, I would need more yet. Paper filters let me get
more flavor grim the same beans by grinding them finer.

Jerry
--

I always toss in an extra heaping tablespoon 'for the pot', if making 4 cups of coffee i use 4 cups of water and 5 tbs. of coffee.

I suppose i have become what ever the opposite of a coffee snob is.  About a year ago i broke another french press and wanting a cup of coffee before i went out and bought another press i decided to make 'camp fire' coffee, just boiling the coffee grounds in a cooking pot with water, after it comes to a boil and simmers for a minute i take it off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then pour.  Works fine for me. To the point i have felt no need to buy another coffee pot, French press or otherwise.   For guests i will make the coffee the same way but serve it in a decorative coffee pot i have first warmed up with boiling water.

The loose grounds sink to the bottom of the cooking pot and a careful decanting of the coffee leaves it with no residual grounds in the actual coffee to be drank.
---
JL
 

PanHandler

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Dec 20, 2005, 6:38:33 PM12/20/05
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"chickenwing" <bigba...@adelphia.net> wrote in message
news:1135118619....@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

>
> Jerry Avins wrote:
>
>> That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those
>> tablespoons were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five
>> coffee cups. (A cup is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee
>> brewers are about six. If my coffee were ground coarsely enough to use
>> with fine mesh filters, I would need more yet. Paper filters let me get
>> more flavor grim the same beans by grinding them finer.
>
>
> I grind my own beans and use and esspresso maker for one cup at the
> time.
>
> my cuisinart grinder will peel the beans and not just cut them up...it
> peels them down
> this is supposed to be the best way to grind the beans

Three grams per 6 oz. cup. Get an electronic scale for superior accuracy.
Never use a blender type grinder like the Cuisinart - it makes too much
coffee dust. Use a 'burr' type grinder, hand operated like the old fashioned
wooden ones. Experiment to determine the correct coarseness. Sift the grinds
to remove too-fine particles to avoid bitterness.THEN use a French press. As
an alternative to a French press, get a vacuum type maker. Drip machines
don't make the water hot enough and percolators continue rebrewing and
boiling the coffee as long as you let it go.


Walter R.

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Dec 20, 2005, 6:53:57 PM12/20/05
to
How is this for frugality:

I use a $ 9 coffemaker made in China, a scoop from a can of ground coffee
from Walmart, I only change the grounds once a week (add a scoop a day).

The best part is, when I have a group over for coffee, they all compliment
me on my coffee and ask where they can buy this wonderful brew :-)

And that's a fact
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
-


"Sawney Beane" <bead...@qwickconnect.net> wrote in message
news:43A873C9...@qwickconnect.net...

Sawney Beane

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Dec 20, 2005, 7:17:43 PM12/20/05
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PanHandler wrote:
>
> "chickenwing" <bigba...@adelphia.net> wrote in message
> news:1135118619....@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> >
> > Jerry Avins wrote:
> >
> >> That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those
> >> tablespoons were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five
> >> coffee cups. (A cup is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee
> >> brewers are about six. If my coffee were ground coarsely enough to use
> >> with fine mesh filters, I would need more yet. Paper filters let me get
> >> more flavor grim the same beans by grinding them finer.
> >
> >
> > I grind my own beans and use and esspresso maker for one cup at the
> > time.
> >
> > my cuisinart grinder will peel the beans and not just cut them up...it
> > peels them down
> > this is supposed to be the best way to grind the beans
>
> Three grams per 6 oz. cup. Get an electronic scale for superior accuracy.

How about a triple-beam balance? My level tablespoons weigh 6
grams, but I make 8-oz cups, so mine is 75% as strong as Jerry's
and 50% stronger than yours.

> Never use a blender type grinder like the Cuisinart - it makes too much
> coffee dust. Use a 'burr' type grinder, hand operated like the old fashioned
> wooden ones. Experiment to determine the correct coarseness. Sift the grinds
> to remove too-fine particles to avoid bitterness.

My relatives use a grinder with a "propeller" blade. I haven't
noticed any bitterness, but the blade could be generating dust that
clogs the screen in the French press or ends up in the cup.
Overall, I think the grounds may be too course. Anyway, a
hand-cranked model would be cordless, and that would be convenient.

> THEN use a French press. As
> an alternative to a French press, get a vacuum type maker. Drip machines
> don't make the water hot enough and percolators continue rebrewing and
> boiling the coffee as long as you let it go.

How do you know a drip machine doesn't get the water hot enough?
Are they all the same? I suppose brewing 10 cups would get the
grounds hotter than 5.

PanHandler

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Dec 20, 2005, 8:06:51 PM12/20/05
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"Sawney Beane" <bead...@qwickconnect.net> wrote in message
news:43A89F0F...@qwickconnect.net...

If the water isn't hot enough to begin with it doesn't matter - the grounds
won't get as hot as they need to be.

I used a digital quick-read thermometer held in the output before the water
hit the grounds in six different drip machines. The hottest tested was my
Cuisinart at 194º, and the lowest was a year-old Mr. Coffee machine at 188º.
The heated water in the upper chamber of my vacuum maker as soon as it was
full was 207º.


SPAM@1236bresnan.net Warren Weber

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Dec 20, 2005, 8:54:31 PM12/20/05
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"Sawney Beane" <bead...@qwickconnect.net> wrote in message
news:43A873C9...@qwickconnect.net...

You cannot beat camp fire coffee. W W


Roger Taylor

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Dec 20, 2005, 9:56:29 PM12/20/05
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I use a 19.95 Mr Coffee from Target to do coffee. It has one button (on, and
off!), no clock, but does a great job. It uses paper filters, and I like the
coffee better, even tho it is cooler, than my old Chemex. I use 5 heaping
measures for 4 1/2 mugs (but lines on pitcher read 7 cups). To enhance the
experience, I keep whole beans in the freezer, and pop them directly into
the electric coffee grinder. They seem to grind more evenly when ground
frozen. To make up for the tepid brew typical of an electric maker, I
preheat the mug by filling it from my instant hot water tap, swishing it
around for a few seconds, then filling the mug. An even better brew results
if you use filtered water to start with.
From the above posts, everyone has his own approach!


Sawney Beane

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Dec 21, 2005, 12:27:22 AM12/21/05
to

Did you calibrate it? In preparation for such measurements, I put
a thermocouple into a pan of boiling water and got 217 F.

If I were going to measure the temperature of a drip coffee maker,
I'd put my probe into the grounds and close it up. With the
machine open, I imagine a small stream of very hot water will lose
heat very fast from evaporation and radiation.

With a French press, I imagine the water could cool below 200F as
it's poured into the brewing cup. Then the cup probably absorbs
significant heat from the water. I wonder how important it is. I
wonder if a longer brewing time can compensate for a lower
temperature.

PanHandler

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Dec 21, 2005, 1:02:14 AM12/21/05
to

"Sawney Beane" <bead...@qwickconnect.net> wrote in message
news:43A8E7B1...@qwickconnect.net...

> Did you calibrate it? In preparation for such measurements, I put
> a thermocouple into a pan of boiling water and got 217 F.


> If I were going to measure the temperature of a drip coffee maker,
> I'd put my probe into the grounds and close it up. With the
> machine open, I imagine a small stream of very hot water will lose
> heat very fast from evaporation and radiation.
>
> With a French press, I imagine the water could cool below 200F as
> it's poured into the brewing cup. Then the cup probably absorbs
> significant heat from the water. I wonder how important it is. I
> wonder if a longer brewing time can compensate for a lower
> temperature.

