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Of Cowboys and Eggshells
             Eggshells - John Cuniffe
             Eggshells - Doug Essinger-Hileman
             Cowboy Coffee - Larry Finch
             Cowboy Coffee - Bill Nyden
             Coffee and Eggshells - Sterling Hada
             Coffee, Eggshells, and Killick - Charlezzzzz Muñoz
             Six-fathom Coffee - Charlezzzzz Muñoz, too
             Coffee and Eggshells - Sarah Scott
             Coffee with egg? - Jim Attrill
Coffee-Roasting and the History of Coffee
            Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks - James L. Auld
            Grounds for Divorce - Marian Van Til
            Pushing the Story of Coffee Back Further - R. C. Henrickson
            A Universe of Coffee - Alan Lothian
Turkish Coffee
             Turkish Coffee - George Swan
             Turkish Coffee - R. C. Henrickson
Coffee Syrup - Peter Mackay (and Bryan, aka Reading-Dad)
Coffee with...
             ... Tim-tam Straws - Nick Coleman
             ... the Meal - Howard Douglass (and Ogden Nash)
The Bene Cafferit Mantra - David Phillips

Of Cowboys and Eggshells
Eggshells - John Cuniffe
...who can never remember to make the omelet BEFORE the coffee and so has never tested this theory himself.
This is an old New Jersey diner trick. Egg shells (in plentiful supply in a diner) are added to the coffee grounds before brewing, the idea being that the egg shells filter out the bitter taste. Judging from some of the great cups of coffee I've had in some NJ diners, I'd say they're on to something.

Eggshells - Doug Essinger-Hileman
The egg shells clarify by aiding the clumping of stuff so that it can sink to the bottom.

Cowboy Coffee - Larry Finch
"Cowboy coffee" is made by dumping ground coffee in a pot, then pouring in hot water. Or just put the coffee in the pot and heat it over an open fire until it almost boils. This leaves the coffee grounds in suspension in the brew, however; something that is undesirable in all but Turkish coffee. Adding eggshells causes the grounds (well, most of them) to sink to the bottom.

Cowboy Coffee - Bill Nyden
You left out the primary ingredient of Cowboy Coffee... the horse shoe. Coffee, eggshells and water in the pot (big sheet-iron pot as seen in all the western movies). Put it on the fire. When the horse shoe floats to the surface, it's ready.

Coffee and Eggshells - Sterling Hada
On the topic of egg shells, though, in addition to clarifying the water, I've also heard that the egg shells helped to 'float' the coffee grounds down to the bottom, making it easier to pour out just the coffee.

Coffee, Eggshells, and Killick - Charlezzzzz Muñoz
All you got to know, Mates, is that sailors been putting egg shells into coffee ever since some guy which he went by the name Killick dropped 'em in by mistake and then swore up and down that his sainted old grandmother used eggshells every time, and he made so much noise that it was easier to believe him than to shut him up.

Six-fathom Coffee - Charlezzzzz Muñoz, too
Put in water. Open an egg, dispose of the white and yolk. Put the eggshell into the water. Percolate. The eggshell purifies (or something) the water. You can see the bottom six fathom deep.
And that's the story of six-fathom coffee, and what the hell do cowboys know about it anyhow; once you've smelled a herd on the hoof you can't smell the coffee anyhow.

Coffee and Eggshells - Sarah Scott
When you boil coffee, ie throw coffee and water in a pan and bring to a boil (disgusting, I know, but desperate times and all that) you put eggshells in to take out the bitterness. At least that's what I've always understood.

