It is generally understood that tea becomes air-drawn if not kept closely covered. It is also desirable to keep coffee in the same way.
Mandhaling coffee, which is grown by the Dutch government on the island of Sumatra, is considered the finest coffee in the world. The finest Mocha which comes to this market contains twenty per cent, of "Long Bean." The best-known mark of this coffee in New York is H. L. 0. G. A favorite mixture is two thirds Mandhaling to one third Mocha. The ordinary mixture of two thirds Java to one third Mocha is misleading, as there are an indefinite number of inferior qualities of both "Mocha" and "Java." The best Java comes from the port of Padang in Sumatra, and the only true Mocha comes from Aden in Arabia. The finest grades of Mexican, Maracaibo, Bogota, and Jamaica coffees are highly esteemed. High grades of " Washed Rio " are also richly flavored coffees. These high-class coffees are difficult to get unadulterated. Another difficulty in buying coffee is that each variety has many grades, so the only assurance one can have of the quality received is the good faith of the grocer with whom one deals. A practice among grocers is to make mixtures which they sell under their own trademark.
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.
One heaping tablespoonful of coffee to a cupful, or half pint, of water will make black coffee. Put the coffee powder into a felt bag, or on a thick flannel laid on a strainer and pour the boiling water over it. The flannel must be thick, and close enough to prevent the fine powder straining through. If enough coffee is used to make it of much depth in the strainer, the water will pass through very slowly and the coffee will be cold, therefore have the pot hot before beginning, and stand it in a pan of hot water while it is dripping. Coffee will not be right unless the water is violently boiling when poured on the grounds. Serve the coffee at once.
Put the ground coffee into the pot, pour over it boiling water; let it come to the boiling-point; remove, and stir into it the slightly beaten white of an egg and the crushed shell; replace it on the fire and let it boil one minute. This is to clear the coffee of the fine particles held in suspension. Pour a tablespoonful of cold water down the spout and place it on the side of the range where it will be perfectly still for five minutes, then pour off carefully the liquid coffee. Do not let the coffee boil three minutes altogether. The aroma of the coffee is the escaped volatile oils - all that is lost detracts just so much from the flavor of the drink.
Add enough cold black coffee to milk to give it the desired strength and flavor. Sweeten to taste and let it stand on ice until ready to serve. Serve it in glasses instead of cups. Any coffee left from breakfast prepared in this way makes a refreshing and acceptable drink for luncheon in summer.