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Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

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  • Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read


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    This is G o o g l es cache of http://abw.netfirms.com/commando_cuisine.htm as retrieved on 1 Sep 2006 21:12:17 GMT.

    Strong Black Coffee

    The standard drink in the days of the old Transvaal and Orange Free State Republics, was of course, coffee. President Paul Kruger was a man who loved his coffee and he always drank it very strong, very black and very hot. During his entire long presidency, the standard ritual was for him to offer any person off the streets who came to visit him on his verandah, a very large cup of steaming hot coffee. There was a tale which the old folks told about president Kruger and his coffee drinking, which has not really been recorded in print before as far as I know. According to the popular legend of his time, president Kruger one day took a mouth full of coffee and spat it onto the back of a passing dog. Those that told the tale firmly declared that the coffee was even then, still so hot that it burnt all the hair off the back of the unfortunate canine!

    Coffee was imported from the Dutch colonies in the east, and in those days there were several large coffee merchants in the Transvaal who made a good living only out of supplying the Boers with their favourite drink. Tea was drunk as well, but coffee was the definite favourite. The Boers always took coffee on commando. If they had to go away for a long time, someone would invariably take a long a coffee grinder with which to grind the beans which the Boers always toasted according to their own individual tastes. The beans had to be roasted over very low heat, and be frequently turned, otherwise the coffee would be bitter. For some reason or other, a sprinkling of salt was also sometimes added to the beans.

    After being ground, the Boers made their coffee either by infusion the coffee grounds in a pot, using a kind of muslin strainer, or more frequently, they simply added water to the grounds, and brewed the mixture directly over the fire. In cowboy stories, the hero alway adds a coal from the fire to the brew just before serving. This is supposed to make the grounds sink to the bottom. In my experience though, this is not a very good method. I’m invariably only left with coffee grounds and a coal still floating! The old Boers often added just a touch of cold spring water before serving, and most of the time, this made the grounds sink well enough. The finer secrets of making good coffee are legion, but one of them is the fact that coffee should never actually be allowed to reach boiling point. It had to be removed from the fire just before bubbles would start to form. Again, some Boers liked to add a sprinkling of salt to their coffee – for a reason I have never been able to figure out!

    Ersatz Coffee

    In later years, during the guerilla phase of the war, the Boer supplies of coffee often ran out. This was rather a serious situation, but the Boers had long had a saying of "‘n Boer maak ‘n plan" – or, "a Boer makes a plan." They were quick to find that ersatz coffee could be made from roasted acorns or any of a wide range of roasted grains and cereals. Wheat and barley were popular, but maize was also sometimes used. To this, several other ingredients were sometimes added in order to improve the taste. An important one was roasted dried peaches or apricots, or even bitter peach leaves. Jan F. Celliers, the famous South African poet, actually wrote in his diary that some Boers perfected some recipes by adding various "secret" veld plants and got their mixtures so refined that they did a little commercial trading by selling their "coffee" and "tobacco," which was often made in like manner!

  • #2
    Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

    Salty coffee...thats err, different

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    • #3
      Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

      My nana used to put salt on her cheese sandwiches.
      Is that any stranger?

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      • #4
        Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

        Adding salt to the coffee is supposed to counteract any bitterness. A friend of mine swears by putting a pinch of salt in his plunger. Although if your coffee is bitter it would be better to find out why. It could be the extraction or it could just be that you find that particular bean/blend to acidic for your taste.

        At least this is what Ive been told....

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        • #5
          Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

          Thanks Bolder, I guess that kind of makes sense.

          But lets just go with drinking good coffee to start with  

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          • #6
            Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

            Very interesting to me, as Paul Kruger is my great-great grandfather. My father, who is South African (and Krugers great grandson), makes his coffee by putting ground beans and water in a pan, heating until near boiling and straining through a very fine strainer. He always puts a pinch of salt in to bring out the flavour. Sometimes he will make it the same way but using milk.

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            • #7
              Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

              Hmmm, I have noted that the coffee at Epic is both sweet and savoury - in particulary the capricorn SO was quite savoury and adding a pinch of salt may have been interesting. Ill have to try it sometime.

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              • #8
                Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

                Originally posted by Viviane link=1165929179/0#5 date=1166008039
                Very interesting to me, as Paul Kruger is my great-great grandfather. My father, who is South African (and Krugers great grandson), makes his coffee by putting ground beans and water in a pan, heating until near boiling and straining through a very fine strainer. He always puts a pinch of salt in to bring out the flavour. Sometimes he will make it the same way but using milk.
                Put the term
                Commando Cuisine in Google and hit the Cached pages , Only gets you one page but there is more info there .not coffee related..
                If I have time Ill try to find the rest of the Website as Its of interest for other Forums I venture to..

                Tepin

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                • #9
                  Re: Boer Coffee/ sad as its an interesting read

                  Thank you Tepin, thats great information. Ill be passing it on to my son - hes very interested in his South African heritage.

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