Coffee with egg? - Jim Attrill
I was trying to find the reason for adding eggshell to coffee. Remembering the days when I made my own wine and used egg-white to clarify the result, I reckoned that the eggshell was used for the same reason. It seems I am right, but along the way I found this old recipe for coffee which includes the egg, as well as the shell.... I may try this out. Next research is the pinch of salt.
From Bartleby online:
Boiled Coffee
1 cup coffee
1 cup cold water
1 egg
6 cups boiling water
Scald granite-ware coffee-pot. Wash egg, break, and beat slightly. Dilute with one-half the cold water, add crushed shell, and mix with coffee. Turn into coffee-pot, pour on boiling water, and stir thoroughly. Place on front of range, and boil three minutes. If not boiled, coffee is cloudy; if boiled too long, too much tannic acid is developed. The spout of pot should be covered or stuffed with soft paper to prevent escape of fragrant aroma. Stir and pour some in a cup to be sure that spout is free from grounds. Return to coffee-pot and repeat. Add remaining cold water, which perfects clearing. Cold water being heavier than hot water sinks to the bottom, carrying grounds with it. Place on back of range for ten minutes, where coffee will not boil. Serve at once. If any is left over, drain from grounds, and reserve for making of jelly or other dessert.
Egg-shells may be saved and used for clearing coffee. Three egg-shells are sufficient to effect clearing where one cup of ground coffee is used. The shell performs no office in clearing except for the albumen which clings to it. One-fourth cup cold water, salt fish-skin, washed, dried, and cut in inch pieces, is used for same purpose.
Coffee made with an egg has a rich flavor which egg alone can give. Where strict economy is necessary, if great care is taken, egg may be omitted. Coffee so made should be served from range, as much motion causes it to become roiled.
Tin is an undesirable material for a coffee-pot, as tannic acid acts on such metal and is apt to form a poisonous compound.
When coffee and scalded milk are served in equal proportions, it is called Café au lait. Coffee served with whipped cream is called Vienna Coffee.
To Make a Small Pot of Coffee.
Mix one cup ground coffee with one egg, slightly beaten, and crushed shell. To one-third of this amount add one-third cup cold water. Turn into a scalded coffee-pot, add one pint boiling water, and boil three minutes. Let stand on back of range ten minutes; serve. Keep remaining coffee and egg closely covered, in a cool place, to use two successive mornings.
To Make Coffee for One.
Allow two tablespoons ground coffee to one cup cold water. Add coffee to cold water, cover closely, and let stand over night. In the morning bring to a boiling-point. If carefully poured, a clear cup of coffee may be served.

Coffee-Roasting and the History of Coffee
Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks - James L. Auld, Gunners Mate, CSS GAINES, which he was a coffee roasters apprentice for a year in New Orleans
I know for a fact that Jack and Stephen actually had much better coffee than we have today, even though they where on a ship in the middle of the ocean before vacuum packed coffee in a bag. The true flavor of a varietal coffee can not be tasted or explained without understanding that the roasting and grinding is the more crucial over the steeping or boiling.

In that period coffee was transported green, for size reasons, not weight (a coffee bean sometimes doubles in size, and loses a third of its weight in the roasting process) and the coffee was roasted as needed for the day or the week, it can be ground as soon as it is cooled, and made. This roasting process is tedious at best under good circumstances if you are doing it, be it hand over an open fire or on a wood stove, you need good light in the galley and a clean nose to smell the roast caramalizing, and a sharp ear to hear the first crack of pyralisis.

This freshness factor is still sought today on the level of small custom roasters who roast no more that 25 pounds at a time and use the old but true sight and smell kind of roasting, not a fancy computer roasting a whole bag of coffee.

As to what kind of coffee Stephen and Jack had, the plants then actually produced a better quality bean, and it being hand-picked and sifted, taking off its silvers, the bean was much less brutalized by machinery as it is today. I wont get into different varieties of coffee or the best regions, as I have no room to talk, being a person born and bred in Louisiana after the War of Northern Aggression, I drink my coffee with chicory, yes chicory, a root that we love in our coffee here, but I do have some advise to those of you think that coffee is a vile evil wicked dark thing, it still can benefit you either as an ink substitute or a diuretic medicine. And for the coffee lovers, I do suggest trying to procure some green coffee and roasting it yourselves the next time you have a fire, any grouchy old captains steward can do it with practice and respect for the nobelest of drinks: coffee.

Grounds for Divorce - Marian Van Til
Before the coffee thread gets too cold, I'd like to note that I'm currently reading a most interesting and entertaining book about the history of coffee, which, given Jack's and Stephen's addiction, has some apropos passages which may be of interest here. The book -- I can't remember if anyone's ever mentioned it here -- is *Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed the World.* Mike Prendergrast. Basic Books/Perseus, 1999.
Early on, Prendergrast explains how coffee arrived in Paris, in Vienna, in the Netherlands and Italy, and its effect and people's reactions to it in these diverse places -- which were not entirely positive, as it gained too much hold on its users.

