Saturday, May 31, 2003
with rain threatening, i pulled on the nearest pair of pants handy (which happened to be my beat-up beyonce knowles' levis too superlows) and ran out with mr. right to get some new batdorf dancing goat blend.
i buy this from patrick at the under-appreciated victory in boerum hill. he makes some great coffee, but really appears to hate coffee lovers. or at least he seems to think that openly saying you love coffee is way uncool.
but we here at bccy are beyond posing 'tudes. we love coffee, we love to talk about coffee, and we love other people who share our passion for coffee (adobe acrobat required).
despite this, patrick is great guy and does in fact love coffee himself. plus, he sells the dancing goat, which is my favorite blend for milk-based espresso drinks right now after the magic orsini gold blend.
when you go in to buy some whole beans, he'll open a new bag for you, even if the currently open bag is only 30 minutes old. that's consideration! but he doesn't pull the best shots on his la marzocco. . .
the rain hit hard not long my return and so i pulled a nice doppio espresso for myself with these ultra-fresh beans.
the problem is, i just don't like the dancing goat sans milk. it needs even the stain of the macchiato to my mind.
on the other hand, i love batdorf a lot, as far as their business. their high standards, their emphasis on quality, sustainability, relationship coffee. . . all good.
it's true -- my ristretto-drinking heart is possessed by the gillies blend don schoenholdt recently made up for me. do you know what it's like to drift around town on a drizzly day wishing for an espresso you don't quite have?
further on the coffee front, i am seriously considering taking the scaa basic tasting test to get myself situated for improving my cupping skills.
this test requires you to drink various mixtures of sour, sweet, etc. and in different concentrations and to identify the flavors.
i think it would be a very useful thing to do. . .
Friday, May 30, 2003
nyc scaa consumer membership event update
an update on the all-coffee-extravaganza weekend here in nyc from june 28 - 30. remember, all coffee lovers are welcome!
but do reserve soon: 9 of the 20 spaces have been taken! email me to reserve your space.
we are definitely going to the fancy food show here in new york on sunday, june 29 together to see the coffee equipment, local nyc coffee companies, the italians, and maybe the people from brazil. steve schulman (of dallis and kudo), maddy page, and i are committed to going; y'all should join us.
we have to buy our own tickets for this even if you are an scaa consumer member; today is the last day to get cheap tickets to the show from their website.
i really think everyone should come; there's a lot of other stuff there too (olive oil, chocolate!) it'll be tons of fun. . .
Thursday, May 29, 2003
coffee culture & more . . .
long-time readers know i'm deeply curious in regional and international coffee cultures. today finds a great article about coffee culture in bangalore, india.
although india is probably most often associated with spiced tea, or chai, indians in the south have been drinking and growing coffee for a long time. this piece talks about how a coffee house, open since the 1940s, has woven itself into bangalore's life.
we also have some news on the coffee crisis (adobe acrobat required), that world-price depression i so often cite. it seems like the head of the i.c.o., nestor osorio, is going to discuss the matter at the next economic summit of the g-8 countries.
and it's about time! today also sees 2 stories on the problems the coffee crisis is causing in africa. i've written about the troubles in ethiopia before; this story adds new details. the situation in kenya, which produces some of the world's best coffee, seems quite difficult as well.
where does all the money go, indeed? an interesting question! where does your coffee dollar go?
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
how to become an scaa e-member
i've gotten several emails today asking, just how do us coffee-lovin' folk join the scaa?
well, you download this adobe acrobat application, and mail it in with your payment, that's how!
why become an scaa e-member? not only will you get free admission to the great coffee event this june 28th and the swanky cocktail party on the 30th, as well as other forthcoming events here in new york and around the u.s.a., but you also get all kinds of cool stuff.
depending on your membership level, you'll get access to the awesome content coming to the scaa later this summer (around august, probably), a cute membership card, a newsletter, and coffee-related publications, like a nice treatise on cupping. and don't forget the mousepad or access to the scaa bbs chat forum!
so don't delay. come all coffee lovers to the organization that understands your coffee passion -- and shares it. you'll get "celebrity" chats -- the ability to talk to professional coffee notables, by which i mean people like author ken davids, etc! you can go to the scaa's next convention in atlanta!
the goodies will keep on coming over time. .
