A Coffee Chat With Jen

December 22, 2012

Why does this article seem so dated?  I’ts because I recently came across it on my hard drive from sometime around 2002, and realized I’d never moved it from the old CocoaJava website to the new one.  So! Here it is. And I think it’s still rather hilarious even after all these years. And there’s a lot of good info too!


I’m sure you’ve heard about internet chatwindows. And most of you probably have a notion that AOL Instant Messenger and other similar systems are simply the haven of young, single folk determined to flirt outrageously and massacre the English language OMG U have 2 be kidding me LOL!

I won’t deny that this goes on (and I won’t deny my own occasional silly chats either!) but I thought you might enjoy seeing another side of the magic of internet chats. Meet Jen, aka Jenlittlebottom, a friend of mine in England. Last night we got to chatting, and considering that it was very early in the morning for her, and quite late at night for me, I think we still managed a good sense of coherency. This particular chat was so laden with talk of coffee and coffee recipes, I thought it would be fun to sort it out a bit and let you in on some of the recipes and resources we talked about.

Jenlittlebottom: Anyway, I have a book I bought in advance for my mum’s birthday. It’s called ‘Larousse Gastronomique’. It’s the first French encylopedia of cooking that was ever translated into English. And I’m just going to check what they suggest you do with chocolate. *G*

CocoaJava: Oh baby! *adores* You’re my British Field Researcher.

Jenlittlebottom: Book: *falls open at coffee page* Or not. *reads* Oooh, Bourbon creole coffee!

CocoaJava: O.o I’ll take a double! Recipe to share?

Jenlittlebottom: *reads it* is confusing. oh, okay.

CocoaJava: Confusing recipes are fun in their own right.

Creole Coffee

Creole coffee must be strong and fragrant. 15 grams, or one heaped tablespoonful of ground coffee should be used per cup. Put into the filter as many spoonfuls of coffee as you want cups, press down well and proceed in the following manner: Put your filter into a bain-marie (which must not be boiling) just to keep the coffee hot. Keep some boiling water in a separate receptacle especially for this purpose. First steep the coffee thoroughly, then, little by little, add a tablespoonful of water. Let it drip trough until you have obtained the required amount of coffee. Serve very hot in a coffee pot whic has previously been scalded. The preparation of creole coffee takes over an hour.

CocoaJava: Not a good recipe for anyone needing a caffiene fix NOW.

Jenlittlebottom: hee.Bah, this not so good. Let me check some other books.

Jenlittlebottom: I’ll retrieve my 1927 Confectioners cookbook next time I’m in London. 😉 How about ‘Coffee Milk (for the sick-room)’? This is from ‘Enquire Within About Everything’. Item 2077.

Coffee Milk (For the Sick-Room)

Boil a dessertspoonful of ground coffee, in nearly a pint of milk, a quarter of an hour, then put into it a shaving or two of isinglass, and clear it; let it boil a few minutes, and set it by the side of the fire to clarifty. This is a very fine breakfast, but it should be sweetened with sugar of a good quality. (isinglass = gelatine)

CocoaJava: (thanky. English words can baffle us Americanos.)

Jenlittlebottom: (is sort of antiquey. I looked it up. it’s particularly a type of gelatine gotten from fish or something)

CocoaJava: When I was a kid, I would BEG my dad to slop some of his black coffee into my milk glass. As I got older, the ratio of milk vs. coffee slowly changed. Now I’m on straight black coffee, no milk, no sugar.

Jenlittlebottom: *eyes piles of books* now, let me see…bwhaha!

CocoaJava: *clicks*

CocoaJava: Excellent! I like that they have a scan of the book.

Jenlittlebottom: do you want ‘coffee as a disinfectant’?

CocoaJava: O.o HELL YES.

1668. Coffee as a Disinfectant

Numerous experiments with roasted coffee prove that it is the most powerful means, not only of rendering animal and vegetable effluvia innocuous, but of actually destroying them. A room in which meat in an advanced degree of decomposition had been kept for some time, was instantly deprived of all smell on an open coffee-roaster being carried through it, containing a pound of coffee newly roasted. In another room, exposed to the effluvium occasioned by clearing out of the dung-pit, so that sulphurette hydrogen and ammonia in great quantities could be chemically detected, the stench was completely removed, in half a minute, on the employment of three ounces of fresh-roasted coffee, whilst the other parts of the house were permannetly cleared of the same smell by being simply traversed with the coffee-roaster, although the cleansing of the dung-pit continued for several hours after.

