Coffee, (1810, Port-Louis, Mauritius)

(Here Captain Jack Aubrey discovers the coffee is..odd.)

A little "edited down" excerpt from Patrick O'Brian's The Mauritius Command, where Stephen, the ship's surgeon, discovers the coffee situation from Preserved Killick, the Steward.

"Killick," said Stephen, "what's amiss? Have you seen a ghost in the bread-room?"

"Is there a ghost in the bread-room, sir? Oh, oh, and I was there in the middle watch. Oh sir, I might a seen it."

"There is always a ghost in the bread-room. Light along that pot, will you now?"

"I dursn't sir, begging your pardon. There's worse news than the ghost, even. Them wicked old rats got at the coffee, sir, and I doubt there's another pot in the barky."

"Preserved Killick, pass me the pot, or you will join the ghost in the bread-room and howl forevermore."

... Jack (Captain Jack Aubrey) walked in, poured himself a cup as he bade Stephen good morning, and said, "the coffee has a damned odd taste."

"This I attribute to the excrement of rats. Rats have eaten our entire stock; and I take it the present brew to be a mixture of the scrapings at the bottom of the sack."

"I thought it had a familiar tang," said Jack.

When the pot had been jealously divided down to its ultimate dregs, dregs that might have been called dubious, had there been the least doubt of their nature, they went on deck.


The doodle above is of Aubrey, though I am not entirely satisfied with his hair (the crew call him "Goldilocks" when he is out of earshot). The pot and cup are period, though you can't see the pot's nice wooden handle.

Unlike Aubrey's Boadicea, I have lots of coffee here, though I make it pretty much the same way they did in 1810, with a slightly improved filter and an electric grinder:


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