ksmith: (coffee cup)
I ordered myself a Mom's Day gift from Peet's--2 lbs Major Dickason's Blend--because the gift included a half-dozen Recchiuti brownies. I figure if they taste as good as the *ZOMG extremely rich* hot chocolate, they will be good brownies.

And I'm a mom, kinda. The pups think so.
ksmith: (coffee cup)
I ordered myself a Mom's Day gift from Peet's--2 lbs Major Dickason's Blend--because the gift included a half-dozen Recchiuti brownies. I figure if they taste as good as the *ZOMG extremely rich* hot chocolate, they will be good brownies.

And I'm a mom, kinda. The pups think so.
ksmith: (coffee cup)
This morning I used 1/3 less coffee--and I'm giving the old unit the benefit of the doubt here--and wound up with a stronger brew. I may wind up adding a touch more coffee, but still may be looking at a 20-25% reduction. That's the equivalent of two decent cups in the morning instead of one-and-a-little-over.

Breakdown: 9 tbsps/24 oz (new) vs 7 tbsps/14 oz (old). The pre-caffeine back-of-the-envelope (literally) calculation gives me 0.375 tbsp/oz vs 0.5.

I have a ways to go to get back the price of the Technovorm, but at least the coffee tastes better, and is way hotter.
ksmith: (coffee cup)
This morning I used 1/3 less coffee--and I'm giving the old unit the benefit of the doubt here--and wound up with a stronger brew. I may wind up adding a touch more coffee, but still may be looking at a 20-25% reduction. That's the equivalent of two decent cups in the morning instead of one-and-a-little-over.

Breakdown: 9 tbsps/24 oz (new) vs 7 tbsps/14 oz (old). The pre-caffeine back-of-the-envelope (literally) calculation gives me 0.375 tbsp/oz vs 0.5.

I have a ways to go to get back the price of the Technovorm, but at least the coffee tastes better, and is way hotter.
ksmith: (coffee cup)
Busy day. Grocery shopping and other errands. Work in the garage.

my day, behind the cut )

Watching Goblet of Fire. Moaning Myrtle is a perv, isn't she?
ksmith: (coffee cup)
Busy day. Grocery shopping and other errands. Work in the garage.

my day, behind the cut )

Watching Goblet of Fire. Moaning Myrtle is a perv, isn't she?
ksmith: (Default)
A productive week, in some ways.

chairs )

tomatoes )


I'm going to give cold-brewed coffee a try. I saw some mentions of the Toddy system on Twitter yesterday, looked into it, and decided to give it a shot. My small Brewmaster is leaking more and more and will replacing sooner rather than later, and every so often coffee give me heartburn. Aaaaand I like to try new things, and I like the idea of making several days' worth of coffee in one shot. So we'll see how it goes.

Weather's been hotter than hell, and muggy. No cool off expected until next weekI realize September is just around the corner and the cold will be here soon enough, but this heat can say bye-bye anytime now.
ksmith: (Default)
A productive week, in some ways.

chairs )

tomatoes )


I'm going to give cold-brewed coffee a try. I saw some mentions of the Toddy system on Twitter yesterday, looked into it, and decided to give it a shot. My small Brewmaster is leaking more and more and will replacing sooner rather than later, and every so often coffee give me heartburn. Aaaaand I like to try new things, and I like the idea of making several days' worth of coffee in one shot. So we'll see how it goes.

Weather's been hotter than hell, and muggy. No cool off expected until next weekI realize September is just around the corner and the cold will be here soon enough, but this heat can say bye-bye anytime now.
ksmith: (coffee cup)
Went to bed at 2am. Wrote some, but not as much as I would have liked thanks to Research Time Suck (tm). No, it wasn't a waste of time. What I learned was helpful and I needed to know it. The fact that all that work was needed in order to provide the coverage for a page or two, total, is what bugs.

