Archive for category ‘screeds’

post-euro cocoonishness

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

a brooding france trip being what it is, the return assimilation always comes with its glaring signs of denial: $75 in cheese purchases at the local market grocery store, a desperation lever shot of 17-day puro scuro leftovers, a stack of french chocolate and a color prinout of the day's ...

punting the dose

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

this blog could bloviate on and on about tim wendelboe's return volley in barista mag on the non-issue dosing issue (at least that's how this blog read his final sentence). but i'm sure all the usual suspects will weigh in (and still more will fumble with what some amateurs are ...

non-economic labors of infatuation

Friday, January 27th, 2006

if world domination plots via lever-brewed espresso are your thing, then there is, of course, a universe of things to say about levered single origin coffee -- and i might! but then none bespeaks the cause like an hour or more of toiling that produces friday morning palatial events ...

geyser d’espress

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

the pros -- and cons -- of denuding a non-commercial-grade portafilter: that would be jake's solis crema sl 90, which, to my thinking, proves in the extreme the tenet of home junkies everywhere that the grinder comes before the machine in importance to the finished cup. jake uses a mazzer major, ...

gold bullion: easier to find, cheaper to brew

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

everyone seems so agog at the notion of aussies and canadians collectively paying $49.75 a pound for brazil's finest green coffee. but haven't prices far exceeded this before, and for a product far more, uh, exotic? p.s. this story even got a pick-up from mainstream media outlets! and still the ...

cliffy’s notes

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

findings in a nutshell: i don't know what makes some beans workable ... but i think roast profile is a major factor. i also know that stretching a batch into 12 minutes on a hot air roaster is a bad idea. makes for general mud-brick characteristics with hints of mud, ...

actual studious follow-up

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

the aforeshadowed research has consumed days of data-logging, acute grind-performance observation and vocab-busting soul searches for more apt terms to describe the conundrum of what makes some beans and blends more tangibly "workable" in the shot-building process ... yet is still wholly unlikely to satisfy the CG curmudgeons formerly loathe ...

semi-intentional season spoofing

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

this blog was merely minding its own business, washing overcooked holiday caramels from its molars with draughts of true (and i do mean "true") home-whipped eggnog and the traditional new year's eve vat of fondue, when a sort of rorschach-style angel arrived to offer some seasons greetings. and, being entrenched ...

your macro-economic supply-side fix

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

i get some of my cheapest specialty coffee from bizarrely transplanted locals who direct-import their stuff from a plantation in zimbabwe. wonder how this news -- the massive spike in the country's basic food prices -- will affect coffee's cost and/or supply. of course, that is far from the biggest concern. ...

specialty beverages: how we fail

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

the idea was to wait until mother sulawesi hit her stride, then bust open the nut-o-coco and top off a few swank-tropic macchiatos. alas, what with all the roast curving and textile diversions and grinder travails and extracurriculars of late, the thing was bone dry by the time we got ...

espresso: behavioral analysis

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

what makes a blend behave? grind more consistently? distribute more cooperatively in the portafilter? tamp with that final "snap"? hold up more evenly under brew pressure? in short, what makes code brown so doggone handleable? though i'd used it months ago, i was reminded recently of how fun it is ...

perspective-bearing weekend o’ shots

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

one month, the pungent yellow vines that flop over the front walk are wooing butterflies and thumbing their noses at the early frost, and the next they're brittle splinters. just spiny spokes splayed out like crushed sunflower skeletons. the mac widget that tells me current weather conditions for moments like ...

enough already

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

well, i told you it was going to be a long weekend. as in, saturday through tuesday. there will be updateage, on the panamanian brightness and the code brown nuttiness and the massive cerebral effects of four straight days of shot-swilling.

palpitating cerebrally onto this blog

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

took part in a seasonal liturgy this evening, after which this blog manned a fully loaded espresso bar well into the night. i'd special ordered a three-day-old batch of seductive panamanian brightness just for the occasion but, to be honest, my consistency was just lousy. blond-to-black erratic poo, i say. ...

just the thing for a weekend

Saturday, December 3rd, 2005

things were going very well this morning. i had struggled with some mud-brick dominance in my sulawesi roast, but before i had the chance to ruminate and blog there came the saturday morning sweet spot. i'm working through a pound or so today, trying some new roast profiles and dosing ...

