Saturday, August 20, 2005
hissing foam collapse, solved
i bought a new container of that skim+ milk because it foams so nicely. so i texture as usual with silvia, all nice and no problem.
then after i made mr. right his usual morning latte with jessica's fresh batdorf dancing goat, and sprinkled it with sugar (he loves the way a thin layer of sugar melts on top of the microfoam to make a little crust) as usual, everything seemed all normal.
he went to get the newspaper, came back into the room and suddenly we hear this hissing. where is it coming from? the latte!
the foam's hissin' like an enraged madagascar cockroach and before our eyes begins to collapse into itself with a rolling motion like niagara falls.
in about a minute it was all over. the foam had completely disappeared and you could hardly tell there had ever been any milk in the coffee at all.
truly a case for the european milk-foam guru morten munchow (and here if you read danish), no? but long-time bccy pal, scaa pro, roasters' guild hero, and certified barista judge barry jarrett of riley's had the answer: the milk's on its way out, probably due to poor handling by the grocery store in the unusually hot weather we've been having here in nyc.
as he says: "things can happen in milk which don't affect taste but do affect frothability. the milk can be 'in date' but still have gone off as far as frothing is concerned."
new carton of milk for me then!
Friday, August 19, 2005
regional coffee culture, part liii
"i don't know how to feel about coffee shops. when a place has too many, it makes me think no work is getting done. but one coffee shop per town is agreeable, two if you want to prevent monopolies. anything else would be uncivilized."
asheville as a coffee haven? and i have no idea what to make of the above comment whatsoever.
she doesn't know how to feel about coffee shops? but she appears to pratically live in them, ordering her iced-coconut-lattes or whatever (what's that shiver running down my back?)
i suppose her mention of this as a favorite drink pretty much tells us how much credence we should lend her views? but she means well i'm sure; will someone reading this blog send this woman some real coffee?
long-time readers know how i feel about coffee shops. i think we need more independent, high-quality roaster-retailers. everywhere.
or to paraphrase fergie: "we don't know what saturation would look like. . ." end of story.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
when the world changes, have a cup of coffee in yr. hand
sometimes the world just breaks, and everything's instantly different. this may have happened to me today.
at my job at the cute little software company, i got an email saying, "you know, we need a taxonomy to make this new portal thing work. you should think about this." wham!
suddenly i might have been transformed forever into a librarian. or, make that a real information architect.
as long-time bccy pal dougie cadmus said, "putting together a taxonomy strategy is a big deal." he should know, himself being a grown-up info architect.
at times like this you'd better be seated and have a great cup of coffee to hand. luckily today i had plenty of gillies' own dns reserve blend. . .
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
regional coffee culture, part lii
"49 percent of americans age 18 or older drink some type of coffee beverage daily, and many of them are waiting in lines at specialty coffee retailers to get their fix. the cafe segment of the specialty coffee market -- including cafes, kiosks, carts and coffee bean roaster/retailers -- reached $8.47 billion in 2003 and continues to grow. . ."
this article today documents the continued explosion of specialty coffee across the u.s.a. there are great quotes from long-time bccy pal, scaa communications guru mike ferguson ("fergie"), esp.
i love his "saturation must be theoretically possible, but we don't know what it would look like" remark. that's a hoot!
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
more on coffee as a health food
"caffeine intake appeared to explain some, but not all, of the diabetes-risk reduction and weight change. . ."
in short this study seems to buttress the belief that moderate coffee consumption, sensible diet, and regular exercise (like a challenging yoga practice, or even i'll allow, even a nice 5k run!) appear to significantly decrease the chances of developing diabetes. diabetes is apparently turning into an expensive public health epidemic before our eyes in europe, north america, and indeed worldwide.
but the picture still's unclear -- altho' i do think it of deep interest that the benefits of coffee appear more strongly marked for women! and the subjects which the big e.u. study is considering seem really fascinating.
however it appears more and more that scientists need to change the focus from caffeine alone. as long-time readers know, coffee contains at least 1,100 identified components, of which chlorogenic acid may presently be the most interesting in regards to human health.
or more likely, coffee as a complex and completely natural product works as a whole -- all of its constituents together -- to offer subtle but important health benefits when enjoyed with common sense.
Monday, August 15, 2005
regional coffee culture, part li
"in gensan, the number of coffee lovers is growing by the day. three years ago, there were only three coffee shops in the city. as of last week, sun.star has already counted eight with one more opening up soon . . ."
specialty coffee rushes over the pacific like a wave, to reach even medium-sized cities in far provinces of the philippines.
also i'm very hopeful about oren's comment yesterday -- will he really make a housecall to see what's up with my chemex brewing? that would be fantastic!
maybe he'll have time when he gets back from colombia, where's doing another round of judging. . .whatever we do, we have to stop o. from weeping.
we can't have unhappy coffee now, can we? no way!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
fold 4 times
this is what i'm trying with today's pizza dough, folding it 4 times for the max chewy texture. my husband loves a pizza crust that's lightly golden with random dark brown spots, a thin layer of cripsy crunch when you first bite into it, and then a central portion of chewiness.
so this is what i'm trying to achieve. and of course, as with all things, it's an 80-20 rule situation -- getting that last 20% to perfection is actually 80% of the work!
but long-time readers know me; i'm too stupid to say die and so slave away trying out any technique that will bring me closer to my goal!
yesterday -- besides being forced by blogger to once again email in my post, which fortunately seemed to arrive, altho' the formattng is completely askew -- was famously about 110 degrees f here in nyc. today is much cooler, but i still enjoyed making don's gillies coffee yrg in the chemex as an experiment.
i tried all the new tricks -- placing a straw at the back, folding the filter point flat -- and the coffee was much better! it still took 17 min. 30 secs. to brew 48 oz. however. i will say that actually lifting the filter out of the pot my its ends is the fastest way to brew.
however, since i was always folding the dough, i just couldn't stand there holding the filter the entire time. . .i think i do prefer don's yrg in the chemex, as opposed to the cafetiére. . .