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Coffee/Tea To Prepare Coffee

to prepare coffee
(from Camp Fires and Camp Cooking; or, Culinary Hints for the Soldier, by James M. Sanderson, 1862)


a little fat, or sugar​
coffee beans​
warm water​


Of all the articles of diet afforded the soldier none is more important or popular than his coffee. The open tin pans used for roasting it are singularly unfit, wasting, even when regularly burnt, the fragrance or aroma, which forms the chief virtue of the drink. To obtain a small roaster, coffee-mill, and strainer, should be the first effort of the cook, and the best outlay of the company fund. If, however, circumstances prevent that, use what is given to the best advantage. In roasting coffee, great care must be bestowed to prevent its burning. To avoid this, some use a little fat, and others add a tablespoonful of sugar; and all stir it constantly, over a very slow fire. When well browned, cover immediately with a damp cloth, and allow it to cool; then grind it, passing it through the mill twice. The kettles in which it is to be prepared should be perfectly cleaned, and scoured inside and out with ashes and hot water. scalding them before using. The water should be fresh and perfectly clear. Fill the kettles very nearly to the top, and place them over a brisk fire to boil. Whilst boiling, throw in the coffee, which should be slightly moistened before with warm (not hot) water; and stirring it into the water let it boil up briskly for two minutes; then dash in a cup of cold fresh water, and take it off the fire immediately. Let it stand five minutes, to allow the grains to settle, and then pass it slowly through a flannel strainer into another kettle, from which it is served. By this mode alone can the coffee be prevented from being impregnated with the dust formed by grinding it, and make it palatable and wholesome. Whatever number of men may have to be served, measure out carefully so many rations of water, adding five for lee way, so that it may lose nothing in strength or quantity.​