Monday, June 27, 2011

Moer Koffie

If you're ever travelling in South Africa, and someone says to you: 
"Ek gaan jou moer!"  
make sure you either duck, run or have mad-ninja-skills because, basically, you're about to be hit really hard.

And that is indeed the verb usage of the Afrikaans word "moer".

Now what on earth, you ask, has that got to do with anything?

Well, moer is also used to describe a delicious coffee beverage that warms you from top to toes. It stems not from anything violent, but rather from the Middle Dutch noun moer which meant "a layer of sediment". This described the fact that the drink is made with coffee grounds not in a fancy coffee plunger, but rather simmered in an enamel or aluminium coffee pot on the stove or over a fire. It's served strained through a strainer, all deliciously sweet, strong, milky and addictive.

There are most probably many MANY opinions on what constitutes this traditional drink, but simple is always good, and here's my take on it.

An enamel mug (coated tin)
  • your favourite plunger coffee beans, ground 
  • filtered water
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • hot milk
  • needed: a stove-top kettle (or small saucepan) and a small strainer
  • Follow the instructions on the back of your pack of ground coffee beans for the correct water to coffee grounds ratio (as if you were making it in a plunger).
  • Add the right ratio of cold water and ground coffee to your stove top kettle or small saucepan.
  • Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Pour into a coffee cup (or traditionally, an enamel mug) through a small strainer to filter out the coffee grounds, and then sweeten using condensed milk to taste. Add hot milk to temper the coffee strength.
  • Variation: simmer the coffee WITH the condensed milk in the pot on the stove. Add cinnamon sticks for spice.
  • Enjoy with a buttermilk rusk (see recipe) for breakfast on the stoep (patio).
If you ever visit Cape Town, there's a market in Tokai called the Porter Estate Produce Market that serves moer koffie. I last blogged about it in 2009, but visited again this month, and wanted to share a couple of photos.

Cool wire art made from chicken mesh.
A tea and hot chocolate stall with a quirky design feature.
Boerenkaas (cheese) with cumin from the Constantia Cheesery.
Super cute Sally :)
The moer koffie stall...enamel pots, condensed milk and all!
The portly PEP pig logo.
Romanesco and sprouting broccoli for sale at the veggie stand.


Stacey @ bakercourt said...

How have I never been to this market? It looks amazing! I love the Tea Tree. If you're still in Cape Town, you should try and get to Starlings Tea Shop in Claremont, it's beeeyoootiful and they have the nicest tea pots - you'll see xx

oomph. said...

the coffee drink looks and sounds wonderfully delish! never did add condensed milk to coffee...but that certainly sounds like the key ingredient here!

Juanita said...

@Stacey: Thank you for the tea tip! I do so appreciate cool tea pots.

Juanita said...

@oomph: It's terribly addictive, as it adds sweetness and milkiness in one go! I also like using condensed milk in ceylon tea, simmering it on the stove top with cinnamon and cardamom pods for a delicious take on masala chai.

Ruth said...

I really love milky coffee - so this is definitely for me! Thanks for sharing this little bit of culture!

Juanita said...

@Ruth: Thank you for stopping by :-)

Melanie said...

Oh my, I too have never used sweetened condensed milk in coffee! And it's so nice to know that there is a way to make good coffee at home without extra tools. Thanks for sharing!

Juanita said...

@Melanie: I really amazes me all the fancy and expensive gadgets you can buy to make good coffee, when a few regular items will do :)

Lavinia said...

I don't drink coffee, but I've seen mom make it in a metal pot too. They say that's the best way to make it.

The "brave tea tree" is a great idea, I love it.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I gave up coffee years ago, but if I was to have a cup, this drink looks like delicious way to enjoy it! Love those wire cute! And I'd have to give Sally a nice scratch :) Thanks for the tour of the market~

Linda Harding said...

The Bulls Fan and I went to the Porter market for the first time two weeks ago and LOVED it - including the moer koffie stand!! Fabulous post!

Juanita said...

@Lavi: I love tea pots! I was just hoping for the sake of the people standing underneath them that they were securely tied! :-)

@Lizzy: Thank you for taking the tour :-)

@Linda: You just can't beat that view! And there's room to breathe (unlike the Neighbourhood Goods Market). I also love that it benefits the Chrysalis Academy.

Melanie said...

We've been out of sugar for coffee at work all week. I finally remembered last night to put my sweetened condensed milk in my purse so I could use that instead. My taste buds are thanking you right now!

Sunshine said...

I can't wait to get down to the Cape to visit this market. Growing up, we used to go into the Kruger Park (lived on the banks of the Crocodile River, Malelane) as early as we could - be the first in the queue - and what would make it extra special and worth the pain of getting up early was the 'moer' coffee and ouma rusks! Thanks for triggering those special memories. Funny how condensed milk in coffee is enjoyed by all - even those that take sugar!?

Juanita said...

@ Melanie: Awesome :-)

@Sunshine: What a lovely memory - thanks for sharing it with me :-)

Unknown said...

This little market rocks! Used to always have their coffee there as we lived close by and used to go there every Saturday morning. Now 3 years on into NZ and have decided to make this myself.

Juanita said...

@Cindy: Hope the home made little taste of the Cape turns out great! :)