Thursday, May 30, 2013

Drip Drop Drip Little Coffee Showers - Corningware Drip Coffee Maker

I originally posted this July 7th 2009 on Culinary Alchemy.  It pre-dates the creation of Corningware 411, but I feel that it should be included here due to it's particular subject matter.  It will continue to reside on Culinary Alchemy in it's original form, since it was part of the "Coffee Talk" series, but I have revised it just little before posting it on here.  I have recently discovered, through my research for this site, that the term "Drip-O-Lator" is a registered trademark of Enterprise Aluminum Company.  Thus I have removed all references to this product.  I did, however, choose to leave my comments regarding Percolated Coffee intact.... It was 4 years ago after all, and though I have changed my tune a little since then, it's STILL not my preferred method of brewing.  What can I say, I am a hard core Vacuum Pot & French Press guy.  That's just the way it is.

But enough of that.... Here are the instructions for usage of a Corningware Drip Coffee Maker (P-114).......

July 7th, 2009
Coffee – a dessert time beverage for some, a ritual of friendship for others, and a morning necessity for almost everyone else. It’s one of the hottest commodities on the planet, only shadowed by crude oil. I was originally preparing an exposé on Coffee, but once I started looking around the net I realized this approach has been done a million times already and there really isn’t anything of value I could add to the superfluity of information available. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…… Let’s get a little more specific…

I am going to talk about brewing methods… I have several available to me, for I am one of the people who fall into all three categories… It is a dessert essential, a joy when congregating with friends and the necessary catalyst for my morning transformation from “swamp thing” to a human being.

For this first method, we are going to have to travel back in time to a dark point in American coffee culture… the 1960s…. a time when the sinister percolator ruled the household and mud was served daily… and even worse… people liked it. (shudder) It truly was a bleak time in American history. The percolator is the worst possible way to make coffee for several reasons.

  • The water can, and usually does, boil– This is too hot for proper extraction and makes for acidic highly caffeinated coffee.
  • Once the extraction begins, the water saturated with “coffee” is heavier and falls to the bottom of the percolator, reheated to a boil and in effect burnt… then it ends up being shoved back up through the tube, to run back through the grounds again… Blech! (shudder)

Repeat after me…. Percolator is BAD….. (OK, maybe not SO bad)

But dawn was breaking in the mid 60s… It was not the messiah of coffee brewing, but it was a step in the right direction… for the theory is similar to that of espresso… One pass through the grounds.   In 1965 Corningware released a new gizmo for coffee preparation…. The Drip Coffee Maker. Now this is not to say they were responsible for a “Star Turn” in the saga of coffee extraction methods. That was already the province of Italy where Espresso was already being pulled from beautifully crafted machines. But, America was “waking up” to the realization of what coffee could be…

What the heck is a Corningware Drip Coffee Maker you ask? Well, it’s basically a manual version of what most people set every night before going to bed. (P-114)

It comes in several parts… So let's begin and I’ll walk ya through it.

First, water must be heated in the kettle (P-114-B or P-104) on the stove to between 200 and 205 degrees. NEVER use boiling water for coffee… not even with a French Press (Future post)

Meanwhile, place coffee in the bottom receptacle (I use about 1.5 TB per cup for drip)

The glass bowl screws down onto the bottom receptacle. (P-114-U)

Now this little plunger thing (flow control valve) prevents the water from flowing from the glass bowl into the coffee ground receptacle.

Once the water is ready, carefully pour the hot water into the glass bowl. (P-114-U)

Place the whole assembly into the pot. (P-114-B or P-104)

Pull the plunger to allow the water to drip through the grounds

and into the pot below. (P-114-B or P-104)

After about 4 minutes, (I usually whistle a little tune while I am waiting)

you have yourself a pot full of coffee.

Ah…

with just a little half and half to create a “Paper Bag Brown” color…

Awesome!!!

In case you are curious... The particular pattern (Wheat) on my tea/coffee pot was originally planned as the standard design for Corningware, but in the company's haste to get the product to market, the cornflower was used instead and it eventually became the brand symbol of Corningware. Later, the wheat pattern was revisited and released on a limited number of pieces (I have seen a pie plate on eBay and I have a 4 quart roaster)

Cin Cin!!
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Where is your Corningware??
~~

3 comments:

  1. Just grabbed my mom's cornflower one just like this. It had been sitting in her cabinet for years and I remember how good the coffee was when she used it. Thanks for the step-by-step, I'm going to go brew a pot now!

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  2. I have been using my grandma's cornflower blue drip-o-Lator on and off for the past two years. After purchasing electric coffeemakers, I always come back to hers. The coffee is divine! I remember, about 30 years ago, when I would be waiting for the water to heat on her stove for the coffee, I would ask her what was taking so long. Her reply was "good coffee is worth the wait". Amen! I look forward every morning to the coffee ritual - it's a bit like communing with my dear grandma Nadine :)

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  3. Thank you for this posting. I have a drip coffee maker that was my mom's. She worked at the Corning Plant in Martinsburg, WV from which she retired. I have a kitchen full of Corning Ware. It is all I use. I had never used the drip coffee maker and needed instructions. You are an answer to prayer.

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