Blackberry Life

Coffee the Old-Fashioned Way

Looking back on the art of coffee making, I am reminded of my first memories of coffee being made by farm families in the 1940’s.

Many people during those early years bought their coffee beans in varying sizes of burlap sacks.

The coffee beans that they purchased were not roasted, so they roasted their own coffee beans to their desired taste.

I recall seeing coffee beans being roasted in well-seasoned cast iron skillets which were placed in the ovens of wood burning stoves. The process was simple – less time in the oven for a lighter roast and longer for a dark roast.

Mounted on the wall of every farmhouse kitchen was a coffee bean grinder, sometimes referred to as a mill. Once ground, the coffee grounds were steeped in an enamel pot that sat on the wood burning stove. Most of the people that I knew during those years preferred their coffee much stronger than people do today.

I still recall the heavenly aromas of coffee beans being ground, roasted and made into strong black coffee. I remember one old farmer who liked his coffee so strong that you could almost stand a spoon up in the cup.

– Master Gardener John Coykendall

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