A while back I listed some things about my February 2012 historical, Not Wicked Enough. One of them wasn’t true.

Here’s the list again for your reference. I have highlighted the item that is NOT true:

1. There is treasure in the book, shamelessly based on the recent finding of The Staffordshire Hoard. Lots of glittery gold!
2. There is a flaming pencil.
3. My heroine was a brunette until my publisher sent the cover. Now she’s blond.
4. The heroine offers to give the hero a recipe for coffee made from acorns.
5. There are TWO ladders at windows.
6. Hot sex in a turret.
7. There are puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.
8. The hero is a terrible dresser.
9. The heroine is a Regency Fashionista
10. At one point the exasperated heroine asks the hero if he expects every day to be savaged by wolves. (The hero does not think this is very funny)

That’s right. There are no puppies in the book. Everything else is true.

Coffee Recipe

Here’s the recipe I tried, from the 1815 New Family Receipt Book:

Let one ounce of fresh ground coffee be put into a clean coffee-pot, or other proper vessel well tinned; pour a pint and a quarter of boiling water upon it ; set it on the fire, let it boil thoroughly, and afterwards put by to settle; this should be done on the preceding night, and on the following morning pour off the clear liquor; add to it one pint of new milk ; set it again over the fire but do not let it boil. Sweetened to every person’s taste, coffee thus made is a most wholesome and agreeable breakfast, summer or winter, with toast, bread and butter, rusks, biscuits, &c. This process takes off that raw, acidous, and astringent quality of the coffee, which makes it often disagree with weak stomachs. It should not be drunk too warm.

A gentleman of the first fortune in the kingdom, after a variety of medical applications in vain, was restored to health by applying to the above beverage morning and afternoon.


  • I used an aluminum saucepan.
  • I used Peets Espresso Forte, ground slightly less fine than espresso. Because that’s that I had on hand.
  • I weighed the coffee grounds. An ounce is a lot more than I expected.
  • I used our stove rather than build a fire. Sorry.
  • By “clear liquor” is meant, strain the stuff so it’s not full of coffee grounds.
  • We did not have any new milk so I substituted 2%. I bet you could buy some “pretty new” milk from a local dairy. Here in Nor Cal where I live, there are several quite famous dairies.
  • I drank my coffee with butter cookies

IMHO, I think the rich guy was so hyped on caffeine he couldn’t tell he was still sick.

My Assessment

I tested the coffee before I added the milk and I have to confess, my first reaction was GAH!!! This tastes like swill!. But I bravely carried on in the name of science. Once I added the milk and got it heated up, it was pretty good. I did add some brown sugar.

Take away

You could totally do this. Or you could go to Starbucks and get a Venti cafe au lait with a couple extra shots. Your call.