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how to survive: making coffee without the fancy machine

how to survive: making coffee without the fancy machine


a few weeks ago a very kind person from home sent me a nice fresh bag of “Haitian Blue” from noble coffee, along with small filters. when discussing my request for coffee a few weeks ago, i vaguely remember thinking i could probably rig something up to make this all work.

this is a brief look into the finagling that NC and i do in our attempts to experience some level of what feels “normal” and/or familiar to us.

step one: boil water on the gas stove. i use filtered drinking water but as its being boiled, tap water could work I suppose, but with the hardness of our water i thought it might cause a funny-tasting end result.

step two: get a tea strainer, small coffee filter, and a good course-ground coffee. open filter and sit in tea strainer. spoon two heaping tablespoonfuls of coffee (or your usual coffee/cup ratio preference, personally i like strong, rich coffee). place the prepared strainer over one of two cups soon to hold brewed coffee.

step three: when water is at a rolling boil, turn flame down to low just to keep the water hot. especially if using a pathetically thin, heat-conducting tin sauce pan like me and most other Indian house holds seem to use for tea.


good quality coffee, filter, and tea strainer over pathetically thin tin saucepan

step four: use ladle to spoon hot water over strainer into glass.

step five: repeat step four, rotating between two glasses with each new ladle of water of coffee. this may be especially important for the first few passes through your grounds as they will likely be the strongest.

step six: toward the end of the brewing it seems to get more difficult for liquid to filter through the coffee so, as my impatience got the best of me, i stirred/scraped the grounds in the filter. I don’t know if this actually made it go faster but it gave me something to do while waiting for my coffee.

step seven: pour in desired amount of milk and enjoy.

–main point of making this western-style coffee vs. Indian: DO NOT add heaps of sugar. one teaspoon per cup is permissible, only if completely necessary. more than that and you may as well just go buy a Coke and warm it up because you’ll miss the whole point of using quality coffee 🙂