Thursday, January 26, 2006

when great minds think alike. . .

. . .they think about baking scales. m.b. emailed me to note the new well-priced 1 g./decimal oz. scale over at king arthur.

and it just so happens that i had been pondering that page of the catalogue myself earlier in the day.

why is this scale of interest? because the standard salter scale with similar capabilities costs nearly double.

on the other hand, salter objects endure: i've had my current salter scale for nigh on 7 years, and of course it works great. so even tho' i'd love to upgrade to this new inexpensive 1-gram increment scale, i'm having problems justifying why i should chuck my present one.

really, the only complaint i have about it is that it doesn't measure down to the 1-gram level. which however can be crucial when re-sizing bread and chocolate recipes or trying to precisely weigh your coffee. . .

excuse me while i wrestle with myself here.

many people are familiar with the scale review from cooking for engineers. however, since what are probably the most popular brands of scales aren't mentioned, i've never put much stock in that particular page myself.

but that's just me, who's famously not an engineer, and can't play one on the internet!

not only do i want to thank everyone who came to yesterday's coffee meetup, i want to thank don schoenholt of gillies for speaking at the last minute. a kind deed on his behalf.

the next meetup will be in late march-ish sometime. please stay tuned for details.

not matter how busy the day, i can't forget to thank andrew b. of ecco enough; not only has he been so kind with his bolivian c.o.e., but he was also sweet enough today to send more of his ethiopian auction winner, the hama yrg.

this is one of those yrgs that actually appear to be a fine harrar. amazing.

devoted readers may recall my comments about my recent time in oz with paul bassett and paul geshos, the latter of the deserves-global-fame-shop mecca. one of the things i mentioned at that time was paul's discussion of the so-called "updosing" barista technique.

this technique was explained at some length this fall in barista by oz coffee personality george sabados. and various enlightened coffee people are still discussing it.

i think i've tossed my few bits of knowledge on the stage floor, so i'll be watching to see how the situation develops. dropping in on others' attempts to wrestle with the technique -- not to single anyone out unfairly -- does however justify sabados' claim that few are grokking what he's trying to teach.

i think sabados may want to write a barista a clarifying letter after tim wendelboe's response appears in the upcoming feb./march issue.

finally, i want to thank readers (you know who you are) for the thoughtful mail on yesterday's post. yes, the new president of bolivia may be the head of the first blatant narco-government.

or maybe he just defended coca cultivation as a wedge issue with indigenous voters. but we can all agree that if bolivian farmers could get good prices growing quality coffee, they would largely avoid the hassles of joining an underground economy for easier, legal profits.

while growing coca for drugs pays well, it puts you under the thumb of the drug overlords, who are quite unpleasant characters to deal with. and the late juan de dios blanco's experience certainly demonstrates the possibility that coffee can also offer huge rewards, no?

posted by fortune | 8:19 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 8 comments

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