Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lutheran World Relief comes to Kyle

MUG: Well, not a mug, but a paper sack inside of a zip-lok bag, inside of a cardboard box. Delivered by Federal Agents as a Priority assignment.

COFFEE: Columbian Supremo beans, roasted by What's Brewing in San Antonio, and sold by Central Market in Dallas.

NOTES: Alerted to a fellow (sorta) Lutheran's plight in Hays County, the Steve S. arm of LWR, Art & Architecture Division, sprang into action, contracting with Federal agents to transport a pound of superior coffee beans to Kyle in an act of Christian mercy and relief.

Thanks, Steve!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Great White North

MUG: Chinese made “navy” or “diner” style mug, 10 8 ounce capacity, sourced from Cafe Du Monde on Bourbon Street in New Orleans (I'm showing the non-imprint side). A great mug, if maybe an ounce or three too small. Serious heft, good lip, thick one-finger handle.

COFFEE: Small-batch roasted Colombian Narino Reserva del Patron from White Rock Coffee in Dallas, as delivered to my door yesterday afternoon by a government employee. It’s a “full city” roast. It’s very good.

NOTES: Even with my tasting sense impaired by the allergies I am enduring moving to Central Texas, this coffee tastes good. Paying $30 for delivery of two pounds of freshly roasted coffee to my door may well be the shape of things to come. Placed my order on Thursday, it was shipped on Friday, and it arrived Monday. By placing my order on Sunday, I might be able to get in by Tuesday, as they ship via USPS Priority Mail. Not bad. The extra expense (higher bean price plus shipping) is balanced by the cost of gasoline to drive sixty mile round trip to Austin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My bitter valentine.

MUG: Waechtersbach. Red. It’s St. Valentine’s day, and no, I don't have one of Waechtersbach’s popular “Heart” mugs.

COFFEE: Bulk Cafe Olé Colombian Supremo darker roast beans from the Buda H.E.B.

NOTES: Another failed attempt at brewing superior tasting coffee in Kyle. Bitter, over-roasted flavor.

I have some small-batch roasted imported beans coming my way, so hope springs eternal, even in Hays County. Speaking of Hays County, Texas, I do find it interesting that Jack C. Hays, the legendary Texas Ranger (and founder of the city of Oakland, California) for whom this county is named, had the middle name of Coffee. No one seems to have capitalized on this historical fact, including the gourmet coffee shop situated on Jack Hays Trail. I suppose Frontier Indian Fighters don’t fit the barista lifestyle.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Here I am.

MUG: Another repeat appearance. This is a Chinese-made specialty advertising mug that was handed out by the South Florida folks who did the “God Quotes” billboards. This one was given to Dallas City Council Member Mary Poss, who gave it to me.

COFFEE: Rio Grande Blend from Texenza Coffee (“South and Central American beans boast a smokey dark chocolate flavor with a rich, smooth finish. Perfect for iced coffee”). I'm not a fan of blends, as I suspect they are too often used to disguise poor beans by adding a few good ones. This locally roasted (Austin) coffee doesn't change my thinking.

NOTES: This is a good cup for Morning Prayer (the coffee is usually brewing as I observe the daily office). Still searching for superior coffee, I ordered some Colombian beans from way up north yesterday (Dallas). Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Sore loser

MUG: Chinese manufactured stoneware mug from M Design (Museum?), very thick and heavy. Design is meant to imitate an enameled steel camp mug, but this ceramic monster is far easier on the lips, with no burn from the heat transmission common to enameled cups.

COFFEE: Hot Ibarra Mexican cocoa. Just a touch of cinnamon makes this an exceptional treat.

NOTES: This mug came from the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, and has been featured here before. The post title refers to both the quotation from Davy Crockett, and to the tendinitis in my arm and elbow.

The plate in the background was purchased by my parents in a Taos, New Mexico art gallery because the image reminded them of my sister, June Ann Summer.

Monday, February 07, 2011

From the country of 1100 springs

MUG: Bell-shaped stoneware mug made in China, purchased from The Dollar Store. Perfectly acceptable 11 ounce design with good functionality. If it had a green mermaid on it, it would have cost $9.50 instead of the $1 my wife paid for it. See note below.

COFFEE: A darker-roast Guatemalan marketed as “organic”, as purchased from HEB.

NOTE: The coffee is much better tasting today (but still not to my standards of taste), due to using Ozarka spring water instead of the chemical and mineral heavy tap water from the City of Kyle. People in Dallas don't realize how great the tap water is there (at least the water sourced from Dallas Water Utilities).

My wife bought me this mug at The Dollar Store in Kyle because we appear to have left the box containing all our coffee mugs back in Dallas. We will be making a 36 hour trip to Dallas today to fetch said box (and a few others). The Exodus continues, though I am certain it won't take 40 years (but 40 days is a possibility).

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Getting a grip on change

MUG: CenTury™branded double-wall ceramic travel mug, hecho en China. The travel cup has a nice trumpet-flare opening (dribble resistant), 16 12 ounce capacity, and comes with a silicone non-slip burn-resistant gripper and drink-through cap.

COFFEE: 3:5 blend of What's Brewing Colombian and Organics* Guatemalan. Improved from the straight Guatemalan I had yesterday, but this is the last of my Colombian. I must admit all complaints about coffee flavor are unfair until I get some better water. The Kyle muniwasser is heavily laden with chemicals (added) and minerals (naturally sourced). 

NOTES: This is, in some ways, the most expensive coffee mug I have. It (and a companion travel mug trimmed in pink silicone) was a housewarming gift to my wife and I from our Realtor as a thank-you gift for finally buying a house she showed us. She also gave us a nice bottle of brut sparkling wine from New Mexico, and a suspect bag of gourmet coffee beans roasted in Austin, “specially blended for iced coffee, with rich chocolate flavors”. Hazmat coffee, or will I be pleasantly surprised? Stay tuned.

*Organics is just a guess. I don't recall the actual name, but it's of that vein.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Frontier Outpost: Jack Coffee Hays edition

MUG: German stoneware beer stein, .25 liter capacity.

COFFEE: Organically-grown Guatemalan coffee, dark roast. Bitter, not better.

NOTES: Nice, heavy little mug, with a colorful shovel head on the front. A bit of a dribbler, due to the narrowing opening. Lip positioning is important with this design.

The coffee is a newly-sourced variety that I won't be revisiting after the .75 pound I purchased is exhausted. A search for a new supplier of good coffee begins now, as my old stand-by (Colombian Supremo from Central Market/What's Brewing) is no longer available to me locally.

SPECIAL NOTE: This is the first post from my new home in Hays County, Texas. Hays County was named after legendary Texas Ranger Captain Jack Coffee Hays, who also has the distinction of being the founder of the city of Oakland California. That might explain a lot about Oakland.