In a pot of rapidly boiling water at 212' above sea level the reading was
dead on at 212º. I placed the probe in the stream (tricky to do) for about a
minute. There weren't any grounds in the basket to measure, but as the water
temp can't be controlled anyhow, it seemed useless to check them had they
been there. In a French press the water going in is at 212º, and after the
press the brew was at 188º. The coffee was great, and that's the bottom
line!


Jerry Avins

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Dec 21, 2005, 10:50:50 AM12/21/05
to
Commodore Joe Redcloud wrote:

> On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 17:36:18 -0500, Jerry Avins <j...@ieee.org> wrote:
>
>
>>John McGaw wrote:
>>
>>
>>>If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it
>>>then you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal
>>>filter (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my
>>>personal favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality
>>>beans and grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water
>>>is perfect, using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the
>>>amount of grounds to get the proper strength, and controlling the
>>>temperature at which the water makes contact with the grounds (204-208F
>>>is optimum).
>>>
>>>And yes, before you ask, I _am_ something of a coffee snob...
>>
>>That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those
>>tablespoons were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five
>>coffee cups. (A cup is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee
>>brewers are about six. If my coffee were ground coarsely enough to use
>>with fine mesh filters, I would need more yet. Paper filters let me get
>>more flavor grim the same beans by grinding them finer.
>>
>>Jerry
>
>
> If you aren't roasting your own beans as needed, you really aren't much of a
> snob at all.
>
> Coffee brewers? Oh BOY! They don't get the water hot enough to make coffee. You
> are drinking hot brown water. If you are settled on drip, get yourself a chemex.
> You'll have to boil the water separately, but the difference in the results is
> enormous. It's really pretty hard to top a french press for the best all around
> cup of coffee. It requires a bit more attention to get it right, though.

There are a few erroneous assumptions above. Here's what I do:

Boil water in the whistling kettle.
Grind roasted beans (stored in the freezer), using a rotary mill, not
whirling blades. The resulting grind is fine, but uniform.
Brew with a cone filter. When my last Tricolator breaks, I'll have to
switch to Mellita. There's an art to pouring, but that's another tale.

Message has been deleted

Jerry Avins

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Dec 21, 2005, 11:08:01 AM12/21/05
to
Sawney Beane wrote:

...

> How about a triple-beam balance? My level tablespoons weigh 6
> grams, but I make 8-oz cups, so mine is 75% as strong as Jerry's
> and 50% stronger than yours.

It's more than just a matter of taste. It depends also on the choice of
beans.

I use an electronic scale that reads to 20ths of ounces of halves of
grams, up to 5 pounds. I use it frequently when cooking.

...

> My relatives use a grinder with a "propeller" blade. I haven't
> noticed any bitterness, but the blade could be generating dust that
> clogs the screen in the French press or ends up in the cup.
> Overall, I think the grounds may be too course. Anyway, a
> hand-cranked model would be cordless, and that would be convenient.

It doesn't have to be hand cranked. There are mill-wheel models around
someone gave me a Braun, the model before the current CaféSelect KMM 30,
to fix, and when I repaired it. to keep. I had to hold the hand-cranked
one it replaced with one hand while I cranked it with the other. It was
enough of a chore to make me think of screwing it to the counter top.

>>THEN use a French press. As
>>an alternative to a French press, get a vacuum type maker. Drip machines
>>don't make the water hot enough and percolators continue rebrewing and
>>boiling the coffee as long as you let it go.

Coffee from a French press is much improved by being run through a paper
filter. Try it and see how much muck stays on the paper.

> How do you know a drip machine doesn't get the water hot enough?
> Are they all the same? I suppose brewing 10 cups would get the
> grounds hotter than 5.

I keep the kettle simmering on the burner.

Jerry Avins

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Dec 21, 2005, 11:11:49 AM12/21/05
to
Dimitri wrote:

...

> Don't forget the average mug is 10 to 12 Oz.

Indeed! I get about 6 mugs of coffee out of a full ten-cup carafe.

Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.

ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

Kate Dicey

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Dec 21, 2005, 10:55:14 AM12/21/05
to
Commodore Joe Redcloud© wrote:

> On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 10:50:50 -0500, Jerry Avins <j...@ieee.org> wrote:
>
>
>>Commodore Joe Redcloud wrote:
>>
>>>On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 17:36:18 -0500, Jerry Avins <j...@ieee.org> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>John McGaw wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it
>>>>>then you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal
>>>>>filter (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my
>>>>>personal favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality
>>>>>beans and grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water
>>>>>is perfect, using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the
>>>>>amount of grounds to get the proper strength, and controlling the
>>>>>temperature at which the water makes contact with the grounds (204-208F
>>>>>is optimum).
>>>>>
>>>>>And yes, before you ask, I _am_ something of a coffee snob...
>>>>
>>>>That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those
>>>>tablespoons were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five
>>>>coffee cups. (A cup is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee
>>>>brewers are about six. If my coffee were ground coarsely enough to use
>>>>with fine mesh filters, I would need more yet. Paper filters let me get
>>>>more flavor grim the same beans by grinding them finer.
>>>>
>>>>Jerry
>>>
>>>
>>>If you aren't roasting your own beans as needed, you really aren't much of a
>>>snob at all.
>>>
>>>Coffee brewers? Oh BOY! They don't get the water hot enough to make coffee.

Dunno what you use for drip machines, but I've owned several of
different makes. They have all produced coffee that was *almost*
boiling. Make excellent coffee, too. The only better coffee I've ever
had was jug brewed by my dear departed father.


You
>>>are drinking hot brown water. If you are settled on drip, get yourself a chemex.
>>>You'll have to boil the water separately, but the difference in the results is
>>>enormous. It's really pretty hard to top a french press for the best all around
>>>cup of coffee. It requires a bit more attention to get it right, though.
>>
>>There are a few erroneous assumptions above. Here's what I do:
>>
>>Boil water in the whistling kettle.
>
>

> Good so far..


>
>
>>Grind roasted beans (stored in the freezer),
>
>

> This can be very bad for a host of reasons. Carefully packaged coffee
> can be frozen for long term storage in a deep freezer, but if you
> access the coffee often, or even open the freezer daily it is often
> worse for the beans than storing it at room temperature.

Depends what they are in in the freezer... Ours live in airtight tubs.
Opening the freezer doesn't affect them at all.


>
>
>>using a rotary mill, not
>>whirling blades. The resulting grind is fine, but uniform.
>
>

> That's better!


>
>
>>Brew with a cone filter. When my last Tricolator breaks, I'll have to
>>switch to Mellita. There's an art to pouring, but that's another tale.
>>
>
>

> That's fine, too. My assumption above was that when someone refers to
> a "coffee brewer", and then talks about "cup" marks, I assume they are
> talking about a typical automatic drip machine, not something like a
> Chemex.
>
>
>
> Commodore Joe Redcloud©


--
Kate XXXXXX R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
http://www.katedicey.co.uk
Click on Kate's Pages and explore!

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PanHandler

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Dec 21, 2005, 12:36:55 PM12/21/05
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"Commodore Joe Redcloud©" <r...@rustcloud.com> wrote in message
news:r42jq1t5vc3m7cnot...@4ax.com...

> Airtight containers is not the only issue. Roasted Coffee is porous,
> and condensation can be a major issue. Opening the freezer causes
> condensation. And you can just imagine what happens when you open that
> frozen container even briefly in a warm room! You are soaking the
> beans, and then freezing and thawing them over and over again.

Unless you allow the sealed container to come to room temperature before
opening. Remove enough beans to provide a week's ready supply before you
need to reopen the sealed container.


