Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Ho, Ho, Ho Latte Kitsch.

MUG: Chinese stoneware 12 ounce mug. Grainy, unpleasant texture, but functional as a novelty mug.

COFFEE: Whole Foods French Roast. Mystery beans.

NOTES: I almost forgot to use this mug during Christmas season (the only time it will ever see use), but Day 5 found it. Merry Christmas, pardner!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Less is more.

MUG: A three-ounce espresso cup from Crate & Barrel, made in Viet Nam.

COFFEE: Fara Coffee Signature dark roast Nicaraguan coffee.

NOTES: For Christmas, my wife gave me two of these little cups. Very much appreciated. The Bauhausian motto of "Less is more" fits here very well. I didn't want much for Christmas (I got a nice shirt, too), and more coffee goes into my three-ounce espresso than goes into my morning ten-ounce drip cup.

Less is more.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tanning balm

MUG: Waechtersbach Christmas/Cat mug. How very German.

COFFEE: Not coffee, but Abuelita Mexican Cocoa (hot).

NOTES: My grand daughter spent the night with us, just as a blue norther blew in. So it's hot cocoa in front of the fireplace this morning... listening to Vince Guaraldi's classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. It doesn't get much better than this.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Memory harvester

MUG: Chinese-made diner mug, imported by M. Cornell Importers. Heavy, self-defense style mug. Good handle, thick walls, and ample capacity makes this a true 'manly mug'.

COFFEE: Colombian Supremo from Barrett's. Perhaps a bit too light? I am besieged by a lingering upper respiratory infection and a balky coffee grinder. Tastes are all over the place.

NOTES: I found this mug at Tractor Supply Company. I used to drive an International Harvester Scout, even had my first fender-bender in it. Under-powered, top heavy, four wheel drive farm vehicle, without a gas gauge. It had two gas tanks, and when you started to run out of gas, you'd switch tanks on the fly. Some fun on the highway (top speed of 70 mph, if I recall correctly).

I recently discovered Tractor Supply Company (having seen them along the highways for a few years). Waves of nostalgia swept over me when I first entered the new TSC in Buda, Texas. It is almost exactly like the Farm & Ranch departments in the Sears & Roebucks of my childhood. Barbed wire, saddles and tack, gardening supplies, electric fence materials, livestock supplies, farm and ranch wear, pocket knives, hardware, tools and agricultural implements. It brought a tear to my eye of days gone by, of time spent with my father and brother.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another ongoing URI post

MUG: Spanish-made Waechtersbach snowflake mug. It's still cold outside, and I'm celebrating.

COFFEE: Abuelita Mexican Cocoa

NOTES: Coffee is still not tasting right. Mexican cocoa is.

Monday, December 10, 2012

This blog is not sponsored by Waechtersbach.

MUG: A German-made Waechtersbach latte/soup mug, purchased at (and branded by) Crate & Barrel.

COFFEE: A Nicaraguan/Sumatran espresso roast from Fara Coffee Roasters.

NOTES: Baby it's cold outside.

Demi more or less.

CUP: This demitasse cup is of unknown origin. I found two of them (the other one is yellow with a blue interior) at a thrift store off the square in San Marcos. Probably made in China.

COFFEE: Fara Coffee's Signature Nicaraguan espresso roast sourced from H.E.B. 

NOTES: 30 mph wind and 40 degrees this morning here in Kyle-On-Plum-Creek. This foretaste of winter seemed a good time for a demitasse of espressed coffee.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Gotta whole lotta buzz

MUG: Ceramic, double-walled, silicon-lidded travel mug. This design keeps my coffee warm all through the 45 minute teaching sermons we enjoy on Sunday mornings. Really (both warm and enjoy).

COFFEE: Espresso-roast, estate-grown, Nicaraguan coffee from the bulk bins at HEB (roasted in Austin). Four espresso shots, with steamed milk and foam (and a little cocoa/chili powder dusting).

