Brew it in a sock or in a chemistry lab? Or just drink Folgers?

Ah, the elaborate rituals we go through, and the stuff with which we improvise, all for a good cup of Joe. A customer/friend/Rune’s former-coworker, BLV, lives in the Lake Tahoe area. Her parents live seven minutes away. In BLV’s family, she and the siblings were born in one country, raised in another, neither of which was the parents’ two different countries of origin, and they’ve ended up in the U.S., the melting pot. Got that?!

A few weeks ago her mother was remembering when she was young, the slow pouring of hot water through a *sock* into the pot of coffee, in a pan of warm water on the stove.  BLV shared pictures of the coffee grinder her mother inherited from her aunt Madeleine. Her mom no longer uses the grinder; it’s just fond memories.  Nowadays Mom scoops ground Folgers.

What is it with Folgers?!! That’s what my grandparents drank on their/this Kona coffee farm. If you missed it a few months ago when I posted it, National Public Radio (NPR) aired an interesting piece, “Folgers, a throwback brand in the age of nitro lattes, wants to be cool.

I searched to see what the latest is on the Folgers rebranding effort from 2022, but couldn’t find anything insightful. One thing I discovered, probably part of last year’s marketing hype, is that there’s a Folgers contest, where you can win “a damn good $10,000 golden scoop for your damn good coffee.” I guess if your coffee is cool, as in “hip” or whatever expression, you have to tout it as “damn good coffee.” You have until March 1 for the contest. Tell your parents, BLV.

Another friend told me about a book she’s reading, Lessons on Chemistry, which is what reminded me that I forgot to share BLV’s sock brew story and photos. Lessons on Chemistry is fiction about a female scientist in the 1950’s battling uphill in a world run by men. One of the scenes is of her making coffee in her kitchen/lab. Grinding coffee with mortar and pestle, using beakers, bunsen burners & pipettes. She served this coffee to a neighbor who watched with disbelief and enjoyed the most “heavenly “ coffee imaginable, still wondering why she didn’t use Folgers.

Since even my social worker friend has now tried ChatGPT, I asked it to draw the chemistry lab brewer, and, instead, immediately out came this helpful description to set up a coffee brewer. Once I remembered ChatGPT doesn’t draw, I did use Dall-E to generate a satisfactory feature image for this post. And I’m not letting myself get sucked in, playing with all the tech. Just like I never got enamored with Siri, Alexa, or Google. I did have the thought that ChatGPT could write my blog post, but if you write from your thoughts, real experiences and stories, I don’t think the chatbot will replace humans. Or? …


  • Beaker (preferably heat-resistant)
  • Bunsen burner
  • Tripod stand
  • Wire gauze
  • Heat-resistant mat
  • Pipettes
  • Coffee grounds
  • Water


  1. Place the Bunsen burner on the heat-resistant mat.
  2. Set up the tripod stand and place the wire gauze on top of it.
  3. Place the beaker on the wire gauze and fill it with water.
  4. Place the pipettes in the beaker, making sure that they are submerged in the water.
  5. Turn on the Bunsen burner and adjust the flame until it is blue and not too high.
  6. Wait for the water in the beaker to boil.
  7. Add the coffee grounds to the beaker using the pipettes.
  8. Let the coffee brew for a few minutes.
  9. Turn off the Bunsen burner and remove the beaker from the tripod stand using tongs or heat-resistant gloves.
  10. Allow the coffee to cool before serving.

Note: This setup is not a standard method for brewing coffee and can be dangerous if not done properly. It’s important to exercise caution and follow safety protocols when using a Bunsen burner and handling hot liquids.

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