Saturday, September 03, 2005
nolajava: back in business!
amazing how once again i can't log into blogger today and gotta mail this in. . .that's not very much to complain about, so i'll stop. . .i gotta get to wordpress soon, somehow. . .
the big news today is that long-time bccy pal bill s., "nolajava," after heading to safety from the hurricane disaster, has already made plans to get his coffee roasting business moving forward. having made an arrangement with a baton rouge roaster, he intends to be roasting coffee as early as sept. 12!
i'll keep you posted as soon as i hear his mail-order operation is up and running. i know many people will want to support him by enjoying his highly regarded coffee! not every roaster can get a 90 rating from ken davids, after all!
in other news, i myself was given a "mystery blend" on friday by one of our greenie friends. he refused to tell me what it was.
but it was certainly fresh, having emerged from the nybot grading room's sample roaster (note to nybot: why the heck did you take that page down???) that very afternoon. i made it this morning in the cafetiere given me by don schoenholt of gillies.
after sampling it, i think it's a kenya (ab??) mixed with a java jampits, or similar indonesian bean. since it was fresh, fresh, fresh, i had to beware of the intense bloom. . .and still it nearly foamed over on me.
still, it had a wonderful floral fragrance, a nutty, caramelly feeling, medium brightness, and a medium-heavy body. yummy with a spoonful of light cream.
Friday, September 02, 2005
umm, dark chocolate
"dark chocolate, once the province of pastry chefs, connoisseurs and euro aficionados, is going mainstream in the united states."
and about time, too, if you ask me! nice article here.
while the chick from chocolatier likes the 56% noir, i'm a little more intense than that, and tend to prefer something in the realm of 70%. . .
it's almost fall! in a just a couple of weeks, we'll be shipping chocolate once again.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
another update on coffee & nola
again the invaluable don schoenholt of gillies, one of the creators of the specialty coffee industry as we know it today, reports:
"I communicated throughout the day with trade friends with New Orleans contacts.
The port situation is impossible. The Green Coffee Association has cancelled its planned annual event scheduled for New Orleans next month.
CoffeeNetwork reports "Proctor and Gamble, who operate one of the largest coffee roasting facilities in New Orleans for Folgers and Millstone - as well as logistics operations, has not been able to assess the situations." For the complete coffeeNetwork report see www.coffeenetwork.com.
After talking to several greenies, I would now estimate that there was in New Orleans approximately 2-million bags of green coffee in the city's 14 coffee warehouses last week. This is about one-third of the nations total green coffee stocks of an estimated 6-million bags. 734-Thousand bags are "Certified" stock acceptable for proffering against NYBOT "C" Contracts. 400-Thousand bags is said to be Folgers'.
The remainder is uncertified coffees, and specialties held by trade houses and local roasters. Please remember, with the exception of the 734K bags of Certifieds (which is a hard number from GCA) this is a soft best guess estimate only.
Dupuy Storage and Forwarding Corp. and Silocaf of New Orleans Inc. are very large and modern bulk coffee processing operations in the New Orleans area. They are both out of service.
Kevin Kelly, at Port Cargo Service in NOLA reported, 'Contrary to what you hear on the national news, 80% of New Orleans is NOT flooded. Less than 50% of the City of New Orleans and Metaire areas are flooded. I have 28 warehouse locations in the metropolitan area, totaling nearly 3,000,000 square feet, and only one warehouse totaling 175,000 square feet has a potential of being flooded'. . . .
In addition to the companies above, there were more than 100 independent specialty coffee retailers in the City of New Orleans."
the nybot's original katrina press release is here. those of us connected to the specialty coffee industry -- that means us regular coffee lovers -- are certainly wishing our friends the independent roaster/retailers the best for the future!
