I love a good cup of coffee and this traditional liquid stimulant has several American nicknames…hi-test, mud, Java and my personal favorite, Joe (especially since it seems like everyone in my family is named Joe). Even Starbucks and Traders Joe’s have jumped on board with their brand blends….Morning Joe and Joe.
I’ve always wondered where the nickname “Joe” originated so I did some research. It seems that in 1913 the then Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, banned alcohol from US Navy warships. The strongest thing sailors could enjoy was a cup of coffee so they began calling it “Joe”. Now, I don’t know if this was an affectionate or sarcastic term but, I can only imagine how salty those sea dogs must have been not being able to enjoy the juice!
Anyway, below are simple instructions on how to brew a good cup of coffee:
1. It all starts here with a good blend of coffee! Try not to skimp because it will definitely dampen the coffee-drinking experience. I always opt for a nice medium blend. If you’re feeling particularly industrious, invest in a coffee grinder and buy fresh beans grinding only as much as you need for each pot you brew. I find that some of the pre-ground blends brew just as nicely; I usually buy whole beans and grind the beans in the store. Use a “medium” grind for drip machines and “course” for a French Press to prevent grounds from getting into your cup of coffee.
2. Do NOT freeze or refrigerate coffee but store it in an air-tight container kept in a dark spot. Coffee will pick up undesirable frig or freezer “tastes”…yuck!
3. For auto drip pots, add one cup of fresh, cool water for each one scoop of coffee – where a scoop equals two tablespoons or 1/8 of a cup. Turn the brewer off immediately when the coffee is done brewing. Burnt coffee is just plain awful and when I am served the same in restaurants, I always send it back, instigating a bewildering (or is it annoying?) look from some servers who don’t appreciate the appeal of a good cup of coffee. Each send-the- coffee-back episode totally embarrasses daughters, BTW.
For a French Press, heat water until it is just about to boil. Pour the water over the coffee beans (same ratio as with a drip pot) and give the beans a quick stir. Put the French Press lid on BUT WAIT 5 minutes before pushing it down.
The cup in the photo above belonged to my dad….it is from the cafeteria where he worked at least 35 years ago. It’s a nice, heavy cup…perfect for a cup o’ joe...my father’s name!