Jerry Avins

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Dec 21, 2005, 3:42:15 PM12/21/05
to
Commodore Joe Redcloud© wrote:


> Airtight containers is not the only issue. Roasted Coffee is porous,
> and condensation can be a major issue. Opening the freezer causes
> condensation. And you can just imagine what happens when you open that
> frozen container even briefly in a warm room! You are soaking the
> beans, and then freezing and thawing them over and over again.

There can be no condensation without access to moist air. Why is
airtightness unimportant?

Message has been deleted

Edward Reid

unread,
Dec 21, 2005, 7:23:32 PM12/21/05
to
On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 23:34:32 GMT, Joseph LIttleshoes wrote:

> 'camp fire' coffee, just boiling the coffee grounds in a cooking pot
> with water, after it comes to a boil and simmers for a minute i take it
> off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then pour.

A few days ago I wanted a cup of coffee ... pulled out the Folger's decaf
that's been in the cupboard since last winter. Used double the amount since
it was so old. Put it in a bleached paper filter in a plastic cone over a
double-insulated plastic mug. Boiled the water and poured. It was awful.

More seriously, I read a couple of research articles a few years ago which
demonstrated that coffee not filtered though paper could raise blood
cholesterol levels. Not very much, maybe ten points (mg/dl???) for someone
who drank five cups a day. Not significant unless you drink a lot of coffee
AND have a cholesterol problem. The paper was the significant thing;
apparently it absorbs some oil that can raise cholesterol level.

Edward

Jerry Avins

unread,
Dec 21, 2005, 10:45:47 PM12/21/05
to
Edward Reid wrote:

> More seriously, I read a couple of research articles a few years ago which
> demonstrated that coffee not filtered though paper could raise blood

> cholesterol levels. ...

I read recently that decaf has that problem, but not regular.

Gary

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 9:06:17 AM12/22/05
to
Jerry Avins wrote:
>
> Boil water in the whistling kettle.
> Grind roasted beans (stored in the freezer), using a rotary mill, not
> whirling blades. The resulting grind is fine, but uniform.
> Brew with a cone filter. When my last Tricolator breaks, I'll have to
> switch to Mellita. There's an art to pouring, but that's another tale.

I'd like to hear your "art of pouring" tale.

Most days, I use a drip machine for coffee just because it's easier. BTW, the
Walmart brand of coffee, "Great Value" is very inexpensive and good.

For a special good cup of coffee, I'll use fresh ground beans from a specialty
coffee store (Kona blend is good) and brew them in a Bodum. My coffee grinder
has the whirling blades....what's your issue with that?

Finally, running your coffee thru a filter removes a lot of the oils. They
might contain a higher cholesterol count (as someone mentioned) but the oil
also contains some flavor that you might want.

Gary

Jerry Avins

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 10:45:54 AM12/22/05
to
Gary wrote:

...

> I'd like to hear your "art of pouring" tale.

For the first pour, I'm careful to wet all the grounds, seeing to it
that any clumps with dry interiors break up. During the drip time,
grounds coat the sides of the filter. On each pour, I wash down the
sides of the filter. I fill the filter only part way on the last pour
but one, so the last pour will leave all the grounds at the bottom. That
way, I (get the feeling at least) that I extract most of the flavor.

> Most days, I use a drip machine for coffee just because it's easier. BTW, the
> Walmart brand of coffee, "Great Value" is very inexpensive and good.

Of the readily available beans, "Eight O'clock 100% Columbian" is my
favorite. I often blend 3/4 that and 1/4 dark roast preground espresso
(Cafe Bustello, El Pico; cheap stuff).

> For a special good cup of coffee, I'll use fresh ground beans from a specialty
> coffee store (Kona blend is good) and brew them in a Bodum. My coffee grinder
> has the whirling blades....what's your issue with that?

A real mill -- the kind with toothed mill wheels -- makes more uniform
grain sizes. Grains already small enough fall out, while nothing too
large can follow them. Smashing rather than grinding -- that's what
whirling blades do -- makes dust and leaves chunks unless you smash it
all very fine. That's what I do when using one of those, even shaking
the "grinder" as it runs. I like my coffee clear, so I use a paper
filter, the only kind that can turn mud clear. Rural Turks and Arabs
smash their coffee in mortars to the consistency of talcum powder and
drink it like mud (or cocoa: don't sneer).

> Finally, running your coffee thru a filter removes a lot of the oils. They
> might contain a higher cholesterol count (as someone mentioned) but the oil
> also contains some flavor that you might want.

A filter is fairly small. Its volume compared even to a single cup is
nil. I don't think one could sequester enough of anything to matter.

Sawney Beane

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 12:52:23 PM12/22/05
to
Jerry Avins wrote:
>
> Sawney Beane wrote:
>
> ...
>
> > How about a triple-beam balance? My level tablespoons weigh 6
> > grams, but I make 8-oz cups, so mine is 75% as strong as Jerry's
> > and 50% stronger than yours.
>
> It's more than just a matter of taste. It depends also on the choice of
> beans.
>
> I use an electronic scale that reads to 20ths of ounces of halves of
> grams, up to 5 pounds. I use it frequently when cooking.
>
I filled a four-ounce measuring cup with coffee scooped from the
can with a tablespoon measurer. Then I was able to compress the
coffee about 15%. I dumped the cup and poured the grounds back into
the cup with a funnel. They came to the same level that they had
with the tablespoon measurer. It seems to me that volume measures
of coffee grounds are consistent unless they are intentionally compressed.

IIRC, flour will compress a lot more than coffee, and no two
methods of filling a cup yield the same density.

Sawney Beane

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 12:57:36 PM12/22/05
to


I heated two cups to a boil, stirred in case there were cold spots,
and brought it to a boil again. I poured it into my French press,
which is thin glass, from about four inches higher. In the stream,
my probe read 206, which would be 201 F. Pouring took three or
four seconds. Immediately, the water in the press read 197, which
would be 192 F.

I would normally cover the press to conserve heat. I left it open
this time, with no grounds. In approximately two minutes it was 172 F.

One of these days I'd like to keep a probe in the neighbors' drip
brewer to see how hot the grounds get.

I figured the best way to keep brewing water near boiling was to
boil it in a pan on medium heat, turn off the electric burner, stir
in the grounds, and cover. I tried it this morning. I found the
flavor similar to that from my aunt's stainless percolator.

Later I tried my usual method with pyrex, a plastic filter, and a
ceramic cup. The coffee had the delicious nutty flavor I'm used
to. Somewhere I've read that if you've been cutting onions,
rubbing your hands on stainless steel will deodorize them because
the nickel is a catalyst. I think contact with stainless steel
makes coffee less tasty to me. That may include the screen in my
French press.

PanHandler

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 4:01:57 PM12/22/05
to

"Sawney Beane" <bead...@qwickconnect.net> wrote in message
news:43AAE90A...@qwickconnect.net...

> I heated two cups to a boil, stirred in case there were cold spots,
> and brought it to a boil again. I poured it into my French press,
> which is thin glass, from about four inches higher. In the stream,
> my probe read 206, which would be 201 F. Pouring took three or
> four seconds. Immediately, the water in the press read 197, which
> would be 192 F.

Why the 5º discrepancy? Also, your elevation above sea level determines the
boiling point. It's 212º at sea level, and becomes lower with elevation.

> I figured the best way to keep brewing water near boiling was to
> boil it in a pan on medium heat, turn off the electric burner, stir
> in the grounds, and cover. I tried it this morning. I found the
> flavor similar to that from my aunt's stainless percolator.

Percolated coffee ain't the best by any means.

> Later I tried my usual method with pyrex, a plastic filter, and a
> ceramic cup. The coffee had the delicious nutty flavor I'm used
> to. Somewhere I've read that if you've been cutting onions,
> rubbing your hands on stainless steel will deodorize them because
> the nickel is a catalyst. I think contact with stainless steel
> makes coffee less tasty to me. That may include the screen in my
> French press.

