COFFEE. TEA. CHOCOLATE. COCOA.
A POPULAR mixture of coffee for boarding-houses is one-fourth Java, one-fourth chicory, and one-half Rio, mixed and ground together. Very good, too. The chief effect of chicory is to darken the color. The coffee we prefer in our family is equal parts of Old Government Java and Mocha, but a very delightful mixture is equal parts of Java, Mocha, and Rio. [But I have been informed by reputable dealers that there is scarcely any Mocha imported to this country now, so we probably get it only in name. - Ed.]
Look the coffee berry over, picking out imperfect kernels and bits of grit. Wash and dry it and put only a pound or two into a dripping-pan for one browning. The oven should be hot, but not hot enough to scorch. A very few burnt grains ground up would spoil the flavor of the whole.
Watch very carefully and stir thoroughly from the outer edges to the center, and vice versa. The color of browned coffee must not be yellow, but a very decided brown - not very dark, however. When partly cool, stir a beaten egg into it, touching every kernel, if possible. This will clarify the coffee when prepared for drinking. Some prefer the use of butter, in which case stir a small lump among the kernels while hot. Coffee may be browned in a spider on the stove as well as in the oven. A patent coffee-roaster is very convenient and quite a luxury for the kitehen. Do not grind coffee into a fine powder, but only to medium fineness. And do not grind in quantities only as needed. Keep closely-covered.
A very important factor in coffee-making is the coffeepot. It must be kept clean - and to do this it must be emptied and washed thoroughly after every time of using. This applies to any coffee-pot in use, whether the common tin or the drippers. It is a good plan occasionally to put a teaspoon of common saleratus in the pot with half a pint or more of water and let it boil briskly for 15 or 20 minutes. The incrustation will be loosened and a thorough cleansing effected.
It is now generally conceded that coffee is better not to be boiled. A thorough steeping will draw out the strength as effectually as boiling. If allowed to boil, the tannic acid is extracted, and it becomes bitter and . unhealthy. By combining with the milk, an indigestible substance is formed in the stomach. To keep the aroma in the coffeepot, the spout should be stopped up, either with a cover to fit, or a cloth-stopper.
Put the required amount of coffe in the coffee-pot, and pour over it a cup of boiling water. Let steep about 5 minutes on the back of the stove; then fill up with boiling water. Let stand 5 or 10 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of cold water to settle it, unless an egg-shell is used. Half an eggshell, crushed, to a quart of coffee will settle it nicely.
A tablespoon of ground coffee for one person, 3 tablespoons are sufficient for 4 persons. Take egg enough to moisten the coffee, put in a pinch of salt. Pour on a cup of cold water. Set on the hot stove. When it comes to a boil, fill with boiling water and set back where it cannot boil. If it is necessary to use cold water to settle coffee, take a little in a cup at a considerable height above the coffee-pot, and pour it in. A little salt is always good.