Where is coffee a staple food?

There may be plenty more places, but in bayou homes, for sure!

I had written a draft of this post before I went to visit one of the regulars here at Bayou Woman–Steffi.  I surprised her by taking her up on her offer to show me her son’s “metal house” and her “cattle trough raised garden beds”.

And even though I had had my morning tea hours before, Steffi’s coffee pot and kettle sat at the ready when I arrived mid-morning.  She doesn’t live on the bayou, but coffee drinking is just pure-dee South Louisiana, no matter where you go.

When I looked around her lovely kitchen and saw her collection of coffee posts, I knew she could teach me a thing or three about coffee pots, coffee choices, and coffeebrewing.

For you see, there was no Mr. Coffee sitting on the counter.  There was no fancy schmancy espresso machine, either.

It was just Steffi, her favorite stove-top drip coffee pot, and a kettle of boiling water.

I wish I had gone out and gotten my camera and taken photos to post here; but alas, I was too enthralled with her 38-year habit of coffee-making–a task she could no doubt do her in sleep.

And the coffee was delicious.  I didn’t ask her the brand, but I’m sure she’ll tell us in a comment.  And now, on with the rest of the original post.

Bayou People drink coffee from the breast.  It’s true, and I know how it’s true.  My mother-in-law had eight babies.  She had most of them at home, and she breast fed them all.  And she never stopped drinking her dark French roast coffee during the pregnancy or during lactation.

There is no doubt in my mind, that those babies were addicted to caffeine when they popped out of her womb.  And by the time they were about six, they were drinking cafe` au lait with Evangeline Maid white bread and peanut butter for breakfast.

If any of you kicked the caffeine habit while pregnant (with the first) like I did, then you were craving the first cup of black gold in the hospital bed after delivery.  I remember that cup, though hospital fare, still tasted sooooooo good after nine months on the wagon.

Problem is, my little Dotter was not exposed to this adult beverage in utero and had therefore, not built up a tolerance for it.

The result?  A wide-awake baby–all hours.  If she napped, it was for about 30 minutes at a time.  It didn’t take long, though, for me to realize it was the caffeine that was keeping her up.  Back on the wagon I went.

Needless to say, with each child, I was progessively less and less caffeine free.  By the time Termite came along, he went straight from the breast to the Java Joe Mug!

My dear mother-in-law still makes coffee in a pot like this . . .

coffee.pot 009Tell me what you call this kind of pot, and the person who calls it the same thing I call it gets a sample of this . . .

Community CoffeeI cheat and buy the weaker blend—Between Roast–but real Bayou People drink Dark Roast.  Steffi has a very cute coffee tin that looked just like a bag of Community Coffee that she keeps in her camper.  I coveted her tin.  Forgive me, please.

Coffee TinsThis old silver tin is where I keep my coffee; and my coffee filters for my very modern coffee maker go in the top tin.

Coffee Tin TopIt has something engraved on the top about Community Coffee Kitchens . . . maybe it’s a collector’s item?

Coffee PotTo use one of these old drip pots, my mother-in-law says you should make your filter from an old flour sack (yea, right).  I used all my flour sacks for a house dress, so I couldn’t make one–I had to use a regular coffee filter, which I put down in the basket and added the coffee grounds


Then I covered it with this strainer type thingy and then poured boiling water over the grounds a little at a time.

 Coffee groundsThis is what it looks like with the water steeping through the grounds.  It is a SLOW process, so don’t get in a big hurry.  I guarantee it is wroth the wait, though!

Pouring CoffeeAnd in just a little bit, you have this wonderful, dark, aromatic cup of energy ready to be laced with cream and sugar for a caffeine boost that lasts until lunch!

So, my friends, what’s in your coffee pot?


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  1. Dunkin Donuts Dark or regular. Ground not a whole bean guy.
    I use a Mr Coffee but I don’t program or even set time. Coffee pots that plug in burn electricity.

    The Canadians brought down some Tim Horton and some organic black shiny stuff. No it wasn’t a sale. I do Starbucks and homebrewed expresso too.

    Now you need Osprey Rob’s input. He uses a french press so he is right downtown NOLA.

