Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chinese cast-ceramic "Holiday" mug depicting a snowman sitting on top of a chocolate biscuit (cookie to us Yanks).

COFFEE: A relative, cocoa, in the form of Mexico's Abuelita hot cocoa.

NOTES: Mexican cocoas (Abuelita and Ibarra) have a touch of cinnamon. Very nice. The less said about the mug (one of a matching pair received as a White-Elephant Christmas gift), the better. It does hold a lot (good), but the thin walls don't insulate (bad). Not microwave or dishwasher safe.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Another flaky mug.

MUG: Waechtersbach™ "snowflake" mug.

COFFEE: Colombian Supremo roasted by What's Brewing from Central Market (their "house brand"). Burr ground.

NOTES: Even a Spanish-made Waechtersbach mug is superior to most all other mugs. This navy blue mug has the unique to Waechtersbach "void" glaze (the white base slip is exposed) forming the snowflakes. While scrounging for used LPs at a local Thrift Store, I found this as-new mug for 33¢.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Burning down the house.

GLASS: Hand-blown Mexican glassware that my parents imported from Mexico to sell in their shop, The Section House, in Pottsboro, Texas.

LIQUID: George T. Stagg 141 proof bourbon. 2008 release.
Fire water and much more.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Clip on.

MUG: Contigo™ double-walled stainless steel travel mug from Target™.

COFFEE: Colombian Supremo from What's Brewing™ via Central Market™. Burred up fresh.

This travel mug replaces a similar mug branded as Starbuck's™. The lid broke on it (started leaking), and the rubber base mysteriously disappeared. This improved version has a different lid mechanism, is totally leak-proof, and has (like the previous one) a carbiner handle so I can clip it to my Filson™ shoulder-bag/satchel/briefcase/man-purse.

The coffee is wonderful. Thank goodness I am out of Nicaragua™!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Eine Nicht Kaffe

MUG: Waechtersbach musician's signature edition. I wanted the Bach, but got seduced by the yellow Mozart.

COFFEE: Nica's Fair Trade Nicaraguan Supremo beans, medium roast.

NOTES: Bought a two pound bag, untested, because I like Nicaraguan coffee, and I like Fair Trade products, and the price seemed right. But this bag of irregularly roasted beans was a complete waste of money and time. I've been forcing myself to drink it for two weeks now.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Must stash more coffee.

MUG: Japanese novelty mug, ceramic with glazed color. Three piece cast construction (bowl, handle, and mustache guard are separate pieces).

More Community Coffee Colombian from Red Stick (Baton Rouge).

NOTES: This "stein" is the size of a coffee mug, and I presume that's its intended use. Made in Japan during the 1950s to 1960s, with a design motif of two Bavarians hoisting liters of beer while a stag leaps through the woods on the reverse. Probably imported by Italians, to complete the Axis Powers connection. A birthday gift from my buddy Mike, a.k.a. "Kitty".

As for the coffee, Albertson's sells this both prepackaged (med/dark) and bulk (dark). The bulk dispenser is the first of its kind I've seen. It has an air lock and a vacuum pump. When you dispense the beans, you first open an airlock and you can hear the air rush in. After the air pressure equalizes, the beans begin to fall into the bag from the spout. When you release the handle, you can hear the air being pumped out of the container. Very cool, and perhaps beneficial to increased freshness and/or longer shelf-life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Being in community

MUG: Chinese made ceramic bistro mug with many names of the Second Person of the Trinity engraved into its surface. The name we use as a familiar term is on the reverse side.

COFFEE: 100% Colombia Altura by Community Coffee of Baton Rouge, sourced from Albertson's as an emergency supply (out of coffee, and didn't have time to trek over to my usual supplier).

NOTE: Community Coffee (the folks who dared to challenge Starbuck's in the South with their chain of CC's Coffee Shops...and lost) has a new line of "Private Reserve" premium coffees, most of which are nasty-flavored things I wouldn't use to deodorize the kitchen disposal. But their 100% Colombian is VERY good stuff, more than just acceptable. The beans are a bit small, but the flavor has that wonderful, deep, winey taste. The roast is a little darker than many do a Colombian, which helps, I think.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Strolling down Memory Lane.

Not. This aluminum tumbler is one of a set of multi-colored anodized aluminum tumblers I gave my wife for her birthday last year. Both of our parents had tumblers like these for patio parties in the 1950s.

Not. It's 102˚F outside right now. Too damn hot for coffee. Gordon's Gin and Canada Dry Tonic. Ice. A quarter of a lime.