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
update on coffee & nola
as always the incredible don schoenholt of gillies, and one of the founders of the scaa, offers a more authoritative report on the state of the coffee warehouses in new orleans.
i was also glad to hear tidings of long-time bccy pal bill "nolajava" s., who apparently safely evacuated to high ground in mississippi. i also hope to hear soon about those very nice people at community coffee!
and as i have every year for the past few, let me remind you all to check out the macmillan coffee morning, which is a great charitable activity. this year, it's happening on sept. 30!
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
coffee & nola
hurricane katrina, which spared a direct hit on the beautiful historic buildings of new orleans, is still messin' with the lives of coffee drinkers in a profound way. how?
it's incumbent on us coffee lovers to remember that new orleans is a primo coffee port. green lands there; green is warehoused there.
and now 80% of new orleans is under water, some of it 20 ft. deep. while beanz + water = coffee, in this case, it's not good.
also, we have to remember that new orleans has a long and beautiful coffee culture:
"today, coffee with chicory remains the most popular blend in a city where people do not take the matter lightly. thanks to the gourmet coffee chains sprouting up across the national landscape, much of America is waking up to the idea that coffee can be a real pleasure.
but coffee has always been serious business in new orleans - whether stacked in pyramids of 100-pound sacks on the port docks or served in china in the city's finest creole restaurants."
i'm not a big chicory fan, but i know many people are; and i myself have had the pleasure of home-made beignets with fresh well-made coffee.
Monday, August 29, 2005
coffee & nico
here's an interesting article about coffee makers, featuring dunkin's cupper, ellen walker (i keep saying that the coffee industry is all about women nowadays!). note that this article cites a survey showing that pod coffee makers just aren't happening despite the marketing hype: only 3.5% of all sold this year.
and the pro cupper agrees with us at bccy: these ugly puppies make weak, stale coffee. . . .for some reason today, i'm just totally groovin' on cale's old ballet for nico. . .
Sunday, August 28, 2005
various amusing yoga topics
"yoga is steadiness, not speed. . ."
i certainly hope to be doing some of these poses when i'm 80! however, the "confounding" belly motion mentioned in the article is, i think, the trusty old nauli.
when i first started this blog, dear readers, i would on occasion get cranky email from various religious people warning me that yoga was pagan evil that would surely destroy america. of course, these souls were completely ignorant of the strong genre of christian yoga.
a very nice lady minister, nancy roth, wrote a wonderful book about it; and i'm glad to see that it's catching on.
hey -- do your yoga however it best appeals to you! patanjali writes in the yoga sutras that the object of your meditation in yoga can be anything that calls to you individually (pada 1, sutra 39).
it could be ganesh, jesus, chocolate chip cookies, or the mathematical beauty of the universe. whatever: it's all up to you, since patanjali makes clear that the practice of yoga has no inherent religious content.
his sutras pretty much assume that a "vibration" or "consciousness" in a "higher plane" is a fundamental human intuition, but patanjali doesn't say who or what that might be. it could be the quantum energy in the 10th dimension of string theory, you know?
it's true that most english translations use the word "god" for some of patanjali's terms -- even so, i remain confused that christians would object to this or to the term "surya namaskar" (the sun salutation, surya being the name of the traditional hindu sun deity). if there's only one god, as they believe, does it matter what a person might call him or her in their particular language?
in hinduism itself, surya is often considered a "person" or "aspect" of the main deity, as the individual understands that. to draw a parallel with christian thinking, this is like discussing the holy spirit as a "person" of god.
(actually for those who enjoy this kind of philosophical discussion, an interesting conversation could be had on the subtle similarities and differences of the notions of atman and the holy spirit, actually. but you know me -- in general, i prefer to talk about coffee. . .)
i remain constantly astonished that otherwise well-educated people don't seem to understand that hinduism -- not that i'm a hindu, not at all -- is an enormous and beautiful philosophical system that encompasses the notion of monotheism in terms such as "brahman" and the "atman."
so i think the "controversy" in the time article above is pretty meaningless. everybody has to do their own yoga, end of story.