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Saturday, March 06, 2004


that's not a bad time for a ristretto pull, known in australia as a "short black."

i was rather hoping to see a pic not of the billionaire racing owner's boringly young-n-much-taller trophy wife (she looks like she could pick him up by the waist and kiss him on the forehead), but of the revved-up espresso machine itself.

i personally pull all my shots at between 25 and 30 seconds, unless the roast master suggests otherwise. for example, i remain surprised that holly of batdorf insists their espresso is best at pulls of 18-24.

so that's what i do. . . .

let me also take this moment to remind all scaa consumer members that the private mailing list is now functioning. if you're still not subscribed, email maria and get yourself on!

finally, time is running out to sign up for atlanta! the scaa conference is open to the general public as well as c-members. to attend all events and workshops costs only US$45. consumer events run all weekend, april 24-25.

if you're just an average coffee lover in the general atlanta or georgia area, go for it! you're welcome and i'll be glad to personally meet ya!

posted by fortune | 10:21 AM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Friday, March 05, 2004

good book for yoga beginners

"to seek is an expression of love."

today finds me reading "what are we seeking?" by tkv desikachar. this book is a transcription of some talks he gave to students in europe in 1995.

i highly recommend this book for those new to yoga. it is written so simply, so plainly that a 12-year-old could understand it. often he uses indian folktales to illustrate his points.

"our relationships reveal our true state of consciousness."

this particular phrase reminded me of a truly beautiful thing bccy pal and scaa chief ted lingle once said to me: "relationships are one of the world's great energy fields and are the sources of most of the world's great changes." at the time he was discussing how to end the world-price depression known as the coffee crisis.

but as with so many things lingle says, it is a memorable phrase with a broader application. . .

posted by fortune | 11:29 AM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Thursday, March 04, 2004

i couldn't say it any better than this

"don't take your next cup of coffee for granted."

and there's no doubt this is amusing! but the ethics of coffee is a serious issue in fact, as our recent fair-trade discussion here has shown, no matter whether you support fair-trade or not.

and how much coffee do the competitors in the famed iditarod sled race drink? more than you might imagine!

posted by fortune | 11:19 AM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

ny times catches up with us

about time the ny times notices the new home coffeemaker explosion.

long-time readers will note they are only a couple of weeks late, which is pretty good for them, since usually the ny times is absolutely the last to know about anything. (with the exception of bccy pal deborah baldwin, of course!)

since recently we've been having a little discussion of fair-trade coffee here, i just wanted to link to the memorial university student newspaper's article on it.

i've noted before that students everywhere are getting into fair-trade coffee. and the head of the students group for fair-trade coffee, isaac grody-patinkin, has certainly been very successful in arousing and sustaining interest. he's all good.

so if you're a student interested in bringing fair-trade coffee to your school campus, contact isaac. pronto!

posted by fortune | 1:21 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

rad tantra returns!

long-time readers will remember my experience at the mark whitwell workshop. well, now you can groove yourself to the rad tantra. . .

mark whitwell will be back at be yoga downtown this tuesday, march 9th, from 7-9pm for a special one-day only class on yoga tantra. it will blow your mind.

i might even be able to make it myself!

and now, let's move on to the topics discussed in the comments recently. they deserve real space, so here it is:

on tooth whitening: well, i don't use it. maybe i should. i don't worry about it.

but as long-time readers may recall, my dentist whitens her teeth and then drinks her coffee through a straw. whatever works, right?

as for the question: what is fair-trade coffee, ah! it is one response to the world-price depression known as the coffee crisis. it's a scheme to ensure that coffee farmers are paid at least a living wage for their beans.

it costs about US$0.90 to grow a pound of coffee, but often coffee has sold for less than US$0.70 a pound! obviously that's a recipe for disaster and human misery.

and this living-wage coffee price has been determined to be about US$1.26 a pound. dear bccy pal kimberly easson of the certifying agency transfair usa talks a lot about the importance of fair-trade as a partial solution to a global problem. and she makes sense. . .

run over to her website and read all about it. . .

posted by fortune | 1:34 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Monday, March 01, 2004

great news for kona farmers

the mermaid has just announced that it will begin carrying kona coffee once again after a lapse of seven years. they intend to sell it for the amazing price of US$40 the pound!

look for kona prices to rise substantially as a result. kona farmers, rejoice. home roasters, buy a nice big supply of green now. . .

kona acreage is small, and while yield has been increasing, the growing region just isn't that big. with the mermaid now planning to buy up many many bags, that level of demand will inevitably drive prices up.

posted by fortune | 1:26 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Sunday, February 29, 2004

a recipe for -- yikes -- tea

here's what a sweetie i am: i will offer a recipe for chai, or spiced tea. with all due respect to my fellow yogis over at the stall. . . .

to make this into the so-called "chai latte," you will need to be able to froth milk, either with an espresso machine or one of those crazy little whippin' gadgets. . .

anyway, on to the tea. . .all ingredients can be found at penzeys.

while you boil your water, put together some mixture of 1 piece of dried ginger, 1 or 3 green cardamom pods, 1 star anise, 1 or 3 black peppercorns, 1 stick cinnamon, 2 or 3 cloves. you can do this with whole spices, or grind the ginger, cardomom seeds, and cinnamon into a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle.

pop it all into a tea ball, or piece of tightly tied cheescloth. simmer for about 15 or 20 mins. strain quickly or take out your spice ball so the water doesn't cool and make the tea.

i think a simple plain black tea is best for this, but of course, you should use whatever tea you like or have around, as long as its not already flavored with something. i mean, don't try this with earl grey!

some people like to add vanilla extract to the milk before they steam it. most people also add honey to the finished drink.

the adventurous supplement the basic mixture above with more spices, such as 2 or 3 coriander seeds, a few gratings of nutmeg or pinch mace, etc.

the point is to experiment with your own mixture until you find something unique that speaks to you. . .

posted by fortune | 7:29 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

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