Did you know someone that drank coffee from a saucer?

What a delightful historical blind spot for me. I’ve NEVER heard of drinking from a saucer and, if I saw someone do it or even mention it (before today), I’d assume they were putting me on or it was some weird hiccup remedy or something.

I drink instant coffee almost every day and I’ve never used boiling water. In fact, I just let the tap run hot which is usually really fast since I just showered.

Instant coffee, like tea, is MUCH better when made with boiling water! I can’t imagine making either in any other way.

The same goes for regular ground coffee. I miss coffee made in a percolator, which you hardly ever see nowadays. That was how I learned to drink it, strong and somewhat bitter.

There’s a scene in the Little House book Farmer Boy where mother Wilder gives daughter Eliza Jane a sharp talking-to when Eliza expresses embarrassment over her father’s habit of saucer drinking. “This is the way we’ve always done it. No more new-fangled notions from you, young lady!”

I love the contrast in attitudes between the Ingalls and the Wilder families when it came to old vs new. Pa Ingalls was always praising progress, while Almanzo’s family did nothing but criticize it. There’s a scene where father Wilder bitches that a mechanical thresher wastes hay and saves nothing but time. “And what’s time when there’s nothing to do?”. Uhh, I dunno, maybe you could write a book, or something?

Samovars are interesting. The old ones had a vertical tube through the middle of the water tank. You would light charcoal inside the tube to heat the water. The tea itself was traditionally boiled separately until it was very strong, and then transferred to a pot. You would dilute the tea to your taste with hot water from the samovar, and put the pot on top of it to keep the tea warm.

Nowadays, of course, samovars contain electric heating elements and everyone uses teabags. It’s more common to just use electric kettles to heat the water, or to boil it on the hob, and let the tea steep inside a teapot.

I’ve seen Russians eat jam with tea, a tiny spoonful between each sip, but never stir it into their tea. It was another tradition to keep a sugar cube between your front teeth and sip your tea through it. I’ve seen old-timers who had black front teeth from doing this.

It’s common to put a slice of lemon in with your tea, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Russian drink tea with milk. At the institute I attended, there was always a tea break in the afternoon. The middle-aged woman who served the tea and snacks was very nice. When she found out I like milk in my tea, she started bringing big cans of sweetened condensed milk every day.

How do the coffee crystals which dissolve 100% (unlike an extraction like tea or brewed coffee) know what temperature the water was? I’d sooner buy that Kool-Aid made with boiling water is better since the sugar and dye something-something when exposed to higher temperatures. I suppose I can try it with my Nescafe Clasico but I’m already deeply skeptical.

Are you casting aspersions on Russians by claiming that one is more likely to prepare tea using a crappy teabag than a member of a randomly chosen people? :slight_smile:

I believe the question was about

However, I heard a couple of times that, unlike black tea, drip coffee should not be made with boiling water, more like 95–98 degrees.

Dunno, I’m not a chemist. But I assure you, it is true. Maybe it has something to do with more aroma being released. If I mix instant coffee with water that’s hot but not boiling, it tastes very flat.

I’ve never seen it heard of intentionally drinking from a saucer. But if i spill a little I’ll do it.

If my tea is too hot, i will get another mug and pour it back and forth between two mugs.

Not at all. It’s just that they opt in favor of convenience, like many others have.

As for drip coffee, I don’t think it’s the same as coffee from a percolator, where it perks because it is indeed boiling. I don’t know at what temperature coffee comes out of a drip maker.

My late brother, BTW, used to just boil coffee on the hob (to “save energy,” he said). THAT was REALLY strong coffee! (The same is done in Living History reenactments.)

I have always/often made strong coffee by boiling the water first, then turning off the heat and adding shitloads of coarsely ground coffee. Turkish coffee, on the other hand, uses vary finely ground coffee and is boiled (starts to froth, etc). So the optimum temperature, whatever it is, probably depends on the exact method of preparation (espresso, percolation, decoction, etc.)

Undoubtedly. The Turkish coffee I’ve had was brewed on beds of hot sand, presumably after the water was boiled.

I had no idea drinking from a saucer was common historically. The painting posted earlier is fascinating. Those people were educated and wealthy.

I had assumed it was just a crude rural habit. I guess my aunts parents, (my great grandparents) drank from saucers. They died right after I was born.

The question reminds me that as a very young child I knew someone who would pour coffee into the saucer, then back into the cup and drink it from the cup. I always thought they were weirdly clumsy and that’s why they put the coffee in the saucer in the first place, but obviously I just didn’t understand what I was seeing.

My wife has sometimes poured a hot drink from one cup to another and back again in order to cool it off. I don’t know if it works or not.

I asked my wife if she ever saw this while growing up in Germany, and she said yes, she’d seen some older folks doing that, but that her grandmother had told her it was unrefined (or some German version of that word).

Although not drinking from a saucer so much, I watched my father many times at breakfast after eating and reading the paper with a cup of coffee in a saucer. He would pick up the cup then drag the bottom across the newspaper before lifting it to his lips. This was an entirely automatic habit.

I asked him why he did that and it was because, as a traveling salesman he’d eaten an awful lot of diners and restaurants. On refilling the cups the waitresses* would often slop a little into the saucer. Without the wipe, when he’d tilt the cup to his lips it would drip, often onto his trousers.

*All they had back then.

someone once told me this was the way some of the older Russians drank vodka too

My dad looked over my shoulder and saw the title, and told me that his grandpa (my great grandpa) did this. The reason why, however, is that he had trouble holding a cup, due to tremors. He would drink it through a straw.

My grandpa (his dad) also had tremors, but they had these cups he could hold. However, apparently he would still sometimes drink coffee from a saucer, in a form my dad says is called a “coffee duck.” It was a hollowed out biscuit with butter on it, and they would pour coffee on top. There would inevitably be some coffee left over at the end, and grandpa would lift it up and drink it.

I’ve only ever seen them knock the stuff back, neat.

I’ve had some. Very strong. It kept me up all night.