There was a time, I suppose it was the late 50s and early 60s…the age when my mother grew into adulthood, when America’s “Greatest Generation” was in their prime, when Jello was all the rage…the age that cultural critic and author Thomas Hine dubbed Populuxe (even more fascinating). Anyway, there was this age, this time, when my parents threw big parties, the kind that would have made Robert Putnam proud, and the coffee was brewed in large, party sized percolators.
To a kid who really didn’t have any interest in coffee, the bubbling, brown liquid that blurped up through the translucent handle, the gurgling, the very physical exertion of the coffee as it heaved itself up and down, up and down over itself…to me, this was how real coffee was made.
If coffee could chew its own cud, that was percolation. If coffee could take itself around the block a few times, just to chat, that was percolation. If coffee could table and untable itself, as some sort of congressional rehash, that was percolation.
So when I grew up and wanted a real coffee maker, I looked for a percolator. And I bought one…something like this:
And it sucked.
So much for the good old days.