Coffee, Pot of One (Lee Child)


OK, this ain’t exactly rocket surgery, but as always it helps to pay attention. Use a standard midrange drip machine, nothing expensive, but nothing too cheap, either. Cuisinart works for me, with a gold-colored mesh filter seasoned by a couple months’ hard use. First, fill the jug with water, and then tip the jug into the machine. If you want to get fancy you can use bottled water, because city water’s chlorine content ain’t your friend with this endeavor. Evian works well. For every little number on the side of the jug, subtract one and use that many spoons of ground coffee. Anything from Colombia will do. Or if you’re flush, try Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. Avoid any kind of flavoring or other adulteration. Close the lid, hit the switch, wait five, and you’re there.
But choose your mug carefully. Bone china is ideal, fine and translucent if you can get it, tall, narrow, cylindrical in section. Avoid a thick rim and avoid heavy stoneware. The rim needs to feel like a blade against your lips, and any kind of weight or thickness in the cup will leach heat out of the drink too fast. And avoid any kind of dairy product or sweetener, obviously. This is coffee we’re making here, not some syrupy milk drink.
Born in England, LEE CHILD now lives in New York City and leaves the island of Manhattan only when required to by forces beyond his control. For information on the Jack Reacher novels and more, visit Lee online at

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