I've never looked into that concerning coffee, but I do know plastic louses
it up.


Message has been deleted

Kathy

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 6:05:17 PM12/22/05
to
On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 23:34:32 GMT, Joseph LIttleshoes
<jpst...@pacbell.net> wrote:

>> --
>
>I always toss in an extra heaping tablespoon 'for the pot', if making 4
>cups of coffee i use 4 cups of water and 5 tbs. of coffee.
>
>I suppose i have become what ever the opposite of a coffee snob is.
>About a year ago i broke another french press and wanting a cup of
>coffee before i went out and bought another press i decided to make


>'camp fire' coffee, just boiling the coffee grounds in a cooking pot
>with water, after it comes to a boil and simmers for a minute i take it
>off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then pour.

>Works fine for me. To the point i have felt no need to buy another
>coffee pot, French press or otherwise. For guests i will make the
>coffee the same way but serve it in a decorative coffee pot i have first
>warmed up with boiling water.
>
>The loose grounds sink to the bottom of the cooking pot and a careful
>decanting of the coffee leaves it with no residual grounds in the actual
>coffee to be drank.
>---
>JL
ROFLMAO!!!!+++ I've been doign this as the emergency back up for
years becasue the best coffee always seemed to come from the ones that
we made when we were smoking meats or having a cook out! Not barbecue
for we didn't have one of them things but a real fire with a grate
over it to cook on.

Kathy G.

Sawney Beane

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 7:40:38 PM12/22/05
to

PanHandler wrote:
>
> "Sawney Beane" <bead...@qwickconnect.net> wrote in message
> news:43AAE90A...@qwickconnect.net...
>
> > I heated two cups to a boil, stirred in case there were cold spots,
> > and brought it to a boil again. I poured it into my French press,
> > which is thin glass, from about four inches higher. In the stream,
> > my probe read 206, which would be 201 F. Pouring took three or
> > four seconds. Immediately, the water in the press read 197, which
> > would be 192 F.
>
> Why the 5º discrepancy? Also, your elevation above sea level determines the
> boiling point. It's 212º at sea level, and becomes lower with elevation.

You're right, it should be 6 degrees. In boiling water, my
thermocouple says 217 F. I'm at 600 feet, so, assuming normal
barometric pressure, my boiling water was probably 211.


>
> > I figured the best way to keep brewing water near boiling was to
> > boil it in a pan on medium heat, turn off the electric burner, stir
> > in the grounds, and cover. I tried it this morning. I found the
> > flavor similar to that from my aunt's stainless percolator.
>
> Percolated coffee ain't the best by any means.

It was about as good as coffee made in a clean stainless pan.

My neighbor would agree with you about percolated coffee. If I
make coffee for him, I must follow strict instrutions. It must be
made with 3-1/3 tablespoons of coffee and 12 cups of water in a
10-cup drip brewer. The filter cup, decanter, and hot plate must
never be washed. I must not sample even an ounce before the
dripping is finished because it will be too stout.

His wife, who used to manage a restaurant, established the recipe.
She hates coffee.

>
> > Later I tried my usual method with pyrex, a plastic filter, and a
> > ceramic cup. The coffee had the delicious nutty flavor I'm used
> > to. Somewhere I've read that if you've been cutting onions,
> > rubbing your hands on stainless steel will deodorize them because
> > the nickel is a catalyst. I think contact with stainless steel
> > makes coffee less tasty to me. That may include the screen in my
> > French press.
>
> I've never looked into that concerning coffee, but I do know plastic louses
> it up.

I'm sure I'm using coffee-grade plastic.

Message has been deleted

PanHandler

unread,
Dec 22, 2005, 8:20:27 PM12/22/05
to

"- Colonel -" <nob...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:2005122220035850073-nobody@verizonnet...
> On 2005-12-22 16:11:35 -0500, "chickenwing" <bigba...@adelphia.net>
> said:
>
>> I still think for a quick tidy good cup of joe, use an esspresso maker.
>
> Man, y'all are HARD CORE on coffee!
>
> I use a Bunn drip machine like you see in offices and diners, but mine is
> a home model. The water stays hot in the reservoir, and as you pour water
> IN, coffee comes OUT.
>
> I suppose I could spend an hour or two on the ritual, but for crying out
> loud, ALL I WANT IS A CUP OF JOE!

If you DO enjoy a GOOD cuppa joe, spend a couple lazy rainy Saturday
mornings learning how to make it the way YOU like it. Once you establish a
routine it will become second nature and you'll enjoy good joe all of the
time.


Message has been deleted

BiffNightly

unread,
Dec 23, 2005, 8:19:06 AM12/23/05
to
In my 22 plus years in the business of selling gourmet coffee's, I have
always been taught to brew coffee at a tempurature of 200º F (+ or Minus
5º). If the tempurature falls below 195º, you will not extract all of the
desirable oils from the grounds and end up with a very underdeveloped cup of
coffee. If the temp is too high, it will start to extract the undesireable
& bitter oils from the beans. (hence the lousy flavor of perked coffee).

Doug
"PanHandler" <panha...@emptyhat.net> wrote in message
news:HsEqf.21697$aS5....@bignews4.bellsouth.net...

Message has been deleted

Jerry Avins

unread,
Dec 23, 2005, 10:43:23 AM12/23/05
to
– Colonel – wrote:
> On 2005-12-22 16:11:35 -0500, "chickenwing" <bigba...@adelphia.net>
> said:
>
>> I still think for a quick tidy good cup of joe, use an esspresso maker.
>
>
> Man, y'all are HARD CORE on coffee!
>
> I use a Bunn drip machine like you see in offices and diners, but mine
> is a home model. The water stays hot in the reservoir, and as you pour
> water IN, coffee comes OUT.
>
> I suppose I could spend an hour or two on the ritual, but for crying out
> loud, ALL I WANT IS A CUP OF JOE!

To each his own. I make a carafe full at a time, and let it cool
quickly. (It lasts for days in the fridge.) I microwave a cup at a time
as I want it. That works well if you make the best you can at brew time.

Jerry Avins

unread,
Dec 23, 2005, 11:13:29 AM12/23/05
to
Kathy wrote:

...

> ROFLMAO!!!!+++ I've been doign this as the emergency back up for
> years becasue the best coffee always seemed to come from the ones that
> we made when we were smoking meats or having a cook out! Not barbecue
> for we didn't have one of them things but a real fire with a grate
> over it to cook on.

It's the ambiance, Kid! I always prepared my best tasting dishes on
camping trips. Even Rice Krispies fried in lots of margarine (the only
food we had left that morning) was scrumptious. I could never duplicate
those marvelous flavors at home, and after a while -- part of growing up
I suppose -- I realized that it wasn't the food that tasted so good, but
the food in *that setting*.

Joseph Littleshoes

unread,
Dec 23, 2005, 11:57:18 AM12/23/05
to
Jerry Avins wrote:

> Kathy wrote:
>
> ...
>
> > ROFLMAO!!!!+++ I've been doign this as the emergency back up for
> > years becasue the best coffee always seemed to come from the ones
> that
> > we made when we were smoking meats or having a cook out! Not
> barbecue
> > for we didn't have one of them things but a real fire with a grate
> > over it to cook on.
>
> It's the ambiance, Kid! I always prepared my best tasting dishes on
> camping trips. Even Rice Krispies fried in lots of margarine (the only
>
> food we had left that morning) was scrumptious. I could never
> duplicate
> those marvelous flavors at home, and after a while -- part of growing
> up
> I suppose -- I realized that it wasn't the food that tasted so good,
> but
> the food in *that setting*.
>
> Jerry

Alice Waters at Chez Paniesse (sp?) in Berkeley Ca. keeps a special iron
(steel?) 'cauldron' which is never washed and in which she makes
bouillabaisse over and open wood fire at the back of the restaurant.
She feels it is appropriate to toss a bit of charcoal into the pot of
bouillabaisse.