CocoaJava: Actually… that makes *sense* – I do have a tip somewhere in my site to leave used coffee grounds out to air dry, and then they can be set in a closed closet or funky place to help draw the musty smell out. Though, I have never attempted to clean a dung pit. Ew.

Jenlittlebottom: The best mode of using the coffee as a disinfectant is to dry the raw bean, pound it in a mortar, and then roast the powder on a moderately heated iron plate, until it assumes a dark brown tint, when it is fit for use. Then sprinkle it in sinks or cesspools, or lay it on a plate in the room which you wish to have purified. Coffee acid or coffee oil acts more readily in minute quantities.

Jenlittlebottom: you should play with Gutenberg. I bet Mrs. Beeton has some info about coffee.

Jenlittlebottom: oooh! Coffee Jelly!

Jenlittlebottom: Actually, I’ve seen coffee flavoured jelly at the Thai place down the road from my parents. *G*

CocoaJava: I’ve never had it! But I’ve made fun jelly. I’d try it! I’ve made dandelion jelly, Queen Anne’s lace jelly.

CocoaJava: What does coffee jelly GO on?

Jenlittlebottom: Not that sort of jelly, you crazed yank. It doesn’t go on anything. It probably goes nicely with a side of vanilla icecream, though.

CocoaJava: Well hmm. Is that more like syrup, then?

Jenlittlebottom: No. it’s a dessert. it doesn’t go in a jar. Jam goes in jars. It doesn’t go on stuff.

CocoaJava: Jelly goes in jars too – at least over here. It’s exactly like jam, but with no seeds or fruit pulp. *but rather likes being called a crazed yank anyway*

Jenlittlebottom: That stuff is not proper jelly. It’s just jam with all the good bits taken out.

CocoaJava: I apparently am a heathen! MY jelly is perfection. It looks like the glow of a stained glass window.

Jenlittlebottom: but surely it goes in a mould?

Coffee Jelly

(Sufficient to Serve Six)

* 2 c. clear, strong coffee
* 1/2 oz. or 2-1/4 Tb. unflavored gelatine
* 1/2 c. cold water
* 1 c. boiling water
* Three-quarters c. sugar

Prepare the coffee freshly and make it stronger than that which would ordinarily be used for the table. Be sure that it contains no grounds. Soak the gelatine in the cold water, and dissolve in the boiling water. Add the sugar and coffee. Pour into moistened molds and allow to cool. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

CocoaJava: THAT is Coffee JELL-O. By my crazed yank definition. Definitely different. And yes, that is a Jell-O mold. My mom had a dozen of those hanging on her kitchen wall when I was a kid.

Jenlittlebottom: JELLY.

Jenlittlebottom: ooo, wait, my Henley’s Formulas for Home and Workshop has lots of coffee recipes!

CocoaJava: *adores you*

Jenlittlebottom: I always forget this one has food.

CocoaJava: Well, some ‘food’ is debatable as such.

Coffee Cocktail

1 ounce coffee syrup, One egg, 1 ounce port wine, 2 drachms brandy. Shake, strain into a small glass, and add soda. Mace on top.

Coffee Nogg

Coffee syrup, 2 ounces, Brandy, 4 drachms, Cream, 2 ounces, 1 egg. (prepared as above.)

Jenlittlebottom: I’m suspicious about the addition of soda, personally.

CocoaJava: Soda is just for bubbles and fizz. Can be plain soda, no flavoring.

Jenlittlebottom: Yes, but to anything containing egg?

CocoaJava: Egg cream! Which is an American invention. Hmm. Actually it contains no eggs, and no cream. Chocolate syrup, SODA for fizz, sugar, I forget what else. It’s like Boston Cream Pie. Which is NOT from Boston, is not a pie (it’s a cake) and contains pudding, not cream.

Jenlittlebottom: Ha! sounds like the above but with chocolate instead of coffee. They’ve just taken out the egg, the cream, and the brandy.

CocoaJava: The Ultimate Substitution!!!!!!!

Jenlittlebottom: Brisket in Coffee-Barbecue Sauce – I did once attend a Chocolate Dinner at one of the colleges which had chocolate in all the courses. So the main was Chicken with Chocolate and Chilli sauce.

CocoaJava: Chili sauce BENEFITS from chocolate. I add it to my chili and beans and nummy nummy!!!!!

Jenlittlebottom: Oh dear lord there’s more.

CocoaJava: Hmm. I might try that brisket sauce…. on SOMETHING ELSE. Brisket is icky.

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