Archive for December, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

December 29, 2010


Anniversary of First US Perculator Patent: An Evolving Concept

December 25, 2010

 Wiki-drip – It is a misnomer that James H. Nason of Franklin, MA invented the percolator on December 26, 1865.  Nay say the whistle-blowing facts. An examination of patent history and documentation courtesy of under “The Evolution of Coffee Apparatus” shows that the coffee pot’s transformation into the percolator is the brain storm of many a coffee snob.  Nason, however,  is credited with obtaining the first U.S. patent on a percolator – one with “fluid joints.” Which just goes to show us that the Brain Children of the Mother of Invention do not always spring from the womb of originality.   

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Patent Drawings of Early French Coffee Makers 
Patent Drawings of Early French Coffee Makers
Left, drip pot of 1806—Next two, Durant’s inner-tube pot, 1827—Next (fourth), Gandais’ first practicable percolator, 1827—Right, Grandin & Crepeaux’ percolator, 1832

EARLY FOREIGN AND AMERICAN COFFEE-MAKING DEVICES1—English adaptation of French boiler. 2—English coffee biggin. 3—Improved Rumford percolator. 4—Jones’s exterior-tube percolator. 5—Parker’s steam-fountain coffee maker. 6—Platow’s filterer. 7—Brain’s Vacuum, or pneumatic filter. 8—Beart’s percolator. 9—American coffee biggin. 10—cloth-bag drip pot. 11—Vienna coffee pot. 12—Le Brun’s cafetière. 13—Reversible Potsdam cafetière. 14, 15—Gen. Hutchinson’s percolator and urn. 16—Etruscan biggin

Coffee Facts Friday

December 24, 2010

This is known with great certainty—elegant Kaffeehausers flourished in Austria as social institutions where coffee drinking was believed to inspire clear thinking and deep discussions. Patrons gathered to sip coffee with milk and honey along with little cakes while listening to string quartets.
Perhaps, and coffeesnobology does believe, that it was in one of those coffeehouses that Father Joseph Mohr wrote the poem that today is the famous carol Silent Night.

Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm, all is bright…….
Throughout the world people are gathered together in homes and churches singing this beloved carol.  The words are known by heart, but perhaps the full story of Silent Night is unknown.
One Christmas Eve in 1818, Fr. Joseph Mohr tucked a poem he wrote two years earlier in his pocket and made his way to a nearby village where his friend Franz Gruber, a musician- schoolteacher, lived in an apartment above the school.  The young pastor played the guitar and he asked Franz Gruber to write a melody suitable for guitar accompaniment.
At the midnight mass St. Nicholas parishioners in Oberndorf, Austria, thrilled to Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! sung by Franz Gruber and the choir to the accompaniment of Father Mohr’s guitar.  Silent Night is now cherished throughout the world.

Wordless Wednesday

December 21, 2010

Latte Literature: The Girl Who Played with Fire

December 20, 2010

Stieg Larsson’s novels percolate with a rich aromatic coffee culture, a sweet elixir for readers and coffee lovers.  Journalist Mikael Blomkvist searches for the troubled, but intrepid, Lisbeth Salander.  Upon entering her apartment he “admires in awe the espresso machine on its own table.  She had a Jura Impressa X7 with attached milk cooler.  Blomkvist knew that a Jura was the espresso equivalent of a Rolls Royce—a professional machine for domestic use that cost in the neighborhood of 70,000 kronor.  He had an espresso machine that he had bought at John Wall, which had cost around 3,500 kronor—one of the few extravagances he had allowed himself for his own household, and a fraction of the grandeur of Salander’s machine.”  The Girl Who Played with Fire by Larsson, 579

Equivalent to a Rolls Royce—What makes this machine hum?
Coffeesnobology’s research supports claims of worldwide honors.
The Jura Impressa X7 is an innovated, elegant coffee maker:  a true masterpiece featuring “the utmost in internal quality and external beauty.”
One-touch process for grinding, brewing and discarding results in a “perfect cup of coffee with exact strength, volume and temperature.”  A coffee-lover’s dream for 70,000 kronor or $10,237.36 in US dollars.

Coffee Facts Friday

December 16, 2010

Coffee Snobology heralds Bake Cookies Day with decadent Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies.
Last week, I searched for a grown-up cookie for the “Bag Boys” who sling two, sometimes three, golf bags over their shoulders, race back and forth between the pro shop and cart barn hauling our golf bags and still greet us with smiles.
Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies by KelseyTheNaptimeChef made for a great holiday thank-you.  This java-filled cookie has a crisp edge and a smooth delightful chocolate center.  Bake some for your friends and family and especially for yourself.

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Serves 50 to 55 cookies
2 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1-cup sugar
1-cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature

2 ½ cups flour
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (like Medaglia D’oro)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350
*Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Then add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition to make sure they are well combined.
*In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.  Use a whisk to make sure the dry ingredients are well mixed.
*With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Mix everything until the ingredients are fully combined, but do not overbeat.  Using a wooded spoon, stir in chocolate chips.
*Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using a rounded teaspoon, drop dough on the sheet 2” apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack
*My tip:  Refrigerate the dough for easier handling.  Delicious with a latte


Wordless Mercredi

December 14, 2010

hotel duquesne

hotel duquesne view

Coffee for Luciadagen

December 13, 2010

December 13 Holiday Festival: LUCIADAGEN

Before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, Luciadagen, or St. Lucia’s Day was the mark of winter solstice. The belief is that she leads the way for the sun to lengthen the days.

Her legend began before she became the Queen of Light, when as a young woman she brought food and drink to Christians that hid in underground tunnels during the time of Diocletian. Her arms full, Lucia wore a wreath around her head in which she placed candles to light her way in the dark. In modern day, the feast begins in the morning when the eldest daughter dresses in Lucia’s image and carries a breakfast of coffee, gingerbread, and Lussekatter (buns) to her parents.

NOTE: The painting is by Carl Larsson, 1908. For more of Lucia’s tale go to the Festivals of Western Europe site, which includes a recipe for Lussekatter at or to and search for St Lucia’s Day December 13th.

Coffee Facts Friday

December 10, 2010

Today, December 10, is Human Rights Day, a day of importance to us all. On this day in 1948, the United Nations assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  It is a global resolve to protect and promote the “inherent dignity of all members of the human family.”
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Eleanor Roosevelt served as Chair of the United Nations Commission and wrote parts of the Declaration of Human Rights.  As always her compassion, and desire to preserve human dignity is apparent in the text.
Coffee Snobology discovered a connection between Eleanor Roosevelt and coffee.  She volunteered in the Red Cross Canteen at Union Station serving soldiers newspapers, candy, cigarettes, and coffee.
Early in his administration President Roosevelt asked Eleanor to meet with representatives of the Bonus Army.  With her commitment to others, she walked through the encampment bringing food and coffee.

Wordless Wednesday

December 8, 2010