    Mom had an old Wearever? drip made 8 real cups of coffee just like 12 modern ‘cups’. It was always Maxwell House.

    I had all kinds of trouble with Cow milk and Mom milk and …..
    Well I started drinking coffee almost before I could walk.
    My worst school memory was the fact they didn’t have coffee in first grade or ever while I was there.

    I buy the best filters I can find. No cheap or natural recycled.

  2. It’s 4.30 am the coffee is on and the yak loaded. Come on sleepy heads we are gonna be burning daylight soon.

    Did I guess melitta as a kind of pot? Did I spell it right?

  3. Bayou Woman,

    That Fresh-O-Lator is a classic! We still sell them but not with the insciptions that your’s has on it. Nothing wrong with drinking Between Roast…it actually has more caffeine than Dark Roast.

    1. Hey Scott!!! Have we met? It has MORE caffeine than Dark Roast? No wonder I’m bouncing off the walls when I drink two mugs! LOL! Thanks for the comment and for telling us this is a Fresh-O-Lator!!!! I’ll have to look closely to see what the inscription really says!

      1. No we have not met that I am aware of. i work for Community Coffee over here in Baton Rouge and found your blog through Google Alerts. It is true that the lighter roast, the more caffeine the coffee has in it. BTW, my mom gave me coffee-milk when I was a toddler so I am also convinced that I was addicted to coffee before I could even speak! Please let me know if there is anything that I can help you with or answer any questions you might have about coffee. Great blog by the way.

        1. Then I know one of your co-workers! Sean Kirby? He fishes down here quite often! I’m not surprised your mom gave you coffee-milk, which just confirms this very French influence on South Louisiana ways. Glad you like the blog. Please come back and visit us often down the bayou! BW

          1. Sure I know Sean, his desk isn’t too far from mine. I’m actually over our Consumer Direct Division which handles all of our e-commerce operations. Thanks again for the props and please don’t hesitate to contact me if ever I can be of assistance.

              1. CONTEST OVER: Everyone who commented on this post will be entered in a random drawing to receive their choice of a bag of Community Coffee.

                The answer is a “Biggins”. Go ahead and Google Biggins and see what you find. It’s not very common, but you will find this reference if you dig hard enough!

                “Gregue” is French for coffee pot. French drip coffee pot is the common term, and Sock Pot works, as well!

                Thanks for all the wonderful responses!

                Winner to be announced by Monday sometime! Happy Memorial Day!

              2. I Googled Biggins and was directed to Ebay where there was a sterling silver one going for a mere $26,500.00!! Geeze! Who would want to spend that for a coffee maker???

              3. Hi,

                I just want to add, that Mr. Biggin (as the pot is called) is invented in France around 1763. The name derives from a man named Mr. Biggin (funny enough) who made the pot popular in England around 1817. Somehow it never really did become popular i France.

                I northern Europe though, the pot is refered to a Madame Bleu (from french) or Madam Blaa (in Danish) and it was indeed the pot that made coffee common drink in northern Europe.

                How do I know? I’ve just written a paper on how the coffee has spread around Europe…and I’m from Denmark and we have a tendency to know our coffee-history 🙂

              4. Well, I’m so glad that this amazing WWW has connected us via the topic of our dark, warm friend, Coffee! Listen, I am going to email you because I have relatives in Denmark I have never met!!! Can your coffee paper be seen online anywhere? Thanks for sharing this info. with us. Mr. Biggin, indeed! BW

              5. How nice you have relatives here! Do you know where they live?

                You can’t find my paper online jet. – I’ve just handed it in. Besides that, it is in danish so unless that danish relatives-thing means you speak danish, I’m afraid you’ll have a hard time reading it. If there is anything you would like to know, just ask. I won’t promise you I know the answer though.

              6. Anni – did you get my email from yesterday? I’m looking for an answer from you so we can continue this via email. If not, let me know and I will send again. Thanks!

              7. I will send it again; meanwhile, would you click on the Bayou Woman Tab, scroll down to the contact box, and send me a message? It should then show me your correct email address, and I can write back. Until then, I will try sending the email again to the address you signed up with. Thanks!

