Way back when, the night before major science exams, I would take out my orange electric percolator, contraband in the dorms, and brew a pot of real coffee after supper to enhance alertness. It served its purpose. I do not know where that percolator is now, but I have both an electric one kept in storage and a stovetop one that does not get used all that much kept in a corner of the kitchen. Over the ensuing forty years, my fondness for coffee, both its taste and its effect, has never dwindled. Sometimes it came from the school cafeteria, less frequently my percolator. When visiting parents, they used mostly instant. I could handle the freeze-dried, the powdered stuff which they tended to get my ooky. I might still have a jar in a pantry recess, used to flavor mocha or some other similar purpose, but never as a beverage.
My horizons expanded as a resident. A place near my apartment specialized in coffee, introducing me to the French Press. I bought my first coffee cone after a fellow resident introduced me to hers in the residents lounge. Shortly thereafter, multicup drip machines captured the market followed by the emergence of Starbucks which popularized what the Coffee Connection at Harvard Square had already been doing. And ultimately the K-cup which allows variety and ease with only a small sacrifice to taste. That's my morning go, though I still use the cone and the French Press when not deterred by the need to clean the devices. The French Press definitely makes the best coffee, as it did when first introduced to it.
But my origins remain the percolator, which I took out this morning for the first time in forever. I had trouble finding the round paper filters which had fallen to the wrong closet shelf, but once in my possession, it's a go. Opened a new package of New England Donut Shop Blend Coffee, put in four coffee measures, or actually slightly less, filled to the 4 cup mark and let it perk for seven minutes. Then some Oreo flavored whitener and shake of pumpkin spice in a cup and poured myself liquid to the top. While other brewing methods have predictable results, the percolator has vagaries of measurement and duration. This pot came out a little weaker than I might have preferred. There is a slight bitterness, which I like much as what attracts people to beer. Maybe the next cup will be with milk or some heavy cream that I have left over. Too much cookie influence.
But it's good to return to a special treat, one set in personal history, even if there are now better ways to brew that morning coffee.