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Saturday, October 07, 2006

love your bones!

"now researchers at tufts university have discovered a possible and surprising connection between cola and osteoporosis. doctor katherine tucker found that older women who drink a lot of cola also have lower bone mineral density in their hips. it's not a direct link to osteoporosis but low bone density is a definite risk factor.

'it suggests that women who are worried about osteoporosis should probably not drink cola daily.' cola contains phosphoric acid. researchers believe a combination of that ingredient, plus a diet low in calcium may be a recipe for poor bone health."

there you have it, yoginis! this is the second study that appears to link all kinds of colas with bone loss.

lemme encourage you to consider a nice 6-oz. italian-style cappuccino instead? feel free to break the italian rule: have one with skim milk in the morning and another, maybe half-caf, after lunch.

that will help get you off the cola/soda habit so many women i know have -- they constantly sip diet soda all day long in an effort to feel full because they are on some kind of wacky crash diet or another that never works for long. just enjoy a couple of relaxing cappuccini instead, knowing you are working to also get your beneficial calcium.

coffee breaks during the day, even 10 min. ones, can be a great way to re-charge your thought processes and reward yourself a little in the middle of a crazy career afternoon.

and if you can, i might even be bold enough to suggest that you consider a third decaf or half-caf cappuccino around 4pm or after dinner. this really moves you towards the recommended daily calcium requirement with ease and pleasure.

devoted readers know that i highly recommend mark inman's taylormaid decaf espresso for cappuccini. it tastes really good, removing the "decaf taste" issue from the table here. . .

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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

Friday, October 06, 2006

check these chocolate addresses

for those travelling, or my many u.k. readers: check out these chocolate addresses now. i've been hearing great things about melt's decadent hot chocolate drink for months and months.

but obviously a tea-flavored truffle, uhh, enhh, well, not so much up my mews. . .

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posted by fortune | 6:42 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

just beautiful

that's my 2-word feeling about jessica's batdorf colombian c.o.e. el lechal from yesterday. it's another one of these beautiful coffees that changes your idea of what colombians can be.

to my mind, it's not on the level of the los lirios -- what could be? -- but it is a decidely lovely and superior colombian, well worth trying.

got your scaa flavor wheel handy? why not?

this now 3-day-old coffee looks like full-city to me -- the rare bean shows the slightest streak of oil. opening the bag causes the beans to waft out an enchanting aroma of vanilla and sweet nuts, think maybe brazil nuts.

the dry grounds are strongly floral. as the water hits the coffee in the chemex and it blooms, the aroma's toasty!

the nose is strongly mexican vanilla, if you ask me. scott describes the aftertaste as nutmeg-y, and i can see that, we could quibble between just-grated nutmeg or fresh-ground allspice, some intense wood-y spice.

the coffee's nicely balanced, but not in a boring way, and in the chemex at oren's proportion offered a medium body.

the taste is in fact perfectly sparkling, as predicted, and in the cup this morning i thought i found a touch of white grapefruit (see the sparkling below). this may be the best sensation in the coffee: that dancing brightness, like fresh-squeezed citrus juice at the tongue-tip.

in short, it's just a super example of colombian, still neatly in the colombian categories, but definitely a step beyond "what you expect" from a colombian. recommended for those who love variations on the colombian theme or for those who are interested in introducing themselves to better colombians and want to see the range.

stop the presses: and what just now arrives? peter g's counterculture kenya aa gaaki central, roast-dated oct. 3rd. if i'm thinking about the batdorf above as a champagne cocktail (i think the one with champagne, a dark brown sugar cube and grapefruit juice is called a jazzmatazz), peter's telling me this kenyan's a kir royale.

now, does anyone really wonder why i think coffee's heaven?

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posted by fortune | 8:04 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

Thursday, October 05, 2006

oh yeah, cup of excellence in the house!

and a major thank you to jessica m. of batdorf -- this morning she sent me the latest from her fantastic latitudes line, a colombia c.o.e. cauca, the el lechal. now i have very high hopes for this coffee; remember that the last colombian scott from batdorf offered was the super-amazing los lirios, which has become my personal benchmark colombian bean.

the cupping description uses one of my fave words -- sparkling! oh, i cannot resist a truly sparkling coffee. if it's got hints of orange citrus, then whoo-hoo!

just think of it as champagne-cointreau cocktail that you can easily drink before noon! this promising young beauty -- it's roast-dated the 3rd -- will hit the chemex tomorrow first thing!

and to follow up as promised from yesterday, i did make don schoenholt's gilles sumatra mandheling double-pick dark iv roast in the cafetiére this morning. this coffee finds it true heart in the press pot and develops a lush, thick, almost velvety body.

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posted by fortune | 6:15 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

farewell to a great coffee lover

in memoriam

r.w. apple

journalist, espressohound

the only timesman who understood coffee

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posted by fortune | 6:50 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

more chemexi

so this morning i woke up to a nice bit of don schoenholt's gillies sumatra mandheling double-pick. i decided to check this out in the chemex, brewed at 2 oz. fresh ground coffee to 26 oz. water.

when i opened the bag i nearly fell right over -- it's dark, darker than most gillies' coffees. it's a shade shy of actually touching french, i'd say, what don calls "dark iv."

so for you dark roast fans who love the peets-style dark sumatras, you can save some money on shipping and get fresher coffee from gillies with these beans!

this wood-spicy coffee retains a little earth-y character, but as long-time readers know, i think a touch of earth is acceptable in a sumatra like this. i emphasize the word touch here.

remember when dealing with gillies you have to grind a little finer than you might be used to, due to the unique roasting method don uses. this is just one of the idiosyncracies of his java, a signature touch you might say!

i liked this coffee even tho' i'm not a big fan of dark roasts usually. recommended for you dark roast fans who seek an east coast source of this sumatra style. . . i think it'll probably be best in the cafetiére.

this doesn't appear to be listed on his website yet, so call olive toll-free to order; remember he's open wholesale hours! be nice to olive when you talk to her, 'cuz she's a super-sweetie!

