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Saturday, January 10, 2004


platinum blonde sanskrit with manorama

lemme direct your yogic attention to a great three-part workshop with manorama at yoga people in bklyn. long-time readers know i'm a big fan of her hypnotic cd, which i've written about before.

this sanskrit chant workshop takes places over 3 thursdays from 8pm to 9:30pm monthly on jan. 22, feb. 12, and mar. 18. you can pre-register for US$15 or pay US$20 at the door.

call 718-522-9642 to reserve your place; i believe the workshop is limited to 20 people.

i myself would love to go, but it's just too late in the evening for me, alas. so feel free to call and take my spot!

this morning is the coldest in the nine years i have now lived in new york: 1 degree f. thus i was happy to comfort myself with a cappuccino of gimme's platinum blonde espresso blend.

this i followed up with by selecting an exquisite dark chocolate leaf filled with fennel-infused ganache from richard donnelly. if you're not eating his chocolates, you have no idea what chocolate can be, frankly. every year his work becomes more refined.

surprisingly, the fennel complemented the notes of the platinum blonde well. i had planned to polish off the remaining goose liver paté with black truffles for breakfast, but in truth, i'd rather savor richard's chocolate. . .

posted by fortune elkins | 9:05 AM | top | link to this |


Friday, January 09, 2004


photo flash

just in from incredible altie and scaa consumer member marshall fuss of la-la land -- a largish pic (a 2 min. download on 56k modem) of us speaking at last year's scaa convention in boston.

marshall's saying something funny about coffee, and i'm responding, based on no food, no sleep, and some incredible memories.

this year's conference is in april in atlanta. will you be there? once again, marshall and i will be speaking, and this time, i'll also be teaching a hands-on espresso how-to lab with amazing altie and consumer member jim schulman of chicago.

not to mention all the other events we're doing just for consumers like you, o readers. do think about coming -- it's the next best thing to having coffee at my house!

dear readers, will you be joining me there? i promise it'll be a blast!

finally, i got quite an amusing email from irish coffee guy hugh gilmartin, whose puckish sense of humor i just love.

remember him, long-time readers? i once anointed him my personal espresso savior. . .and he still has a place among my coffee retablos. . .

posted by fortune elkins | 8:13 PM | top | link to this |



stop the presses for richard donnelly! was regional coffee culture, part xiv

"the discovery of coffee has enlarged the realm of illusion and given more promise to hope. . ." or the current state of coffee culture in new delhi.

today finds me drinking david haddock's counterculture moka harrar in the cafetiére (a.k.a. french press).

what a tremendous coffee. roasted to what i'd call light vienna, but what peter g. of counterculture calls "true full city," this pleasantly winey tasting coffee has a fuller body than you'd expect, with a sweetly spicy fragrance, and strong aromas of vanilla, fresh raspberry, caramel.

the roast level gives it a nice crème caramel aftertaste (what scaa chief ted lingle's flavor wheel would call "swiss vanilla" or "custard vanilla" under the "chocolatey" section, i think).

and what arrived today out of the blue? a winter care package from the u.s.a.'s premier chocolate artist, richard donnelly, filled with treats like his dark chocolate lip balm and orgasmic dark chocolate honey-caramel hearts.

i can barely pick myself up off the floor. be still my beating. . .!!!

posted by fortune elkins | 8:35 AM | top | link to this |


Thursday, January 08, 2004


regional coffee culture, part xiii

"it's a vibrant, safe and nurturing environment where I can get legal advice, find out how to get my dishwasher fixed and hear about a house for sale in one morning," says one coffeehouse owner.

yes, today finds a great overview on the coffee scene in richmond, virginia.

and here's another slice of the coffee culture in liberal oregon: coffee for political fundraising.

also, a writer sings the praises of a homey new coffee bar in fort worth, texas, moka java.

before i forget, has anyone else seen the midnite espresso cocktail around? it's a mix of vodka, frangelico, and shaken with a shot of espresso. . .i found it recently on the lower east side here in nyc.

finally, lemme recommend a blend for you home-roasters to try out: kenya "kirinyaga estate" aa, costa rica "montana esmeralda" tarrazu, sumatra lintong, and a brazil washed cereja. take this one to just before or to the very first dots of oil, what i would call full city.

posted by fortune elkins | 11:47 AM | top | link to this |


Wednesday, January 07, 2004


for you serial drinkers

ok, actually you need a usb port to keep your coffee warm with this device.

although some in the coffee industry pessimisstically say that people continue to move away from coffee to other beverages, i say no way! and i'm gathering the data to prove it, such as 25% of teen girls groove on vanilla lattes.

the women of the future are coffee lovers!

oh, and the major press does a coffee story today. i don't agree personally with most of the article's recommendations. in fact, i violently disagree with most.

however, you won't go wrong with illy -- if you can get it fresh, which is almost always the problem. those expensive little pressurized cans are almost always less than what they should be.

as for the thanksgiving coffee, well, my my that's former scaa prez and bccy pal paul katzeff's coffee. small world once again. . .

as for the coffee i'm preferring -- check out the links on the left. this morning i happily drank more gillies carioca blend in the cafetiére, a.k.a. press pot.

posted by fortune elkins | 12:03 PM | top | link to this |


Tuesday, January 06, 2004


playing espresso

and what clever child wouldn't want to experience the joys of this new toy kitchen line with its own mini espresso machine?

now 5-year-olds can prepare to compete in the world barista championship.

and here's what appears to be an unusual take on a how-to-run-a-coffeeshop business book.

finally long-time readers know i'm always on the hunt for the ultimate killer brownie recipe. thus the surprising guinness stout brownie really caught my eye. . .

posted by fortune elkins | 1:16 PM | top | link to this |


Monday, January 05, 2004


the art of coffeemaking

this new zealand class is one i sure want to take. i appreciate all efforts at consumer education and those who evangelize good coffee. long-time readers know i think all these people should become scaa consumer members.

actually, scaa c-members know i'm teaching such a class at the scaa conference in atlanta in late april for all coffee-lovin' consumers with my rockin' fellow charter c-member jim schulman of chicago. i encourage all long-time readers to come. info available on the scaa website!

and here's what looks like a fun recipe for aztec devil's food cupcakes with chile!

i've had the original desert in bobby flay's new york restaurant. it's ok; i think the home version would be nicer, because the one i had at the grill was too dry.

posted by fortune elkins | 11:21 AM | top | link to this |


Sunday, January 04, 2004


various q contract documents

so recently there has been discussion among scaa consumer members about the proposed new way to trade specialty coffee on the market, scaa chief ted lingle's so-called "q contract."

part of the solution to the world-price depression known as the coffee crisis will be to create a new market for specialty coffee and a new coffee contract that rewards and incentivizes quality.

aspects of the q contract plan are still being worked out. but for those who are interested in the general outlines at least as of 6 weeks ago, i'm posting some documents that will explain the idea generally:

there are still many questions about the q, and its effects on specialty are still being debated. its acceptance among roasters, green coffee importers, and the coffee-loving public is still unknown. . .

posted by fortune elkins | 5:15 PM | top | link to this |

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