Saturday, December 31, 2016

Glue for the soul.

MUG: Fiesta Ware tea cup and saucer. Made in the USA by Homer Laughlin since the 1930s.

COFFEE: Not coffee, but heated Nuremberg Gluehwein, with a wedge from a giant lemon grown in the Rio Grande Valley. It will make you 'glow'.

NOTE: The Gluehwein wine is from Italy. Italian Nuremberg wine... go figure. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Cure for the Uncommon Cold.

MUG: A Chinese (?) mug purchased through Zazzle™ with a photo print decoration. The ubiquitous Waechtersbach-style barrel mug.

COFFEE: Instead of coffee, I am drinking some Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon (Xocolatl). Popular is my usual brand Chocolate de Metate, but this is a new-to-me 'gourmet' product from Hernán. It is made in Mexico by local artisans.

NOTES: The mug has an imprint of a 1933 Texas Highway Department road map. I have used this very map as a route guide for the upcoming One Lap of Texas. With a fire in the hearth, and mug of hot cocoa in my belly, the very uncommon (in Central Texas) outdoor wind chill factor of 7 degrees Fahrenheit doesn't seem to be an issue (for me).

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Heart of Light, heart of darkness.

MUG: Promo mug for LakePointe Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Looks like it may have come from Discount Mugs, but who knows. Probably made in China, but no markings. Nice drinker. No dribbles.

COFFEE: Earlywine Breakfast Blend from Independence Coffee Company in Brenham, Texas. They like to use their roaster. They also use names for their coffees like Jet Fuel and Jackhammer. That should tell you something about their roast/flavor profile.

NOTES: The house church I belong to served this. Vacuum-brewed by our pastor (it's his house). The mug is from the church where he was on the staff before moving to Hays County to be a church planter (even if he didn't know it at the time).

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

You can't say you weren't warned.

MUG: Chinese-made mug (imitation Waechtersbach barrel-mug). Decorated by Shutterfly. A good drinker.

COFFEE: As yesterday, I am drinking Afterglow Nicaraguan coffee. It's a light roast, from Summer Moon Coffee. No electricity is used in making this coffee. It's wood-fire roasted in a brick oven, and the roaster barrel is bicycle-powered. Very hip. Good stuff. The Democratic Party in Austin called for a boycott against them because they wouldn't give money to support Planned Parenthood's infanticide business. The Left is good at running protection rackets.

NOTES: This is the Tom R. Moody III Commemorative version. The original sticker that this design is based upon read, "WARNING! You May Have Art In Your Home You Are Unaware Of!" Tom, being slightly pedantic (trained as a lawyer, painter, and art critic), complained of the dangling participle.

Tom, this mug's for you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election Day of the Dead coffee

MUG: Chinese-made Día de Muertos mug made by Holiday Market for H.E.B. Oversized at 14 ounces, this is a novelty-only design. The lip shape turns this mug into a dribble cup. Bad drinker, but displays well with others.

COFFEE: Afterglow Nicaraguan coffee, light roast, from Summer Moon Coffee. No electricity is used in making this coffee. It's wood-fire roasted in a brick oven, and the roaster barrel is bicycle-powered. Very hip. Good stuff.

NOTES: The end is nigh, regardless.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Red flag.

MUG: Chinese-made photo mug, imprinted in the USofA by Shutterfly. A copy of the venerable Waechtersbach barrel design. Good drinker.

COFFEE: Barrett's Colombia Huila, Pitalito. I haven't been buying from Barrett's for a couple of years due to their roasts drifting to the dark side (or at least, more than I like). This roast (per my request) is going towards the light. That's my plan: Drink good coffee and go towards the Light.

NOTES: This is a one-off pre-commemorative mug for The One Lap of Texas next April. Fools go where angels fear to tread.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Okay to be over caffeinated.

MUG: Chinese promo-mug, an imitation of the original barrel-design by Germany's Waechtersbach. Imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery. I'm OK with that.

COFFEE: Colombian Santander, light-roasted by Mark at Central Market Westgate. Mark's roasts aren't quite as perfect as Frank's roasts are, but they are still quite good. I'm OK with that.

NOTE: This promo-mug was a visitor's gift from City Chapel at Slaughter Creek, a "Life Giving Church in South Austin." Thank you, Pastors Harry and Rowena, and my friend Ryan Shaver who actually secured it for me.

