Archive for March, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

March 31, 2010


Coffee Facts Friday

March 26, 2010

Cowboy Coffee Recipe
If you have ever wondered how “Cowboy Coffee” was made, here’s the recipe.  First, ground coffee was put into a clean sock and immersed in cold water and heated over a campfire until ready to drink.  I visualized Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood in Rawhide) sipping coffee from a tin cup.  I like that picture, but a clean sock on a cattle drive?  Really?

The Making of a Coffee Snob Groupie

March 23, 2010

Confession: I drink Nescafe` with almond milk and raw sugar.

Confession: I have a plate fetish.

Confession: It took me three tries to spell cappuccino correctly.

How could these admissions define me as a coffee snob? I can barely handle diluted orange juice in the morning. Not so long ago I thought that burr means cold not grind. Plus, coffee makes me sweat…does that mean it counts as exercise?

Then a couple of years ago, I took a once in a lifetime trip to Italy and was forever changed.

We stayed in Rome and Venice, but spent most of the time in Citta` di Castello, Umbria.  A stone wall encircled the town and the Fiume Tevere ran along the outside to the west, with the hills of Tuscany rising beyond. While walking throughout the cobblestone streets at night, I could almost hear the clip-clop of horses ridden by the Roman soldiers who used to frequent the region. 

During the day, we brought glass jugs from the villa over to a store that was like a filling station for wine, where they poured the local fare – red or white – from a hose. It was wonderful table wine ( and I do admit I am somewhat of a wine snob.)

Around 4:00, tables outside the Piazza Matteotti filled with exotic-looking people drinking espresso (No, no! Never cappuccino after lunch) and chatting in a flowing foreign language. It was charming. I was seduced. What’s more, I needed a shot of energy to get me through the next several hours until dinner at Chef Luigi’s Il Feudo  (which would last nearly five hours).

I ordered one. It agreed with me.   It was a java baptism.

(Note: I’ve always loved the smell of coffee. Coffee in states, however, didn’t love me. But in Italy, the coffee was different. I don’t know why and have heard different theories suggesting heat or steam or brew time – I welcome insights on this…)

Back home, I bought Made-In-Germany espresso cups at an antique shop in Clearwater, Minnesota because I liked the color. I intended to make “visual espresso” via chocolate mousse, but have expanded to “Espresso Sundays” with the help of an aluminum, stove top espresso pot and a glass milk frother. It’s good. It’s a kick. And it’s compatible with the rest of me.

I still, however, approach coffee shops with caution. Typical questions include: Is it organic? How do you make your cappuccino? What kind of scone is that?

Snobology is a process. For now, I am content to hang around the band of coffee snob archetypes that take center stage. They are the culture’s icons. I know my limitations. So in the groupie tradition of Garth from Wayne’s World, I say: I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy… Rock on Coffee Snobs. (Good, but the espresso pots are on many sites. Prices range from $10 to $100.)

Coffee Snob Clutch

March 21, 2010

Everybody’s a snob about something.

Snobbery knows no bounds. From tools to technology to toilet paper, we all have preferences.  But there is one snob universality that transcends all others: coffee.

We invite you to share your path to obsession, your tips on ramping up a wannabe’s status, your cautionary tales of mis-sips.

It may be that the transition from office percolator or automatic vendor or church-basement-offerings to your refined palate’s standards took time – distant memories accessed only by hypnosis or a decaf daze. One does not become a Coffee Snob overnight. It is an evolutionary process with many archetypes (not everyone is or will be a Grande’ Snob). So know that while you’re unique, you are not alone.

Be not shy. Embrace your inner Coffee Snob. Become one with the bean.

Welcome coffee lovers,

The Snobologists.