Massage later this morning, then back to it. Refrigerator is packed with sandwich fixings and leftovers, so no need to cook. I may try walking today--knee feels much better, and I need to do something. I don't think I've started to gain any weight back, but I don't want to risk it. And I miss moving around. It seems to jog brain as well as body.

Much sproutage over the weekend, 4 of 8 pepper seeds. One of 4 Rutgers--not happy with those. I've been putting the seed tray outside when it's sunny. I know you're supposed to be gentle with seedlings, but I think exposure to breeze and sun gives them a head start on toughening. I bring them in at night, and leave them inside under the light if it's cool and cloudy. But I think the weekend sun is what pushed the peppers along, and I think the Rutgers problem may be that they need a little more warmth. If I can put them out today, I will.

Breakfast, mine and the beasts'. Coffee.

Speaking of coffee, I recently bought a cheap Black & Decker burr grinder because I had read that burr grinders provide a more uniform grind which results in better coffee. The B&D was less than $30, which was half the cost of the cheapest burr grinder I had seen to that point. But I don't care for it much. Great deal of static build-up, which means that the coffee likes to spit out of the receptacle when I empty it. The machine also sprays a tiny bit of coffee as it grinds. Not much, but it's annoying. I haven't even tried to take the thing apart to clean it yet. All in all, it's way more trouble than a blade grinder, and messier.

So, I wonder if this is happening because I bought a cheapjack? Or are all burr grinders messier?
ksmith: (coffee cup)
Went to bed at 2am. Wrote some, but not as much as I would have liked thanks to Research Time Suck (tm). No, it wasn't a waste of time. What I learned was helpful and I needed to know it. The fact that all that work was needed in order to provide the coverage for a page or two, total, is what bugs.

Massage later this morning, then back to it. Refrigerator is packed with sandwich fixings and leftovers, so no need to cook. I may try walking today--knee feels much better, and I need to do something. I don't think I've started to gain any weight back, but I don't want to risk it. And I miss moving around. It seems to jog brain as well as body.

Much sproutage over the weekend, 4 of 8 pepper seeds. One of 4 Rutgers--not happy with those. I've been putting the seed tray outside when it's sunny. I know you're supposed to be gentle with seedlings, but I think exposure to breeze and sun gives them a head start on toughening. I bring them in at night, and leave them inside under the light if it's cool and cloudy. But I think the weekend sun is what pushed the peppers along, and I think the Rutgers problem may be that they need a little more warmth. If I can put them out today, I will.

Breakfast, mine and the beasts'. Coffee.

Speaking of coffee, I recently bought a cheap Black & Decker burr grinder because I had read that burr grinders provide a more uniform grind which results in better coffee. The B&D was less than $30, which was half the cost of the cheapest burr grinder I had seen to that point. But I don't care for it much. Great deal of static build-up, which means that the coffee likes to spit out of the receptacle when I empty it. The machine also sprays a tiny bit of coffee as it grinds. Not much, but it's annoying. I haven't even tried to take the thing apart to clean it yet. All in all, it's way more trouble than a blade grinder, and messier.

So, I wonder if this is happening because I bought a cheapjack? Or are all burr grinders messier?
ksmith: (Default)
House stuff ruled the day. Made it to the Hardware Big Box by midmorning, and spent an hour or more picking out a ceiling fan, dining room light, and two kitchen lights. Home to feed the pups, have lunch, and chill for a bit before heading out for a massage. Then came grocery shopping. Finally, spent two or three hours hacking up the burning bush at the corner of the house, which had managed to become overgrown again. I had needed Bucky the Chainsaw to whittle it down to a few bare branches back in 2004. This time, all I needed was the big set of branch clippers. Knocked it down about three feet. The inside is all bare, unfortunately, but that should fill in now that the sun can hit it. The outside is still pretty leafy, so it doesn't look too bad.

Now I have two piles of branches to cut up and bag for Monday trash pickup. I am betting that will take more time than it did to cut them down. Cleanup always takes longer than the actual job.