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posted by fortune | 8:05 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

so do it more than 3 times a week!

"a study commissioned by the american council on exercise (ace) found only modest cardiovascular benefits among sedentary women, average age 33, who undertook an eight-week course of thrice-weekly gentle hatha yoga classes."

um, so do your yoga more than 3 times a week, and mix in 2 or 3 more challenging vinyasa classes, ok? i usually recommend you start with 4 classes a week, and build up to 5 or 6, including your home practice.

overall, all i find this article on yoga encouraging. however, i have to say for myself that when i went in for my eye surgery last year, the doctor found my resting heart rate to be 48 beats per minute.

so i think even the medium-level yoga practice i do will with time get your heart to a good place.

anyway, this article is unexceptional in other ways, except to make the point that most new students to yoga are over 30 and are definitely not former gymnasts, while most yoga teachers remain under 27, and former ballerinas. see the imbalance that's developed here?
newer yoga teachers have to become more realistic about who the majority of their students are, and are going to be. and they have to design and teach their classes accordingly.

thus we still have so many yoga pieces beginning with the supposed newsflash that you don't have to be a raw-foodist size-0 under 30 to venture on the yoga path! there is a form of yoga appropriate for all, you just have to find what works for you.

and you have to be willing to experiment with different teachers until you find one who works for you. this puts in mind of a yoga buddy of mine i often see.

she describes going to a popular teacher and taking her class: "i know everybody says it's a good class, but i hate being in it. i feel terrible afterwards every time. but i'm sure i'll get used to it."

um, girlfriend, no! stop! if a class makes you "feel terrible afterwards every time," it's most likely not an appropriate class for you, no matter how many others recommend it.

step it down a notch instead. then after a few months, if you still feel a need to join the "popular class" (why? this isn't high school!), try again.

but you have to be in charge of your own yoga. it's your mat, your path, your practice.

that doesn't mean you shouldn't try, or challenge yourself on occasion to see what new places you can explore. it just means -- be realistic, be responsible, be in touch with the reality of your body as it is now.

then you'll always enjoy whatever yoga you're doing!

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posted by fortune | 8:10 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

Monday, October 02, 2006

regional coffee culture, part multi-many redux

"a survey by a major research firm says drinking cappuccino is threatening to become more popular than beer in ireland.

the survey, called 'sober ireland?,' found that people in ireland drank an average of three gallons less alcohol last year than they did in 2000, the london telegraph reported."

yet another country's leaving the tea column -- will the "irish breakfast" blend soon be a gonner? that cappuccino's about to overcome beer doesn't surprise me either.

ireland has, um, shall we say? a largely difficult and chill climate, one in which a nice coffee would be more than welcome in the drizzle?

the decline of tea in ireland is proving to be (giggle) steep:

"in ireland tea faced an overall decline of 9%. . .in contrast, coffee achieved dramatic overall volume growth of 27%. . . .within coffee, the most notable change in preference seen in 2005 was a continuation of consumers favouring fresh coffee over instant coffee."

so right now, the irish still are among the largest dead-leaf rakers in the world -- but with rates like this, it's just a few years before they join the japanese and british in the love of coffee. that they are rejecting instant is also a most excellent sign!

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posted by fortune | 8:12 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

Sunday, October 01, 2006

regional coffee culture, part multi-many: take my toffee sprinkles, please

"there's one really bad aspect about switzerland that needs to be amply publicized: the coffee malaise. . .

in the u.s.a., i can get a lungo, a ristretto, a macchiato, a latte, an espresso, a toffee nut latte (with toffee sprinkles), a vanilla latte, a caramel macchiato (foamed milk marked with espresso), a mocha valencia, a white chocolate mocha, and so many other varieties the complete list would fill an entire page. . ."

yes, eric, i mean it -- take all the toffee sprinkles you can. get them outta my sight.

you see eric, what you experience when you walk into a non-third-wave coffee retailer in the u.s.a. is what we here call false choice. you are presented with many seeming options, but since they're all bad, it's not a real excercise of free will on your part.

this is why american consumerism is a largely a rip-off, and also why americans are so grossly obese. it's false food, false choice, and we feel unsatisfied, altho' many americans still don't quite understand why.

but being unsatified, they think more will assuage them: more whipped cream, more sprinkles, more caramel syrup. the next thing we know, we're looking at the mermaid's disgusting venti breve caramel macchiato, all 770 calories of it.

in this light eric, i would dedicate my coffee rants to getting swiss cafes to improve their cafe cremas and cafe suisses, to serving high-quality, well-prepared beverages and offering quality beans.

'cuz the sprinkle road leads to coffee hell and is certainly paved with bad intentions.

anyway, on the yoga front: i'm really enjoying my new habit of doing weekend yoga at home. it is so much more relaxing. . .if you don't have a steady home practice yet, dear readers, let me encourage you to consider one!

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posted by fortune | 12:57 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 0 comments | leave a voicemail

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