City Chapel is not my personal 'cup of tea', but it is a delightfully vibrant and truly diverse gathering, speaking the Truth in Love... with a GREAT drummer in the worship band! Recommended.

I hope they're OK with that.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


MUG: 30 ounce stainless-steel double-walled vacuum insulated travel tumbler from Walmart (Ozark Trails).

COFFEE: Cuvée Las Mingas. Columbian. Huila. From the Cuvée website: "The Las Mingas Project (“for the good of all”) in Huila, Colombia promotes partnerships that bring growers and roasters together for direct discussion and exchange." Iced... and it stays iced.

NOTES: Good coffee. I like the coffees coming from Huila.

The mug is an imitation of the Yeti™ Rambler travel tumbler. It's performance, design, and construction are almost identical to the Yeti, with one major difference. The Yeti Rambler costs $39. The Ozark Trails™ costs $10. All of these travel mugs are made in China. The differences between them are negligible and mostly a matter of brand (and prestige). The Walmart version has a slightly narrower base, allowing it to fit in my car's cupholders. As great as it was for Yeti to revisit the old Aladdin and Thermos vacuum designs, there's nothing new or proprietary about their products.

Pay four times as much for a brand just because it's marketing department is in the People's Republic of Austin? Nyet, Comrade.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Beethoven's 10th Sympathy

MUG: Waechtersbach, Made in W. Germany, PMS Mud-colored, Composers Signature Edition.


NOTE: As you should know, I collect Waechtersbach coffee mugs. In the late 1970s, they produced a limited run of mugs with the signatures of Classical Music composers on them. They also produced a run of mugs in a natural color that I admired greatly (I called it PMS-Mud, and painted my entire duplex interior this color).

I never saw any of these 'mud-colored' mugs in the Composers Series, and I never found a Beethoven mug I liked. But last month I found the combo above on Ebay at a reasonable price, a NOS mug. I won the bid. I was excited.

It was shipped wrapped in bubble-wrap, but in a box that was too small and offered no protection. The mug was shattered into about five easy pieces, and a couple of dozen of difficult flakes. I glued it back together (the face side was unbroken) for show and tell and 10th-degree sympathy.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Breaking News! Very good coffee at Starbucks!

MUG: Vente-sized porcelain ceramic mug. Big, easy to handle. Thinned-walled, so drink fast. This is the ONLY way to get good tasting coffee at Starbucks, by the way way. Ask for a ceramic cup/mug.

COFFEE: Starbucks Reserve® Papua New Guinea Luoka.

NOTES: This was my first try of a Starbucks Reserve coffee. It was very good. Wonders never cease. His mercy endures forever.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Now We Are Three: The Accidental Deutschelavenderfest

MUGS: Genuine Waechtersbach mugs. These were made in Germany. No more?

COFFEE: Guatemala Antiqua, roasted and sold at Central Market Westgate. My 'change of pace' coffee.

NOTES: A couple of years ago, Waechtersbach USA kindly sent me a replacement mug for a defective one I had purchased (glazing fault). They were out of the color I wanted, and substituted it with one of these lilac/lavender colored mugs. They were out of the color I wanted because they were apparently no longer importing these German ceramic gems. Apparently, their 'Fun Factory' line now comes from China (marketed as 'Waechtersbach of Germany').

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a very low ($6) opening bid on Ebay for a pair of these. I wanted to watch the bidding, so I placed the low bid (figuring I'd be outbid quickly... the shipping was very reasonable, too). No one else bid. I now have three.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I've got some Splaining to do.

MUG: Handmade ten ounce (slightly undersized) coffee mug from Spain. Thick walls (good heat retention), bright color (easy to find in the pre-dawn coffee-drinking hours), smallish handle (one finger), decorated with an olive(?) motif. Pleasant drinker.

COFFEE: The last of my current supply of Colombian Santander from Central Market Westgate. Tomorrow morning, I'll be switching to a Guatemalan bean for a while.

NOTES: Saw this mug (and a bunch of other cool stuff) at a mostly kitchen shop at the Historic Pearl Brewery yesterday in San Antonio, Melissa Guerra, Tienda de Cocina. Nice shop. Recommended.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Merry Christmas! April Fools!

MUG: Waechtersbach mug from W. Germany by way of Neiman-Marcus, dated 1985. All the usual accolades about its functionality and design apply, topped off by The Epicure Shop's ancient Greek epicurean logo, tarted up for Christmas.

