To make Coffee

Cooking in the Archives

I love coffee. Naturally, when I saw receipt “To make Coffee” in a tweet from Somerset Archives, I was intrigued.

Sandford collection, ref DD/SF/7/1/14 https://somerset-cat.swheritage.org.uk/records/DD/SF/7/1/14

Reading recipe manuscripts, I’ve seen coffee called for as a flavoring for creams or “coffee cups” used for measurement. I’ve also read about the popularity of coffee in seventeenth-century London and the lively debates in coffee houses as part of the growing public sphere. This recipe, however, provides instructions for preparing coffee at home to serve to a household and its guests. It offers a window into domestic coffee consumption rather than the public coffee house. (There is also likely more to learn about the connection between Mary Clarke, her coffee recipe, and John Locke, but that will have to wait until I can visit Somerset.)

But this coffee recipe also gave me pause because it’s so simple. It only calls for “spring-water”…

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