Saturday, June 6, 2009

Is this coffee?

Work coffee is hard to get right. Most offices just have drip brew that sits all day getting stale and burnt but some are lucky to have these fancy Keurig machines like mine. They make fast drinks and its very easy to use.

Buuut.... the question is, is it really coffee? Well to most people it probably is.

I haven't made any coffee on this machine, I just use it to make hot chocolate and the occasional green tea or something.

The pic shows some Kona blend coffee that I'm sure tastes like Kona...

So I bring my press pot to work and hand grinder and make my own. But I need some more coffee! I'll have to order some DoubleShot or swing by Murky because I live sorta close (just a few metro stops away) to it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'll drink to that.

Brian over at DoubleShot Coffee Company is doing something amazing.  So amazing, it will blow your socks off!  Actually, he'll probably blow his own socks off (when he's done).

Have you ever run 100 miles in a race?  Well, Brian is going to do it.  This is his fourth attempt and while he's never completed this specific race, he's completed other 100 mile races on two other occasions.

Well, Brian is running this race for himself.  He even talks about his lack of interest in racing!  Which I can understand.  I'm not a podium whore but completion is certainly my measure of personal accomplishment.

But Brian is doing this for a bigger cause than just his own satisfaction, he's doing this to raise money for Coffee Kids.  I recommend just heading over to the Coffee Kids site to read all that they do, but basically, they help in many areas from health care, education and micro-credit.

You can help Brian raise money for Coffee Kids too.  Head on over to Coffee Illuminati and make a pledge.  You pick an amount per mile and Brian will email you when it's all done to tell you how much you owe.

His previous best for Leadville was 70 miles before the time cutoff and hopefully he'll make the whole 100 this year.  

As a side note, Brian will be doing some audio recordings of his run which are very entertaining and enlightening (really?  yeah, I guess they are).

I highly recommend listening to the last "jogcast" (see link below) Brian did at Leadville, and you will see how difficult this race can be.  If you are a runner, I think you will really enjoy it.  Following along and hearing how hard it gets, then gets better, then gets hard again... it's a "roller coaster thrill ride" (Ebert)!

Well, go ahead and check out the links below and wish him luck.  After all, he does make some killer coffee!

Keep on brewing!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Taste of Familiarity

Since moving to Alexandria Virginia, I haven't been able to find any good coffee.  Actually, I haven't found any coffee.  I haven't searched very hard but after going up and down King Street (the big popular street) and not seeing anything, I feel that it's a bit disheartening.

So I ordered some Costa Rican La Magnolia from DoubleShot.  Oh boy, one of the first coffees that I've ever had!

The coffee arrived last night but I decided to wait till this morning to make some.  Well, I got to work, opened that bag and brewed a full press of that black gold.  The smell brought me right back to hanging out at the DoubleShot.

I think that this coffee is going to ease the transition of this sudden move.  Probably because it's messing with my head and smelling that coffee and staring at my computer makes me feel like I'm back at my old desk!

Well, I'm going to make another press, so I better get going.

Keep on brewing!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Back to the DoubleShot

Yep, it's been some time, but I'm back at the DoubleShot.  Lack of disposable income is the culprit, but I think it should be fine now! 

So, I'm drinking the Brazil Poco Fundo.

This is what Brian had to say about it: 

"We only have two 132 pound bags of this coffee because I had to buy it before it arrived in the US, and I didn't know it was going to be so great. It's rich with a medium-heavy body. Sweet, cherry and cinnamon aromas. Buttery-peppery flavors back a mildly-sweet, but prominent fruit taste. Somewhere in the melon family, I think. Cocoa tones also pushed through, and it only got better as it cooled."

It's certainly really good.  I also tried the Panama Boquete Classico.  I think I like that one better... although I only had a small sample of it.

It's just really good to have good coffee again.  I hate to say it, but some days, at work, I had to... yes... drink work coffee.  Ouch!  

Dripping there onto that burning carafe... sitting for hours... adding sugar and creamer... luckily I didn't have to do it much but that's the kind of torture I had to resort to.

What I need is a roaster.  Does anyone want to buy me a small roaster?  I guess I could do a yard sale popcorn popper... but I'd like to learn for real.

Alright, I have to go because I'm enjoying this coffee.  Mmmm...

Keep on brewing!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Late Night Post [repost]

DoubleShot (Coffee Company) had some Kona Coffee in, and you had to pre-order, so I had to get some. I've heard great things about it.

Brian, at DoubleShot describes it as this:
Traditionally, since Kona is an island coffee, it is very bright, clean, fruity, and delicious. You can definitely expect it to come alive in your mouth, especially if you drink it while it's still really fresh."

So, I thought I'd try some. I made a cup tonight and I really enjoyed it! Also, Jenni isn't used to (and doesn't really plan on) drinking coffee "black;" but I make her try one sip of every new coffee I get.

She usually grimaces and grabs for a cup of soda or water or something, but when I had her try this Kona, she didn't make any faces or anything! She said that she actually liked it. Now, I don't think she will always drink it that way, but is this a start of another coffee snob in the family? Perhaps!

So, if anyone wants to try a cup of excellent coffee, come on over! I'll make you a cup. But you can't add sugar or milk and you have to drink the whole thing. Don't worry, it won't be much (I don't want to waste it on you!).

Keep on brewing!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Coffee Thoughts [repost]

I'm reading a book right now. Yup, a real book. Not a magazine but a real book.

It's called “Coffee - A Dark History” by Antony Wild.
I got it on Amazon dirt cheap, used. But it looks as if it's new.

Anyway, there is a paragraph that I really enjoyed, I'll just type it here.