draping the pad

Friday, December 2nd, 2005

more of the third-world jute drapes, these hung on the south side of the living room. of the five panels so far, the red crown logo is my fave, i think.

hating the beast, loving the burden

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

it's been a long time coming, so ... denser, more overcooked blather follows. also, the brothers (two of them, anyhow) just spent a week, and we're the kind whose collective brain power meshes into a stew both potent and murky -- sort of sumatra supergrade-ish with an even more resilient ...

wheezing excuse mongering

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

this blog, alas, is shivering in bed and begging for more blankets. popped vitamin C and garlic every hour throughout the night, and, lo, the gladiator match with the bedside stand ended at about 3 a.m. but after a full day's work, the womb-fresh feeling one has upon emerging from ...

shrouding the pad

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

the long-promised pics of coffee-oriented window shrouds below. that means fishbowl life has now ended (and, truth be told, crab-walking to the shower with one's bedding pulled tightly around one's shoulders was getting old). you'll recall this is the second set of curtains, the first being brilliantly conceived by my ...

we’ve got your foaming fraction right here

Friday, November 4th, 2005

for the latest in torqued-out espresso geek speak, head over here for a bit of light, jovial academic reading about (and i quote) "isolation and characterization of a foaming fraction from hot water extracts of roasted coffee." clearly, we have discovered the most obtuse way possible to say, "crema study." ...

pseudo-glitterati excess

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

when your day begins with some work at home at the bedrom window, two carefully nursed macchiatos in hand from the early pulls on the riviera, the feeling of supercilious excess can be overcoming. it's quite nice, actually.

post-brood addendum

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

at some point, i'll weigh in on the upgrade to the mazzer major. so far, it's not what you'd think ... i miss the isomac gran macinino in a number of ways, not least of which is far superior grind distribution in the portafilter. but gorilla torque and burr size ...

your sodden dose of reclusive curmudgeonliness right here

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005

i don't like it when the cashier remembers my name. even worse: when she conjures what i bought three weeks earlier and makes inferences about my private life. there had been this brief encounter, where i was in line with some bread and ham for some homeless dude who'd ...

regional snobbery

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

chris tacy seems intent on lauding the northwest regional barista champsionship as the best thing, like, evar, or at least since scaced hairbender. but really. where else than the deep south would one find a portafilter-spiking scandal caught on tape and signs of jarring, barrel-hoop fashion statements in one blurry ...

the mazzer major: how to secure a reduced price

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

it's the unfortunate economy of blogging: the largest amounts of blog-fodder leave little time with which to blog the stuff. so no, the days of deafening silence don't mean the material is wearing thin. someone asked doubtfully, "you blog about espresso? every day?" well, yes. yes i do. as you'll ...

your patience please. repeat. your patience please.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

a bit o' trouble is being had with blog postage. the days of silence do not indicate that the convergence of espresso and hard-knock, work-n-sleep real life is a tapped out topic. blogging will resume, and shortly.

now: more orderly chaos

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

some new blog categories, if you care. the long-used "primary chemicals" tagline had become all-encompasing and of no special use, so there are now new subheds: "elsewhere" for riffs on and links to other people's stuff; "games with fire" to denote roasting discussion; "mad jaunts" to corral all my trips ...

needing the eight-week program

Saturday, October 1st, 2005

being on the road in delaware, this blog will undoubtedly veer off the pike o' dementia (also know as i-95) for a swill of shottage in this place -- even though the presumed dominance of murky's baristi turned out to be somewhat, er, presumptuous at the recent serbc. looking closely, ...

sackloth and chaff

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

NEWLY ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE: a bad idea for living room curtains would be to riff on mark rothko's canvases for a chunks-of-color scheme evocative of ... well, it was evocative of a nursery school. could have been the use of primary colors. could have been the preponderance of yellow that garnished a ...

dashed-off excuses are like cheap dates

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

this blog has not yet received its piece of cast-iron overkill, though jake has and brought his model over this evening for some multi-shot delirium. by which i mean using a competiton-grade mazzer major to blaze through a pound of dark-roasted yirgacheffe in less time than it takes to learn ...