One of things that continues to amaze me is that making good coffee is no secret, and has been known how for a long time. This evening while getting out the recipe from the Joy of Cooking circa 1971 I came across the coffee section of the book. Now 1971 is not that long ago in all reality, but it seems like it was not that long ago that there was not even a Starbucks everywhere. And so in those Dark Ages people must not have known how to make good coffee.
The interesting thing about this section of the book is that they give a few recipes about coffee drinks and some basic parameters for making different drinks similar to what you can find here on Roaste, but their general advice for making coffee is still valid today;
"Whatever device you choose...use not less than 2 level tablespoons of coffee to each 3/4 cup of freshly drawn water...use soft but not soften or hard water; when brewing coffee keep the coffeemaker almost full; time your method consistently; keep the coffee maker scupulously clean...never boil coffee...water between 200-205 is ideal for extracting flavor without drawing acids."
I was also impressed by the illustration that they provided with the coffee section siting that filter coffee from the Chemex was the best way to make it for the connoisseur, the same basically applies today.
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The espresso machine in the picture is pretty interesting as well, as it appears to be some sort of pressure driven device, but without a lever. Seems like it must be some sort of moka pot cross over with an espresso machine, all in all really interesting.
Speaking of finding coffee everywhere next time anyone is in a big city take some time to look around if you are in and older area, you might be surprised with finding some old painted coffee ads painted on the side of buildings, I've seen a few in San Francisco and will have to take pictures next time!