This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
Coffee must be made as carefully as tea, in order to develop the fragrant flavor without overdeveloping the caffeine and tannin. To this end it should be made as quickly as possible and without much cooking. The best method is as the coffee tasters make it, the next, percolating or filtering. Old-fashioned boiled coffee is the least desirable method.
There are two essentials in making good coffee - first, an absolutely clean utensil; second, a generous quantity of a pure brand of coffee unmixed with chicory. Given these, no matter if the vessel be a tomato can or a silver urn, the result will be perfect, if care is used. Coffee should never be allowed to stand on the grounds after it is finished.
A moderate amount of well-made coffee, without cream or sugar, is a mild stomach stimulant, as well as slightly laxative. It has, however, a distinct influence on the nervous system, sometimes leading to general nervousness, tremulousness, loss of sleep and dizziness. In some cases actual indigestion may be traced to it, as caffeine acts adversely on some people, retarding digestion and causing flatulence with a consequent "sinking heart" sensation. Children are especially susceptible to these influences and should never be allowed to drink coffee.
There are several kinds of powdered coffee on the market, which may be dissolved in boiling water, and, if a really good brand is chosen, this is a satisfactory and economical method.
To make the best coffee it should not be boiled.
Allow a tablespoonful of medium-ground coffee to each person. Put it in a heated enamel pot, and pour over it a coffee cupful of boiling water for each table-spoonful used. Bring to the boil and then let stand four minutes where it will keep hot, but not boil. Then add a dash of cold water to settle it. Coffee made according to this recipe contains a minimum amount of caffeine and tannin.
Put the coffee in the percolator, pour in one cupful cold water to two tablespoonfuls miedium-ground coffee for each cup to be made and put on the glass top. Set on the sheet-iron plate over the fire, bring to boiling point, and let boil from three to five minutes, according to the strength desired.
Increase the amount of coffee one-half, and make either by the coffee filter or percolator method.
3 pounds whole wheat 1 pound whole barley 1 cupful ground chicory
3 tablespoonfuls molasses 3 tablespoonfuls butter
Roast the wheat and barley until brown, stirring often. When as dark as a coffee berry, add the butter and molasses, stirring it until all is absorbed and the grains separate. Remove from the oven and, when cold, add the chicory.
Grind in a coffee mill. To make, use 2 tablespoonfuls of "coffee" to each person and 1 1/4 cupfuls cold water. Boil an hour, and serve with sugar and cream or milk.