NOTES: Change is good sometimes. This is one of those times. Due to a head cold I have been dealing with this week, my coffee has been tasting like burnt popcorn. Not a recommended flavor. Being as dairy products have been tasting OK the last couple of days, this seemed like a good solution. It was.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bottomless cup

MUG: Waechstersbach from Germany. Fun Line? I noticed they recently added to their website a statement that they invented the "can style" coffee mug (as seen above). Sounds right to me. They have certainly perfected it.

COFFEE: Light roast (lighter than usual, perhaps too light) Colombian Supremo.

NOTES: Twenty eight years ago today, in Denison Texas on November 28th, 1984, I drank from a cup that quenched my thirst forever, a cup that is never empty and always flowing. It caused my hair to stand on end.

It remains a big deal.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Good coffee. Happy man.

MUG: Waechtersbach from Germany. 'Nuff said.

COFFEE: Colombian Supremo Estate from Barrett's Microroasters.

NOTES: Happy Thanksgiving, all.

We give you thanks, almighty God, for all the benefits you have given us. You, who live and reign forever.

Friday, November 16, 2012

On the Beach

MUG: Previuosly featured Starbuck's™ branded hybrid mug. Stainless-steel exterior provides an insulating void around a ceramic drinking vessel. Great lip-service (literally), nice rubber handle, and a spill-resistant lid. A nice mug for certain occasions.

COFFEE: Guatemalan Antigua from Barrett's, replacing the standard Colombian. The taste-recalibration project is almost at an end.

NOTES: On the beach at Galveston Island, on a balcony of the Commodore Hotel. The coffee was brewed with my new Road Trip Koffee Kit, which consists of a yellow-orange Swedish-made Koffi™ plastic Melitta-filter cone dripper (that I've had for over thirty years), a Stanley™ vacuum bottle (that I've had for three years), and a bright pink electric kettle (that I've had for a week or so). I bring pre-measured zip-lok bags of ground coffee and bottles of Ozarka™ spring water.

Here's the kit in action.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another Roadside Distraction

MUG: Styrofoam-paper hybrid cup? I'm not sure what the composition of this McDonald's McCafe cup is, but it's thick foam, with a very nice thick-rolled lip and a bonded paper wrapper. Good tactile experience (for a paper cup).

COFFEE: Nope. Hot(?) chocolate at McDonald's.

NOTES: It's 10:30 p.m. in Belton, Texas, on a drive back to Hays County from attending a concert at Baylor University in Waco. The day started in Galveston. We are exhausted. A 5-Hour Energy Shot propelled me from Kyle to Waco (walked into the auditorium 3 minutes before the performers took the stage), but its effects are wearing off, with 80 miles to go before I sleep... and I want to sleep once I get home. Hot chocolate at Starbucks is on my menu, as a small caffeine boost should get me through the I-35 gauntlet without keeping me awake all night.

I missed the exit to Starbucks in Temple. As punishment, I get a too sweet, luke-warm 'Swiss Miss-ish' beverage further down the road. It is appreciated, and sufficient for the last leg of my journey to bed.

I survived the drive to post this.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rainbow Warrior

MUGS: An inexpensive ceramic mug and a more expensive ceramic/stainless steel hybrid travel mug.

COFFEE: Guatemalan Antigua (the taste-bud recalibration continues).

NOTES: Road Trip Koffee Kit, consisting of mugs, just-ground coffee, spring water, Melitta-type filter holder (Koffi brand from Sweden), #3 Melitta filters, Stanley thermal bottle, and an electric water kettle. We are headed to Galveston Island for a couple of days, and I am not leaving the morning coffee up to chance.

See all the pretty colors?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Morning do.

MUG: M-Design Neiman Marcus 90th Anniversary diner-style mug. All around good mug, heavy enough to be used for self defense.

COFFEE: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

NOTES: One of the great things about my pre-dawn coffee/bible/prayer routine is being able to experience sunrise (while fully awake). To the east, we have a fairly unobstructed view toward the horizon (over a golf course), so we get that morning "horizontal light" that illuminates as no other.

While fetching the newspaper, I set my coffee down in the entrance hall to our house. When I came back in (paper in hand), the light was just striking the place where I had set my mug, having just crested the 9th Hole.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I see the light.

