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.