Still coming upon the odd ant corpse in the living room. The exterminator said that I should expect to see them for the next week, at least, since the stuff he used gets into the places where they lurk and drives them out. I found the roofer's card tucked in the front door today, so he had apparently been by during the week. Unfortunately, no clue when. No one phoned. I'm hoping he checked the roof and didn't find any issue, but it would have been nice if he had let me know he was coming.

In coffee news, received my sampler pack from Old Bisbee Roasters. The first coffee I tried was the Guatemalan Huehuetanango Palhu Estate, which I found waaay too light. The other three varieties smell stronger. I may try a little mixing.

Coffee Update: I need to use 6 heaping tablespoons for 18 oz water (3-6 oz cups or 1 1/2 Real Cups (tm). It tastes pretty good then, but is still a more mild bean than what I prefer.
ksmith: (Default)
House stuff ruled the day. Made it to the Hardware Big Box by midmorning, and spent an hour or more picking out a ceiling fan, dining room light, and two kitchen lights. Home to feed the pups, have lunch, and chill for a bit before heading out for a massage. Then came grocery shopping. Finally, spent two or three hours hacking up the burning bush at the corner of the house, which had managed to become overgrown again. I had needed Bucky the Chainsaw to whittle it down to a few bare branches back in 2004. This time, all I needed was the big set of branch clippers. Knocked it down about three feet. The inside is all bare, unfortunately, but that should fill in now that the sun can hit it. The outside is still pretty leafy, so it doesn't look too bad.

Now I have two piles of branches to cut up and bag for Monday trash pickup. I am betting that will take more time than it did to cut them down. Cleanup always takes longer than the actual job.

Still coming upon the odd ant corpse in the living room. The exterminator said that I should expect to see them for the next week, at least, since the stuff he used gets into the places where they lurk and drives them out. I found the roofer's card tucked in the front door today, so he had apparently been by during the week. Unfortunately, no clue when. No one phoned. I'm hoping he checked the roof and didn't find any issue, but it would have been nice if he had let me know he was coming.

In coffee news, received my sampler pack from Old Bisbee Roasters. The first coffee I tried was the Guatemalan Huehuetanango Palhu Estate, which I found waaay too light. The other three varieties smell stronger. I may try a little mixing.

Coffee Update: I need to use 6 heaping tablespoons for 18 oz water (3-6 oz cups or 1 1/2 Real Cups (tm). It tastes pretty good then, but is still a more mild bean than what I prefer.

Coffee

Jul. 16th, 2009 08:21 am
ksmith: (coffee cup)
I'm not a connoisseur when it comes to coffee. A good, everyday brew is all I ever really looked for. I have been drinking Eight O'Clock for years. My folks drank it. It's decent, and the stronger roasts aren't scorched to the point of skunkiness.

I cite Balloon Juice more than the other lefty blogs I read because in addition to politics, they also talk about pets and food and coffee, which pretty much define my life, so. A few months ago, John Cole was seaching for a decent everyday coffee, and some of us rec'd Eight O'Clock, and others rec'd Peet's. Still others rec'd Community Coffee, a brand I'd never heard of. So I checked out the site, poked around. Saw that prices were relatively reasonable, and ordered a couple bags of medium-dark roast.

I really liked it. So much so that when I tried to go back to Eight O'Clock...

So. I ordered some more bags of CC last week. Received them yesterday. Their regular medium-dark roast, along with their special Kenya and Kona varieties. Had a cup of Kenya this morning. Wine-y, yes. A bit of an acquired taste, I think, but I do like it.

And I joined their coffee club. I had received the Kona as a freebie for joining. And they gave me a travel mug as an extra thank you gift.

Last weekend, as part of the "Kris gets her life back" celebration, I baked a whole batch o' Jay Lake's web-famous Ginger Chocolate Chip cookies. Just had one with a fresh cup of Kenya. There are worse ways to start the morning.