  4. The caffeine issue; I personally know the man that roasts the Community coffee. The more you roast a coffee bean the less caffeine in has in it. So, the lighter the roast the more pep!! That pot reminds me of being in my paw paw’s kitchen when I was a kid!!

    1. Thank you, Lyle, for our coffee roasting tip of the day! Man, I’m still thinking about those sweet, tender bass I fried up right after Mother’s Day!!! And can I tell you again that I caught them on a black cocahoe with the yellow tail? LOL!

  5. I was raised on coffee too at my Grandma’s table. I’ve heard it was in my sippy cup. That must explain my addiction to it now! My daughter has also been raised on the bean and was such a tyrant at daycare they broke down and bought her a coffee pot of her very own. She wasn’t allowed to go to class until she had some coffee (she was about 2 at this point). She can spot a Starbucks a mile away and orders EXACTLY what she wants!

  6. I’m glad you took up the invitation to come visit. Readers, BW must have liked the coffee…she had two cups. BTW, I do believe we had a discussion a year or so ago, and I said that there was only 1 kind of coffee…Community Dark Roast. I too keep my coffee in a “Fresh-O-Lator” until the grounds go into a circa 1940’s “Drip-O-Lator” pot. I do have “French Drip” pots like BW’s mother-in-law, but it’s not often I use them. BW, if you don’t want to cut up your “flour sack house dress”, make a Muslin “sock” for the French drip pot.
    My dad brought us coffee milk (in bed) as a wake up every morning. He even brought me a Thermos full to the hospital when all my children were born. (That stuff they have at hospitals shouldn’t be called coffee.) Now, my grandchildren ask for coffee when they are here. All 8 (ages 4-8) have graduated from sippy cups to plastic coffee cups. BTW, Luke purchased my “coffee bag tin” (which is plastic) at CC’s Coffee House. Haven’t checked, but they may have them on the website, Scott? BW, you didn’t notice my framed tin sign in the kitchen. It reads” We Proudly Serve Community Coffee Premium Coffee Since 1919″.

    1. Oh, I’m sorry I did not see the Community Coffee sign! Believe you me, honey, I found one of those tins on their website and pretty sure I went back and linked to it in the blog post! Their website is chock full of all sorts of interesting things—like the history behind how they bought coffee beans from other countries like Rwanda. Scott has made it possible for me to offer some upcoming surprises on this here Bayou Blog, and I can’t wait!!! Again, Steffi, thanks so much for the great coffee and hospitality. BW

  7. Hi! I am originally from Baton Rouge and I soooo miss Community coffee!! It’s hard to find here in TN, I usually have to drive the 30-45 minutes to Huntsville to a Publix to get it, and then pay 7-8 dollars for it. Needless to say, it is a special occasion thing. BTW, we always called that a french drip pot.

    1. Hey Christy! You might want to come back here and visit as we are going to be giving away a bag of Community Coffee per week in either random drawings or a contest!!!!!

  8. Oh, You are making me so home sick! I think I remember that Fresh O Lator from the days on
    Wood St. Fun times! I sure could use a cup of your coffee right now. 🙂 Your shrimp stew would be great too!:)

    1. Oh my gosh! It’s a blast from the past! Vanessa!! How did you find me? You know what I think about? YOUR ICED TEA!!!!! And folks, I saw this woman make her own mayonnaise one day for potato salad and it just blew me away! Funny what we remember, huh? Thanks for the visit, V!

  9. Community Coffee is pretty darned good. I prefer the Columbian Roast and like it strong. Hubby says make it weaker.

    I thought everyone gave their little ones a caffeine boost. When the granddaughter is going to be here, I set the coffee pot up, put the sugar bowl down to her level and wake up to the smell of fresh coffee as she sits watching cartoons and sipping her morning cup. She just turned 8. Sure glad she finally reached an age of being able to turn on the coffee maker and make her own cup. Until a couple of years ago, she swiped my first cup!! And, we do not get between her and her morning coffee either.

    1. I just love love love these grandbaby stories! I don’t have any yet, but I’m sure gonna be the grandmaw that gives them their first taste of cafe` au lait!!! Thanks, Cammy!