MUG: Plastic and stainless steel cup/cap from a one liter Stanley Industrial Unbreakable Thermos Bottle. Despite its double-walled nature, the cup/cap is too hot to the touch when filled with fresh coffee, making the use of gloves pretty much mandatory (until the coffee cools). That's not entirely inappropriate, considering the intended function of this thermos bottle (dawn's-early-light patrol on work sites, hunting trips, and spiritual retreats). The cup/cap has no redeeming tactile qualities beyond its basic function. The Stanley Thermos itself is a functional and aesthetic delight, from its excellent heat retention qualities to its hammered-green enameled finish.

COFFEE: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic coffee from Barrett's Micro Roasters in Sodom-On-The-Colorado, Texas. Medium-light roast, as is my daily preference. Very nice stuff. Easily a daily drinker.

NOTES: I find that my coffee taste buds need a recalibration every so often to maintain my appreciation of a well roasted/brewed drink, but good coffee is required for the process (bad coffee merely screws up my taste buds). Usually, I switch to a Guatemalan from my standard (and all too common) Colombian, but in a nod to my long-ago love for mocha coffees, I went with this Ethiopian that many feel is among the finer beans available.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lilacs on the Pedernales.

MUG: Waechstersbach mug, made in Germany, purchased in Deutschland auf den Pedernales. This discontinued color was a special order by my friend John Lopez at Der Küchen Laden. The man knows his coffee, both the software and the hardware.

COFFEE: Colombian Supremo(?) beans. Medium-light roast from one of two roasters in Tyler, Texas (either Country Coffee or Coffee City, I don't remember which). It's good! It's not over-roasted, so at my preferred 8 grams of beans to 5 ounces of water ratio, all the flavors of the Colombian bean are present... without the taste of burned popcorn so popular in coffees today.

NOTES: It's a damn shame either or both of these roasters don't relocate to nearby Coffee City, Texas, on the shores of Lake Palestine. What a great mailing address they would have.

As for the mug, there's really nothing to say that I haven't said before. Design and production perfection. The actual glaze color is described as "Blueberry", but I'm not seeing it. Maybe "Blueberry Stain on a White Shirt" describes the color better.

For reference, the shot below was taken with my Olympus Pen E-PL1 Micro 4/3 camera, while the title picture above (including the Olympus in the frame) was shot with my iPhone 4s and processed with Instagram.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hope springs eternal.

MUG: Not a mug, but an 18 oz. acrylic tumbler made by ThermoServe in Dallas, Texas.

COFFEE: Not coffee, nor another caffeinated beverage, but sparkling spring water with a bit of natural grapefruit flavor. No other additives (other than the half a key lime I pitched in for good measure).

NOTES: My hope for more fall weather have been dashed. A hot wind has blown in out of the southwest, out of the Mexican desert, and it is pulling moisture up from the Gulf as well. This calls for emergency action. Ice water, with carbon dioxide and a twist.

Monday, October 15, 2012

When you Keurig enough to serve the very best.

CUP: Conical-shaped white china. Probably Chinese-made, but I didn't invert the cone to find out. Would have been rude to dump coffee on my host's floor. 10-12 ounce capacity. Nice lip feel, good handle, this mug has a good combination of girly design and manly size.

COFFEE: Polka-Java blend from Buna Bean coffee roasters in Ennis, Texas. It's really a Mocha Java blend, but named with a pun due to Ennis' annual Polka Festival and its Czech heritage.

NOTES: Spent the night with a friend and his wife in their neat American Craftsman style home in old Ennis Texas. Before I left the next morning, he made me a cup of coffee using his Keurig machine, but he fresh grinds his beans and puts them in the Keurig basket, instead of using a Vue-Pak (?). It made by far the best cup of Keurig coffee I've ever had.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Taupe O'Gee, Joe!

MUG: Waechstersbach 2 ounce mug. Made in Western Germany (that should tell you something).

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombian, espressed. Contrary to popular opinion, dark-roasted (burned) "Espresso Roast" coffee is not necessary to made a good cup of espresso.

NOTES: Last month, while cruising ebay, I ran across this taupe/mud miniature mug from Waechtersbach. I am not sure if it was produced as an espresso cup, or as a novelty/souvenir from the Bavarian factory-town of Waechtersbach. How could I resist its charms?