COFFEE: Colombian Santander from Central Market WestGate... pretty much the only reason I will drive into Austin.

NOTE: The Epicure Shop at Neiman-Marcus, especially the one at NorthPark in Dallas (with the adjacent Little Mermaid Bar casual restaurant and bakery), was my introduction and education to fine food and food gadgets. Finding this pristine Waechtersbach mug in their trademark molten red glaze was a real treat for me. It is simply The-World's-Best-Coffee-Mug.

No foolin'.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Coffee with Fritz.

MUG: Generic, heavy, diner mug. No attribution as to manufacture or origin. Solid, and functional.

COFFEE: Generic, dark, coffee-shop coffee. No attribution as to roaster or origin. Solid, with decent flavor.

NOTES: Served with breakfast at Schilo's Delicatessen in San Antonio, Texas. Come here for the food. Pictured below is the Papa Fritz Breakfast Plate. Recommended.

Good to the last drop.

MUG: Café-style bowl mug. Made in China for Tuxton. Nice

COFFEE: Folgers Dark Roast, as served at La Villita Café (whose placard signs around La Villita declare "gourmet coffee").

NOTES: Actually pretty darn good. Surprisingly.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Smoke on the water.

MUG: Not. Instead, it's a Glencairn whisky tasting glass.

COFFEE: Nope. Ardbeg 10 year old Islay single malt whisky.

NOTES: The sun has set. It's a feast day.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Groundcoffee Hog's Day

MUG: The 'Sainte Germain Collection' cup from Sur le Table featured below. As previously noted, it's made in China (what isn't?). It's a pleasant drinker, with a nice footed funnel shape. The decoration is attractive, somewhat reminiscent of classic 'restaurant/hotel' design.

COFFEE: Columbian Santander from Central Market Westgate. Medium-light roasted to perfection by Frank.

NOTES: Running short on coffee beans this morning, so I used a 'short' cup.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mini MINI travel mug.

MUG: A 12 ounce (unusual size... more on that later) travel mug by Savor (Made in China... like every other consumer good in the USofA). It's a double-walled stainless steel mug (but not a vacuum design like a Yeti), as opposed to the stainless steel exterior/plastic interior design that's become more common (and cheaper). This one is sold by MINI dealers, and has a nice integrated 3D MINI logo inset on it.

COFFEE: Ethiopian Guji Shakiso from the Southgate Central Market. Light-roasted by Frank.

NOTES: The 12 ounce size is about the same volume as a standard coffee mug. In some ways, this makes more practical sense than does a 16, 18, or 20 ounce (like my Yeti Rambler... which also comes in a ridiculous 30 ounce size) travel mug. The realistic heat-retention for an 11 ounce mug is fine. I mean, you're gonna DRINK it now. Otherwise, you get a genuine Thermos, so you can drink it later.

The neat thing about this small-sized travel mug from MINI is that it clears the switch gear in the car. I can have coffee to drink and still roll down my windows, or turn on my fog lamps!

This travel mug was a gift from my new service adviser at MINI of Austin, Roy Myers.

Thanks, Roy! Very much appreciated.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hot Dr Pepper.

MUG: A 'Sainte Germain Collection' cup from Sur le Table. Made in China, but a pleasant drinker in an attractive 'restaurant/hotel' design.

COFFEE: Not coffee, but a German mulled wine, Nurnberg Christkindl Glühwein.

NOTES: Served hot, sitting before the fireplace. It reminds me of drinking hot Dr Pepper with lemon as a kid. Damn fine living, even if I did forget the cinnamon sticks.

Coffee Dump.

MUG: Paper cup. Optional lid passed by. It's a paper cup, with plastic coating. There's not much else I can say.

COFFEE: Starbuck's Pikes Place medium roast coffee, brewed by a machine that grinds beans and forces water through the grinds into a holding tank, and then almost literally dumps the coffee into the cup. Whoosh! The stream you see pouring into the cup is the last bit from the reservoir.

I had my choice of three coffees (medium roast, medium roast de-caf, dark roast), or a hot chocolate. Or a blend of coffees (haf-caf). Not a bad quickie car dealership coffee.

NOTES: Another fun adventure at MINI of Austin. All's well that ends well.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Goodbye Kitty.

MUG: Waechtersbach (Germany) Christmas Cat Mug.

COFFEE: Colombian Santander via Central Market and Frank.

NOTES: The Twelve Days of Christmas come to an end today.