When it arrives in Britain it comes "like a liquid black torrent" ...
... "beginning at Oxford University in 1650, where Jacobs, a Lebanese Jew, opened the first coffeehouse for 'some who delighted in noveltie.' Two years later in London, Pasqua Rosee, a Greek, opened a coffeehouse and printed the first coffee advertisement, a broadside touting 'The Vertue of the COFFEE Drink,' described as 'a simple innocent thing, composed into a Drink, by being dryed in an Oven, and ground to Powder, and boiled up with Spring water, and about half a pint of it to be drunk, lasting an hour before, and not Eating an hour after, and to be taken as hot as possibly can be endured.'

"Pasqua Rosee made extravagent medicinal claims; his 1652 ad asserted that coffee would aid digestion, cure headaches, coughs, consumption, dropsy, gout, and scurvy, and prevent miscarriages. More practically, he wrote: 'It will prevent Drowsiness, and make one fit for business, if one have occasion to *Watch*; and therefore you are not to Drink of it *after Supper*, unless you intend to be *watchful*, for it will hinder sleep for 3 or 4 hours."

That wasn't the only thing it hindered, according to the women of London in 1674 -- which I'll get to in a moment.

By 1700 there were 2000 coffeehouses in the city[!], occupying more premises and paying more rent than any other trade -- for every type of clientale, including patients who wished to consult physicians. There were coffeehouses for Protestants, Catholics, Jews, literati, merchants, traders, fops, Whigs, Tories, army officers, actors, lawyers, clergy, "wits." "They were England's first egalitarian meeting place, where a man was expected to chat with his tablemates whether he knew them or not."

"Edward Lloyd's establishment catered primarily to seafarers and merchants, and he regularly prepared 'ships' lists' for underwriters who met there to offer insurance. Thus began Lloyd's of London...."

The coffeehouse gatherers would not be chatting with women, however, because there were none (unless a woman happened to be the proprietor). Unlike in France, where women were welcome at the coffeehouses, in Britain they were strictly male enclaves. Thus, says Pendergrast, "the strongest blast against the London coffeehouses came from women."

"In 1674 *The Womens Petition Against Coffee* complained: 'We find of late a very sensible Decay of that true *Old English Vigour*.... Never did Men wear *greater Breeches*, or carry *less* in them of any *Mettle* whatsoever." This condition was all due to 'the Excessive use of that Newfangeled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called *Coffee,* which ... has so *Eunucht* our Husbands, and *Crippled* our more kind *gallants*.... They come from it nothing *moist* but their snotty Noses, nothing *stiffe* but their Joints, nor *standing* but their Ears.' "

"The *Women's Petition* revealed that a typical male day involved spending the morning in a tavern 'till every one of them is as Drunk as a Drum, and then back again to the Coffee-house to drink themselves sober.' Then they were off to the tavern again, only to 'stagger back to *Soberize* themselves with Coffee.' In response, the men defended their beverage. Far from rendering them impotent, '[coffee] makes the erection more Vigorous, the Ejaculation more full, adds a spirtualescency to the Sperme.'"

The next December (1675) Charles II issued a proclamation which would ban coffeehouses as of Jan. 10, 1676, but had to back down amid the howling protests two days before it was to take effect.

Tea began to supplant coffee in the 18th century -- it was quicker to prepare, easier to brew, and its rituals could include women and children. And, in Prendergrast's view, "the British had never learned to make coffee properly, and the milk they added to it was foul. Thus, while the black brew never disappeared entirely, its use in England diminished steadily until recent years."

Pushing the Story of Coffee Back Further - R. C. Henrickson
To push the story of coffee back further, look at
Ralph S Hattox
Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East
From the back blurb:
"A cup of coffee -- that symbol of hospitality throughout the Near East and Europe -- had its origins in urban Islamic coffeehouses of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. But coffee did not enter the social scene without first encountering considerable resistance and concern over its legality, salubrity, and virtue. Jurists and doctors argued over its moral and medical effects while rulers and bureaucrats fretted over the nocturnal social gatherings it encouraged. "The early history of coffee, from its first use in Sufi rituals to its widespread consumption in medieval Muslim coffeehouses, makes fascinating reading. Drawing on original Arabic sources and the accounts of early European travelers, Hattox describes the colorful history of coffee and the birth of the unique institution of the coffeehouse in urban Muslim society."

Not a light-hearted book, but very interesting on the arguments as to whether it was a drug and thus forbidden, and the possible pernicious political and moral effects it and the coffeehouses might have. Just how was a new beverage, and social institution, integrated into society. Interesting insights into Ottoman society as well.

