The house is quiet. The sun is shining. I'm thankful. I'm happy. My cup runneth over. Now there's coffee everywhere.”
I never know what is going to set my curiosity on fire, and this week as I was rearranging things for spring in the shop, I came across this coffee pot. I don't even give coffee brewing a second thought...filter, grounds, water...push the button, but looking at that pot, it sent me on a coffee pot search.
He invented a percolating coffee pot between 1810 and 1814 following his pioneering work with the Bavarian Army, where he improved the soldiers' diets as well as their clothing. It was his abhorrence of alcohol and his dislike for tea that led him to promote the use of coffee for its stimulating benefits. For his efforts, in 1791, he was named a Count of the Holy Roman Empire and granted the formal title of Reichsgraf von Rumford. His pot did not use the rising of boiling water through a tube to form a continuous cycle.
The first modern percolator incorporating these features and capable of being heated on a kitchen stove was invented a few years later, in 1819, by the Parisian tinsmith Laurens. Its principle was then often copied and modified. There were also attempts to produce closed systems, in other words "pressure cookers".
The first US patent for a coffee percolator, which however still used a downflow method without rising steam and water, was issued to James Nason of Franklin, Massachusetts, in 1865.
Finally, an Illinois farmer named Hanson Goodrich patented the modern U.S. stove-top percolator as it is known today, and he was granted patent 408707 on August 16, 1889. It has the key elements, the broad base for boiling, the upflow central tube and a perforated basket hanging on it. He still describes the downflow as being the "percolating." Goodrich's design could transform any standard coffee pot of the day into a stove-top percolator.
In France, a device called a biggin made the first drip coffee. Another French inventor invented the pumping percolator at the same time, which was to become highly popular with cowboys, pioneers and 1950s moms.
“Life without books, chocolate and coffee is just useless.”~Nadun Lokuliyanage