NOTES 2: The title of this post is another painful pun. If you get it, you are probably old.

A little tricky under the espresso machine.

In comparison with a standard-sized Waechtersbach coffee mug.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Big Gulp of Mud.

MUG: 16 ounce hand-glazed, machine made mug from Pottery Barn Outlet (I didn't know they still sold pottery). I picked this up yesterday after crossing the River Styx in San Marcos. The walls are thick, but the mug is lightweight (relatively), indicating lots of air in the clay, and therefore great insulation qualities. By my standards, it is huge, holding in one pour almost my entire current daily consumption of coffee. 

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombian Supremo Estate. I've said enough already. Its excellent flavor cuts through my seasonal (April-October) allergies.

NOTES: This is my color. It's sort of a taupe. We used to call it PMS-MUD around the office and home, referencing both the Pantone Matching System and my initials. For awhile, I used this color on everything that fell into my grasp. Walls, clothes, brochures, paintings, life.

I codified this color as mine when I acquired a set of six West German made Waechtersbach coffee mugs (as extolled here often) in this color in 1976. Later inquiries with WaechstersbachUSA about getting replacement mugs for the ones that had crashed to earth over the years (or rather, tile floor) resulted in a denial that they had ever made (or imported) mugs of that color. More on this, soon.

PMS-407, or PMS Warm Grey 4.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The True Cup

MUG: Chinese-made diner-style mug. I love this mug. Thick walls, great lip feel, good finger handle, and understated decoration all combine to make this an exceptionally enjoyable coffee vehicle. This mug is just slightly smaller than the ten to twelve ounce mugs I normally employ. This mug holds eight ounces, or, one exact measuring cup. The mythical "coffee-maker" cup is closer to five ounces.

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombian Supremo Estate. Rich, full flavor coffee despite my allergies' interference. Last week's stand-in from Taste Wobegon can't hold a candle to this example of the Colombian bean.

NOTES: I think I purchased this coffee at the Café Du Monde on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I doubt chicory root will ever again taint it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue.

MUG: As featured before, a hand-thrown mug from Marshall Pottery in Marshall, Texas. Thrown by Laurence Houston, Sr. Potter. This is a prized possession.

COFFEE: "Organic" Colombian Supremo from the Cameron's Coffee bulk bin at my local H.E.B. Plus in Kyle, Texas.

NOTES: Yet again, I misjudged my coffee bean supply, and had to buy some "stop-gap" coffee to tide me over until my order from Barrett's arrived. This Minnesota-based coffee company's product was a new offering in the bulk bins at H.E.B. The beans looked to be more of a medium roast than the usual "black roast" preferred by coffee suppliers down here. Sadly, the trip from the Land of a Thousand Lakes must have been a long one, as the coffee is just a bit stale.* Fresher, this would be a very good coffee.

OLD: The mug. Probably from the 1960s.

NEW: The coffee. New to me (if quite "new").

BORROWED: This phrase.

BLUE: The decorative stripe around the mug. I wish I knew more about this particular style of glaze (natural color, with blue stripes).

*ADDENDUM: It's really unfair of me to complain that the Cameron's coffee beans don't seem fresh tasting. It's allergy season here in Central Texas (April through November), and my taste buds suffer greatly. Smelling the coffee beans in the container indicates that my palate may be currently defective.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Putting on your Sunday best.

MUG: Contigo travel mug, with carabiner-handle and positive snap opening. Sitting atop is a Melitta Ready Set Joe one cup (#2) filter holder.

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombian Supremo.

NOTES: Is there worse coffee than church coffee? AA meeting coffee perhaps, and gas station coffee. But church coffee, for whatever reasons, is usually made from poor quality (never pour-over quality) coffee, and normally made too weak. It's primary purpose seems to be to serve as a warm lubricant for stale donuts. My church serves great, fresh donuts, but the Folger's we serve is another matter. Perfectly acceptable to most. But I'm spoiled.

