As a daily routine, various members of AC Silver make their way across the road to a coffee vendor for a cup of coffee tailored to individual requests; these include not only “skinny” and “soy” but one “dry-ish” and even one to be “slightly frothy”.
“I wonder if we opened a coffee house, in an antique style, would it take off?”- Gemma Tubbrit, AC Silver Marketing Manager
At AC Silver when the sales staff inspect the shop cabinets they commonly get lost in the ‘if I could have anything, which item would I want’ game. Not me, I personally prefer the initial question posed by Gemma as it combines my love for my slightly frothy soy latte and my passion for silver.
The Antique Way
Before French press, drip coffee and percolators came into existence there was a much simpler way to make coffee; a process I still use due to a lack of better equipment. This involves roasted ground coffee beans being placed in a pan with water in it, bringing it to the boil and then pouring off the liquid to drink, straining the coffee beans as you pour; for the latte drinkers among us the same principle can be used with milk instead of water.
“We could serve the coffee in biggins” – Gemma
A biggin, named after its maker, originated in the late 18th century and consists of a cloth bag which held ground coffee in an upper compartment, as water was poured through the bag to pass into the lower compartment. The brewed coffee was then released through a spout to the side of the pot. To achieve a certain taste of coffee was rather difficult, being dependent not only on the coarseness of the coffee, but also the material the fabric filter was made from.
Some say for a device to be labelled a biggin it cannot represent a drip pot but instead must follow the steeping method, holding the water and the coffee together before removing the used grounds at the appropriate timing (much like a teabag).
Either way, we could brew our coffee in a biggin and then serve it out of coffee pots and coffee jugs for ease, with a tea kettle and spirit burner waiting in the wings for the tea drinkers.
“We could put our cakes on silver tazza” – Gemma
Conversing with Gemma led to my explanation that I believed a tazza was used to display fruit and that maybe she should consider a cake basket, which did not go down too well. I am more than willing to admit I got that wrong, through some research I learnt although a tazza could be used for fruit, they can also be used for small items of food or just for display purposes.
So our additional sundries could be displayed on a collection of tazza, centrepieces, salvers, baskets and dishes.
All Joking Aside
A popular culture reference of 2013 has been the television series Downton Abbey, and I am aware we have proceeded along this thought path in previous blogs. The amount of people who talk and dream about living the ‘Downton Way’, would an antique style coffee bistro / vendors with big arm chairs, wood fires, silverware service actually be a success? I believe it would, as an occasional treat anyway… As Mr Campbell always says, everything tastes better when silver is used.
One side thought though, the amount of people who take those special lager glasses from pubs and restaurants as souvenirs because they are fancy, how would we keep track of the most important part….the silver teaspoons…..hmmm this may need some more planning and metal detectors.
If you wish to join in the “plan” of creating a sub business based on silverware, or tell us of your passion accented with a strong dose of silver, please feel free to contact us.
Rachel O'Keefe-Coulson – Multimedia Executive
Rachel O'Keefe is our 'silver lady' spending her days handling silverware and processing these items for the AC Silver website. Amazingly, Rachel’s favourite items of silverware are spoons, for which she has developed a true affinity.