Coffee


Cody Gentry

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Feb 6, 2008
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So, I just enjoyed a nice cup of Turkish Coffee I brewed up and I wondered something. What kinds of coffee were available on board the Titanic? Just traditional drip? (Well, as long the drip method was common back then). Or perhaps some other fancier variety, such as maybe a turkish, or even Italian style. French? Flavored?
Anybody?
I'm curious.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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In the book "Last Dinner on the Titanic" the coffee is mentioned only briefly and here's what it says:

"On board the Titanic, coffee was probably made by a drip process, although the much stronger Turkish coffee may well have been available in first class. Either way, coffee was typically accompanied by cigars, port, and liqueurs, then called "cordials". Often the liqueur was poured straight into the coffee, which meant the cups were served only three-quarters full."

Not really much there about the coffee, but I thought this might help.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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Who were the coffee brewers on the Titanic?? I know there were 2 in the A La Carte restaurant but i don't know their names, also were there any Stewards who were coffee brewers??
Thanks Guys
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Only the two in the restaurant/cafe - Johannes Vogelin and his assistant Gerald Grosclaude, who was also one of the two confectioners.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Cheers Bob, what were the jobs of the 2 Confectioners on the ship as i always believed these to be coffee brewers and sweets makers, were they just sweet makers??
Cheers
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nobody would be hired as a 'coffeeman' if he didn't make coffee, right? Or as a 'coffeeman/confectioner' if he didn't do both jobs. There were actually four confectioners on the ship - two for the retaurant/cafe and two in the bakery section of the 1st/2nd Class kitchens which served the main dining rooms.
 

Bob Godfrey

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One of the two confectioners employed in the restaurant/cafe was an 'iceman' - ie a specialist in ice cream. In the dining rooms and restaurant all these men (along with the pastrycooks) would have been concerned with the creation of desserts served as part of a multi-course meal, but those employed in the restaurant/cafe would also have created cakes, pastries and ice cream sundaes etc for the clientelle in the cafe.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Ah right, that's very interesting Bob, who was the other confectioner in the the restaurant then, one other thing, not including the restaurant staff, the sauce cook listed as a steward in the galley section of the victualling crew failed to join the ship, how would they have coped without him as there isn't a substitute listed??
Cheers for all the help you've given me Bob really appreciate it
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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They certainly found a replacement sauce cook for the main kitchens - Alfred Windebank, who was one of the survivors. The iceman/confectioner for the restaurant & cafe was Adolf Mattman.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Oh right, i was thinking they wouldn't have done well without a sauce cook in 1st class, oh right, what would have been the job of the Barman Ernest Price?? and how would it differ from the wine butler Zarracchi??
Cheers
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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The 'bar' wasn't what we think of as a bar today - more like a storeroom for the bottles (see 'wine room' on the deck plan). The 'barman' would have been a storekeeper who knew what was available and exactly where to find it, and the wine butler the man who delivered the drinks on trays to the tables.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Oh right, would there have been a bar ( as we think of it today ) on the ship as one is shown in the film The Titanic starring Catherine Zeta-Jones ( naming an actress was just to help clarification of the film ) I will take a look at the wine room, so he would have been the storekeeper for the drinks and the man listed as storekeeper would have been for the food right?? Tell you what i'll list the other members of the restaurant staff whose jobs i don't know and if you know ( I don't doubt that you will ) let me know whenever
1. Plateman/Assistant I assume them to be like the Scullions 2. Larder Cook 3. Entree Cook 4. Storekeeper 5. Glassman/Assistant 6. Page Boy I guess similar to the Bell Boys
I appreciate all the help you have given me Bob
Matteo :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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You've said you're doing research, Matteo. OK, rule number 1 - ignore everything you see in fictional dramas.

Plateman - Plate as in silver plate. They looked after and polished the silverware (hard work).
Glassman - Glasses need polishing too.
Storekeeper - If you really don't know, try a dictionary.
Entree cook - Google it - the job today is the same as it was then.
Larder cook - Google again.

If you really can't find simple answers like these after a very quick session on Google, come back and ask again. But do try.
 

Matteo Eyre

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Yep, ha ha, i've found that that'the best thing to do
Thanks Bob, i'll add them onto the doc and Google the other 3
Cheers Bob
Matteo :)
 
Jan 6, 2005
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Coffee-making used to be a trickier business than it is today. The reason was lack of detergent.

Old housekeeping manuals caution the reader not to use soap on coffee pots and coffee-making equipment; this is because soap won't cut coffee oils very well, but it will impart a soapy taste to them. This, of course, means that the next pot of coffee brewed or served in the vessel is going to have a nasty soapy taste.

A coffeeman had to know what would clean coffee pots and how to go about it meticulously to serve a good brew. It took washing soda and lots of scrubbing with little specialized brushes to get the gunk out. It also had to be done with some delicacy, because stainless steel hadn't yet been invented, and aluminum (okay, Bob - aluminium!) was not common. Most equipment was tin-lined inside, and you had to be easy with it for fear of going through the tin.
 
Jan 6, 2005
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Ah, Bob, but I do drink tea - this is one Yank who enjoys a good cuppa. Twining's Earl Grey, loose (can't stand teabags, and re-naming them "sachets" didn't help a damned bit), with proper brewing in a Brown Betty, with a good old Nutbrown strainer used over the cup.

I also know that being termed a "milk-in-first" sort of person is not a compliment, and that a man asked, "Will you be mother?" need not do a spit-take.

I will admit to an American approach to tea - I drink it at tea-time, not in the morning. The morning is for coffee on this side of the pond. Not even builder's tea can substitute for strongly brewed Chase & Sanborn, drunk scalding hot and black as night. Cream and sugar are for the very old, the very young, invalids and those so religious that they are forever suspicious of anything invigorating.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Glad to see there are still elements of civilisation in the New World, Sandy, though as you say you haven't got it quite right. We drink tea at tea time and in the morning. Also in the evening and at night. Over here, any time is tea time. Few have sampled Earl Grey and few would like it - most prefer the cheap and cheerfull popular brands (bagged of course) like PG Tips or Typhoo. Tea strainers can be obtained only from antique shops. Huge amounts of sugar are less favoured in health-conscious modern Britain, but tea without milk is rarely consumed. And putting the milk in first is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment. As is referring to milk as 'cream'. That's what we put on our strawberries, not in our tea.

I am reminded, by the way, of a cartoon in which a group of Hollywood suits are gathered round a table. Through the open door labelled 'Quentin Tarantino script conference' a tea trolley is arriving. Mr T himself is pointing to the Brown Betty and asking "Who's gonna be mother******?"
 

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