Monday, July 28, 2014

Expercolate! Expercolate!


MUG: Chinese-made barrel mug licensed by the BBC.

COFFEE: Colombian Santander roasted by Frank at the Gateway Central Market.

NOTE: For years, before I knew better (mid 1960s to the mid 1970s), I used a percolator to make my coffee. I liked an avocado green ABS plastic model made by Regal that traveled from Grayson County to San Francisco to Austin. I preferred Seaport coffee roasted in Beaumont, Texas. It came in paper/foil vacuum bricks. It had a wonderful 1930's style graphic of an ocean freighter...not unlike the Dalek on the mug. Speaking of which, wouldn't a Dalek make a great design for a perculator?

Monday, July 07, 2014

Burns so good.


MUG: Chinese-made enameled steel cup. Nice for a sip of cold water. Dangerous for a cup of hot coffee.

COFFEE: I had an excellent Guatemalan slow-pour in a ceramic mug a the Pearl Brewery location (where you can't buy a Pearl beer) of San Antonio's  Local Coffee while photographing this foolishness. I feel hipper just typing this.

NOTES: Local Coffee makes excellent coffee. They love branded merchandize. Feel the burn. My lips are sealed, however.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

To Hell and Back


MUG: Chinese-generic.  Produced by Vistaprint as a one-off for me.

COFFEE: Colombian Supremo Santander. Roasted by Frank at CM.

NOTES: Sumer is icumen in... and it will be hell.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The road to better coffee.


MUG: Chinese specialty-advertising diner mug. A good drinker. Hefty without being cumbersome. A manly mug, in a soft ivory color with a tastefully small logo imprint in brown. 

COFFEE: Colombian Excelso Santander, city roast (by Frank) from Central Market Westgate.

NOTES: For reason related to (but not entirely limited to) my allergies to Central Texas, coffee has not been tasting especially good to me lately. I've tried various alterations in my brewing style (and beans), but without much success.

Today, I poured my morning brew into this mug from the coffee purveyors extraordinaire at Der K├╝chen Laden in Fredericksburg Texas. It tastes great!

If you want better coffee, may I suggest a good place to start is on US Highway 281, safely west of Austin.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The World Cafe.


MUG: A Chinese-made 'diner mug', showing signs of actual hand production (while this crudity is undesirable for maximizing profits, it's highly desirable for actually handling a mug). A 'good drinker' of a mug.

COFFEE: Beach Fire coffee from Summermoon Coffee in Buda, Texas. The politically-correct beans (organic and fair trade) come from the Indonesian island-province of Timor. Summermoon Coffee, which is quietly not politically correct when it comes to murdering tiny human beings, roasts their coffee beans 'off the grid' using no electricity. The fires are fueled by mesquite wood, and the roaster is turned by a stationary bicycle. The coffee is quite good.

NOTES: The Cafe du Monde mug came the original French Market location in New Orleans. It's a 9 ounce mug, which helps limit the amount of burned, oily coffee it can hold, thereby limiting the damage it can do. "French Roast" coffee, flavored with chicory root, is so nasty that customers demanded something to cushion both their palates and their stomach linings. Beignets do the trick nicely, and were the reason I made the trek to Cafe du Monde in the first place. I dutifully drank the coffee... with milk.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

There is no fun in Mudville, Waechtersbach has struck out.


MUG: The classic Waechtersbach coffee mug, the original 'cylinder mug', made in Germany, and glazed in a slip that matches a color we call "PMS MUD" (a reference to the Pantone Matching System and my fondness for this earth tone).

COFFEE: Colombian Supremo roasted in-house at Central Market.

NOTES: For some time, Waechtersbach has made ceramics in Spain as well as Germany. The Spanish pieces were usually less desirable, although virtually identical. They were a bit lighter in weight, and the color range was less interesting. The line of mugs were called Fun Factory, perhaps due to the whimsical (and too often tacky) decorations on them, but mainly just a reference to the 'fun' colors of red, yellow, orange, and lime.

But now I see a new line of Waechtersbach mugs being offered for sale: Fun Factory II. They are made in China, and appear to be an altogether different mug, indistinguishable from any other Chinese generic coffee mug.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wiggle room.


MUG: Uncle Wiggily cup made by the Sebring Pottery Co. Small-sized (six ounces). I'm told that's the size that's in high demand today. This one was made for a child in the 1920s.

COFFEE: Guatemalan Antigua from Central Market. Roasted (city) by Frank.

NOTES: While I noticed several roasts that were dark and shiny, my mainstays (Colombian and Guatemalan) remain roasted short of the burned stage so popular among the passing. There really isn't much wiggle room in coffee roasts destined for drip/pour-over brewing, but a rather narrow sweet spot.

This cup was produced for the Wander Co. in Chicago, an early maker of the Swiss Ovaltine breakfast drink. Uncle Wiggily was an early 20th century cartoon book series, created by Howard R. Garis.