Edna Lewis’s Coffee

  • Serves

    serves 4


Edna Lewis's reflections on coffee in The Taste of Country Cooking are emblematic of her affectionate approach to the food of her beloved South. "The smell of coffee cooking was a reason for growing up," she wrote, "because children were never allowed to have it and nothing haunted the nostrils all the way out to the barn as did the aroma of boiling coffee.... Mother made real good coffee but some mornings my father would saddle the horse and ride more than a mile up the road to have his second cup with his cousin Sally, who made the best coffee ever.... All cooks arrived at making good coffee from different methods. Some added salt, some eggshells, others whites or only yolks, and all were divine.... Good coffee can be made without complicated pots and gadgets." This recipe is an adaptation of the one in that book.


  • 12 lb. Colombian coffee, ground
  • 12 lb. Java coffee, ground
  • 14 lb. French roast coffee, ground
  • Few grains of salt


Step 1

Blend Colombian, Java, and French roast coffees. Put 5 level tbsp. ground coffee, a few grains of salt, and 3 3⁄4 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn the burner down and simmer for 12–13 minutes, or longer if a stronger brew is desired.

Step 2

Add 1 cup ice-cold water and remove pot from burner. Let rest a minute, then pour coffee into a coffeepot and serve while piping hot.

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