  10. You’re right Blu. I guess it is super easy for corporate types to spy on underlings if that’s all they had to do in a day’s time. I hope same didn’t happen to you! There’s not much secrecy when it comes to “heavy equipment” is there? Don’t know who’s roasting Dunkin’s but the commercials abound about it flying off the shelf in the supermarket!

  11. Oh, the memories! Grandma had a pot like this one. We just called it the Sock Pot because her filter looked like a sock. If you got the first or second cup of coffee, well, lets just say it would make you grow hair on your chest or burn it off! We are Community users, too.

  12. Ooh, I could’ve written this post! That la gregue looks like my Mama’s, but mine isn’t that nice. “Electric coffee” just does not taste as good as French drip. I drink Between Roast too, but I thought it had less caffeine than Dark! I’ve been drinking café au lait since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It was my favorite drink then and still is today!

    1. Hi Therese and welcome to the bayou, but it sounds like you must live pretty close, cher`! I chose Between Roast because it is a “lighter” brew, which to me translates “weaker” not in strength of caffeine but in the taste. Does that make sense? It doesn’t really bother me that it has more caffeine, I just like the taste better. And I think the reason is because I just can’t quite make my Dark Roast taste like my mother-in-law’s French drip. She must have a secret that she will take to her grave, because I surely don’t know what it is! Thanks for the great comment! BW

  13. I have been browsing thru your older posts and came across the ones for figs, berries and then muscadine jelly. Yummy! It is that time of the year again for jelly making. My 80 year old mom brought me 5 qts of fresh, picked dewberries last week. I have them in the freezer for cobblers, pies and jelly. Also, my plum tree is loaded this year! (Or will be if the squirrels will quit stealing them.) They are beginning to get a nice rosy blush on them too. And of course mom has the big Turk fig tree and the large Sugar fig tree and both are beginning to fill up.
    Really am enjoying your blogs. And that crawfish boil made my mouth water. Heading to one tomorrow at hubbys company picnic. 500 lbs of mud bugs coming in from New Orleans. OH YEAH!!

    1. Dear Cammy: This reader has desperate need to come to your freezer and steal borrow 2 quarts of dewberries as ours did not produce this year due to having stood in rancid saltwater for three weeks. Please send home address and location of freezer and please leave the key on top. Also in serious need of fresh plums for plum jelly since said fruit does not grow well here. Will make only one trip, so please advise when plums are ready to pick and location of tree in yard. Thank you for your cooperation in these matters. BW

      1. My freezer would probably thank you! I know my feet would love to skip having frozen items falling on them every time I open it! It is packed to the gills so to speak. There is also a nice stash of pitted, frozen cherries in there along w/figs, dewberries, blue berries, this years asparagus and lord only knows what else.

        Dewberries grow wild along the country roads here and the railroad tracks and are for anyone who wishes to gather them. The wild plum trees also line the fence rows. My plum tree was supposed to be a mini and not get over 10′ tall. HAH! We trim 10′-15′ off of it every fall just so it stays about 15′ tall. It is in the back flower bed. The freezer is in what was once my daughters bedroom and is now an 11’x13′ foot pantry and storage room. Come on over to Texas and we will hit the roads for more berries and plums.

  14. I think it’s odd that as much as you and dad like coffee, none of us children really like it. Unless D & D have started drinking it on the boats… I’m almost the age you were when you had me and I STILL don’t really like coffee! Just call me Debbie Downer… no cute stories about coffee in a sippy cup from me! 😉

    1. Dear Debbie Downer,
      No, I don’t think your brothers D&D have taken to drinking coffee. If you recall, it’s all my fault because I kept you kids away from caffeine. What amazes me, though, is the amount of caffeine you purposefully consume in other ways AND it does not keep you up at night! I’m sorry I didn’t put coffee milk in your sippy cup. I guess I’m a terrible Bayou Mommer! But your baby brother LOVES coffee and often robs The Captain of the last cup in the pot!

  15. I have been looking for one of these coffee pots forever! Can I order one thru you? Please let me know ASAP. Thank you.