Sometimes the 'circumstances' under which バod is made and consumed is
more significant than the way the food is made and consumed.

Generally i do not care for sea food but i can remember the beach cook
outs we used to have back in the 1950's & 60's when i was an
adolescent, fresh corn and potatoes and sea food steamed over sea weed
and hot coals. Perhaps i was just hungry after running up and down the
coast for several hours but that food was soooo good. Pity i did not
drink coffee in those days.
---
JL

> --
> Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can
> get.

> ッッッッ
> ッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッッ

Sawney Beane

unread,
Dec 23, 2005, 2:43:22 PM12/23/05
to
In a microwave I heated a cup of water to a rolling boil. After I
carried the cup eight feet to the counter, my probe measured 217,
the same as in a pan of boiling water on a burner. It surprised me
that it hadn't cooled a couple of degrees, but it was still boiling.

That would have been 211 F. I put in a tablespoon of coffee,
stirred, and measured. 204 F. I let it steep four minutes with a
plastic cover to conserve heat. By then the temperature was 189 F.
Hmmmm... maybe a foil cover...

A day or two ago, when I steeped coffee in a pan on a warm burner,
I probably kept the temperature above 205. I didn't taste bitter
oils, but I might have called it underdeveloped. I haven't figured
it out unless that metal served as a catalyst.

When I was five or so, I liked to carry fresh coffee grounds in a
pouch so I could smell them. I've never drunk coffee that tasted
that good, but if I brew it in pyrex and use a plastic filter, the
coffee will leave a nice aftertaste for more than an hour.

Sev

unread,
Dec 23, 2005, 3:24:40 PM12/23/05
to
Blt of a low-grade coffee snob myself. Previous posts make good
points. I think good coffee can be made many ways- I've had some from
old percolators I thought was very good. I don't care for french press
for this reason: people tend to leave the coffee in there, where it
will pick up bitter flavor from grounds; unless you are drinking it
all right away you need to decant into carafe. Modern drip pots are ok
by me as long as you turn off once coffee is brewed- heat destroys
flavor fast. Some pots use carafe- good design, though cleaning some
can be a chore. As for espresso- I've had some pretty good from $15
stove top pots- helps if you put paper filters in grounds compartment.

J. Cameron Davis

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 1:37:57 AM12/24/05
to
How about that instant Sanka? Now that's coffee!!

"Jerry Avins" <j...@ieee.org> wrote in message
news:vb6dnS-41PV...@rcn.net...
> Commodore Joe Redcloud wrote:


>> On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 17:36:18 -0500, Jerry Avins <j...@ieee.org> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>John McGaw wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>If you want good coffee and are willing to do a minimum of work for it
>>>>then you would be better off with a cone-type maker with a gold-metal
>>>>filter (rather than the disposable paper) or a French-press which is my
>>>>personal favorite. And for a step up you could start buying top-quality
>>>>beans and grinding them fresh before each use, make sure that your water
>>>>is perfect, using a fixed brewing time of 4 minutes and adjust the
>>>>amount of grounds to get the proper strength, and controlling the
>>>>temperature at which the water makes contact with the grounds (204-208F
>>>>is optimum).
>>>>
>>>>And yes, before you ask, I _am_ something of a coffee snob...
>>>
>>>That's as may be, but I think I out-snob you. First, I hope those
>>>tablespoons were at least heaping. I use an ounce by weight for five
>>>coffee cups. (A cup is eight ounces, but the "cup" marks on coffee
>>>brewers are about six. If my coffee were ground coarsely enough to use
>>>with fine mesh filters, I would need more yet. Paper filters let me get
>>>more flavor grim the same beans by grinding them finer.
>>>
>>>Jerry
>>
>>

>> If you aren't roasting your own beans as needed, you really aren't much
>> of a
>> snob at all. Coffee brewers? Oh BOY! They don't get the water hot enough

>> to make coffee. You


>> are drinking hot brown water. If you are settled on drip, get yourself a
>> chemex.
>> You'll have to boil the water separately, but the difference in the
>> results is
>> enormous. It's really pretty hard to top a french press for the best all
>> around
>> cup of coffee. It requires a bit more attention to get it right, though.
>
> There are a few erroneous assumptions above. Here's what I do:
>

> Boil water in the whistling kettle.
> Grind roasted beans (stored in the freezer), using a rotary mill, not
> whirling blades. The resulting grind is fine, but uniform.
> Brew with a cone filter. When my last Tricolator breaks, I'll have to
> switch to Mellita. There's an art to pouring, but that's another tale.
>

> Jerry

> ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯


Jerry Avins

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 11:03:57 AM12/24/05
to
J. Cameron Davis wrote:
> How about that instant Sanka? Now that's coffee!!

...

I must concede that instant coffee is a beverage, but it isn't what I
call coffee. When offered coffee in stranger's houses where I can't
politely ask what kind, I opt for tea.

PanHandler

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 11:14:20 AM12/24/05
to

"Jerry Avins" <j...@ieee.org> wrote in message
news:Dpydndj3crft7DDe...@rcn.net...

> J. Cameron Davis wrote:
>> How about that instant Sanka? Now that's coffee!!
> I must concede that instant coffee is a beverage, but it isn't what I
> call coffee. When offered coffee in stranger's houses where I can't
> politely ask what kind, I opt for tea.

Now that's a whole nutha story. Don't get me started. :-)


GCFah

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 2:25:09 PM12/24/05
to
Same as I have heard. Never use boiling hot water (212) keep at 200 above
that the bitter oils break down, but some like that bitter flavor, our
McDonald's make coffee that has a bitter burnt taste and curls your lips.

--
George C Fahrlender
On-Location Services
Levelland, TX
"BiffNightly" <Hef...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11qnu9p...@corp.supernews.com...

Steve B

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 8:26:22 PM12/24/05
to
Just an aside to this ..........

A way that I like to make coffee that brews a good cup ..........

Boil the amount of water you want for x number of cups.

Remove from heat, and let stand 1 minute.

Throw in the amount of grounds you like for x cups.

Let it steep like tea for about five minutes. You want the grounds to sink.
Stirring helps.

Filter through Melita cup filter and paper filter into individual cups.

Nuke to the right heat.

Works for me.

Steve


TomP

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 10:45:56 AM12/25/05
to
Sawney Beane wrote:

> I like to make coffee one cup at a time.

One word: Senseo

http://senseo.lissonline.com/

One cup or two cups at a time, no problem. If you use their little pods,
it tastes the same cup after cup.

I cheat their marketing scheme by using a 4 cup filter and my own
coffee. --
Tp,

-------- __o
----- -\<. -------- __o
--- ( )/ ( ) ---- -\<.
-------------------- ( )/ ( )
-----------------------------------------

No Lawsuit Ever Fixed A Moron...


Sawney Beane

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 2:09:24 PM12/25/05
to

What kind of pan do you use? I'll have to experiment more, but it
seems to me my stainless pan took something very enjoyable from the flavor.

A microwave is a fairly quick way to boil a cup, and it's on a
timer in case something interrupts me. There is a problem.
Yesterday my water blew up in the oven. Now I know why experts
recommend keeping the oven door closed.

