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Thread: Making coffee

  1. #1
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    Making coffee

    I've been reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and came to this passage:

    Sammy broke a half-dozen eggs into a bowl, splashed them with milk, shook in salt and pepper. He rinsed one of the eggshells and tossed it into the coffee pot on the stove. (Part VI, Chapter 1) [My italics]

    I'm a tea drinker - I used to make coffee for my Other Half but haven't had occasion to make 'proper coffee' for some time - so I'm asking you coffee-drinkers out there: Why did he put the eggshell in the coffee pot???? Is it some kind of special ingredient that makes coffee extra good? Is it common practice? What does it mean, please?

  2. #2
    'sunflower' Tournesol's Avatar
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    Can't help you Kasie - I've never heard of it before!

    But the scrambled eggs sound good!
    "My warm hands have made the paper limp,
    So that its feel reminds me of slept-in sheets: comfortable and safe"


    "All these things I say... I say them because I want you to know, I don't ever want to regret afterwards that I didn't say enough, I would rather say too much." ~ Samuel Selvon

  3. #3
    Overlord of Cupcak3s 1n50mn14's Avatar
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    Could be he was just too lazy to go to the rubbish bin.
    Naked except for a cigarette, you let your mind drift and forget your disbelief. Feel the chill down your back and the flutter of wings through dandelion fields, and forget the pull of gravity in a night without stars.

    I lack eloquence and commitment to my arguments. They are half baked, and I will begin passionately, and then abandon them.

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    Registered User blithe_spirit's Avatar
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    Can't answer your question, kaisie, but I did know of someone who used to boil an egg for breakfast then use the water to make a cup of tea. Yugh!

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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Must be to cure hangover or something.

  6. #6
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    An old cowboy taught me to use the whole egg- it was originally used when coffee would be left over the fire for long periods of time. The liquid parts of the egg would keep the coffee from burning, and the shell draws all the grounds to the bottom. I have no idea how it works, but I do know that it works because I've seen it.

  7. #7
    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
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    Adding eggshell to the grounds of coffee is said to take away some of the bitter taste that can be associated with cheap or over extracted coffee. People also use eggshell to settle the grounds of the coffee. I believe this to be a fairly rare practice now.

    From...http://coffeefaq.com/site/node/51
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

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    Thank you, people - the idea that the egg shell prevents the coffee from burning/settles the bitter taste seems the most likely to me as Sammy seems to be drinking bitter, over-brewed coffee all through the story. Lots of telling little details like this all through the story, btw.

  9. #9
    Skol'er of Thinkery The Comedian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skib View Post
    An old cowboy taught me to use the whole egg- it was originally used when coffee would be left over the fire for long periods of time. The liquid parts of the egg would keep the coffee from burning, and the shell draws all the grounds to the bottom. I have no idea how it works, but I do know that it works because I've seen it.
    We did this on canoe trips when making coffee in a sauce pan over the fire.

    kasie -- how's the novel, by the way? It's one that I've had on my "to read" list for while.
    “Oh crap”
    -- Hellboy

  10. #10
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    I enjoyed it very much, Comedian - briefly, it's a quirky tale about a young man who escapes from Prague in 1939 and makes his way to USA where he has relatives. He has been to Art School in Prague and joins his cousin, Sammy of the burnt coffee, in the creation of successful comic books, at the same time working to bring the rest of his family out of Prague.

    I liked the style, fast-paced when telling the parts about the comic book writing, slowing down when the characters stop to ponder their situation. There's lots of telling detail, like the example in my original query, that builds up the characters and their situations and as such would bear re-reading with more attention to this steady accretion of texture.

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