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Saturday, September 16, 2006

it is decidedly so: classic coffees in da house

and yuppers dear readers the care package from don schoenholt of gillies arrived:

  • the famous lemon-y, caramel-candy yrg, the one ken davids named "the best yrgacheffe ever"
  • a yemen sanani, allspice and milk-chocolate-y
  • the smooth, big-beaned brazil cerrado, 17/18
  • and of course my long-time beloved, the sumatra lintong triple-picked, japanese prep

so this afternoon i chemex-ied the yemen at a "super-oren proportion" (2.25 oz fresh ground coffee to 26 oz water).

oh i swear i become more about single-origin estate varietals every day. anyway, i thought, hey! while i'm drinking some coffee, i'll set up my new macbook pro 17" to work with the cable modem.

so i thought it might take some time. i unplugged the cable from my g4 graphite desktop, plugged it into the macbook pro, turned the macbook on, and the next thing i knew the puppy had popped open a wizard, configured itself, connected to the internet, downloaded the update to os x 10.4.7 with its accompanying security update, installed them, and then hung up and rebooted.

oh. i guess there's nothing to set up.

this gleaming beauty is all about connectivity -- it's constantly on the alert for a network, any network, and when it finds one tickling at its whiskers, it connects auto-magically.

pretty amazing. so the only human intervention needed was that i when i went myself to connect via the cable modem after the reboot, it wasn't seeing the modem.

that's because i had to refresh the ip address after the os upgrade however; so i called my isp.

the nice lady there told me to select and then deselect my ethernet checkbox, apply the setting and surf away. wa-llah!

if i had known that trick -- which i guess comes from familiarity with tiger -- i wouldn't have had to call my isp at all.

so instead of fiddling with the mac, i spent my afternoon savoring don's yemen.

while i'm on the subject of apple products, let me also say that i ran down to every girl's fave place, tekserve, where a nice rave chick sold me the bluetooth mouse.

this is another thing of beauty here. so i pop in the batteries, flick on its belly switch and again the next thing i know the macbook is popping up a little window that basically says "hiya mighty mouse! let's play!"

wha? i said -- then clicked to configure all this baby's buttons, maxed out the speed and tracking, and immediately began to party with the magic 8 ball widget on the dashboard.

i repeat myself: oh. i guess there's nothing to set up.

i did install the software on the mouse's disk tho' i have to confess i didn't really do the install. this was a case of popping the cd into the slot and stirring my coffee while the macbook busied itself with the disk.

then it kindly told me it was finished. ok!

so there went my afternoon of not-having-to-configure the computer. i was forced to spend the time relaxing instead of geeking out.

now i can take the rest of the time to tackle my next batch of ratatouille -- the csa landed me with another 7-qt's worth of veggies!

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posted by fortune | 12:25 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

Friday, September 15, 2006

so busy today!

and despite this, i leapt up this morning and brewed up a bit of coffee oren gave me at lunch: a sumatra dated the 12th. yummy.

and i'm expecting some new coffee from don schoenholt at gillies soon. so look for descriptions of those in the very near future!

also the yoga center i most often frequent is about to start a class in yin yoga. this could be very interesting. . .i will definitely be checking this class out on the first day and report back to you all. . .

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posted by fortune | 8:14 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

Thursday, September 14, 2006

lunch at fci

so yesterday long-time bccy pal oren and myself lunched at fci, which i resolutely maintain is the most pleasant room in all new york. we had duck and watched jacques pepin himself wander the floor talking to diners.

we talked a lot about coffee, but i'd rather take a moment to note a nice email i got this morning from the awesome yogini nancy la nasa! she's on track to open her new studio soon and i encourage everyone who can to check it out.

nancy herself offers a hopeful and trenchant comment on all the 9-11 tinfoil hats: trenchant being "oy!" and hopeful, the one we should never forget: captain patrick brown.

once she reminded me of this site, i said, that's it!

the rest of the day is now devoted to him, and i personally intend to devote my own practice this evening to that brave man and fellow yoga student. i hope all of you readers who haven't practiced yet today will look at his website and be moved do likewise.

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posted by fortune | 8:20 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 1 comments | leave a voicemail

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

nice article for gimme!