How can I prevent it in the future? They say superheating can
occur in a glass container that has never been scrubbed, but this
cup has been scrubbed many times in the last twenty years. Should I
use a plastic cup scuffed with sandpaper?

I think I'll need to raise the boiling point well above brewing
temperature. I could pressurize the kitchen, but that would be a
nuisance if the phone rang in the next room. How about adding a
tablespoon of salt for to each cup of water? Would antifreeze work
better? I suppose the MSDS would tell how much can safely be drunk
in coffee.

Sawney Beane

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 2:09:51 PM12/25/05
to
TomP wrote:
>
> Sawney Beane wrote:
>
> > I like to make coffee one cup at a time.
>
> One word: Senseo
>
> http://senseo.lissonline.com/
>
> One cup or two cups at a time, no problem. If you use their little pods,
> it tastes the same cup after cup.
>
> I cheat their marketing scheme by using a 4 cup filter and my own
> coffee. --
> Tp,
>
I'm interested, but I don't like the web page. The presentation
was very slow and crashed my browser before telling me what a
senseo is.

Jerry Avins

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 11:47:47 PM12/25/05
to

You may have figured out how to get a decent cup of coffee from a
Senseo. The coffee they supply doesn't cut it. Please tell me about the
filters you use.

I like plain coffee. Mocha java cinnamon vanilla hazelnut isn't my idea
of good. When I explained what I wanted to a clerk in a specialty coffee
shop, he said, "Oh. You want coffee for people who like coffee." He was
right. I've used that description since.

Roberta

unread,
Dec 26, 2005, 7:19:42 AM12/26/05
to

Jerry - I am not TP but :)

Here's a link to make them yourself
http://www.ineedcoffee.com/04/coffeepods/

I have also seen packs of the little circles to make your own - I think
in Walmart...

Roberta (in VA)

TomP

unread,
Dec 26, 2005, 9:52:11 AM12/26/05
to
Jerry Avins wrote:..

>
> You may have figured out how to get a decent cup of coffee from a
> Senseo. The coffee they supply doesn't cut it.

> Please tell me about the
> filters you use.

I use a generic (store brand) 4 cup filter.
Place one tablespoon of the coffee of your choice in the filter (a few
drops of water on the filter will make it more compliant to the Senseo pod
holder.) Use the back of the spoon to tamp the coffee and filter into the pod
holder. Then fold the filter over on itself then close the top of Senseo and
push the brew button. Optional, you can cut the excess material from the
filter after making the first two folds.
This does take longer than popping in a pod; but the result is worth
it. I can have my 16oz travel cup ready to travel in < 3 minutes.

TomP

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Dec 26, 2005, 9:56:35 AM12/26/05
to
Pretty cool. However, I think my way takes less time.
Still it shows some people can think outside the box. And, if I can figure a
way around the pod marketing, I think most people can too.

Jerry Avins

unread,
Dec 26, 2005, 4:10:51 PM12/26/05
to
Roberta wrote:

...

> Jerry - I am not TP but :)
>
> Here's a link to make them yourself
> http://www.ineedcoffee.com/04/coffeepods/
>
> I have also seen packs of the little circles to make your own - I think
> in Walmart...

Neat! Does it still froth up? I'd as soon it didn't.

TomP

unread,
Dec 30, 2005, 3:14:42 PM12/30/05
to
Yes you still gets the foam.

Jerry Avins wrote:

--

Joseph Littleshoes

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Jan 1, 2006, 9:56:56 PM1/1/06
to
Edward Reid wrote:

> On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 23:34:32 GMT, Joseph LIttleshoes wrote:
>
> > 'camp fire' coffee, just boiling the coffee grounds in a cooking pot
>
> > with water, after it comes to a boil and simmers for a minute i take
> it
> > off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then pour.
>
> A few days ago I wanted a cup of coffee ... pulled out the Folger's
> decaf
> that's been in the cupboard since last winter. Used double the amount
> since
> it was so old. Put it in a bleached paper filter in a plastic cone
> over a
> double-insulated plastic mug. Boiled the water and poured. It was
> awful.

"Well..." he typed hesitantly, even fresh instant decaf is awful, even
cafinated instant coffee is all but undrinkable.

I never liked using a plastic filter cone or the paper filters either.
I am arrogant enough to think they can be tasted in the finished coffee,
alter its flavour in a bad way. Which is why i had pretty much settled
on the french press. In Berkeley one can get a glazed ceramic filter
holder made in quantity by local crafts people and sold at the Telegraph
avenue venors market.

The French press make a decent cup of coffee but i kept breaking them.
I remember as a child me Mater using a clear pyrex type glass
'percolator'. I have had as little luck finding an aluminium or steel
'percolator' as i have a glass one. But it was made with much thicker
glass and its size & shape makes it more stable than a French press, i
would like to get one as i am not against the concept of 'percolators'
but feel they must be carefully monitored to insure the best results.

However a 4 cup steel sauce pan works just fine. I have also been lucky
enough to stumble upon a 2 dollar a pound ($2.00 U.S. per pound) ground
coffee. 8 - 15 dollars per pound makes the individual cup un -
enjoyable for me. I only use between 2 ? 2 1/2 lbws. per month.

This particular coffee is a Mexican commercial product, but contains
coffee mostly from South America and Vietnam.

Called "Montecito" it is labelled "alimento de calidad" and is "Cafe
Molido - espresso de tostado oscuro" i never paid any attention to the
idea that it is labelled "espresso", in big letters it says "Ground
Coffee" and in smaller letters beneath "dark roast espresso".

But here i get confused, i thought a cup of espresso coffee could be
made with any type of coffee, that it was the process by which the cup
is made rather than what it is made of that defines it. Though i am
aware of coffee ground specifically to be used with an espresso maker,
ground extra fine iirc, which the Cafe Molido is not, rather it is an
ordinary drip grind. Its even got a 'money back' guarantee printed on
the package

"Garantia Incondicional de Montecito;

Si or alguna razon usted no esta completamente satisfecho, devuelva este
producto para reemplazo o reembolso completo."

I think it is a excellent product but i am easily pleased.
---
JL

>
>
> More seriously, I read a couple of research articles a few years ago
> which
> demonstrated that coffee not filtered though paper could raise blood
> cholesterol levels. Not very much, maybe ten points (mg/dl???) for
> someone
> who drank five cups a day. Not significant unless you drink a lot of
> coffee
> AND have a cholesterol problem. The paper was the significant thing;
> apparently it absorbs some oil that can raise cholesterol level.
>
> Edward

Max Hauser

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Jan 6, 2006, 3:09:58 AM1/6/06
to
Jerry Avins on pour technique (news:VrWdnbeCjPC...@rcn.net) :
>
> For the first pour, I'm careful to wet all the grounds, seeing to it that
> any clumps with dry interiors break up. ... the last pour will leave all
> the grounds at the bottom. That way, I (get the feeling at least) that I
> extract most of the flavor.


Howdy Jerry. Here's some trivia, probably posted here before, but maybe
not.

"Filter" or "drip" coffee is (formally) true percolation. (Liquid passes
through porous material.)

The coffeemakers that boil coffee-in-progress and send it up to percolate
down through the grounds are formally "pump percolators." (Invented 1827 in
France, "the cradle of coffee-brewing invention," then ignored there, maybe
with reason; by mid 20th century so familiar in North America, the noise
they made ranked with "the acceleration of a well-tuned car" as the region's
best-loved sounds. Quotations from Kenneth Davids's book, details below.)

Macerate-and-percolate is where you dampen ground coffee and leave it wet
for a while, then add more water to percolate through. It's recommended for
some filter machines and is a standard method for quantity coffee or coffee
extracts, in the old "formula books" (details below).


