Regency Science and Invention: Coffee and the Art of Preparing It

Appearing in the February 1813 edition of the Philosophical Magazine, the improved coffee pot purported to make better coffee than pots of the past.

DH and I are converts for the last decade to the French Press after years of drip coffee and a couple of years experimenting with an early home espresso machine.  I, however, fondly remember growing up hearing the familiar sound and smell of the percolator as a child…and was treated to its ancient magic every time we visited Grandma.

I was therefore fascinated to see this treatise on Count Rumford’s early coffee percolator.

Rumford, otherwise known as Sir Benjamin Thompson was an American born British physicist, solider, and proponent of coffee who lived from 1753 until 1814, and key player in the revolution in thermodynamics.  His apparent promotion of coffee stemmed from a dislike of alcohol and tea.

The first percolator capable of being heated on a kitchen stove, based on Rumford’s designs, was invented in 1819 and served as the model for percolators ever after…at least until their demise in the 1970s.

I mostly wanted to share because the prose on coffee is hilariously purple.

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