Coffee

Jul. 16th, 2009 08:21 am
ksmith: (coffee cup)
I'm not a connoisseur when it comes to coffee. A good, everyday brew is all I ever really looked for. I have been drinking Eight O'Clock for years. My folks drank it. It's decent, and the stronger roasts aren't scorched to the point of skunkiness.

I cite Balloon Juice more than the other lefty blogs I read because in addition to politics, they also talk about pets and food and coffee, which pretty much define my life, so. A few months ago, John Cole was seaching for a decent everyday coffee, and some of us rec'd Eight O'Clock, and others rec'd Peet's. Still others rec'd Community Coffee, a brand I'd never heard of. So I checked out the site, poked around. Saw that prices were relatively reasonable, and ordered a couple bags of medium-dark roast.

I really liked it. So much so that when I tried to go back to Eight O'Clock...

So. I ordered some more bags of CC last week. Received them yesterday. Their regular medium-dark roast, along with their special Kenya and Kona varieties. Had a cup of Kenya this morning. Wine-y, yes. A bit of an acquired taste, I think, but I do like it.

And I joined their coffee club. I had received the Kona as a freebie for joining. And they gave me a travel mug as an extra thank you gift.

Last weekend, as part of the "Kris gets her life back" celebration, I baked a whole batch o' Jay Lake's web-famous Ginger Chocolate Chip cookies. Just had one with a fresh cup of Kenya. There are worse ways to start the morning.
ksmith: (coffee cup)
You know how sometimes you can smell something without actually smelling it? You can't put your finger on it, but you know there's been a disturbance in the Force?

Got out of bed. Released the hounds of Heck. Walked into living room and...sniffed. Yup, someone had revisited her favorite spot and left a calling card. Not a way to start the day, but there were signs that maybe someone's tum was a little upset, so not sure I can blame her.

Funny, after I let King and Gaby back in, Gaby checked out that spot. I asked her what she was doing, and yes, maybe the tone of my voice was what made her hang her head, then sit up and beg, but I swear she remembers things longer than the other dogs, knows she shouldn't poop in the house, and knows this was a misstep. She actually seemed a little ashamed. I could be reading too much into this, but she is smarter than the average bear.

Anyway. Put the rug outside because some things just have to wait until after coffee. Made my first cup in the new Brewmaster. I read the reviews of the thing after I bought it, of course, and took note of the many complaints about leaking. It is an idiosyncratic little device. The coffee basket isn't quite tall enough for standard 10-cup filters, so that when you close the top, the mashing action can push the water arm out of the way, which can lead to leaks. Thing is, I see no mention of a water arm--dripper--whatever in the instructions, and the part is movable. If it moves, you should mention it in the manual, especially if said 'it' needs to be in a certain position for unit to work properly. Because you have to move the water arm to take the basket and such in and out, and if you don't move it back in place, the water will not drip over the coffee but elsewhere in the machine.

Also need to tweak ratios. More coffee, less water. Instructions say to add 3/4 tbsp per 6 oz cup instead of the usual 1 tbsp (or 2 tbsp in the case of Starbucks coffee, which I tried first). This is not a coffeemaker for a Starbucks drinker because you'll never be able to fill the water to capacity. Definitely one cup at a time for you.

I should cut/paste this into an Amazon review...
ksmith: (coffee cup)
You know how sometimes you can smell something without actually smelling it? You can't put your finger on it, but you know there's been a disturbance in the Force?

Got out of bed. Released the hounds of Heck. Walked into living room and...sniffed. Yup, someone had revisited her favorite spot and left a calling card. Not a way to start the day, but there were signs that maybe someone's tum was a little upset, so not sure I can blame her.

Funny, after I let King and Gaby back in, Gaby checked out that spot. I asked her what she was doing, and yes, maybe the tone of my voice was what made her hang her head, then sit up and beg, but I swear she remembers things longer than the other dogs, knows she shouldn't poop in the house, and knows this was a misstep. She actually seemed a little ashamed. I could be reading too much into this, but she is smarter than the average bear.

