Saturday, November 12, 2005


elegant geishas, part v & milk chocolate yrg

today just call me ukers, because i'm all about coffee. of course, i'm still fixated on scott & jessica's batdorf "latitudes" line, particularly the panama geisha and the kello yrg.

i hopped outta bed and rushed into the kitchen to make up the panama geisha, emeralda jaramillo especial, as a single-origin espresso in the triple portafilter. i was of mixed mind about this, as it's such a beautiful estate coffee that to condense it as espresso and lose so many of its fancy notes seemed almost criminal to me.

as a straight espresso, it comes out suprisingly crisp and with an unexpected chocolate note. it also had more crema than i would have guessed, and a lightly syrupy body.

just to double check, i made it as an americano, which i think i liked better. so for those of you who refuse to drink anything but espresso, there is an interesting shot to be had here, if you like a bright shot.

but after some thought, i do think it's not the best showcase for all the complexities this coffee can offer, imvho. then i had to run out and get my eyebrows done at supermodel central.

supermodel central is an amusing place; i've been going there for several years now and each year the girls get younger and younger. i mean, models used to be 17, 18 years old.

i am fairly immune to the eccentricities of the fashion world, living in new york for so long now, but i am beginning to get a tad creeped out by these 14-year-old european girls. true, they may be 14, but they have the bodies of 10 year olds.

i know models are meant to be nothing more than calcium clothes hangers with interesting faces, but the current crop do seem to be dancing on the scary blade of an androgynous pedophilia. i know fashion is all about épater le bourgeoisie, but this isn't edgy-hip, it's just old-man-skeevy.

but the girls themselves seem very sweet when you talk to them. so why do i feel like the fashion executives should be registering themselves in the sex-offenders database when i page around in the lastest rag mags?

i'm told that the reason for this trend is the affluent baby-boomer babes who buy upscale clothes now mostly have daughters this age, and they project themselves thru their children. they use their kids to formulate their current self-image, and so that's what fashion executives mirror back to them.

anyway, today was the first day i ran about town in my fancy new eyeglasses, with delicate, ultra-light black frames, hi-tech lenses, and all the groovy transition features. let me digress one moment further to say that the transition lenses are interesting -- they do quickly turn a medium gray even in this late autumn sunlight, but in an imperceptibly gradual way.

so even when the lenses were fully dark, i didn't have that "i'm looking thru sunglasses" feeling. unique. on the street they don't fully cut out the glare, so you'll want polarized clip-on sunglasses.

once indoors, they also quickly but imperceptibly change back to clear. wearing them i couldn't tell the process was happening at all until i gazed in a mirror.

once back home, i lunched on more tomme des fleurs vertes, that delicious soft white goat cheese with lavendar, tarragon, pink peppercorns, and other herbs spread on my favorite saetre kjerks rye-bran crackers (i like these because they have a texture that reminds me of shortbread). i accompanied this with some paté de campagne and juicy sliced loquats.

(see what you miss when you don't come to my house for lunch, tonx?)

it used to be that nice, ripe loquats were impossible to find in nyc. you could go to dean and deluca, spend your grandma's kidney, and get a hard yellow stone.

but now they are showing up ripe and in good condition in my local market at a decent if high-ish price. i think they come from california.

i learned to eat loquats from the spunky sophie grigson -- when ripe they're bright apricot-orange and still feel firm, but have brown spots, like a bartlett pear. the skin is thick, so peel 'em gently.

halve them and you'll find the interior is mostly occupied by 4 apricot-like seeds. take these out, and you'll be left with a crisp "shell" that's juicy and tastes like cross between sweet apples and apricots.

after lunch is when i pulled out the vac pot again and made up the batdorf yrg, the kello co-op. scott warned me in advance that this was a most unusual yrg.

"wild," he said, "wild and like a harrar." what the heck does that mean? i thought. 60 g. to the liter and 4 santos minutes later, i found out.

yuppers, reach for your scaa flavor wheels, gentle readers. . .

remember, scott took these now 5-day-old beans to a standard+/light city roast. they possessed a medium tiger-eye color, it seemed, just beautiful.

the dry grounds are intensely floral. when the coffee bloomed, i stuck my nose into the vapors and saw what scott meant by wild -- there was a light, strange sweetish quality mixed with what seemed like oh, clove stem, some kind of sweet woody-seedy spice.

at the first sip, the brewed coffee seemed like a yrg of the tea-like variety, with that earl-grey thing going on. but the aftertaste was chocolate-y -- like a harrar!

and the body, instead of being yrg-delicate, was heavier, again like a harrar. when it cooled, the wine-y taste came to the fore and more of that wacky wild sensation.

in short, the kello yrg is a unique coffee, really different. i love it!

with light cream and little splenda, the wildness gets lost, but the coffee becomes even more harrar-ish, with a long, long milk-chocolate flavor that lingers in your mouth for what seems like days. . .yummy!

highly recommended.

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