Because we have a balancing act at home involving making enough coffee to satisfy my 89 year old mother-in-law's afternoon cravings, without my having to make coffee all day long, I've started making an extra mug (a.k.a., three cups) of coffee to take to the Jesus party. This newly acquired filter holder holds the required amount of fresh grounds, and two and a half pours makes great joe. Notice the very convenient (and highly appreciated) open viewing port at the bottom of the filter holder so you can keep from over-filling the mug.

It's a great device, and it's cheap, too.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I heart Cocoa... and June Anne.

MUG: Made in Thailand for Crate&Barrel, purchased at their outlet store in the third ring of Hell (San Marcos Outlet Mall) for use by my grand daughter June Anne for hot cocoa.

COFFEE: Not coffee, but Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Cocoa Mix, with mini marshmallows added (but not in the mix).

NOTE: As featured previously, our eldest grand daughter spends the night with us once a week to give our youngest daughter a bit of a break caring for her new baby (while our son-in-law's band "practices"). In the early morning before my wife wakes up, June Anne comes downstairs and joins me while I drink my coffee. I make her a cup of hot cocoa with added mini-marshmallows... even on the days it's going to be 100°F outside.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Coffee boom.

MUG: Chinese-made novelty mug. Standard ceramic mug. Drinks OK, neither excelling nor irritating. Its one possibly irritating factor is the very reason I bought it in the first place.

COFFEE: Brazilian Estate (which estate, I wonder?) from Barrett's Roasters. When a mechanical failure at the Barrett's 'plant' caused my monthly five pound shipment of Colombian Supremo to be delayed, I was gifted by them with two 1/2 pound bags of coffee beans. This Brazilian Estate is one of them. It's a bit different from the Brazilian Bourbon Santos coffees I've had in the past. They describe it as "nutty," and I have to agree.

NOTES: This mug was purchased at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. What began life as a museum dedicated to the life and career of Fredericksburg's native son Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, housed in the old Nimitz Hotel, has evolved into a full city block of museum dedicated to the US servicemen and women who fought in the Pacific Theater during WWII. The image on the mug is that of "Fat Man," the bomb that was dropped over Nagasaki by the United States on August 9, 1945. It was the second atomic bomb used against Imperial Japan, and only the third detonated. Its use was authorized by my first cousin twice removed, Harry S. Truman. Its use effectively ended the Second World War, thus saving millions of American and Japanese lives, both military and civilian.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I went back

MUG: M Ware mug, made in China. This is another Waechtersbach imitation, with thinner walls than the original, but of very similar dimensions.

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombian. Brewed stronger than usual due to some maintenance work I did on the coffeemaker last Friday.

NOTES: I saw this mug at Dooley's 5-10 & 25 Store in Fredericksburg, Texas (a real, old-fashioned dime-store) a month or so ago. I didn't get it then, as Dooley's is a "cash only" establishment, and all I had on me was pocket change and my debit card.

We went back last Saturday, and I got both of the ones they had. One for me, and one as a gift for a friend's 90+ year old father (a German-Texan living in northeast Oklahoma), although the gift may really be intended for Otto's much younger second wife. She's the Ausländer who has had to deal with the mug's prophetic sentiment for the last twenty years (since not long after my friend's mother passed away).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday blues

MUG: It's a Fiesta. Made in the U.S.A. by Homer Laughlin Company as part of their Fiestaware™ brand of ceramic ware. Fiestaware is all about color, and this particular mug's color is Peacock.

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombian Supremo Estate, mill-ground, drip-brewed, slurped-down.

NOTES: This is a Fiestaware mug with a mug handle. Prior Fiestaware mug designs were enlarged versions of their teacup, with a mug body, and a one finger trigger-guard handle. Never liked them. Too dainty for a mug. This one attempts to rectify the situation, but I still find the design of the mug unsatisfying. Can't put my finger on the problem (although I can put three fingers through the handle).

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Coffee spec

MUG: Diner-style mug of unknown manufacture. The front side bears the imprint of a record store in the Pacific Northwest.

COFFEE: Guatemalan Antigua from Spec's Liquor Store and Deli.

