In Coffee I Trust

This morning, I sat down to start my day, and took a sip of the cup of coffee I’d just made. It was plain ole House Blend. I made it in my plebeian Keurig coffee maker, a thing I swore I’d never own one of, until I realized how much coffee I wasted making entire pots that didn’t get finished and how much paper I went through on filters. (I do often empty them out for compost, when I remember.)

Today’s coffee is in one of my favorite mugs, given to me back when the older son considered me his mom.

Anyway, it was plain coffee, with some whole milk and one teaspoon of Anita’s fancy brownish sugar. It was so delicious that I knew I’d make it through the day just fine. That’s the power of good coffee, or in this case, okay coffee.

I have been more of a coffee snob in the past, and truly admire people like my coworkers who buy only beans they know where they came from and grind them carefully in amazingly beautiful grinders, then carefully drip them through leather-wrapped holders for the perfect cup. But, I just want some coffee in the mornings, sometimes flavored (mmm, coconut).

I’m not running out any time soon here in Austin (or in Cameron).

It’s weird how rituals like the drinking of a bitter beverage every morning become traditions in certain cultures, and how they differ from place to place. Sure, caffeine gets many people going (I am okay with or without it). I think we crave the comfort of having something to do every morning that makes you slow down (ha ha and smell the coffee) and have at least a couple of mindful moments before going and doing and thinking and talking. It’s a centering ritual, even though most people who drink morning coffee would never call it that.

Thanks to friends and family, I have a fun collection of mugs. They have no political agenda.

Coffee, I love you. Thanks for being my morning buddy, wherever I go and whatever I’m doing.

Confessions of an Over-confessor

Dudes. The UU Lent word for this first day of a new month is confession. There’s one thing I do enough of already in this blog is confess to my past mistakes, errors, and goof-ups. I don’t share everything, but I hope people can learn from my mistakes and it will be helpful. Confession is good for the blog. Or something like that.

Today I’m going to go the more light-hearted route and do a variation of a meme I’ve been seeing going around on Facebook, where people confess to things they just don’t like, but everybody else seems to love. I think we could all use a break right now, right?

That’s the Master Naturalists’ big Folgers. The other two are what Lee and I drink in the office. I need Folgers bods.

Gourmet coffee. I have tried to be a coffee snob, many, many times. I have owned some darned fancy coffee. But, I really like Folgers. The Black Silk kind is just great. But, any medium roast is fine with me. And I like milk or half and half in it. I fail as an elite in this respect.

Continue reading “Confessions of an Over-confessor”

In Which I Try Poop Coffee*

*We were only calling it poop coffee or butt coffee as we laughed our way through our beverages…

The thing is, I always tell people I’m willing to try any food, at least once. So, when my colleague Chriztine decided she was interested in trying the coffee pictured at right, I (and two other coworkers) just had to say, “Yes.”

What does that mean, “zero contact with the animals?” Well, this is that coffee that’s passed through the digestive tract of the civet cat, which you may have heard of (many people think it goes through monkeys, but no). The sustainable part is important, because the poor little animals were being mistreated to get them to poop out enough beans to meet demand. We didn’t want anything to do with that!

So, according to the story on the bag, this is the nice version of the kipi luwak coffee.
Gimme some coffee. And don’t call me a weasel!

As a naturalist, I feel compelled to let you know that the civet is actually not a cat, and is more closely related to our friends, the mongoose family. I found this out in an article from Singapore, which informed me that “the special taste of these coffee is due to the fermentation process when the civets digest the beans.” MMMMM. Also I learned that this kind of coffee is called “weasel coffee” in Vietnam.

So, did I drink it?

First we spent a long time grinding the beans, during which time coworker Jen frequently reminded us that the roasting process will have killed off any germs or wee beasties living on the coffee. Whew.

You can tell they’re looking forward to this.

And then we poured hot water in and watched it drip. Was it chocolatey like Dipu thought? Were the beans old, like Jen thought? Were we all laughing too loud, like I thought?

Ready to give it a try. Note beautiful staging of coffee-making equipment.

Next, we all had to pose with our cups ready. And then we drank it. Guess what? It tasted very much like a cup of coffee. We didn’t detect any excessive smoothness or other fermentation results.

Yep. That’s coffee, all right.

But, since it was the most expensive cup of coffee any of us had ever imbibed, you can bet we all finished it. (Thanks, Chriztine.) We tried to get more people to drink it, but most flat-out refused, even when I politely stuck the cup under their noses and demanded, “Wanna smell my poop coffee?” So hilarious.

Rob painfully tastes the coffee. The new guy behind him got a good chuckle out of us. He was getting “pod coffee,” as we call the product from that machine (some like it; some don’t).

Rob here tried a tiny bit and said he did NOT like it. That will save him the investment of buying more if he did like it!

The best part of the day was making all the jokes and laughing away some of the work stress. I will say that I’m glad the only coffee I brought home was some medium-roast blends to drink in the mornings at the Bobcat Lair. No more poop coffee.

By the way, we have civets in Texas (ring-tail cats). Wonder what happens when they eat mequite beans?

Weird Beverages! A Change of Pace

I promised I’d write about something less controversial today. And I will. Before I start, I want to share that I took my post about getting to know people unlike myself and wrote a version for real estate investors. It needs to be said there, too, so we can all meet our goals.

Okay. Tea.

My workplace in Austin is a hotbed of foodies and coffee/tea fanatics. That’s given me the chance to try many different beverages through the years. Last week it was both tea and coffee. Tea first.

Chriztine was in town, and while here she checked out one of our many Asian markets. There she found an unfamiliar ball-shaped tea that she didn’t know what it was. So of course, she bought some.

Hey, if you know what this says, let me know. Isn’t the dried lime cool?

It turned out to be tiny dried limes stuffed with black tea. It was a kind she liked. But there were no brewing instructions. The first time, she put the whole ball in hot water, thinking maybe it would bloom or something.

Continue reading “Weird Beverages! A Change of Pace”

Moving Slow

Everyone has those times when even the simplest task becomes a burden. For me, it’s been getting my car inspected to renew my license plates.

First, the dealership forgot to do it when I got its yearly checkup.

Then, when I finally remembered to do it in Cameron, the place that was open didn’t do it, and the place that would do it was closed.

Yesterday I left work early to take care of it in Austin. Turns out Siri thinks a lot more places do inspections than actually do. I went to four places, patiently waiting to be spoken to, only to find out many car repair places don’t have an inspector.

By the time I got to the Lamb’s near my house, I could not wait 1.5 hours.

Today I went back. 1.5 hours again. Fine. I’ll buy myself a nice mug and a snack at the new Starbucks. I’ll live.

Have a smooth day

I do hope your mundane tasks go more smoothly than mine!

PS:

Ha! I was wrong! I clicked “send” on this blog and immediately got the call that the car was done, in only 45 minutes. That was just enough time for a pleasant cup of coffee and blogging. Yay for the Lamb’s on Far West!