"you might first notice the guy behind the counter with the pirate-worthy tattoos or the chromed-out espresso machine he?s operating. Your attention might be momentarily drawn to the name of the beans he's using -- like agrica bv calama marka or platinum blonde. . ."

and today the ny times finally discovers bklyn coffee treasure gimme and the wonderful kenny nye at 9th street. congrats to long-time bccy pals kevin c., kenny nye, mike white, et al.

what took them so long? gimme and 9th st. have been open for years and years!

what is this idea that if it's from seattle, oh, then it's good? (to our nyc minds, if it's from seattle, it tends to be charred. . .see the mermaid.)

long-time readers also note that we've described the coffee mentioned above: the bolivian c.o.e. coffee, the agrica bv calama marka and the famed platinum blonde (for example, here, among others).

finally, i'm going to object a little about that description above of pro baristi as "he." some of the best baristi around, championship baristi, are skirts, you know!

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posted by fortune | 7:52 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 5 comments | leave a voicemail

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

tracy allen's zoka tangletown

considering alas how long it took me to get to this zoka signature coffee, i fear time has diminished its bouquet somewhat. but i have been drinking it the past 2 or 3 days now.

again, i want to note that i'll be arranging the bouquet descriptors a little differently than zoka does. however, if you wanted me to give you a fast overall picture of this coffee, i'd say right away it's a clear, sunny spring morning. . .if that means as much to you as it does to me.

the tangletown is the lightest roast of all the coffees tracy allen sent me. zoka calls it a flat full city, but my sample shows zero oil or bean divots, so short of an agtron number, i'm calling it a full city-.

after brewing it a couple of ways, i believe this displays itself best in the chemex -- that makes the most of its clean, clear, snappy character. brewed this way, it's just, well, bright and limpid.

that's why it feels like spring sunshine, you see? got that scaa flavor wheel about?

let's start with the taste: nippy, snappy, zesty, lively-bright. the fragrance of this full coffee is sweetly floral, with caramel candy aromas on into the nose and a great classic bakers chocolate aftertaste.

in the chemex at the "oren proportion" of 2 oz. ground coffee to 26 oz. water, the body wound out of the pot as slinky and supple as a reticulated python.

it's just a great breakfast coffee for those who love bright centrals. i particularly enjoyed it with a tablespoon of light cream and a pinch 'o raw sugar, both of which really emphasized its brach's caramel thing. . .

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posted by fortune | 8:38 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 2 comments | leave a voicemail

Monday, September 11, 2006

the memorial lights

the 9-11 memorial lights from the bklyn promenade taken by r. elkins on 9-11-06

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posted by fortune | 7:02 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

no good times today

personally, i thought the best thing to do today would be just to have a day of silence here at bccy. and that was my intent until i went out this morning, whereupon i was seized by some crazy kid in an "investigate 9-11" t-shirt.

he and his lunatic cohort -- they appear to be all over the place today handing out their insane cd of lies. these are the people who deny the reality of 9-11, that the planes flew into the buildings.

as a 9-11 survivor, as an eyewitness live in real time who saw the poor souls from the roof, who stood on the corner of broadway & cortlandt st. that morning, i felt so physically sick to my stomach when this guy started talking to me. i thought i was going to beat the crap outta him and then vomit all over his prostate form.

a crazy rage just overwhelmed me and i started pulling my own hair; my face got all red and i started to weep in the street.

these "9-11 deniers" don't rate high on my list, as you can see. this guy was maybe 22 years old, and he wasn't from new york.

he wasn't here that day. apparently, the polls show that a shocking 36% of people now believe these terrible untruths.

somehow i managed to just walk away without tearing him to bits. and the one-third of my fellow americans who seem to have been tricked by these liars, by these false docu-dramas -- don't believe them.

i was there. read this blog. never forget. pray.

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posted by fortune | 7:45 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 6 comments | leave a voicemail

Sunday, September 10, 2006

tracy allen's zoka espresso paladino & decaf

lemme say right up front -- and this's bold i know since the people at zoka have won so many baristi championships -- that i have a slightly different understanding of coffee tasting than they do.

long-time readers know that i always cup, taste, and describe coffees strictly according to my understanding of the scaa flavor wheel as taught to me by now-cqi-chief ted lingle, as well as my experiences cupping with various pros.

thus my description of the coffee is going to sound different than that seen on the zoka website. for example, there zoka describes the paladino as having a caramel finish.

this i disagree with; i think it has a cocoa finish.

the elements of the scaa wheel on the aromas side are listed in terms of weight. the compounds towards the bottom of the wheel with the darker colors are physically heavier than the others; they are the ones that stay around longer and usually are the last to be experienced in the mouth.