NOTES: I buy my coffee from Barrett's Micro-Roasters via the Internet and the US Postal Service. They roast and ship twice a week, and I get my delivery a couple of days after roasting. It's a great way to get consistently good coffee, 5 pound bag at a time.
But on occasion, I time my order wrong, and have to go scrambling for a few day's substitute.

The whole bean coffees at my local mega-grocery store are consistently over-roasted. Other resources are lacking. However, I finally found a reasonable emergency supply source. Spec's is a large chain of liquor stores based in Houston. Their larger stores have "gourmet deli" sections (some more so than others). The Spec's ten miles from me has a wall of bulk coffee beans, roasted by Spec's in Houston. Their beans are mostly over-roasted, but they have a "light" Colombian Supremo and a Guatamalan Antigua that have the proper "City" roast that I feel brings out the best of the bean's flavors.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Welcome to Hell. Here's your coffee cup.

MUG: Styrofoam cup made by Dart. Styrofoam cups are the object of much 'Green Hate' for being environmentally unsustainable. But on the bottom of the cup I found the recycling code 6. Yes, evil styrofoam can be recycled. What can you make out of recycled styrofoam? Answer: Insulation, light switch plates, egg cartons, vents, rulers, foam packing, carry-out containers. Truthfully, these cups keep the coffee warm, and keep the hands from getting too hot... and you can make light switches out of them when you're through.

COFFEE: White Bear mystery Arabica coffee. Drip-brewed (Bunn-like brewer) into a thermal air-pot. Certainly not the worst coffee I've ever had. The reverse is true as well, but it is far better than the usal "gratis coffee" you find offered for consumer consumption. It does smell good when brewing (I should have stopped there, or had a cup of the fresh-brewed). From the roaster: "Darker Roast, premium quality blend, ideal for resturants, hotels and general taste (City Roast)." I'm not sure if "resturant" is a different way to spell "tire store" or not.

NOTES: I'm back at Discount Tire for a slow leak repair. The sugar canister by the air-pot is from a brand called Dixie Crystals... which I would have suspected to be a methamphetamine alias, but is actually a sub-brand of Imperial Sugar.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 04, 2012


MUG: Double-walled stainless steel French Press travel mug from Restoration Hardware.  

COFFEE: Coarse-ground Columbian Supremo from Barrett's, placed in zip-lock bags (12 grams).

NOTES: When on a trip, I carry a travel mug (and some ground coffee) with me to make a great cup of good coffee almost anywhere. While I usually use either the microwave or in-room coffee maker in hotel rooms, today's demonstration is about making coffee in a friend's house while staying with them and not wanting my 6 a.m. wake-up time to disturb their rest. Stealth coffee.

The fixin's. 

The boiling.

The pouring/stirring.

The timing (4 minutes).  Then you press the filter/plunger down.

The enjoying on the front porch in the cool of the morning before everyone else gets up.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Lord I'm one, Lord I'm two, Lord I'm three, Lord I'm four, Lord I'm 500 miles from my home. 500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles. Lord I'm 500 miles from my home.

MUG: Porcelain coffee cup of unknown origin, but branded Sant' Andrea, Royal Porcelain.

COFFEE: Starbucks something. The Southern Hills Marriott in Tulsa "Proudly serves Starbucks Coffee" in their restaurant. In the room, it's a decidedly different matter. More on that later, perhaps.

NOTES: Returning home today. 500 miles lay before me. I will be shifting into 'horse to the barn' mode.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The one that got away.

MUG: Chinese novelty-tourist souvenir mug.


NOTES: Almost bought this in Dooley's 5-10-25¢ store on Main Street in Fredericksburg, but upon checkout, discovered they were cash only. This went back on the shelf. Besides, the mug must be for left-handed drinkers. The statement is on the wrong side.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Uranium found in Deutschedisneyland!

MUG: Waechstersbach mug made in Germany. The world's best coffee mug, now in fluorescent green glaze. Truly amazing.  

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombian, made in a Dunn Brother's French Press insulated travel mug/coffee maker.  

NOTES: Bought the mug today at Der Küchen Laden in Fredericksburg, Texas (a.k.a., Deutschedisneyland).

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

We interupt this programme for a note on coffee beans.

