In this extract Seamus Marken remembers how his mother made irel coffee during the war when tea was rationed. This was used as a substitute to tea when it was hard to come by.

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Moving Image


Did you use recipe books in your family? Or did you get taught recipes at all?

Well now... my mother had a cookery book as such but most times… she was a great innovator, you know? I’m sure she read the odd one and she done the odd sort of thing, you know, but I remember during the Emergency when tea was really and truly scarce she had a recipe she made coffee… you know this... have you ever seen this irel coffee? Well, it was something like that, but she made it but it was more like, what we used to say, café au lait, you know, it had a taste that was… you wouldn’t mind drinking it, you know, when you couldn’t get tea.


13:02.5 - 13:54.9

About this item


WW2, Rationing



Date Added



"Seamus Marken talks about the emergency in Ireland and in particular the ways people got around the rationing of tea.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #165 (accessed February 23 2018, 4:52 am)