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Jan 11, 2007 07:07 PM

Does anyone boil their cafe the old fashioned way?

I've been wanting to try this, but I don't know how flavorful the coffee would be. I found a recipe that says to boil water mixed with Bustelo espresso, then run through a cheescloth or any other type of clean cloth. Does anyone do this? I remember growing up in the Bronx seeing how some of my friends moms did this for their daily coffee. How long can this prepared coffee last? I want it primarily for cafe con leche, and am looking for the best taste.

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  1. This method sounds very similar to a French coffee press.
    Water is brought to a boil and then poured in to a glass
    carafe with coffee grounds in the bottom. The lid has
    a rod through it that is attached to a steel wire mesh filter underneath that is the same diameter as the inside of the carafe.
    After pouring in the boiling H20 you put the lid on. After allowing the coffe to steep for 5 minutes or so, you depress the rod which pushes the screen and the grounds under it down to the bottom of the carafe. I have this every morning and love it.

    1. People all over Latin America put grounds in a fine cloth little "butterfly net" (w/wire holder), place in pot, pour over previously boiling water, wait a bit, and lift the "net" and grounds out. Taste is not the greatest, but better than some other methods, and better if grounds are not placed in boiling water.

      1. A native Filipino coffee (called Barako) is cooked this way. The ground beans are put in a pot with water, allowed to come almost to a boil then left to steep for a while. The coffee is then poured out from the pot and the ground beans are left sitting on the bottom. It produces a very aromatic and flavorful "brew."

        1 Reply
        1. re: ctl98

          This is coincidentally the way my aunts from Naples (IT, not FLA) made coffee.

        2. Actually boiling then filtering is more like the old stovetop percolators. Nobody uses them anymore because circulating boiling water through the coffee grounds for a long time produces a bitter brew. For the same reason the instructions for french presses advise you serve the coffee quickly and not leave it sitting in the carafe with the grounds for a long time.

          Cafe Bustelo is pretty much an espresso grind, so you might have trouble using a french press (clogs the plunger so it's hard to push down, and lots of very fine grounds get through the screen anyway). I suggest a stove-top espresso maker, or plain old drip.

          If you use a courser grind, vietnamese drip coffee maker produces a very strong, smooth cup. It looks like a stainless steel teacup that sits on top of your coffee cup. The bottom is perforated with fine holes, and a perforated tamper goes on top of the coffee to limit it's expansion when it gets wet. You pour hot water into the maker and it drips through very slowly. It's just a variation on Melita-style drip brewing, but the result is a bit stronger without being bitter. Doesn't work well with espresso grinds for the same reason as the french drip.

          1. Friends of mine gave me some Toraja coffee from Sulawesi, and I think they said that it should be prepared like that (boiled in a pot of water on the stove). Sounds similar to the Filipino Barako mentioned above. I will try it one of these days, it's supposed to be very good.