A Universe of Coffee - Alan Lothian
There is a universe of coffee. (A substance that until recently was almost unavailable in the US, at any rate to the common traveller, who had no access to the home of a real coffee hound, a class of person I know from personal experience to be at least not non-existent in the Americas). Now your "true coffee, black and sugarless": hmm. How black? What kind of roast? What coffee?

To my mind, there are three genera of coffee, each with innumerable species. Think of each as a motherlode. But note that I do not deny but welcome the subspecies.

1. Black, thinking coffee. This to be made from medium roast, high acceptable when thought requires stimulus and nothing else available. To be made strong, preferably by filter but quite acceptably by coarse ground in a pot, much like tea. It should, as Charlezzzzz points out, be drunk plain black and unsweetened. At 4 am with a deadline, some sugar is acceptable; blood needs it. This is by far the best way to drink Chagga, or Kibo AA, or Blue Mountain, if you don't mind paying 35 dollars a pound for it. It's tolerable after-dinner coffee, too, and sits companionably well with a glass of Armagnac or a ball of good malt. Sugar clearly spoils it, and if consumed often enough will ruin the palate. You may drink this socially in quarter-pint cups; if up at 4 am for that deadline, you may repeat as required. *Much* stronger than standard American perc, but nothing on...

2. ...True espresso. This is a condensate of coffee; properly done, about 5e10 (that's five times ten to the power ten, and I admit it is an exaggeration) American percolators are condensed into about 25 millilitres of intense, dark, black, caffeine experience. It must be drunk thickly sugared; for that is its nature. It must be high, high, fragile and crumbly roast, and to my mind it is better if it be all Arabica; I will entertain the claims of the Robusta people, though. Very strong, and sweet. When I used to have to do regular 500-mile night drives around Europe, I equipped myself with a flask of this; teeth-endangeringly sweet, too; and if possible with a capful of rum in. (Not two capfuls: long drives and alcohol combine poorly.) The caffeine hit you like a rod in an intimate orifice; the sugar swelled your brain; and the touch of alcohol seasoned the whole. A quick slug of this thing and you were good for another two hundred klicks, even without Miles Davis on the car stereo.
Kid-on, mickey-mouse espressi *do not count*. There must be no more than 25 ml in the cup. 20 ml is acceptable, emphatically not 30. It is the *water* you hold back on, not the coffee. If you do it right, anyone who drinks more than two has a tachycardia experience.

3. Good strong milky coffee. An espresso addict who has breakfast often needs a liquid intake; and more than 50 ml of good espresso will do your head in. So add milk. Froth is really a fashion statement, but 50 ml of fairish quality espresso plus about 150 ml of hot milk will give you nourishment and get your head going of a morning. I depend upon it. I find the lactose makes the thing sweet enough, and any more sugar is otiose.

4. There is no four. But there is an intolerable deal of poor, weak, watery awful sour coffee about the planet. And I will have it out, sir, I will.

As for decaff..... well, I am sure that there Charlezzzzz and I could comfortably make common cause. And this is only marginally off-topic, since I could have addressed the above to Captn Aubrey and Dr Maturin with some prospect of a coffee conversation ensuing...

Turkish Coffee
Turkish Coffee - George Swan
Jearl Walker, back when he used to do the "The Amateur Scientist" column in Scientific American, devoted a column to the physics of making Turkish coffee.
Turkish Coffee is made very strong, very thick, and very sweet. I don't recall the exact sequence, but the grounds and the sugar are added to the boiling water separately, in a specific order.
After the sugar is added, the coffee froths up wildly, as I recall. His analysis was that the sugar and water solution has a different density and boiling point, and that the coffee fails if the sugar is not present.

Turkish Coffee - R. C. Henrickson
Having just returned from a month in Turkey, where Turkish coffee was served after both lunch and dinner, I can assure you that sugar is not essential. The Turks offer three varieties:
sade: plain -- black and unsweetened
orta [shekerli]: medium -- some sugar
shekerli: heavily sugared
I've always stuck to the sade (pronounced sa-day), after trying the other two varieties.