Details:

1. Kenneth Davids, _Coffee,_ 101 Productions, revised edition 1987 (ISBN
0892862750 in paperback), a classic modern US book by a fanatic.

2. Formula books ("10,000 formulas for the home, farm, and workshop") were
popular in late 19th and early 20th centuries. One well-known US version by
Hiscox and /or Sloane has various names including _Henley's Formulas_ and
_Fortunes in Formulas_ (I have editions under both names) and happens to be
full of coffee and soda-fountain recipes.

3. One of many old drugstore soda-fountain recipes from that source is
coffee cream soda. First make some very concentrated coffee (the M&P method
above is useful there), and add sugar to make coffee syrup. (This keeps
well for a few days refrigerated, indefinitely frozen.) Mix with about
equal parts heavy cream in the bottom of a tall glass and add soda water;
stir to give it a little foam. Surprisingly unique and refreshing -- the
carbonation adds an edge that you don't get from a simple iced coffee or
cappuccino.

(Some of this may also be online, I haven't checked.) -- Max


Jerry Avins

unread,
Jan 6, 2006, 12:03:22 PM1/6/06
to

Hello, Max. Thanks for the trivia. I should point out that my carefully
wetting down all the grounds amounts to quickie M&P, especially because
I often get distracted and the second pour is delayed.

The coffee cream soda you describe is -- except for the syrup -- very
similar to what New Yorkers call a coffee egg cream. (There is no egg in
a typical egg cream, and it's usually made with milk.
http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=674) I still make egg
creams at home (using Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup and Soda King seltzer
maker) but I know of no soda fountains that make them any more.

My favorite campground is a State Forest campsite called Putnam (Putt's
by locals) Pond near Ticonderoga, NY. Shopping in town one hot day, I
asked for an egg cream* at the counter of one of the pharmacies. The
amiable young lady had never heard of one, so I instructed her, poorly.
She made it cloyingly rich. It would have been insulting to leave it, so
I worked on it with good will and poor speed. I had finished about two
thirds when the perspicacious counter maid said, "It isn't very good, is
it?" I said that it had been much too rich, but if she filled the glass
with plain seltzer, it would be close to perfect. She did; it was. I
offered her a sip which she declined, but she made herself one, and
poured some of it into another glass for me to sample. I approved. I
thanked her, tipped well, and left.

I was in TI the following year, and went into the other pharmacy, to
hear someone ordering an egg cream! A asked the soda jerk, and he said
it has a new thing in town, all the rage. I felt smug. A few years later
I was in Ti again and asked for an egg cream. Nobody had heard of it.

Egg Cream
In a glass that holds 12 ounces comfortably:
2 ounces of chocolate, strawberry, or coffee syrup
2 ounces of whole milk or half and half
Mix thoroughly, thinning with a little seltzer if need be
Fill the rest of the way with seltzer; let stand a bit and refill

Enjoy!

Jerry
___________________________________
* Where I come from, unmodified "egg cream" means chocolate egg cream.

Jerry Avins

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Jan 6, 2006, 1:32:08 PM1/6/06
to

Max Hauser

unread,
Jan 6, 2006, 5:15:26 PM1/6/06
to
Jerry Avins in re egg creams, in
news:p4-dnbxRRf9CPyPe...@rcn.net :
> . . .

> The coffee cream soda you describe is -- except for the syrup -- very
> similar to what New Yorkers call a coffee egg cream. (There is no egg in a
> typical egg cream, and it's usually made with milk.
> http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=674) I still make egg
> creams at home (using Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup and Soda King seltzer
> maker) but I know of no soda fountains that make them any more.

Alas despite having been a card-carrying New Yorker for a while, I never met
the famous egg cream, a niche of food Americana. (This may be partly from
being well upstate -- where locals kept assuring me that New York is
basically two separate states -- this may have come to your notice too --
and the egg cream is more from the "other" New York: the City and its
burbs.) Also, coffee syrup made from recently roasted beans, flavorful and
not too dark-roasted, makes a very intense and complex coffee cream soda,
different from any commercial product I've seen.

It might (even) be worth mentioning that the same formula books I cited
actually feature various soda-fountain soft drinks that do include fresh
eggs.

Many US soda fountains anyway were in pharmacies, as you'll surely remember,
a connection that's sharply alive in these older books. US pharmacies also
often were family-run neighborhood businesses. In one college town in
California I know well, there were several like that, through the middle
1960s, maybe 1970. (One local business district had three of them --
three! -- within a short walk. All torn out by early 1970s -- along with
MacLarty's hole-in-the-wall variety store, the Goldbergs' delicatessen, and
so on -- in a fashionable updating of the district, later dubbed a "gourmet
ghetto." A description of the area lately on a Web site reported that an
old-fashioned delicatessen was joining the neighborhood, as if adding a
traditionalistic touch. Some may have missed the irony of that situation.
(Maybe a contrived retro-style soda fountain will follow!) That
neighborhood is the same one where rec.food.cooking started, coincidentally.

The formula books show the old overlap of pharmacies and soda fountains
explicitly, with tricks of the trade. A random example is info on classic
mineral waters, and how to fake them up from chemicals if needed
(Apollinaris water and so on, and especially, Vichy -- this was 1920s-1930s,
Vichy was still the most famous such water; conversely the town in France
was still known at that time for water more than politics -- a later
transition, hammered home at the end of the 1942 Warners movie
_Casablanca_). From one book (with frontispiece photo of "the late Thomas
A. Edison in his laboratory"), "A question which arises in preparing
mineral waters is: What is the best charging pressure?" Mineral waters were
charged to a lower pressure than plain soda; "good authorities even
recommend charging certain mineral waters as low as 30 pounds pressure to
the square inch," whereas ordinary soda water is dispensed as high as 180
pounds -- "there must be enough pressure completely to empty the
fountain" -- note starched infinitive -- while still leaving the water with
enough dissolved gas to impart "a thorough pungency." A high pressure for
the mineral waters, "moreover, enables a druggist at a pinch, when he runs
out of plain soda, to use his Vichy water, instead, with the syruped drinks.
The taste of the Vichy is not very perceptible when covered by the syrup,
and most customers will not notice it."

This is written by way of review and recommendation of the books I cited
earlier, by the way; also as nostalgia for when we kids could go into a
neighborhood soda fountain, typically inside a pharmacy, and order any kind
of soft drink, phosphate or whatever, routinely _made to order_ from soda
water. Charged at what I only now understand is an optimal 50 to 120 pounds
pressure, to the square inch.

-- Max


Jerry Avins

unread,
Jan 6, 2006, 10:05:15 PM1/6/06
to
Max Hauser wrote:
> Jerry Avins in re egg creams, in
> news:p4-dnbxRRf9CPyPe...@rcn.net :
>
>>. . .
>>The coffee cream soda you describe is -- except for the syrup -- very
>>similar to what New Yorkers call a coffee egg cream. (There is no egg in a
>>typical egg cream, and it's usually made with milk.
>>http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=674) I still make egg
>>creams at home (using Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup and Soda King seltzer
>>maker) but I know of no soda fountains that make them any more.
>
>
> Alas despite having been a card-carrying New Yorker for a while, I never met
> the famous egg cream, a niche of food Americana. (This may be partly from
> being well upstate -- where locals kept assuring me that New York is
> basically two separate states -- this may have come to your notice too --
> and the egg cream is more from the "other" New York: the City and its
> burbs.) Also, coffee syrup made from recently roasted beans, flavorful and
> not too dark-roasted, makes a very intense and complex coffee cream soda,
> different from any commercial product I've seen.

