Sack Coffee

Folks that know me are well aware of the fact that coffee is a part of my life. I have a variety of different methods to make coffee from percolator, drip, French press, Toddy, and a plethora of different options for espresso-related drinks.

I am one who will not waste my time with bad coffee unless there is a serious biological need. Yes, I’m talking about the warm, oft too hot and overcooked, brown water many restaurants, nay, diners, that try to pass off as coffee. If you serve coffee in a clear cup, the liquid therein should be so dark that you could barely see any light along the edges pass through. Just because you ran some water through some ground coffee does not, in and of itself, make it coffee.

To me, coffee should have a bit of a bite. A welcome drop-kick in the face, rather mouth, when the first drops of coffee pass the lips and wrestle with the taste buds exclaiming, “I’m here!” Think of Jack Nicholson breaking through the door in The Shining saying, “Here’s Johnny!” That, to me, is what coffee is.

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Now, I don’t use most of the various methods of making coffee that I have at my disposal. Typically, I stick to different types of espresso drinks; only occasionally adding milk – steamed, frothed, etc. When I opened the recipe book I mentioned in a previous post, a section immediately caught my eye. Namely because it was in a section at the front of the book and it is labeled “COFFEE.”

Looking through the different recipes, there was on that immediately caught my eye. Sack Coffee.

Sack Coffee Recipe

On the list of coffee recipes, this one was the first. Given this book was initially published in 1931, I wondered if this was the normal way to make coffee. As I thought about this more, it probably was.

Take into consideration that cheese-cloth was something that was commonly used – used for many centuries. For a long time, a common method of boiling water involved placing a vessel over fire. So, it was probably likely a common way to make coffee. Make it in a similar manner to how you make tea.

Ok, I admit, a shudder just ran down my spine as I wrote that.

However, I must say, I am somewhat intrigued about making some coffee in this manner to see what the results are. It would likely involve a bit of trial and error to get it just right. I question only using 1 tablespoon of coffee per cup of water. I’m more accustomed to using double that. Again, I like my coffee to have some bite.

This may be something I have to try. If I do, I’ll update this post.

One thing this recipe does is transport the reader to a past time where things were different. Where we did not have some of the luxuries we have today. A time where you did things a particular way out of necessity, using the resources you had available, rather than doing it out of convenience. I look forward to reading through other recipes in this recipe book to see what other items there are that harken me back to an earlier time. A time, somewhat forgotten, and methods very different than how we do things today.

–Michael.

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