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
bikram, a new home, and event update
in crucial news: this june 28-30 date is now firmly set for the scaa e-membership event. here's the agenda for the saturday portion in more detail:
at dallis coffee in queens, folks will have a hand at blending and roasting coffees on a diedrich drum roaster, cup their creations around the stone table, pull espresso shots on the faema e61 legend, and generally make themselves giddy with excitement over the commercial side of coffee.
you should plan to arrive at dallis by 10am and leave for the city by 12 noon, where we will tour coffee shops. we'll be at higher grounds from 12:30 to 1:30pm and at kudo cafe from 1:45 to 3:00 or so. if the group wants to hang after that, cool.
more on the sunday and monday events as it gets worked out.
note we only have space for 10-20 people. please email me for a reservation by friday, june 20 for this june 28th event.
non-emembers will be asked for a nominal US$10 fee. please reserve soon: already 4 spaces have been taken! if you wait until the last minute you will be frozen out!
also, i just don't know how to feel about bikram's antics any more. suing studios who teach his series but don't pay him for it appears unseemly, no doubt.
and yet his style is among the most injurious in all of yoga. so perhaps it is a better form of safety and "quality control" to do your so-called hot yoga only at certified bikram studios, where presumably the teachers have really been instructed in his style.
i might feel better about this if bikram's teacher training were more in-depth. . .
finally, we here at bread coffee chocolate yoga have been offered a better home! and we intend to take it! i will be moving the site in a few weeks, but will leave the older archives here so as not to break links from google and the search engines.
dear readers, you'll have plenty of notice, no matter what happens. . .
Monday, May 26, 2003
not everyone gets that the well-known film willy wonka and the chocolate factory isn't a children's movie, just as roald dahl's (flash required) children's books aren't for children. i think this includes warner bros.
i've always been a big fan of dahl -- not only for his mordant humor, but also for his prose style, which while no longer fashionable, punches on the page, esp. in his so-called adult short stories.
but then, why trust me? my favorite short story writer remains isaac babel, who has to take the cake for both black humor and tormented sorrow. forget kafka.
uneven but always intriguing director tim burton is interested in remaking the traditional wonka. this could be really great if burton respects -- and is allowed to represent -- dahl's true outlook.
unfortunately a re-make would probably also launch yet more inferior movie-themed chocolate onto the planet. i'll probably go to the movie, and bring a couple of bars of slitti lattenero. . . .
Sunday, May 25, 2003
brief visit to philly resulted in a stop at la colombe. i just can't figure this place out. many pontificate at how wonderful this coffee is -- but i can't find it.
its excellence seems near random chance to me. at a wedding reception, i was served their so-called "beaulieu" blend, which i was told by the person serving it contained a fair percentage of mexican altura. it was fresh, freshly ground, and well-made. i ended up having 3 cups after dinner.
i've never had a good experience with la colombe here in new york; i always assumed it was because the coffee was old by the time it got to brooklyn. when i tried it in philly, i was told the problem was that i wasn't at the main shop itself.
but encouraged by the after-dinner experience, i dragged mr. right through down-town philly in an autumnal mist -- and before breakfast -- for my usual test espresso drink, the doppio macchiato, at the original la colombe storefront.
when we arrived, the place was crowded, the music was weirdly metal, and the stained sienna walls looked dirty, not cool. mr. right loathed the place immediately, so against my better judgement i took my drink to go in a paper cup.
they don't have paper cups the right size! i was given my macchiato in an 8oz. paper cup! work on that, jean philippe, ok?
mr. right was hot to have crepes for breakfast so we decamped through the london fog. but i was surprised -- the drink was excellent, requiring no sugar, even tho' this was brewed with their corsica blend.
which to my mind, is too dark for good espresso. actually, i have to confess i think their "lighter" roast, the nizza, is too dark as well. . .
despite our religious differences on roast colors, i had to confess it was a tremendous cup of public coffee. so good in fact that in a rare moment i wheedled mr. right into returning after breakfast for a sit-down drink, one to savor in their deruta cups.
this time the line had cleared, the music had changed to something much more pleasant, a nice table in the cozy back corner had opened -- but once the rim hit my lips i realized:
the cups were frigid and the coffee was carbon; the latte art, a mere blob. . . .