Saturday, March 16, 2013

Watts of power

MUG: Six ounce double-walled travel cup from REI (lid not shown).

COFFEE: Guatemalan Rio Azul, roasted by my friend Carter Smith, green beans sourced from Third Coast Coffee in south Austin.

NOTES: This little travel coffee cup actually fits in my MINI Cooper without obscuring controls or activating the heated seats. Six ounces is actually a nice volume as a second cup, and it won't outlast its heat retention.

The Guatemalan coffee is excellent. Looks like a true "full city" roast, not burned. Full of delicate flavors. Thanks, Herr Doktor Smith!

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A vestigial need to mark or slash

MUG: Chinese-made 14 ounce ceramic souvenir mug from the Museum of the Big Bend at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas. Over-sized, with a trapezoidal handle (slants in at the top), it is decorated with pictographs from a nearby prehistoric Amerind stone shelter (dating to approximately 2000 B.C.).

COFFEE: While we were away in Alpine, we had house guests. They left us with 12 ounces of Carmo de Minas peaberry coffee beans from Brazil. The beans were roasted correctly (not burned) on February 15th by Ristretto Roasters in Portland, Oregon (where our house-guests live).  Thankfully, the flavors of "butterscotch, toffee, and roasted cashews," as promised by the tasting notes, were not to be found in this very pleasant coffee.

NOTES: Thank you Katie, for a most welcome and unexpected and generous gift!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Dark water

MUG: Imitation Waechtersbach mug from China, part of a Toastess single-cup drip coffee hotel in-room coffeemaker.

COFFEE: Melitta "Buzzworthy" Coffee Pod. It also says "European Indulgence" and "100% High Grown Arabica Coffee". This resulted in a thin, stale tasting, lightly colored, warm dark-water beverage. No redeeming qualities whatsoever.

NOTES: I have a high opinion of the Melitta brand historically, even though there is a clear difference between Melitta EU and Melitta NA. I have been using Melitta brewing system variations (always the drip cone system they invented, almost always their filters) for almost forty years. The stale-tasting liquid that was produced by this coffee pod threatens that respect. IMO, this is a brand-damaging product. But then, some of the fault may also lie with the Toastess, which certainly doesn't heat water to a proper temperature. Nor is it designed for this coffee tampon product.

French, Holland, Alpine

MUG: Dixie "PerfecTouch" coffee tumbler. Soft to the touch, heat retaining, non-plastic coffee container. Sort of a paper mâché product.

COFFEE: French roast, made in a Bunn, served from a Bunn airpot. Way down my list of best coffees I have had. Way down. Has that burned, metallic taste so appealing to many coffee trendies.

NOTES: This is the morning breakfast buffet coffee at the Holland Hotel in Alpine, Texas. It's the first disappointment of an otherwise truly delightful stay.

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