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According to Thomas Jefferson, …

… coffee is the “favorite drink of the civilized world.” And since I count myself among the members of that world, I cannot but agree to that profound statement. This “old coffeenose” here can be made very happy with anything related to coffee and thus Mary gave me this wonderful coffee container for Christmas:

coffee container

Coffee Container

This wonderful container is made of stoneware and, on its front, has a pewter plaque with that quotation from Thomas Jefferson, and, at its side, has a hadle with a pewter scoop.

This coffee canister came with a little note about Thomas Jefferson and coffee:

Jefferson and Coffee

In 1824 Thomas Jefferson deemed coffee ‘the favorite drink of the civilised world.’ Jefferson enjoyed the coffee houses of Williamsburg and Paris, and served coffee at the President’s House, Poplar Forest, and Monticello. He preferred beans imported from the East and West Indies, and abhorred the ‘green’ or unripe beans that were popular in America at that time.

Jefferson estimated that a pound of coffee a day was consumed at Monticello during his retirement. His cellar was stocked with unroasted beans in barrels weighing as much as 60 pounds. Small quantities of beans were rosated and ground in the Monticello kitchen, and then prepared according to the recipe of Adrien Petit, Jefferson’s French maître d’hôtel: ‘On one measure of the coffee ground into meal pour three measures of boiling water. Boil it on hot ashes mixed with coal till the meal disappeares from the top, when it will be precipitated. Pour it three times through a flannel strainer. It will yield 2 1/3 measures of clear coffee.’ Coffee was served at breakfastm and likely after dinner, in a silver coffee urn made to Jefferson’s design.

At present I’m keeping ground coffee [the “Ethiopian” variety from The Village Roaster in Lakewood, a suburb of Denver/CO] in it [it takes one pound] and I must make sure that I use it up quickly enough so that it won’t loose its aroma, but this shouldn’t be (too) difficult considering my coffee comsumption. In the future I’ll use it for coffee beans – which I normally buy – as those should keep their aroma somewhat longer than ground coffee.

14 responses to “According to Thomas Jefferson, …

  1. I too have cut down on the consumption but I still love my coffee. Living on the Big Island I have learned a lot more about how it grows. Kona is coffee country and claimed to be some of the best, although I do favor a good Costa Rican. Our better Kona sells for about $27 a lb so that is out of the everyday budget. Even still the culture of farms and history is alive and well and a source of interest .

    • Hi Dohn
      Thanks for taking your time to stop by and visit my blog and for leaving a comment. I know about Kona coffee, and once in a while [twice a year, in fact] I get a pund of that from my wife’s cousin in denver. Of course, it’s not that $27/lb. variety! 😉 But I do like it, very much so.
      Best regards from one “coffeenose” to the other,
      Pit

  2. I had a sip of coffee back in September 1973 when I was a freshman at Texas A&M University. That was enough for me. My only question is, How can something that tastes so horrible smell so good?

    • Well, people say I had my first sip of coffee with my mother’s milk. And frankly, it didn’t taste horribly at all then! 😉 I really think I have inherited that taste. My mother and her mother were what we call “coffeenoses”, and I keep saying if there ever will be a coffee gene, it’ll be discovered in me. Well, actually I have reduced my coffee consumption a lot since I retired. Nowdays its about 4 to 8 cups daily. And that was what I used to have by around 10 [our first long break during school] at the latest and sometimes even before school started at 08:10 when I was teaching.

  3. ..der Kaffeebehälter gefällt mir ausgesprochen gut – und ich geb zu – ohne Kaffee am Morgen (und natürlich auch am Mittag und Nachmittag) geht bei mir gar nichts😉

  4. Thumbs up from another coffee-addict, great post! And wow, how fortunate to receive such a gift. I also enjoyed The Assailed Teacher’s history lesson.

    • Hi Alex,
      Thanks for taking your time to visit my blog and for the positive comment. 🙂 I also enjoyed reading the Assailed Teacher’s explanation.
      Have a great weekend,
      Pit

  5. Terrific coffee container!

    • Hallo Petra,
      ja, der gefällt mir ganz ausgezeichntet. Nur, wie ich in meinem anderen Blog schon auf Dina’s Kommentar geantwortet habe, muss ich diesen Kaffeebehälter aber leider in der Speisekammer aufbewahren, wo ich ihn dann nicht ständig sehen und bewundern kann, weil unsere Katzen manchmal so im Haus herumtoben, dass Nichts vor ihnen sicher ist. Und ich möchte wirklich nicht die Scherben von diesem Kaffeebehälter aufsammeln müssen.
      Liebe Grüße aus dem südlichen Texas, und ein schönes Wochenende,
      Pit

  6. This looks great, And reminds me somehow at my own tin coffee container. Unfortunately without any quotes from anyone ……

    Have a nice day

    Achim

    • Hi Achim,
      Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog and for leaving a comment. I must admit, I do like it a lot, too. Unfortunately, though, I’ll have to keep it in the pantry where I won’t be able to admire it, because our rambunctious cats might otherwise throw it down and break it.
      Enjoy your weekend,
      Pit

  7. This is a really great gift. As a “coffeenose” myself and a history teacher, I would make this the centerpiece of my kitchen.

    On a related note, coffee became popular in America around the time of the American Revolution. Tea had become a symbol of oppressive British mercantilist policy. Despite protests and direct action of American colonists, the British stubbornly refused to lift the tea tax. They knew tea was a necessity. Back then, people could not drink water without boiling it first, so tea was kind of/sort of a necessity. The British knew they had the colonists by the scruff when it came to taxing tea.

    So many Americans took to drinking coffee as a way to get their water instead. The simple act of drinking coffee in the colonial era was an act of defiance.

    And Thomas Jefferson, more than most other Americans, was extremely proud of everything American. This quote is quintessentially him.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful gift. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

    • Hello,
      Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog and for that enlightening lesson in the history of tea in the US. It is very much appreciated. I did know that, in the Middle Ages, beer was drunk – even by children – because drinking water was not safe, but I didn’t know that the same applied to drinking tea in later centuries.
      As to that coffee container: unfortunately I can’t make it a centrepiece of our kitchen but have to keep it in the pantry where I can’t admire it often enough as I’m afraid our rambunctious kitties might otherwise throw it down on the floor and break it.
      Enjoy your weekend,
      Pit

  8. A lovely gift, says my coffeeholic human 😉
    Thanks for the info on Jefferson! Very interesting.
    Purrs

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