Perked Coffee

French Press CoffeeMost people say things are bad and getting worse all the time.

They cite many examples: overseas customer support; pruners that don’t last one season; air conditioning units that need service every four months; strawberries going bad in three days.

The world, they say, is not getting any better.

Not true.

Things are actually getting better all the time. Lots of things are better than they used to be.

Like, for instance, coffee.

Perked coffee.

CoffeeThe perked coffee that got us through the 60’s and Watergate. The perked coffee that sustained us through prohibition, the great depression and two world wars.

You dumped ground coffee into a little metal basket that you could never completely clean and slide it onto this straw-like device. Do you think anyone ever cleaned the inside of that? Then you slide that apparatus into a pot filled with water. You position the top. It has this little glass dome-like thing that is always getting lost in the kitchen.

I remember when I was a kid trying to make coffee for my mother and forgot that glass thing. What a mess.

Then you place it on the stove (gas, electric, wood, coal, whatever) and heat it as hot as you can until it starts perking. Right away, you turn it down to where it will not boil over but will continue to perk. Try getting that right.

Getting it wrong either way, you were screwed. If you didn’t turn it down enough it would boil over and you had yourself a first-class hot mess on the stove. And if you turned it down too much, the water would sit there simmering until you noticed it. Imagine coming back in five minutes and pouring hot water.

If you got the perking right, you had to time it for the strength you wanted and remember to turn it off. Did you ever perk coffee for 30 minutes?

I remember perking it until the pot was dry.

CoffeeWhat if you did everything perfectly. You weren’t boiling water in that pot. After the first perk, you were boiling coffee. Over and over again. Today, the coffee gurus tell us that after you make the coffee, you aren’t supposed to boil it again. It destroys the flavor.

No wonder everyone was sour during the depression and during those wars. Their coffee was difficult to make and it tasted terrible.

Perked coffee might be the cause of all the problems of the previous generations.

Thankfully, not our generation.

No, things are much better now.

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