Friday, 9 July 2010

2010:365:190 Cafetières

The cafetière - was probably invented by the French around the 1850s.  However, it was patented by an Italian, Attilio Calimani, in 1929.  It is known by a number of different names - here in Ireland it is a   "Cafetière" but in parts of the southern hemisphere it is called a "Coffee Plunger"!  "French Press" is another reasonably common label for it.  
The design is simple.  A glass (or plastic) container with a fine nylon or metal filter on a tight fitting plunger.  Ground coffee is placed in the bottom and very hot (not boiling) water added.  It is stirred, left to brew for a few minutes and then the grounds are pressed to the bottom with the plunger!
Over the years I've collected a number of these in various sizes.  There are about ten of these individual ones - useful if a number of people want a different strength or flavour of coffee or indeed, should anyone wish to have decaffeinated coffee!  Why would someone want decaffeinated coffee?  It's a mystery to me - a hardened drinker of the real thing!
Car boot sales are a great place to find cafetières for next to nothing - some of my larger ones have cost  just £1 or less!  Quite a number of the small ones were given out free when you purchased two packets of ground coffee!!  So that's why the collection is so impressive!  
The larger cafetières are great for things like the Easter breakfast at church when all five or six of them can be used simultaneously - each table can have its own.
Coffee produced in cafetières is generally slightly more bitter than that from a filter machine and contains more of the essential oils and some fine sediment.  It happens to be my favourite method for making coffee.
I had a few minutes of fun first thing in the early dawn light.  The breakfast room table was empty and it had a reasonable shine.  I like to polish it with pure beeswax and it is ready for another 'attack'.  
The table was a gift when I was made a curate, and it had been a gift to the person who gave it to me ... it is one of those very useful round tables that expands to an oval.  Sadly it marks very easily if something is spilled on it or if dishes are too hot.  The marks give it some 'character' and scratches can be covered with teak oil - I do like to keep it in reasonably good condition.
These five cafetières had all come out of the dishwasher this morning so were available for a photo session before being put in the cupboard - although a full one sits beside me as I write this.  
While I don't take sugar in my coffee I can enjoy a sugary sweet with it.  This little tray is packed full of flavour.  The colour and shape of each sweet gives a fairly accurate clue as to the taste you might expect when you bite into its wonderful crisp exterior to the jelly beneath and finally experience the runny core itself .... yummy!  And they are good on the eyes as well.
Till tomorrow then .... when yet another blog will begin with coffee - probably!

Lord of all healing:
relieve and protect those who are sick or suffering,
be with those who have any special need ... 
and deliver all who know danger, violence or oppression.

Book of Common Prayer
Intercessions at Holy Communion


Anonymous said...

the history is very interesting and you are obviously a dedicated coffee drinker :) I like the contrast of colour with the box of sweets - enjoy

Rev Elizabeth said...

Oh yes... coffee.... coffee.... there's more to come!

Louise said...

Like you, I'm a dedicated coffee drinker, but, personally, I think the coffee cools too fast from a French Press... Ken makes us espresso-strength cappuccino's each morning to start the day.

Love the picture of the tasty-looking fruit shaped treats! It's fun to see something like that that may be commonplace there, but not seen here. Our loss!

Curate Karen said...

Your photography is wonderful!

Funnily enough I'm going out to buy another cafetiere today in preparation for my family's arrival - four of them visiting from California for three weeks, and one cafetiere just won't be enough!