To Beat or to Grind — that is not a question

The Turks excel us in this. They employ no mill to torture the coffee, but beat it with wooden pestles in mortars. When the pestles have been long used, they become precious and are sold at great prices.

I had to examine and determine whether in the result one or the other of the two methods be preferable.

Consequently, I burned carefully a pound of good mocha, and separated it into two equal portions, the one of which was passed through the mill, and the other beaten Turkish fashion in a mortar.

I made coffee of each, taking equal weights of each, poured on an equal weight of boiling water and treated them both precisely alike.

I tasted this coffee myself, and caused others who were competent judges to do so. The unanimous opinion was that coffee which had been beaten in a mortar was far better than that which had been ground.

Jean Anthèlme Brillat-Savarin (1755 – 1826), author of The Physiology of Taste
Mortar and Pestle with coffee

Times have so changed. My mortar was not manufactured in Turkey, but my grinder.

We live in the times we live in. We must not take our time for long preparations and procedures, if we do not wish to. However, if we decide to, we will notice it clearly when our souls and palate express their thankfulness.

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