A. Prepare Cheese Wafers.
Sprinkle grated cheese, seasoned slightly with salt and paprika, on thin crackers, and heat them in the oven until the cheese melts.
Serve with coffee.
B. Cost of Coffee. Determine the number of cups a pound of coffee will make, allowing one rounding tablespoon of ground coffee to each cup.
C. Class Experiments. Making Coffee.
1. Mix one rounding tablespoon of coffee with one-half teaspoon of egg white and one tablespoon of cold water. Add one cup of boiling water. Boil three minutes and let stand in a warm place or over hot water for five minutes.
2. Repeat (1), omitting the egg. Why is the egg used?
3. Repeat (1), using one tablespoon of egg white. Compare carefully the resulting coffee for color and flavor with that made in (1). Can too much egg be used?
4. Repeat (1), omitting the egg, but adding one tablespoon of cold water after boiling. Compare carefully with (1) and (2). What is the use of the cold water ?
5. Repeat (1), omitting the egg, but tying the coffee in a piece of cheesecloth.
D. Percolated and Drip Coffee.
Coffee made by these methods may be compared with that made by boiling.
The coffee bean is the seed of a fruit resembling a cherry. Coffee grows on an evergreen tree, originally a native of
Arabia, but now cultivated in nearly all tropical countries. The berries are produced three times a year. They are picked and allowed to ferment to soften the pulp which is later removed. This leaves a husk which encloses two berries with their flat sides next each other. After the removal of the pulp the husk is dried and broken open and the berries released. These raw berries are exported to the countries in which they are to be used, and then roasted to develop flavor and to make them brittle for grinding. After washing they are sold either ground or unground. As after grinding they lose flavor somewhat quickly, the housewife usually buys either the whole berries and grinds them as she uses them, or gets the grocer to grind the whole for her, or else she buys ground coffee in air-tight cans.
Coffee Berry and Leaf..
Mocha, Java, and Brazilian coffees are the three principal kinds. The first two are used as trade names for coffees having special characteristics and do not signify the place of production. Most coffee comes from South America, largely from Brazil. Differences of flavor are due partly to differences in variety, but are largely the result of differences in the maturity of the berries when gathered and in the length of time they are roasted. Berries are picked green, or left to turn red, or ripen fully to a purple. Rio, a brand which is very familiar, is a Brazilian coffee. Brazilian coffees cost less than Java. Mocha is most expensive. A mixture of Mocha and Java is a general favorite.
Perhaps the most economical way to purchase coffee is to buy the roasted bean in five- or ten-pound bags and store in tins until needed. The whole beans bought in bulk cost less than the coffees sold in pound tins. The crispness of the bean and the aroma tell whether the coffee is sufficiently fresh to be good. The flavor of old coffee can be somewhat improved by spreading it out well and re-roasting in an oven.
The beverage coffee is chemically much like tea. It contains caffein and essential oil and tannin, but the tannin is in a somewhat different form and is perhaps less objectionable. While the percentage of caffein in the bean is less than in tea leaves, so much more coffee is used in making a cup of the beverage that a cup of coffee contains about as much caffein as three-quarters of a cup of tea. Coffee, then, like tea, should be avoided by the nervous, by those who have digestive disturbances, and by children. Cream or milk in coffee and tea seem to render it less digestible to some people. Individuals differ greatly in their sensitiveness to tea and coffee. Some are much more affected by one than by the other; some are sensitive to both. It is easy to find out how much one is stimulated. Those unaccustomed to coffee can see whether it makes them feel nervous or produces sleeplessness or indigestion. But coffee drinking becomes a habit and no great effect may be noticed. If, however, the individual accustomed to it will try going without, he can soon tell whether it was affecting him. If he has headache, or is unduly sleepy and dull, he may be sure he has been depending on coffee as a stimulant.
A small cup of black coffee taken at the end of a hearty meal sometimes acts as a promoter of digestion. This usually signifies that the person benefited has eaten too much and would be better off if he ate less and went without the coffee.
Freeman and Chandler. "World's Commercial Products." U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 122. "Coffee Substitutes."
1. Where is coffee grown? How prepared for the market?
2. What varieties of coffee are on your local market?
3. What do these varieties cost? What is a reasonable price to pay for a good coffee?
4. Why does an egg settle coffee? Why are egg shells sometimes used? If the shells are to be used for this purpose, when should they be washed?
5. Explain why cold water settles coffee.
6. Is coffee a decoction or an infusion?
7. Describe the care which should be taken of a coffee pot.
8. Name some of the coffee substitutes. From what are these usually made? How does their cost compare with that of coffee?