I must confess to a sort of reverse provincialism; to me, a New Yorker
is someone from New York City. Even in the distant suburbs -- Liberty,
Kingston, Brewster, and the like, One could as easily "go to New York"
as "go to the city". It meant the same thing.

> It might (even) be worth mentioning that the same formula books I cited
> actually feature various soda-fountain soft drinks that do include fresh
> eggs.

I suspect that egg white was an early ingredient, at least in Brooklyn.

> Many US soda fountains anyway were in pharmacies, as you'll surely remember,
> a connection that's sharply alive in these older books. US pharmacies also
> often were family-run neighborhood businesses. In one college town in
> California I know well, there were several like that, through the middle
> 1960s, maybe 1970. (One local business district had three of them --
> three! -- within a short walk. All torn out by early 1970s -- along with
> MacLarty's hole-in-the-wall variety store, the Goldbergs' delicatessen, and
> so on -- in a fashionable updating of the district, later dubbed a "gourmet
> ghetto." A description of the area lately on a Web site reported that an
> old-fashioned delicatessen was joining the neighborhood, as if adding a
> traditionalistic touch. Some may have missed the irony of that situation.
> (Maybe a contrived retro-style soda fountain will follow!) That
> neighborhood is the same one where rec.food.cooking started, coincidentally.

If you mean Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, I believe I remember a soda
fountain there, complete with Bastian Blessing fountain heads that had
the low-volume high-velocity setting that mixes the syrup and milk
without a spoon. Joseph Littleshoes may know with certainty.

> The formula books show the old overlap of pharmacies and soda fountains
> explicitly, with tricks of the trade. A random example is info on classic
> mineral waters, and how to fake them up from chemicals if needed
> (Apollinaris water and so on, and especially, Vichy -- this was 1920s-1930s,
> Vichy was still the most famous such water; conversely the town in France
> was still known at that time for water more than politics -- a later
> transition, hammered home at the end of the 1942 Warners movie
> _Casablanca_). From one book (with frontispiece photo of "the late Thomas
> A. Edison in his laboratory"), "A question which arises in preparing
> mineral waters is: What is the best charging pressure?" Mineral waters were
> charged to a lower pressure than plain soda; "good authorities even
> recommend charging certain mineral waters as low as 30 pounds pressure to
> the square inch," whereas ordinary soda water is dispensed as high as 180
> pounds -- "there must be enough pressure completely to empty the
> fountain" -- note starched infinitive -- while still leaving the water with
> enough dissolved gas to impart "a thorough pungency." A high pressure for
> the mineral waters, "moreover, enables a druggist at a pinch, when he runs
> out of plain soda, to use his Vichy water, instead, with the syruped drinks.
> The taste of the Vichy is not very perceptible when covered by the syrup,
> and most customers will not notice it."

Recall that Coca Cola began as a pharmacy concoction.

> This is written by way of review and recommendation of the books I cited
> earlier, by the way; also as nostalgia for when we kids could go into a
> neighborhood soda fountain, typically inside a pharmacy, and order any kind
> of soft drink, phosphate or whatever, routinely _made to order_ from soda
> water. Charged at what I only now understand is an optimal 50 to 120 pounds
> pressure, to the square inch.

There were also candy stores with the same facilities. My cousin had one
and lived for a while with his wife and infant daughter in the back room
of the shop. A large class of plain seltzer -- soda water was a nickel;
a small one, two cents.

Jerry

Joseph Littleshoes

unread,
Jan 7, 2006, 3:43:29 AM1/7/06
to
Jerry Avins wrote:
> Max Hauser wrote:
>
>> Jerry Avins in re egg creams, in
>> news:p4-dnbxRRf9CPyPe...@rcn.net :
>>

>

>> Many US soda fountains anyway were in pharmacies, as you'll surely
>> remember, a connection that's sharply alive in these older books. US
>> pharmacies also often were family-run neighborhood businesses. In one
>> college town in California I know well, there were several like that,
>> through the middle 1960s, maybe 1970. (One local business district
>> had three of them -- three! -- within a short walk. All torn out by
>> early 1970s -- along with MacLarty's hole-in-the-wall variety store,
>> the Goldbergs' delicatessen, and so on -- in a fashionable updating of
>> the district, later dubbed a "gourmet ghetto." A description of the
>> area lately on a Web site reported that an old-fashioned delicatessen
>> was joining the neighborhood, as if adding a traditionalistic touch.
>> Some may have missed the irony of that situation. (Maybe a contrived
>> retro-style soda fountain will follow!) That neighborhood is the
>> same one where rec.food.cooking started, coincidentally.
>
>
> If you mean Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, I believe I remember a soda
> fountain there, complete with Bastian Blessing fountain heads that had
> the low-volume high-velocity setting that mixes the syrup and milk
> without a spoon. Joseph Littleshoes may know with certainty.

Nothing like that in any original sense in the shattuck avenue 'gourmet
ghetto" area. There is a place through the tunnel that has a retro 50's
kind of 'soda fountain' whose concept of a milk shake is a glass of soft
ice cream. Nothing pumped or mixed or 'fountain heads' only bottled,
canned or other wise pre made.

There are a number of 50's style retro hamburger joints in berkeley but
none with the foods of the originals. All style over substance.

However, over on collage avenue, in the rock ridge area there is an old
soda fountain in an old rexall drug store that has had trouble staying
open but is such a local favourite that various people have tried to
keep it going. they have the white bread and velveta cheese sandwich
with the can of Campbell's tomato soup, the hand pumped coca cola syrup
they add the soda water to and stir, real 'milk shakes' etc. etc.

There are several places in S.F. and out laying areas of the east bay,
that are not in tourist area's, not yuppified, but rather working class
'Mel's Diner' type places. When ever i go out to the diamond district
"fruitvale" to the "Food Mill" i always stop in at the local hamburger
joint for a great burger and milk shake or an excellent 'patty melt'.

I have not been there in years but the Mark Twain hotel in S.F. used to
make the very best bacon and mushroom cheeseburger, with 'crispy'
mushrooms.
--
JL

Jerry Avins

unread,
Jan 7, 2006, 1:06:31 PM1/7/06
to
Joseph Littleshoes wrote:
> Jerry Avins wrote:

...

>> If you mean Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, I believe I remember a soda
>> fountain there, complete with Bastian Blessing fountain heads that had
>> the low-volume high-velocity setting that mixes the syrup and milk
>> without a spoon. Joseph Littleshoes may know with certainty.
>
>
> Nothing like that in any original sense in the shattuck avenue 'gourmet
> ghetto" area. There is a place through the tunnel that has a retro 50's
> kind of 'soda fountain' whose concept of a milk shake is a glass of soft
> ice cream. Nothing pumped or mixed or 'fountain heads' only bottled,
> canned or other wise pre made.

I'm obviously thinking of somewhere else. Speaking of "through the
tunnel", is that where the Chicago-style pizza parlor calls the house
special a Zen pizza -- "Make me one with everything"?

> There are a number of 50's style retro hamburger joints in berkeley but
> none with the foods of the originals. All style over substance.
>
> However, over on collage avenue, in the rock ridge area there is an old
> soda fountain in an old rexall drug store that has had trouble staying
> open but is such a local favourite that various people have tried to
> keep it going. they have the white bread and velveta cheese sandwich
> with the can of Campbell's tomato soup, the hand pumped coca cola syrup
> they add the soda water to and stir, real 'milk shakes' etc. etc.

Teach them to make chocolate egg creams with U-Bet syrup. Their future
will be assured. When you pull the handle on a fountain hard, you get
full flow. When you push it back, you get that thin hard stream. This
generation of soda jerks may not even know about that or what it's for.

...

Jerry Avins

unread,
Jan 7, 2006, 1:07:48 PM1/7/06