Saturday, July 30, 2005
snow in heaven
on a hot day after a quick trip across the pond, i returned from my usual jet-lag-beating yoga class to cool myself down with a nice tall glass of iced mesa de los santos by gimme and a pleasant portion of one my favorite non-chocolate desserts, snow in heaven ("yakh dar behesht," made with very finely ground farina). snow in heaven is one of the few times i believe rosewater should leave the soapdish. . .
i began the morning making 2 espressi: one with gimme's leftist from yesterday, and the other of the "house benchmark" coffee, jessica's batdorf dancing goats. when ultra-fresh -- as jessica always sends it, never more than 3 days old -- it is truly a fantastic coffee, and as long-time readers know, pretty much the only one my husband will drink.
however i will say that he threw me a curveball recently by stating out of the blue that maybe that stumptown hairbender was ok, after all. . .nevertheless i sprung some leftist on him, but he wasn't happy with its slightly smoky feeling.
he said that all these smoky/dark notes reminded him too much of the mermaid. i urged him not to let their roasting tar(!) vaguely similar notes in finer coffees, but what am i to do?
i myself think the leftist is mighty fine, altho' that just might be the rational fundamentalist in me. . .
Friday, July 29, 2005
when i returned to earth, the first thing i did was of course break out kevin c's gimme coffee leftist espresso and pour myself a triple. that stuff is sooo yummy.
highly recommended. tomorrow, i'll talk more about it, but that doesn't mean you have to wait . . .
i thought about using blogger's mobile feature to post from the plane on the way back, because virgin has such awesome services. but email off the plane seems limited to 250 characters, so i wasn't sure it was worth it to blog.
i will say that i probably want to live on virgin's upper class -- if they could improve the coffee. . .
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
more illy podwater
actually, illy podwater -- it's not really espresso now, is it? -- doesn't seem so bad at 35,000 ft. so i was grateful to fly virgin atlantic last night.
it certainly was pleasant, if not divine, to have some illy and listen to all the cool music available on the noise-canceling headphones. that you could also have as many candied lemon bon-bons as you liked helped too!
one thing i've noticed about all the illy pods i've been served is that the coffee has neither abundant nor long-lasting crema, and the body's quite thin compared to a 'normal' illy espresso. it's a shame really, don't you agree?
i attribute this to the staleness of the pods as much as the pod coffee-making process itself. . .
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
gimme's mesa de los santos
this morning i had the great fortune (r d r-squared, for you simpsons fans!) to make kevin c's gimme roast of scaa board member and consumer member chair oswaldo acevedo's mesa de los santos.
it's an outstanding coffee for a number of reasons!
sadly, that work thing keeps interrupting my quality cupping time in the morning, so i just had to make this up in the cafetiére (that's a french press to you!).
anyone who like to help me remedy this problem, please send suggestions. i think the best thing to do would be to become q-certified, don't you?
anyway, let's talk about kevin and oswaldo's coffee. i'm going to call this 5-day-old roast an "espresso +" because the beans are completely shiny with oil but the coffee isn't "frenched," you know?
the beans themselves are just big and beautiful. got your scaa flavor wheels handy?
of course i made this at my usual test 55g. ground coffee per liter of 198 degree water. the freshly ground coffee released a delightful floral scent, very nicely jasmine-y.
despite the seemingly dark roast of this coffee, it was all about caramel and honey. just delicious. there's a little hint of citrus, which reminded me of italian blood oranges.
the press pot mutes the coffee's brightness a tad, as does the roast, and so i'd call it low-medium bright, nippy. and also because the press increases body, this was nicely heavy for a colombian.
it's easy to see why this is such a popular coffee for morning drinking! highly recommended.
Monday, July 25, 2005
interesting book? probably not
"like italian cars, football, fashion, food, and film starlets, espresso coffee has acquired an unmistakable aura of italian glamour. it combines precision engineering, voluptuous lines, impeccable style, and consummate showmanship, allowing its exponents to build an entire cafe culture around the process of making a cup of coffee. . ."
sounds like an interesting book, hmm? maybe a little too conspiracy-theorist on the agent orange charge, however.
i was surprised to find from this review that the author seems to believe that coffee is harmful, however. i honestly just don't think the science is on his side when it comes to moderate consumption, 2 or 3 cups a day.
"coffee used to be a business in which, despite its manifest drawbacks, a man could think himself honourably employed. in common with many other businessmen, the coffee man as often as not now finds himself effectively a receiver of stolen goods and an enslaver of the third world. the more conscientious may scratch their heads and wonder how on earth this came about. most keep their conscience prisoner."
this claim i think is waaay too harsh. in fact, while long-time readers know that i am a big critic of the current coffee market, i will say that "the coffeeman" per se is much more concerned with the state at origin than most other businessmen are about the roots of their products.
i know greenies -- even "evil" ones who sell commercial coffee to folgers -- who have built roads, schools, and medical clinics for workers. those coffeemen and women in the specialty coffee industry have been tireless in alerting the world to the plight of coffee farmers and in designing working, practical solutions beyond just fair trade, which is the only thing the author seems to offer.
i guess you can buy it here. but so far, i think i'll be skipping it.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
congrats to marshall
first, i had a great talk this morning with scaa members marshall fuss and jim schulman, fresh from yesterday's awesome consumer member "homecoming" in california. the scaa staff did a fantastic job and about 70 people came to learn more about appreciating coffee as a fine beverage.
not only were their lectures on some topics that are quite familiar to regular bccy readers, like the nez du café and the scaa flavor wheel, but also there was a fantastic presentation on coffee in yemen.
double thanks to marshall for putting this event together and making is a complete success! every year i long to go only to have some work-thing pop up. . .
also, today's ny times is just bccy all over: a cover article on coffee in puerto rico, another on vosges' famed yoga and chocolate vacations.
finally, a heads-up: those of you interested in renting the new dvd of a. tatou's "a very long engagement," be warned: it is quite violent, intensely sad, and you might want to brace yourself for that. . .still it's beautifully shot, a fine movie, well worth seeing.