Thursday, September 29, 2011

Come and Have a Cup of Coffee With Me: Drip Coffee On a Cool Southern Morning, Remembering Daddy

It rained most of the day and evening yesterday.  It wasn't a torrential rain, just enough to water in the turnip, kale, and mustard seeds freshly sowed (and lightly covered with soil) in Mama's fall garden put in Tuesday.  This morning it feels like fall again, the temperature hovering in the lower seventies.  My old house is cool enough sans air conditioning to put away the electric drip coffee maker and make a favorite beverage the right way -  the way Daddy taught me when I first started cooking as a youngster:  in a dripolator.

I don't know what the different parts of a dripolator are properly called.  They've always been the pot, the basket where the filter and coffee go, the reservoir and lid.  See my dripolator?  Mama bought it from Reynolds Variety Store in State Line, Mississippi as a house warming present when the Little Family moved from Grenada to Oxford years and years ago.  Reynolds is now just a clothing store, a sad departure from the lightly-dust-coated old fashioned treasure trove of a family mercantile.  Dripolators can be found on eBay.  I've bought several for friends from there over the years.  This one is a Mirro brand.  I love it!

Annnnyways.  If you have (or your Mama has one and you can snitch borrow it) one, this is the way to get an as-close-to-perfect-as-possible cup of coffee.

Fill a kettle with cold water.

Put it on to boil.

I use a heaping teaspoon of COLOMBIAN coffee for each cup.  That's one



Put the basket on the pot.

Put the reservoir on the basket.

Wait for the water to boil.

Put away the clean dishes while waiting.  You know you need to.

YAY!  Water's boiling.  Pour the boiling water in the reservoir and try to take a decent photo of it happening!   Use your imagination on what that looks like, okay?  This is boiling water in the reservoir.  It's dripping through the coffee grounds and the smell is pretty close to chocolate.  Which you all know smells like heaven must to me.

Wait some more for the coffee to finish dripping.

Grab the camera and take a really neat looking photo of the dew on the spider webs in the predawn light while you wait.

It's DONE!  I'm going to pour us both a cup of coffee.  Mary Poppins is mine.  I'll pour you the big white cup.  It used to be Daddy's.  He loved coffee and I think he taught me how to make it this way so he could have a supply of it if Mama weren't in the house to make it for him.  Daddy was more than capable of making it himself but he was often in his work shop making furniture or in the garden.  I never minded doing it.  I think of him every time I pour up the water.  I hear him say "Now Shug, you be careful..."

I like mine white and sweet.  Unless there's chocolate to be had.  Doctor it up any way you like.

Just in time!!!!   Come on!  Don't let it get cold...

Enjoy.  I know I have...


  1. Mary, this is exactly the way my Granny made it! The pot was always on the ready! Three of her sons worked for the phone company, and all during the day would come by for a cup of mud, as one of my uncles called it! lol I remember my Papa sipping his out of a saucer...sweet memories, thanks for reminding me!
    ~Linda Stuckey~

  2. this is so sweet.....makes me miss my Daddy too!

  3. How delightful, Mary! I'm going to see if I can scrounge up a dripolater. I didn't see you "saucer and blow" your coffee.

  4. I've four of those in various sizes (with a Corning 4-cup on the way), along with various other types of brewing devices. No other way to make a great cup.

    1. Dave,
      I've found even generic coffee tastes pretty good made in the old-fashioned dripolator. I, also, have several sizes, from a 20 cup behemoth of a pot to the little four cup size. Drip coffee is a way of life 'round here!

  5. Is is ok to put the coffee directly in the basket without the coffee filter?
    I know it is harder to clean this way.
    Paper filters weren't always in vogue.
    Doesn't the paper alter the taste of the coffee?
    Thank you