LET’S COOK: A ‘Revered’ cup of coffee
The first time I had coffee at Jan’s Aunt Florence’s home in Williston, I realized this woman knew the art of making a fine cup of coffee. It arrived at the dining room table in a bone china cup and saucer, steaming hot. Upon taking the first sip, it spoke to me and said “you need to be making coffee daily like this, it will give you mini bursts of pleasure with each drop.”
This is exactly what drip coffee has been doing for us in our home for the past 31 years. With the many ways to make coffee, we have stayed true to the drip method.
While visiting with friends in Fargo, we were served from their most stunning drip coffee maker, a 1801 Revere Ware drip-o-later coffee pot. Its beauty was stunning fashioned with stainless steel into an impressive height, a rounded dome lid with a steam port, and smooth Bakelite black knob. Skimming down this skyscraper of a coffee pot we connect with the sleek serving handle that too is Bakelite, with an ergonomic spot on top a smooth landing pad for the thumb. With lines and design like this, even non coffee drinkers are seduced by this vessel which features a copper clad bottom.
Revere Ware is a well-known brand of foundry making many goods including bells which ranged from 50 to 2,885 pounds. Now fast forward to the early ’30s when the company decided to create chrome plated kettles, which turned out to be a failure. When homemakers boiled potatoes in these kettles with salt water, the chrome flaked off. It was back to the drawing board, and in time, the production team realized that only solid stainless steel could withstand the corrosion and the wear and tear of daily use.
This last discovery was helpful; however, it still did not produce smooth white sauces with ease because stainless steel conducted heat unevenly and tended to burn rather than cook. The team soon discovered that stainless steel coated with copper was the perfect solution and just in time. World War II had ended and there was a massive need for quality cookware with soldiers back home and thousands of newlyweds setting up housekeeping.
The perfected cookware was known as the 1400 line within the company, while to consumers it became “Revere Ware.” Rome, New York was first production center and in 1948 the sales of Revere Ware were limited only by the production capacity of the plant. Needless to say, many fine meals were coming to the red and white gingham tablecloth.
I was determined after being served by this coffee pot to own one. One day as I was casually strolling through the former Heritage Restoration Antique Shop in Rugby, I spotted the vessel of my desire. My heart started beating faster, I looked around and I was solo in the shop so no chance of someone else courting her. I stood there and just looked at her beauty and then slowly removed her from the shelf which she shared with other coffee pots.
I found myself caressing her as I took her to the sales counter. Like a gentlemen, I opened the car door for her, positioned her in the passenger seat of the Jeep and then headed home. It was summer and Jan was home. Upon seeing my latest purchase, we celebrated. The tea kettle was placed on the stove and soon the boiling water was dripping through the 1801 Revere Wear drip-o-later with patent number 2363973. We relaxed on our front porch drinking this coffee from bone china cups with pure satisfaction.
This drip-o-later was pre 1968 which features thicker copper cladding and steel walls. Items produced prior to 1968 are the pieces collectors most seek. They are identifiable by the “double ring” trademark which surrounds the classic patriot symbol and year 1801. Another added benefit is that this coffee maker is earth friendly. No plastic containers simply a paper filter with coffee grounds that are often dried and emptied on our flower garden.
Often when I give talks to groups, I will serve coffee and whenever possible I use my drip-o-later. Many folks comment, “that is a good, hot cup of coffee.” On a closing note, Aunt Florence had another great tip of making coffee and that was “always wash the coffee pot first, with hot soapy water.”
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