On the left are medium roast Colombian Supremo San Agustin, estate grown, organic, Fair Trade, coffee beans from Barrett's Micro Roast Coffee in Austin, Texas. They are great tasting, and the roast is very consistent, order to order. They also are delivered to my door by a US Government agent the day after roasting.

In the middle are some Colombian Supremo Fair Trade, estate and shade grown, organic medium roast beans from Red Bud Roasters in San Marcos, Texas. Very good flavor, with just a bit too much caramelization. I might try their 'light' roast sometime. I can order them the night before pick-up at a local farmer's market.

On the right are some generic 'Colombian' medium roast beans from Starbucks. One look is all it takes to understand why this quality-minded organization is often called "Charbucks". Coffee al Carbon. Not horrible (I'll leave that description to Folger's, etc.), but the subtle sweet flavors are totally obscured by a taste that is all too reminiscent to me of burned popcorn. I'd still rather have a cup of coffee at a Starbucks than at 90% of the places serving coffee, where the coffee is usually twice-burned, and of poor quality to begin with.

Bogus Bodum Bonus

MUG: Double-walled glass with silicon gripper and spill-resistant lid. Twelve ounce capacity. Good insulating properties (hot coffee, but not hot fingers or lips), and glass is a pleasant tactile sensation.

COFFEE: Starbucks 'medium' roast Colombian. Shiny-black, oily, bitter beans. An error of timing on my part resulted in running out of my preferred Barrett's coffee. My wife had purchased a pound of this Starbucks as an emergency coffee (on sale and with a coupon, it was $5). Like most things 'suitable for emergency use', it falls far short on the standard.

NOTES: Made in China, imitating the Bodum line of double-walled insulated glass beverage containers (even the available green, red, and orange colors are very 'Bodum-like'). A great product for $5 (a similar Bodum glass is $20), I don't expect it to have a long lifespan, due to the absence of the pressure equalizing relief valve as now used on genuine Bodum glasses. 

BONUS: This travel tumbler fits in the cup-holders of my MINI Cooper without blocking (or activating) any controls! MINI owners will understand.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stanley Steamer

MUG: 16 ounce travel mug by Stanley Tools, makers of the famous Aladdin Stanley thermos bottle. Great submarine-hatch sealing mechanism. Plastic interior (a negative). Decent drinker, but it doesn't quite fit in my new car's cup-holders. When they say MINI, they mean it. Being made by BMW, they do offer special MINI travel-mugs that cost $20, but only hold 8 ounces (keeping with the MINI theme, I suppose).

COFFEE: The Colombian Supremo from Barrett's.

NOTES: I bought two of these mugs off Woot! for $6 (plus $5 Woot! shipping) before I bought my car, thinking they'd probably fit. Think again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Best 'luck' ever.

MUG: Today's mug, patterned after the German Waechstersbach design I love, is a generic Chinese-made mug from The World's Best Ever consumerist website. The mug comes with a dry-erase marker that allows you to write in whatever 'best' you have in mind. I just report, you decide. 

COFFEE: Colombian Fair Trade, organic, shade-grown, medium roast beans from Redbud Roasters in San Marcos, Texas. Purchased direct from roaster at the 150 Market the day after roasting. Good coffee. Flavor and aroma are both excellent, although it is slightly darker than my preference, with just a 'hint' of burn. Freshness counts, and covers many roasting sins.

NOTE: Best life ever. That's mine. See the wheel bearing in the photo? It's from a 2011 Honda Pilot.

Thursday was my youngest grand daughter's six-month birthday (fair Claire LaGrone). At 11:00 p.m. that night, a Honda Pilot SUV, traveling up to 70 mph, smashed through my son-in-law's Ford Focus that was parked at the cul-de-sac's curb and into their house, smashing through the wall in Claire's nursery. Her crib was crushed by the bed in the room that was pushed up against it. While the driver of the Honda remains unconscious in ICU, Claire was unharmed. The wheel bearing from the Honda was found almost 200 feet away, at the extreme end of the debris field.
Someone remarked that her parents must be really good people to have such great luck. Well, as wonderful as I think Claire's parents are, it is all about the really great God they have, and how good He is.

P.S.: Because it's true.