I don’t remember just when this was but it had to be somewhere in the ’50s. Yes, that’s when. Where it was was on the river road on the west side of the Mississippi River just north of Baton Rouge. I’d give a pretty penny to remember who the woman was but I can see the little shotgun house she lived in that faced that monstrous levee that stretched off into infinity in both directions, left and right. We were having coffee. It’s what one did. After a sip I said that it was the best cup of coffee I have ever had. And I asked her to describe her method of brewing it. God, I wish I could remember who she was and why I was there.

I remember the coffee. She excused herself and went into the house and momentarily returned with a small sack in her hand, into which you could slip a deck of cards.

She said, “This is my method”. She called it a sock not sack. Sack seemed to fit my sensibilities better.

We all made coffee with small drip pots with two parts. The top part held the coffee and the bottom part collected the coffee after the hot water was hand dripped over the grounds. I still have one of those things around here somewhere. Her difference was that she placed a small sack made of unbleached Damascus or Muslin into the top and then placed the grounds in that. It was a reusable filter. Big deal, right?

We drank our coffee and talked, and when I left she gave me two of the little sacks. For some time after that I made those little sacks and then as most things do the method moved on to other and more convenient methods. I have a little $15 pot now that used paper filters that pretty much duplicate that action and can be set to go off when I choose. I never load the thing and set it that I don’t think of that little sack and that Mississippi River coffee on the porch of that little shotgun house facing the back side of that huge levee. That reminds me – I need to go and set the pot now before I forget.

Be well, and stay tuned.

Leave a Reply