Saturday, December 06, 2003
the delightful and underappreciated chipper harris of coffeekids sent me a wonderful website: go there now.
since we here in new york are enduring this wacky blizzard, i went to yoga early, to the class given by a friend of mine as her final exam to become a yoga teacher. it was a mellow class with long savasana and meditation period at the end.
but walking home from yoga people was gruesome in the needly sleet mixed with fluffy snow, driving wind, and slush. ugh.
thus i dug deep into my freezer and found a quarter pound of gillies kona, which i believe is the kona star.
a cafetiére (a.k.a. press pot) of this on such a day is a fine thing. long-time readers know i am not a cold-weather person at all, and i would gladly accept a trip to "origin" (as the coffee trade calls the tropical places where coffee is grown) right about, oh, yesterday. . .
i love this coffee, and i could wax poetic about it for a while. let me just say, in keeping with the weather, it is as lovely as a snow angel made in bright, clean snow.
Friday, December 05, 2003
coffeekids cupping event
looking for a tremendous way to spend a winter saturday afternoon?
long-time readers know i'm a huge supporter of the great charity coffeekids. and that mr. right prefers batdorf's dancing goats coffee to almost all others.
so i'm really happy to pass on the info for a cool fundraising cupping event to be held by my pal from batdorf, holly. the entrance fee to the cupping is just US$10, which goes to coffeekids.
this will be a fun and deeply educational experience for those of you in the olympia, washington area. i love cupping coffee, and i can't think of a better or faster way to really further your personal coffee appreciation than to attend as many cuppings as you can.
if you've never been, a cupping's fun and easy. you'll be amazed at the great variety of coffee flavors. it's not snobby, like wine tastings can be. just the opposite: the environment's quite welcoming. . .
plus holly's a great teacher! so make your reservation for tomorrow's event and go!
it's at davinci's gallery & espresso on dec. 6th (tomorrow!). there are 2 sessions: 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. call (281) 516-9595.
and when you see holly, say hi from me!
even if you can't make it, please consider making a holiday contribution to coffeekids. it's also a fantastic gift for the coffee-lover who already has everything!
short of another commercial espresso machine, of course. . .
Thursday, December 04, 2003
bread book review; new name, same coffee
today finds a nice overview of several popular bread-making books. those of you interested in holiday shopping for yourself or your favorite baker should definitely peruse this!
i own a couple of these books myself.
and in great news, we may soon be able to wave the flabby white supermarket loaf goodbye. yes, that extruded mushy shoebox we all know and don't love may be on the way out -- the tortilla is fast becoming the u.s.a.'s number-one best-selling bread product.
i am particularly taken with the idea of the chocolate tortilla. man, i can think of 100 uses for that! dessert city. . .oxacan molé city. . .
but in the bigger picture, considering how those cottony rectangles many of us first learned to call "bread" taste -- or more accurately, don't -- is it a surprise? gimme a chocolate tortilla any day!
in coffee news, i want to report that my beloved nyc coffeehouse, higher grounds at 9th & ave. c, is changing its name to 9th st. espresso. the name higher grounds was just too common and caused confusion. . .
but it's the same great coffee, same incredible latte art, same owner (kenny nye) and the same devotion to coffee quality!
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
roasting, cupping & chocolate overview
thanks to the several readers who sent me this big ny times chocolate overview (log your bad self in and think of bruce: saute, wednesday). long-time readers will note that nearly every chocolate -- and more -- has previously been mentioned here. . .
note also, however, that several of the chocolates the article mentions, i frankly don't like, and find massively overpriced.
some people think that all you have to do is to re-melt a bar of valrhona, take a couple of chocolate classes, and slap on a nice label to call yourself a chocolatier. in your dreams, is my strong reply!
further, they are focused on chocolates readily available in new york; thus they miss some of the finest chocolates in the u.s.a., such as richard donnelly. richard feels so strongly about chocolate quality and freshness, he really doesn't accept accounts on the east coast.
it's just too far away for him, and he worries the chocolate suffers during anything more than next-day shipping. . . so if you're on this coast, order from him and just ignore the cost of the fed ex!
i have been remiss in failing to mention this article on coffee roasting. mea culpa. to prevent this in the future, let me now mention today's piece on cold-water coffee brewing.
i've written about this before. despite what this article says, long-time readers know that we coffee-lovers are waving our arms, jumping up and down, and practically screaming "the secret to good coffee is correct preparation!"
except maybe we also remind you that this includes starting with fresh coffee. . .i mean, what was my screed on the correct use of the cafetiére all about after all?
finally, and in one of those moments of synchronicity that so often occurs in my life, i received a couple of emails about my recent speakerphone cupping with counterculture. these readers longed to know where they could get a cupping form.
and lo and behold beloved scaa consumer member marshall fuss posted a link to the cup of excellence cupping form.
what's good about this form is that it has fairly user-friendly instructions. i particularly like its discussion of coffee brightness (a.k.a. acidity). note at the end of the document some of the terms: "having spine?"
it's not exactly the standard scaa cupping form, but i think it's more than adequate for most people. if it seems overwhelming to you, dear readers, skip the purity section, and concentrate on the aroma column, as well as the taste section that starts at "sweetness" and goes right.
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
krishna das concert; holiday open house
and here's a great review of a recent krishna das concert.
i've had the luxury of actually practicing yoga while he was playing live -- amazing.
i like all his albums, but for some reason live. . .on earth is my favorite.
for those of you in the southern california area, don't forget to drop by the scaa holiday open house, tues., dec. 16. it's from 5 to 8pm.
heather perry, current u.s.a. barista champion, will be pouring latte art. don't miss it!
Monday, December 01, 2003
yoga for new mothers; nostalgic barrels
and today finds a great article on yoga for mothers, by dorie fox. she's a pal of mine and fellow yoga student in bklyn.
and speaking of friends in the news, here's a lovely bit on coffee author ("uncommon grounds") mark pendergrast's new book.
i must confess that i began this month by breaking into my stash of real jamaican blue mountain from don schoenholt's gillies coffee. (and yes, someday soon he'll get me an updated price list, i swear. . .) otherwise, i'd still be lying stunned on the kitchen floor in my tickle pink robe.
while everyone knows that jbm is rarely what it used to be and is probably overhyped, don does have a supply of enchanting stuff and he definitely knows what do with it.
so this morning i polished off a cafetiére. it's a sweet, mellow coffee, low-medium brightness, perfect for tumbling out of bed to on a cold sunny morning when you don't really want to go back to work after the holidays. . . a mild coffee to ease you back into the old routine.
i believe this morning's jbm is the reliable mavis banks m.b.c.f. grade #1. while some dismissively call it "a nice mexican coffee," i found it a little more special than that, personally!
but make no mistake -- when you buy jbm, you're certainly paying for those nostalgic little barrels -- for romance & memory.
Sunday, November 30, 2003
delightful bohemian coffee sonnet
edwin denby was living downtown at the time:
(audio post powered by audblog, mp3 format)
i don't think he was talking about the caffé reggio.
someone please tell me what famous coffee shop the abstract painters and modern dancers frequented; it would have been near 21st, where many of them were living, always two months behind on rent.
later denby wrote more poems during his summers in maine.