Saturday, March 22, 2003
kudos: first look
ok, went down to the new coffee shop, kudo beans, today at about 5pm. packed. loud. crazy.
the shop's owner steve is, like myself, a member of the famous group of coffee freaks at alt.coffee. naturally, we support those who venture into the real coffee business full-time.
seemed to me that he's doing quite well already. kudo is on 1st ave & 3rd st, around the corner from the hell's angels headquarters. (i'm not making this up!!!) he is serving gelato and sandwiches, besides press pots of coffee and tea. i saw that he had at least 18 kinds of coffees, none more than 10 days old he says, for serving by the press pot.
the coffee beans he pro-offered me to sniff smelled great -- of course he is associated with dallis bros., so! he had about 12 leaf teas available for buying by the pot. not that you could get a table a tho'. the place was jammed. although the staff had the requisite piercings and ink, none of them had touched coffee before.
he was honest about how he hopes to work with his staff to reach a higher level. because his location is extremely high volume, i wasn't suprised to see a superautomatic "accorta 2000s." it grinds, pours -- no portafilter at all, it looks kinda like a high-tech japanese vending machine.
however, the staff did work to keep it clean. i saw them run what looked like to me some kind of steam clean cycle twice in the 20 mins. i was there. even with a line backing up out the door!
the regular coffee is brewed with huge bunns. i went with my yoga teacher, and i tried a sip of his american coffee. it wasn't watery. it wasn't burnt. it was pleasant decent coffee, much better than any other in the nabe short of higher grounds. which is big praise for decaf. (yoga teachers do tend to drink decaf. . .)
i talked to steve briefly. he was great. wonderful attitude, seemed pleased to talk to another altie even tho' his shop was a zoo. he assured me the bunn coffee was made to scaa gold cup standards, and i believe it. i ordered my standard macchiato. i tried it without sugar. quite drinkable.
it wasn't at all bitter, it was noticeably better than starbucks. no microfoam, tho; it was starbucks style stiff sea-foam. steve looked at it and said right away well, the foam needs work, it's only ok. he gave me a straight shot, which was good. i drank it without sugar. which is rare for public coffee!
he definitely seems interested in starting from a certain place and then steadily raising the bar. i can respect that. he hopes to hold cuppings and events there for nyc alties and scaa e-members. he also talked about the possibility of arranging a group buy of semi-commercial espresso machines suitable for home use.
anyway, stop by and talk to steve if you're interested & in the nabe. . .
Friday, March 21, 2003
intriguing statistic. . .
recent research in the u.k. shows that single people living alone eat more bread than families. isn't that odd? why would that be? and not just a little more: try 1/3 more!
"research into the shopping habits of 25,000 single people showed that those aged between 15 and 34 spent 30 per cent more on bread than families. half of young women living alone and 55 per cent of men in the same situation said they ate a lot of bread," the report says.
the researchers speculate that in the u.k. single people must live on toast and sandwiches. this piece quotes a consultant's opinion that most canned or packaged foods contain too many servings for single people to feel comfortable buying just for themselves. so they toss stuff on bread and go back to watching tv.
whereas here in new york, i would say my single gentlemen of my aquaintance in that age range subsist on pizza; single ladies, on diet shakes.
this inspires me to take a quick unscientific poll of my own -- readers, how much bread do you eat? more or less than when you were married/single? i'll tally the results next week, or you can leave your comment below. . .
(in a new and surprising twist, i'm seeing a lot of people surfing here from .mil domains. but hey, in your honor i'll post lots of yummy chocolate news in coming days. my slitti order looks set to arrive next tuesday.)
Thursday, March 20, 2003
hershey joins the rush to sugar-free
next month, look for u.s.a. chocolate giant hersheys to release its first ever sugar-free chocolate.
this new bar will use some wacky sweetener i've never heard of, lactitol. i wonder if it will be a success, like snackwells?
i'm no expert on sugar-free chocolates, just having tried my first one recently. and i have to say, the taste, look, finish and snap of the bar were on par with lindt. but the texture, or mouthfeel, was just repulsive.
and on this note, i'm ordering some real chocolate, slitti 62% dark chocolate, but with milk! isn't that unusual? a bar of "lattenero." can't wait til it comes!
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
i mean, as in take a yoga retreat. today finds a great little article about the charm of spending a week on a calm mexican beach doing yoga and snacking on tropical fruit.
for those newer to yoga, i think it gives a great idea of what you could expect on a 7-day serious yoga retreat and what to consider when choosing what retreat might be right for you -- fun!
the retreat leader, jillian pransky, is well-known in new york. . .tired of your day, find yourself fidgeting a lot? read this charming piece and daydream!
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
the power of ziti
on a happy note, publishing my ziti recipe worked. hbo and james gandolfini appear to have settled. . .forget politics, now this is power!
it was a deeply amusing moment today to read nestle's position on world-price depression known as the coffee crisis: it says it doesn't support the current low prices but rather believes in sustainable development.
i nearly fell out of my chair in merriment at that one. nestle, the biggest of the "big four" multi-national coffee roasters, suddenly cares more about sustainable development and the fate of the suffering coffee farmer than its own stock price? who do they think they're fooling with this feel-good line? their stockholders are smarter than that, i'm sure.
but let's be generous and take them at their word. because if nestle did get on board, we would see progress.
therefore, i hope to see them soon lobby the u.s. congress for the country to rejoin the i.c.o., support the scaa's new coffee purity initiative, support the oxfam plan to destroy low-quality coffee, join transfair, and burn any low-quality coffee they themselves may be holding in warehouses.
Monday, March 17, 2003
the soul of the coffeehouse
"a coffee house, wrote the austrian author alfred polgar, is a place for people who want to be alone, but need company to do it.
this spot-on insight begins a wonderful think-piece on the value of a real coffeehouse. i disagree with author william cook on the "noise of an espresso machine," -- espresso is essential -- but otherwise i think he describes the required atmosphere quite well.
why don't we have any of these in new york? smoke-free, of course. . .
and naturally we here at bccy always applaud those who make a difference as well as a living with their coffee. right on, pete rogers.