Coffee Cup
"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2013 - All rights reserved

Coffee Cup
Miracle Maid Cookware coffee maker

Saturday, June 15, 2013

    Tires. What? My wife's car needed them. She was on a vacation week. So it was off to town, over on the next ridge. The tire shop we frequent is in the middle of "downtown," such as it is, and in this neighborhood are a number of thrift stores and antique shops. Car is up on rack and we on foot, headed down the street.
    We came to a new one (to us), The Treasure Cove Thrift Store. It is operated by "California Vocations Inc.", a non-profit organization dedicated to providing residential and vocational support to developmentally disabled adults. The folks working the store were quite friendly and so our visit there was enjoyable for that alone. While we wandered around in the shop my wife's boss, who happened to be taking a break from work (just a block or two away), walked in, so surprise!
    Of course, I looked around the shop at the few coffee-related items there. Most of it was the commonplace- an "economy” espresso machine, a cheap drip machine, the usual. But I spied this on a lower shelf:

    What you see here, after a hand polishing I gave it after arriving home, is a Miracle Maid Cookware coffee maker manufactured by "Advance Aluminum Castings Corp." I read that after 1965 the name was used by West Bend.. The company name is so widely used today (awnings, windows, etc.) that I could not find any information on the original company.
    The handles are Bakelite (although the top handle may not be original). Most older coffee pots of aluminum (percolators and dripolators) are made from sheet aluminum, thin and soft, but the lid and the body of this one are cast aluminum which is why I bought it. The entire maker weighs 2 pounds 10 ounces. Drop an old percolator and it dents. Drop this one and your foot is dented.

    The Miracle Maid coffee maker uses an inner vessel with a removable bottom. The bottom is perforated much like the basket in a percolator. The “filter” is held in place by its three tabs which are held under three protrusions with stops which were pressed into the chamber during the manufacturing process. It makes it very easy to remove which makes clean up quite a bit easier.
    The idea is that you put the ground coffee in the inner vessel, pour in the desired amount of water, and place the entire device on a burner to heat the water.

    The spring clip at the top of the handle serves two purposes. It holds the inner vessel to allow it to drain (the left portion of this image) and it also holds the lid in place for pouring (right portion of the image).

    Holding the inner vessel above the water level so that it can drain more fully is a very nice touch. Anything that can assist in eliminating the wet, brown trail between the cooking area and the trash receptacle is welcome.
    So once the brew is completed, remove the lid, and using the bail wire on the inner vessel, lift it to it's at-rest position as shown above. When draining is completed, remove the inner vessel, replace the lid and serve coffee.

    And if the "technology" as represented by the Miracle maid coffee maker looks somewhat familiar, we have recently seen it, updated by modern technology, in the Sowden coffee brewer. It uses the same full-immersion principle of an inner, perforated container to hold the grounds and separate them from the liquid to be consumed. The Sowden uses a laser-perforated, stainless steel filter, but the concept is virtually identical. What was old is new again.

Coffee Cup
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