Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Coffee That Won The West

Up until the close of the Civil war, coffee was sold green. It had to be roasted on a wood stove or in a skillet over a campfire before it could be ground and brewed. One burned bean ruined it all; there was no consistency. In 1865 John Arbuckle and his brother Charles, partners in a Pittsburgh grocery business, changed all this by patenting a process for roasting and coating coffee beans with an egg and sugar glaze to seal in the flavor and aroma. 
Marketed under the name Arbuckles' Ariosa Coffee, in patented airtight, one pound packages, the new coffee was an instant success with the chuck wagon cooks in the west, faced with the task of keeping cowboys supplied with plenty of hot coffee out on the range.

Arbuckles' Ariosa Coffee packages bore a yellow label with the name Arbuckles' in large red letters across the front, beneath which flew a Flying Angel Trademark over the words Ariosa Coffee in black letters. Shipped all over the country in sturdy wooden crates, one hundred packages to a crate, Arbuckles' Ariosa Coffee became so dominant, particularly in the west, that many Cowboys were not aware there was any other kind.

With keen marketing minds, the Arbuckle Brothers printed signature coupons on the bags of coffee redeemable for all manner of notions including handkerchiefs, razors, scissors and wedding rings.

To sweeten the deal, each package of Arbuckles' contained a stick of peppermint candy. Due to the demands on chuck wagon cooks to keep ready supplies of hot Arbuckles' on hand around the campfire, the peppermint stick became a means by which that steady coffee supply was ground. Upon hearing the cook's call "Who wants the candy?" some of the toughest Cowboys on the trail were known to die for the opportunity of manning the coffee grinder in exchange for satisfying a sweet tooth. 

Information came from

A cowboys' favorite, Arbuckles' Ariosa Coffee, is quite popular in the Tucson area and only available in some local stores for purchase. 

Starbucks French Roast step aside as my serious coffee addiction has led me to the discovery of Arbuckles' Sledgehammer Blend. I' m already on bag #2. I was happy to find out these coffee beans can be ordered online.
If you like a hint of cinnamon, chocolate and vanilla in your coffee Mexicali brand is for you.
Disclaimer: I am not a rep for the company just a dedicated coffee drinker. 
Cowboy coffee made over an open fire.
Cook's notes: A serious cup of coffee goes well with this company worthy Southwestern Egg Scramble. My inspiration for this recipe came from a magazine picture. I looked at ways to streamline the original ingredients and directions. Advance prep does makes the assembly go faster. Cornbread and a grapefruit were paired with the meal.
The recipe serves four but quantity can easily be increased.

Southwestern Egg Scramble
  • 1-1/2 TB. olive oil or Herbed Olive Oil 
  • 2 cups diced frozen cubed frozen potatoes e.g. Ore Ida Potatoes O'Brien or Diced Hash Browns
  • 1/2 cup sweet onions,diced
  • 1/2 cup red and yellow sweet mini peppers, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Mexican seasoning or Adobo seasoning
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 large tomato, diced and patted dry on a paper towel 
  • 5 slices of bacon, center cut
  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 TB. parsley flakes
  • 1 TB. butter
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican Style 4 Cheeses Blend
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss potatoes with olive oil and spread out evenly on baking sheet.  
  • Sprinkle with Mexican seasoning and salt and pepper.
  • Arrange onions and peppers around potatoes. If using Potatoes O'Brien this step can be omitted.
  • Roast potatoes, onions and peppers 15 minutes or until slightly crispy. Stir once and add in broccoli florets and roast 5 minutes more. 
  • Dice tomato and fry bacon. Wipe pan clean.

  • Place all ingredients on a plate for easy assembly.
  • In a blender mix eggs, milk, parsley flakes and dry mustard.
  • Melt butter in fry pan add in egg mixture with roasted potatoes, diced onions, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli florets and bacon bits.  Scramble egg mixture on a medium low setting. 
  • Stir in cheese toward end of cooking time.

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