I was reminded of my grandmother's coffee routine recently when having a conversation about "the old days" (circa 'anything before 1960')
She lived in a second-floor apartment that had no central heat and linoleum-covered floors.
I stayed at Gram's house frequently on weekends and summer days. She was an early riser, and I remember always waking up around 6:30 a.m. to the delicious smell of coffee percolating.
The old-fashioned, cast-iron stove loomed large in Gram's kitchen. (When she wasn't looking, my cousins and I liked to watch our spit dance across the top of the griddle - very amusing.)
Once the coffee was finished, Gram's routine went like this:
1. For each grandkid, pour a glass of milk in a jelly jar and add a small amount of coffee. We LOVED the coffee milk with a little sugar and a fresh jelly donut.
Once the grandkids were occupied, she set about her own coffee.
2. Place an empty coffee cup inside a soup bowl
3. Fill the cup with fresh, hot coffee, leaving a little room for cream
4. Top the coffee with cream until it overflows into the bowl
5. Pour the coffee from the mug into the bowl
6. Lose the cup
7. Drink the coffee out of the bowl
The coffee cooled more quickly in the bowl than in the cup.