Anyway. Put the rug outside because some things just have to wait until after coffee. Made my first cup in the new Brewmaster. I read the reviews of the thing after I bought it, of course, and took note of the many complaints about leaking. It is an idiosyncratic little device. The coffee basket isn't quite tall enough for standard 10-cup filters, so that when you close the top, the mashing action can push the water arm out of the way, which can lead to leaks. Thing is, I see no mention of a water arm--dripper--whatever in the instructions, and the part is movable. If it moves, you should mention it in the manual, especially if said 'it' needs to be in a certain position for unit to work properly. Because you have to move the water arm to take the basket and such in and out, and if you don't move it back in place, the water will not drip over the coffee but elsewhere in the machine.

Also need to tweak ratios. More coffee, less water. Instructions say to add 3/4 tbsp per 6 oz cup instead of the usual 1 tbsp (or 2 tbsp in the case of Starbucks coffee, which I tried first). This is not a coffeemaker for a Starbucks drinker because you'll never be able to fill the water to capacity. Definitely one cup at a time for you.

I should cut/paste this into an Amazon review...
ksmith: (coffee cup)
In other news, I bought a French press coffee maker. The only time I had French press was in Glasgow during my Intersection trip in 1995. I don't remember if I thought is was anything special, but I'm in the mood to try something different, so here goes. I'll try it in the morning.
ksmith: (coffee cup)
In other news, I bought a French press coffee maker. The only time I had French press was in Glasgow during my Intersection trip in 1995. I don't remember if I thought is was anything special, but I'm in the mood to try something different, so here goes. I'll try it in the morning.
ksmith: (caffeine)
In relation to this post of a few days ago.

Bought a bag of Eight O'Clock Italian Roast the other day. It's not available everywhere, but it's very easy to spot since it is packaged in a hideous purple bag. Grape jelly purple, as in 'I didn't know Welch's made coffee."

I bought a bag, figured if it was way too strong, I could mix it with the Colombian and use it up that way. Turns out that by itself, it isn't bad. Reminds me of Starbuck's Breakfast Blend, which I like. Maybe a little stronger. If I can find it, I will get it again.

And hey, Eight O'Clock has a website. Looks like the Dark Roast, which came in a dark cream-colored bag, is no longer made. The Dark Italian Roast is described as 'a dark Seattle roast,' which tells me that if you're looking for something that tastes Starbucky/Caribou, this brew is for you. I have also tried the French Roast, which seems to be weaker on the scale, and is described as European cafe coffee. I should give it another chance.

They also make this stuff called Bokar, which is packaged in a black bag and can be used to make espresso. I have not seen that one anywhere, and would probably not try it. Might be stronger than I prefer. I like the occasional cup of espresso, but I don't have a way to make it properly.
ksmith: (caffeine)
In relation to this post of a few days ago.

Bought a bag of Eight O'Clock Italian Roast the other day. It's not available everywhere, but it's very easy to spot since it is packaged in a hideous purple bag. Grape jelly purple, as in 'I didn't know Welch's made coffee."

I bought a bag, figured if it was way too strong, I could mix it with the Colombian and use it up that way. Turns out that by itself, it isn't bad. Reminds me of Starbuck's Breakfast Blend, which I like. Maybe a little stronger. If I can find it, I will get it again.

And hey, Eight O'Clock has a website. Looks like the Dark Roast, which came in a dark cream-colored bag, is no longer made. The Dark Italian Roast is described as 'a dark Seattle roast,' which tells me that if you're looking for something that tastes Starbucky/Caribou, this brew is for you. I have also tried the French Roast, which seems to be weaker on the scale, and is described as European cafe coffee. I should give it another chance.

They also make this stuff called Bokar, which is packaged in a black bag and can be used to make espresso. I have not seen that one anywhere, and would probably not try it. Might be stronger than I prefer. I like the occasional cup of espresso, but I don't have a way to make it properly.

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