“ Coffee had become universally consume in the nations of Europe and in the USA, much of it in coffee houses that became meeting places for men of commerce, politics, and culture. The effect of caffeine itself insured that there were always likely to be lively, well-informed debates and intense, original exchanges, in contrast to the only other public meeting places of the time, the tavern or church. The coffee house played a pivotal role in the creation of many of the financial institutions that in turn supported the expansionist trading empires that had led to the growth of coffee consumption in the first place.”

That paragraph made me think of what people believe coffee houses are these days.

Before I dove into this whole new world of coffee, this is what I thought of coffee houses. I thought they all were more or less like Starbucks. Whatever that means. I thought that coffee houses were places for college students to come and do homework or study. I thought coffee houses were supposed to have outlets all near the tables/chairs so people could bring their laptops and surf the net.

What are coffee houses to you?

I find it a good place for conversation. Great for talking about serious issues even though you may not usually talk about such things. But it's certainly a place to socialize. It's quiet like a library but not stuffy. It's interesting because people don't go to “donut shops” or “soda shops” to talk about things like they do at coffee shops.

I don't drink coffee but I see it as mostly a social place. It used to be a date place for me and it was a major student hangout. But I don't like the pressure to buy something. I'm either forced to buy iced tea or chai. I think they should have more non coffee drinks.

They are for lonely people who just want to read their US Weekly magazine,

I think of it as a place for people to hang out and talk.

Ok, so it looks as if coffee houses are certainly a place to hangout. I can say that with my short time at a real coffee house (I don't think Starbucks counts and I'll tell you why in a minute) that coffee houses to me are a place for two or more people who are totally different in age and social status can share a beverage and just talk. I've talked to more people at DoubleShot than I have at any other coffee shop.

Ok, why I don't think Starbucks is a real coffee house. First let me say that I am not a part of the “I Hate Starbucks” movement. I have friends that hate Starbucks and I have friends that love Starbucks. I'm fairly indifferent but mostly because I haven't done my homework yet to have a truly valid opinion.

A reason I don't like Starbucks is that they won't acknowledge that they are fast food. They are nothing more than the McDonalds of the coffee world.

A reason I like Starbucks is that if you are somewhere totally unfamiliar then you can always count on Starbucks being the same, because they are on every corner. But that's also why I don't like Starbucks...

I also think that the local coffee shop is like your local bike shop. I think you should support both. But only if you like their products and services obviously. Gosh, I'm certainly not the kind of person who goes to the local farmers market and only buys locally grown produce but I really enjoy my bike shop, T-Town Bicycles and I want to keep them in business. They have been good to me, they always give me a discount, and I trust them working on my bike.

Same thing with the coffee shop. Brian and Isaiah at DoubleShot have taught me a lot about coffee and I appreciate their time and the pride they put in their work. So naturally I would rather buy and support what they do.

Starbucks employee vs. Real Barista

I see the Starbucks employee as someone who just knows how to pull some levers and squirt the right amount of syrup. But I want someone who knows about coffee and who pulls real shots of espresso. The other day, I was just watching Isaiah. He poured some espresso grounds, which was ground seconds before, into the portafilter and started to tamp it. Is that the correct term? I know it's called a tamper... Anyway, while he was “tamping” it, he noticed it was uneven. Instead of just pulling a shot like that, he duped the grounds out and tried again. I love that!

Ok, that's enough coffee thoughts for now. Peace out!

Keep on brewing!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Labor Day [re] Post

Labor Day! What does that mean? If you don't know, you should look it up so you don't look like an idiot!

Jenni and I had a great weekend. It was pretty unusual too. We were going to go to this coffee shop downtown, DoubleShot. I just heard of it. I wonder how long they have been here... Anyway, it's really cool. Great atmosphere, awesome coffee, and just neat stuff. Nick, I wish you could be here.

The owner and operator, Brian, seems like a nice guy too. They have a website and blog and while I was searching around on both I saw that he's into mountain biking. That's cool! He has a Trek Top Fuel and he also just did the Leadville 100 (100 mile running race)! When I talked to him he handed me a flyer of their 2nd annual DoubleShot Duathlon.

I don't know if you know what a Duathlon is, and it's commonly confused with a Biathlon... I've always remembered what a Biathlon is because its the one where they cross country ski and shoot rifles. Yep, that something most people to everyday!

A Duathlon though is a an event where you run, bike, run. In this case, trail run 3 miles, mountain bike 8, and trail run 3. That's nothing to scoff at! It sounds like a ton of fun because they have a lot of free stuff and mountain biking is just fun in general but its kind of a big thing. I talked to the guy that helped put it on last year and told him, well, I'm kinda nervous. He said that they have everyone from pro level racers to people that just learned to bike.

I think I'm going to have to sign up! It's on a Saturday. October 6th or 7th, whichever of those is a Saturday. I'll be sure to have Jenni take some pictures and video.

** The rest has been cut out because it's not really relevant to coffee... just search "coffee" in my scrappaper blog**

Keep on brewing!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Re: Real Coffee [repost]

An excerpt from an email from my mom:

"re your coffee musings, don't worry, no one really cares if you are a purist or not, life's too short to not drink coffee with sugar and cream.... nothing like caffe con leche in spain.. or cappuchino in rome... or espresso in isreal.. . its all good. so drink up whatever you like, and don't forget you have many years to evolve your preferences...

personally, i can't get into flavors added, but years ago, i liked them... still want the sweetner and cream... i don't see why suffer without the extras, myself.

but standing behind the teenieboppers at starbucks who order a triple vente doubleshot mocha-caramel frappachuno with double whipped cream and jimmies.... i just wanna say, just buy a snickers bar, will ya! they are so not coffee drinkers, and they're gonna be 300 pounds by the time they graduate..."

So that's where I get it from...

Keep on brewing!