This Woman Cooks Everything In a Coffee Maker

Let’s take a moment to celebrate the true heroes—those who cast off the Rollie EggMasters, the Pasta Boats, and the Xpress Redi-Set-Go’s of modernity. Those of us who, if pressed, could survive the apocalypse with just one appliance.

In a world of quick-fix solutions, let us marvel at the coffee-maker chef.

In 2009, Katja Wulff was just a straw-haired Swedish college student with a dream in her heart and no stove in her dorm. Her solution: To prepare noodles in her coffee maker.

The initial noodle success was followed by more elaborate dishes, and eventually, to a blog called Kaffekokarkokboken and to a well-received book by the same title.

Read more. [Image: Dan Sörensen/Coffee Machine Cuisine]

We Met the Girl Who Cooks in Her Coffee Maker

A few years ago, I briefly lived in Stockholm. My time there was punctuated by constant coffee breaks—fika, as they’re called in Swedish—because it’s so fucking dark all the time that you can’t stay awake without drowning yourself in black coffee. Swedes love their coffeemakers as much as they love pickled fish and IKEA and electronic music. They practically bathe in coffee; in fact, Sweden is the world’s third biggest coffee consumer per capita.

Then I heard about Katja Wulff, a Swedidsh blogger who repurposed her precious coffee maker into an all-purpose cooking machine. She still makes coffee in it, allegedly, but she’s also cooked pizza, fish soup, birthday cake, and something she calls “testicle tacos” using, exclusively, her coffee maker. Her recipes are compiled on the Swedish blog Kaffekokarkokboken (basically, “coffeemaker cookbook”) and, more recently, on its English counterpart Coffee Machine Cuisine. Both blogs are flooded with photos, taken by Wulff’s boyfriend Dan Sörenson, that prove just how weird the culinary arts can be. I spoke with Wulff about how the obsession all started, what she’s cooking on her new YouTube cooking show, and how to fry balls in the same pot you brew coffee.

VICE: So, where did this idea come from?

Katja Wulff: Back in 2009, I lived in a dorm and I shared a kitchen with lots of other students. I did not like to cook in that kitchen, because I’m not a very social person and the thought of hanging out with the other people sometimes creeped me out. They were all nice people, so that was all on me. And the other thing is that I’ve never liked to cook, didn’t know how to. There was this one day that I was extremely unsocial and tired—er, hungover—and I did not want to go to the kitchen. I thought about preparing my noodles in warm water from the sink but realized quickly that it must be much smarter to cook the noodles in my coffee maker. And it worked great! I was so proud of myself and started to think about what more I could cook with it. Soon my little experiment escalated and I never cooked in that kitchen again. I even got away from the mandatory cleaning week that each student got since I never spent any time there.

Wait, you don’t like to cook?

And yet, you write a cooking blog? It seems like the project is more about art than food.
That’s absolutely right. I think that Coffee Machine Cuisine is more of a creative or twisted humor or blog rather than a food blog. If you’re looking for great recipes, then read another blog. If you want to have a good laugh, I hope you’ll think Coffee Machine Cuisine is fun. It’s the same with the cookbook [Kaffekokarkokboken, published in 2011]. I want people to read the book from the first page to the last. You don’t do that with cookbooks, but this isn’t a cookbook. The blog and book aren’t about cooking great and tasty food—although I try all of the time. It’s about creativity and encouraging people to do whatever they like to do.