Coffee Syrup - Peter Mackay (and Bryan, aka Reading-Dad)
I made a pot of coffee Saturday morning and held some back for the coffee syrup experiment.
After letting it sit for most of the day until the shadows were growing long with the setting sun, I grabbed the pyrex measuring cup and poured in 2/3 cup of the opaque liquid. I set a small saucepan on the stove, poured in the coffee and turned on the heat while I measured out a cup of sugar. After adding the sugar, I stirred continuously until the liquid began boiling. Let me tell you, once it decides to boil, it boils! The syrup practically exploded out of the pan in a brown, bubbly geyser. So, I let it cool for about ten minutes and I couldn't resist sniffing it. Would it smell like freshly brewed coffee? The answer was NO! The syrup stinks to high heaven right after being boiled. My wife had joined me in the kitchen by now and said, "Are you actually going to try that?"
A different man may have conceded defeat, after all, this liquid (it was still too thin to be called a syrup) smelled awful. But, I am somewhat stubborn and believe that I should things thru to the end, even if it means having to brush my teeth three times just to [get] a funky after taste out of my mouth.
I poured some milk into a glass and dropped in about three tablespoons of "syrup". Slowly, under the gaze of my better half, who reportedly has more common sense than me (she claims to have documentation that proves this "fact") I took a sip. Mmm. MMMmmm! MMMMMMM!!!! My mouth couldn't help but smiling for I was victorious! The coffee milk was excellent! Knowing that I cannot hide my emotions, she realized I wasn't faking to try and get her to taste something awful, she took a sip and conceded that it was indeed tasty. And, she's not even a coffee drinker!
Thanks to Mellanie who shared the recipe! My particular concoction reminded me of those coffee flavored frappucinos you can buy at the grocery store in glass bottles.
(BTW, the syrup doesn't stink once it's cooled down, thankfully).

So, the recipe and usage is as follows:
2/3 cup coffee
1 cup sugar
Bring to boil and then cool.
I added about 3 Tbsp per cup of cold milk.

Coffee with...
... Tim-Tam Straws - Nick Coleman
[O]ne of life's great pleasures: the Tim-Tam straw. (A Tim-Tam is a chocolate-covered wafered biscuit, sort of like a Kit Kat, but with layers of wafers.) Bite off both ends, stick one end in your coffee and slurp it up. Ambrosia! Coffee mixed with chocolate and dissolving wafer. Mmmm, Tim-Tams, drool (in a Homer Simpson way).

... the Meal - Howard Douglass (and Ogden Nash)
From "I'm A Stranger Here Myself", p. 71

A gentlemanly gentleman, mild as May,
Entered a restaurant, famed and gay.
A waiter sat him in a draughty seat
And laughingly inquired what he'd like to eat.
"Oh, I don't want venison, I don't want veal,
But I do insist on coffee with the meal.
Bring me clams in a chilly group,
And a large tureen of vegetable soup,
Steak tender as a maiden's dream,
With lots of potatoes hashed in cream,
And a lettuce and tomato salad, please
And crackers and a bit of Roquefort cheese,
But waiter, the gist of my appeal,
Is coffee with, coffee with, coffee with the meal."
The waiter groaned, and he wrung his hands;
"Perhaps da headwaiter onderstands."
Said the sleek headwaiter, like a snobbish seal,
"What, monsieur? Coffee with the meal?"
His lip drew up in scornful laughter;
Monsieur desires a demi-tasse after!"
Monsieur's eyes grew hard as steel,
He said, "I'm ordering coffee with the meal.
Hot, black coffee in a great big cup,
Fuming, steaming, filled right up.
I don't want coffee iced in a glass,
And I don't want a miserable demi-tasse,
But what I'll have, come woe, come weal,
Is coffee with, coffee with, coffee with the meal."
The headwaiter bowed like a poppy in the breeze;
"Monsieur desires coffee with the salad or the cheese?"
Monsieur said, "Now you're getting warmer.
Coffee with the latter; coffee with the former;
Coffee with the steak, coffee with the soup.
Coffee with the clams in a chilly group;
Yes, and with a cocktail I could do,
So bring me coffee with the cocktail too.
I'll fight to the death for my bright ideal,
Which is coffee with, coffee with, coffee with the meal."
The headwaiter swivelled on a graceful heel;
Certainly, certainly, coffee with the meal!"
The waiter gave an obsequious squeal.
"Yes sir, yes sir, coffee with the meal!"
Oh, what a glow did Monsieur feel
At the warming vision of coffee with the meal.
One hour later Monsieur, alas
Got his coffee in a demi-tasse.

(The original punctuation and rather bumpy scansion have been carefully preserved.)

The Bene Cafferit Mantra - David Phillips
I will not brew Decaf.
Decaf is the mind-killer.
Decaf brings the little sleep
that leads to total oblivion.
I will embrace my caffeine.
I will brew my beverages and
let them flow through me,
and when they are gone,
I will remain...alert.