Making Coffee

My Easy Enamelware Pot Method

Making coffee in an enamelware pot is easy

Self catering holidays when my children were young could have been seriously exhausting. To see me through a fortnight of family life up close, I always took my Enamelware Coffee Pot.

Since we have become so used to filter machines, drip pots, espresso makers and French presses, have we forgotten the simplest method? A jug. So simple you can make coffee anywhere. Even by a campfire.

I love enamelware. I’ve been making coffee in enamelware pots since I was a teenager. It’s so easy, and you need no specialist equipment. If you have ground coffee, boiling water, a pot, and a little bit of patience, you can make delicious coffee any place, any time.

You don’t even need an enamelware pot. An old teapot, a charity shop china coffee pot, even a saucepan with a lid will do. But I’ll always opt for an enamel pot.

Enamelware coffee pot from Prague

Here’s my infallible method:

Step 1

Put the kettle on to boil. To warm the pot, put a little hot water in it, or run it under the hot tap. At very least don’t use it stone cold. Enamelware will lose heat, so there’s no point in being part of the problem.

Step 2

Put ground coffee in the pot. Any grind will do. No need to worry – use what you have. Even if it’s very fine or course, we’ll make it work in your pot. If you grind your own coffee, or have the choice when buying it, take a medium grind. The amount of coffee is up to you. First time you make it use the recommended measure. Next time you can add more or less.

Three Hills Coffee, roasted in the Scottish Borders

Step 3

Pour almost boiling water over the coffee, but only to just below the spout. Don’t be tempted to add more at this stage. You’ll need space for Step 5. The water should be “off the boil”, that’s to say, not bubbling. So boil the kettle as you gather together what you need. It will be perfect when you use it.

Enamelware coffee pots from Turkey

Step 4

Put the lid on, cover the pot with a tea cosy or a folded tea towel (that’s what I use) and leave for about 5 minutes. Don’t cheat. Listen to a couple of songs, read a short article, chop some vegetables. If you think you’ll get distracted, set a timer. More than five minutes is fine, but if you completely forget about the coffee it will go cold.

Step 5

Now you have to do some work.
You’ll need more boiling water soon, so have that ready.
Stir the coffee for a full 2 minutes. It will seem like a long time but keep going. It’s worth the effort. You will see and feel the grains sinking, and the liquid will begin to look clearer.
When you’ve stirred all you can, fill the pot to the brim with boiling water, put the lid on, cover, and leave for a few minutes.

Step 6

Take the lid off and stir again, briefly. Cover and leave for a few more minutes. If you have stirred as instructed, you won’t even need to strain the coffee. Handy if you can’t find that strainer you thought was at the back of a drawer! However if you don’t want to risk the occasional piece of ground coffee sneaking into your cup, strain.

A perfect cup of black coffee

Do you take milk or sugar? I take my coffee black.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and drinking your coffee.

You may also enjoy my Instagram

Please let me know if you try my easy method for making coffee.

Christmas Shopping


Little shops at Christmas time are the best fun. For customers and shopkeepers.

Today I spoke with children, dogs, grown women and men. I suggested they save their money and buy nothing; I sent them to other shops for things I don’t stock; I reduced items on the spot, gave things away and rounded down totals to a nice round number. Christmas shopping in my shop is not dull!


That’s what small shops are good at. We are part of your community. Customers like small shops because they reflect the shopkeeper’s personality. They’re real.

Have a very happy Christmas. And be sure your Christmas shopping is fun.


Cup of Coffee

Let me tell you about my relationship… with coffee.

Cup of black coffee for me, please

My parents had an aluminium, glass topped percolator which bubbled and boiled on their Belling electric cooker.

One summer we were going on holiday to South West Scotland. My parents were excited about a brand new drink we were taking with us. Instant Coffee. They were amazed and totally proud of their purchase. Of course, we all loved our cup of coffee. Mum boiled a pan of milk, poured it into our cups, then added sugar and the wondrous coffee powder. I was nine years old.

When I was fourteen my parents took us on holiday to the Netherlands. I tasted cups of coffee so good I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was.

From then on, while still at school, I spent what money I had on little tins of Lyon’s Ground Coffee from the supermarket.

I must’ve bought this in the 1980s.
Now full of nails!

I started work aged sixteen. Wages meant I could up my coffee game. Always in my mind was a goal: to make a cup of coffee as good as the ones I had loved in Holland.

Each month I would make a bus journey to Thomson’s in Renfield Street, Glasgow. I knew nothing about varieties or blends but I loved the smell, and the noise of the beans falling from the hopper into the grinder. My favourite was Full French Roast. I adored the dry, high pitched sound of it being dispensed.

The only sort of beans I like!

I moved to Edinburgh where my coffee supplier was Valvona and Crolla. Preference: Continental High Roast.

You can tell I like my coffee practically burnt.

Now I have my own shop where I sell coffee. Locally roasted (my preference is your Sumatran, Three Hills!) and always, always a jar of Thomson’s Full French Roast.

It’s so dark.

Thank you for reading my Shop Blog.

See you again soon.