Notes: While this tumbler brings back memories of our childhoods in the 1950s, aluminum eating and food preparation utensils have been suspected of being a contributing factor in the development of Alzheimer's Disease. My mother and my wife's mother were both victims.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Greecey spoon.

Mug: Chinese-made commercial ware for Chubby's Family Restaurant. What can I say? It's a family restaurant mug. Chubby's is a family-owned chain of local restaurants owned by George, a big Greek guy with an accent so thick you can barely understand him. He hires a lot of Greeks (and a scary looking Macedonian dishwasher who wears combat camo).

Coffee: "Colombian" beans, fairly thin. Free refills.

Note: A story I was told from Chicago: A Greek and a Russian both immigrate to the US, and get jobs in a restaurant washing dishes. After a year, the Greek is the cook, and the Russian is washing dishes. After two years, the Greek manages the restaurant's new location. He takes the Russian with him as a dishwasher. After three years, the Greek owns the restaurants... and his old friend the Russian is working for him... washing dishes.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wrap your mind around this mug.

Mug: Large stoneware mug from China. Basic thick, heavy mug, with a handle suitable for ham-fisted handling. Digitally imprinted (not sure how this works, but it's cool). From the CafePress website: Super-size your favorite beverage or just size-up to avoid spills with our hefty, 15 oz. ceramic Large Mug. Large easy-grip handle. When you need more, mug it up. Measures 4.5" tall, 3.25" diameter, Dishwasher and microwave safe.

Coffee: The comfortable choice. 100% Colombian Supremo beans, full city roast, double the strength (coffee to water ratio) of the usual "American" coffee.

Notes: Features the graphic from the bumper sticker, "Thank You For Sharing The Road With Bicycles" reflecting what I feel is an example of SMART bicycle advocacy. This mug, and its companion, are available here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Get a grip

Mug: An interesting new acquisition: An 8 oz. Bodum double-walled ceramic coffee "cup" (well, Starbucks by Aida is what it says on the bottom, but it's identicle to the Bodum mugs that Starbucks was selling a few months ago... Aida is probably a Bodum subsidiary). I put the word cup in parenthesis because it has no handles.

Coffee: Organic arabica beans from Guatemala. Sourced from Newflower Farmers Market. Inexpensive, relatively ($7 lb.), but seems a little less fresh (rolled-off flavors) compared to my normal sources. Tried their Colombian, and had a similar reaction. Not bad, just not quite as fresh tasting. But at $7 a pound, as compared to my preferred neighborhood roaster's $12 a pound, I may get use to this during the deepening recession and my imminent part-time employment (in 18 months). Shiner Blonde instead of Weihenstephaner Original, too. ;-)

Notes: The cup is designed to keep the coffee warmer with it''s double-walled construction, while the exterior remains cool to the touch, and therefore has no need of a handle. Good tactile experience (you can't beat ceramics to the lips). The ergonomic design is good, with the cup's "waist" providing a good grip.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mug: Hybrid mug. Contigo™ desktop ceramic mug with travel lid (not shown), rubber base and handle. Stainless steel jacket adds insulation.

Coffee: Colombian Supremo, as always (almost).

Notes: An OK mug. The base is too big to fit into my car's cup-holder (maybe it would fit the Toyota Prius' cup-holders at work). The idea is to combine the classic drinking qualities of ceramic (no flavor impartation, good heat retention, and a great tactile experience for the lips) with the superior heat retention qualities of a double-walled stainless steel mug.

I don't think they were very successful in the design, as the steel appears to be single-wall, and therefore lacks the "vacuum bottle" effect and efficiency of a true double-walled thermal mug. But it's a pleasant, hefty mug.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mug: Fiesta Ware soup/cappuccino mug. Not much to say, it is what it is. I do like the reinforced lip, and of course, the colors.

Coffee: Italian Espresso roast from What's Brewing. Cocoa/chili powder sprinkle.

Note: First use of the cappuccino/espresso machine this winter.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I've had an epiphany.

Mug: Post-War Japanese design. Thin walls, uncomfortable handle, that allows the heat to burn fingers. Over-painted polychrome colors are flaking off. The under-glaze is crazed, but holding up. The ceramic piece dates back to a time when people made fun of Japanese products.

Coffee: The Colombian of habit.

Note: I realized this morning that today is the last day of Christmas, and I hadn't featured this mug yet (or used it). Tomorrow is The Epiphany, the day the Church commemorates the Magi coming to Jesus. He might have been as old as three when they arrived. Their journey was not about bringing gifts, but about the gentiles being called into the Kingdom of God. Jesus came to you. Return the favor.