Coffee, as used on the Continent [Europe], serves the double purpose of an agreeable tonic, and an exhilarating beverage, without the unpleasant effects of wine. In France and in Italy it is made strong from the best coffee, and is poured out hot and transparent.
Coffee, as drunk in England, debilitates the stomach, and produces a slight nausea. In England it is usually made from bad coffee, served out tepid and muddy, and drowned in a deluge of water, and sometimes deserves the title given to it in “the Petition Against Coffee,” as “a base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking puddle water.”
To make Coffee fit for use, you must employ the German filter and take at least an ounce for two breakfast-cups.
No coffee will bear drinking with what is called milk in London.
N.B.–The above is a contribution from an intelligent traveller, who has passed some years on the Continent.
From The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: The Cook’s Oracle was an English cookbook which “Dr. Kitchiner” was hired to “adapt to the American public” for its US publication. This was an act of rather amazing honesty and transparency given the standards of the time; copyright law was not then what it is today and large numbers of books were simply copied word for word and republished by their American “authors.”
However, despite his assignment Dr. K did not exactly overexert himself to take the British orientation out of “his” product. Oysters are recommended based on species which live in the Thames, not the Rappahannock, for instance. And here we see that comparisons are made between the coffee-serving practices of France and Italy with those of England, not New York, Philadelphia, Boston or Charleston. His warnings against the use of milk in London might have been helpful if one was planning to travel there, but of little value to a resident of, say, Providence or Richmond.
“Kitchiner” was almost certainly a pseudonym, and a rather blatant one at that. It would be as if a book on barrel-making was authored by someone named “Cooper” or one on metalworking by someone called “Smith”, or a pamphlet on the evils of alcohol by “Mr. Tipple.”