again, the wheel isn't a rorschah test; it's based on the actual stuffs that are found in coffee. these are real physical entities, actual chemicals, not metaphors, just as the light that hits your eyes and which our brain translate into color are real photons.

the properties inherent in these compunds govern to some extent the way our human body experiences them. that's nature, and it's beautiful.

since the dark dutch cocoa feeling that nearly everyone agrees exists is present in the espresso paladino is a heavy compound, it's going to be found in the aftertaste. the caramel and walnut-y feelings, according to the coffee bouquet diagram, are part of the nose -- they will generally be experienced before the cocoa, because they weigh less.

in short, i'm going to use pretty much the same descriptors zoka does, just in a slightly different order, and i'm going to assign them to different parts of the bouquet. but basically zoka and i are on the same wavelength, it's just that i think i may have a more structured way of speaking about coffee.

when i first opened the paladino, roast dated aug. 29, and buried my nose in the bag (with coffee you can't be shy; you've just gotta get right in there) i swore i detected a little blueberry feeling among a general nutty character. long-time readers know i love blue coffees, so i was very happy to experience that.

zoka says it roasts this coffee past full-city, and i completely agree. the beans all show large drops but not patches of oil, so i'm calling it a vienna-.

i tasted the paladino as a 30-second triple on silvia. ok, here we go.

at this age, the paladino offers a sweetly spicy fragrance in the dry grounds, and the hint of blue still seems apparent. this coffee offers a wonderful toasted walnut aroma that gives way to a dark honey/caramel candy (think the top of the creme brulee so i might be implying a little tahitian vanilla there) nose. i love the extremely long, slightly powdery dutch dark cocoa feeling.

the taste of this espresso is intriguing. at the visual roast color, you might think the coffee would move over to the bitter part of the wheel.

but it doesn't -- it stays slighty bright, which is a form of sweet, after all. the body is excellent, heavy and syrupy.

zoka compares it to honey, and i'd agree -- if the honey was hot -- hot honey being a little thinner than in the jar. in the mouth it has a great molten butter feel.

long-time readers will immediately pick up the fact that the paladino bears some flavors in common with my husband's favorite espresso the batdorf dancing goat. and they'd be right, there are some points of overlap.

but the paladino is more darkly roasted, paradoxically seems a little brighter, and may have more of what jean le noir in his nez du cafe calls "roasted coffee" notes due to that darker color.

the paladino's a complex blend even at its current age, as you can see. which is why it's an espresso classic.

now on to the decaf. a funny thing about the decaf is that it doesn't seem to be listed in the decaf section on zoka's website, which i assume is just an oversight.

an important thing to remember when dealing with decaf is that the treatment (some would say "abuse") it undergoes makes it roast, taste and behave a tad differently than regular coffee. the flavor's not going to be quite as complex and nuanced.

however, i have to say i loved the paladino decaf as a straight triple. in fact, whereas i might prefer the regular paladino in a classic italian-style cappuccino (but that's my weirdness). the decaf appears to be much darker in color than the regular too -- it's completely oily.

yet it retains most of the notes of the regular, which is interesting. i drank the decaf triple straight, not even a pinch of sugar.

and it was delicious.

have to think about that. but while drinking the decaf this afternoon after doing my home yoga, i keep thinking to myself, "hey this is really really good. it's as good as some other people's regular!"

i know some coffee lovers need to switch, at one time or another, to decaf. if so, i think the paladino decaf might be the best decaf espresso i've tried so far.

highly recommended. mail-order it!

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posted by fortune | 1:49 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

dough frenzy

another day of doing yoga at home -- i love on days like this mixing up my own vinyasa with shiva rea's oldie-but-goodie yoga sanctuary. it's so convenient when i'm making pizza dough to do yoga in my own living room; i can pause the cd to pop the dough in the fridge for an hour if it's rising too quickly.

there'll be another post later on today, as i must absolutely must describe tracy allen's zoka espresso paladino and its decaf version before it ages another day. already some would say it's too old for a good shot. . .

and then i have to complain some more to technorati, which just never seems to index this site correctly. it's getting to be a serious drag. . .you ping, check it out, and discover that you're not indexed for 3 days.

on the fourth day, everything suddenly shows up at once. 3 slaps to technorati!

i never have this problem with itunes.

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posted by fortune | 11:20 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 1 comments | leave a voicemail

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