The History of Coffee Brewing

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
The original version of brewed roasted coffee beans is the Arab version, which still thrives in the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece. The finely powdered beans are combined with water and sugar in an open pot, the mixture boiled until the pot foams, then settled and boiled to a foam once or twice more, and finally decanted into small cups. This is the coffee that found its way to Europe around 1600; it’s concentrated, includes some sediment, and has to be drunk right away or the sediment will increase the already considerable bitterness.