Archive for July, 2010

Coffee Facts Friday

July 30, 2010

Father-in-Law Day is July 30
Things to do with your father-in-law:
Have a cuppa at your favorite coffeehouse (that’s Aussie talk for coffee)
Watch Sheriff Roy Coffee on Bonanza
Enjoy a huge bowl of coffee ice-cream


Wordless Wednesday

July 28, 2010

Coffee Snobology: Evolution of the Coffee Snob

July 25, 2010


(an excerpt from: Coffee Snobology)



In the beginning, there was A. Robustus.

 Hominid, Australopithecus Robustus (A.R.) either evolved or was kicked out of the Garden of Eden, depending on one’s philosophy, in South Africa somewhere around two million years ago. Modern day Coffee Snobs owe their own evolution, their prehensile digits, their predisposed disposition to stand above caffeinated mediocrity to A.R. – though some recognition might be given to those knuckle-dragging genetic-dead-end Neanderthals (no relation to the snob), whose tool making skills may have been the predecessor to our species’ ability to open a can. 

(“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have opposable thumbs to make coffee.”            ~ Flash Rosenberg)

Yet it is A.R. who is credited with the snob’s ability to stand up and smell the coffee.                                                                       


One undocumented, undiscernable  day, high up in the midst of the forested mountains, A.R. swung down on his vine, the pads of his feet aiming for the cool, wet jungle floor. Just before landing, an intriguing scent caught his attention.  A.R. lifted his head to find it again, but alas, he was too low to the ground. He rocked back onto his heels, straightened his back, and lead by his nostrils, stood up. He sniffed the damp air, inhaling a strange, new fragrance. Then, historically and without thought, as bipedalism evolved before intelligence, he took his first steps. Putting one lumbering foot in front of the other, A.R. sought out the source of the aroma. In the distance before him, the earth was smoldering beneath a bush that was filled with red berries. The berries roasted in the heat, creating a mouth-watering fragrance. Unfortunately for A.R., he was not a morning person. While he stood dazed in front of the burning bush, he failed to notice an approaching leopard. Hence, the discovery of coffee was impeded by two canine teeth sunk into the skull. Nevertheless, history had been altered. Prehistoric snob was erect.

The next step in the snob’s prehistory is perhaps the most crucial. In the interim, however, enter Homo erectus, the most popular of whom is better known as the missing link: Java Man.  While Java Man was a fine erectus physical specimen and cave dwelling women swooned at his ability to swing a club, he wasn’t the sharpest spear in the stack. So in all anthropological likelihood it was another in the snob’s evolutionary chain that triggered Man’s greatest discovery: the Foodie Snob.

(“I’m not human until my morning coffee reaches my little toe.”    ~Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer)


History is sketchy here. Anthropologists question, what came first: The foodie or the fire? Suffice to say that whichever it was it spawned intellect, which lead to the technology revolution, and Food Network. Java Man all but disappeared, making the way for Homo Sapiens and Homo Sapiens Sapiens, the Homo Know-it- all, Homo Know-it-all  Cro-Magnon (predecessor to the French chef). Yet, if one observes closely in a modern day Laguna Beach café, an erectus descendent is identifiable. Their DNA is linked to the past by a single comma in the order, “Java, Man.”

 With a genetic increase in brain size the Know-it-all, Know-it-alls looked around them and realized they needed a wheel. Why was not yet apparent to them. And while much has been written about the stages of the wheel’s development (rollers, runners, sledge, axis …) to move stuff, less light has been aimed on another need for which the wheel may have been invented. The need to contain liquid.

 After learning they could control fire to cook and manipulate raw materials, they created the ceramic vessel. It was hot by the fire and they needed something to drink. What’s more, wild boar gut left a funny taste on the palate. Meanwhile, the clans were growing due to less energy needed for digestion and more time to procreate. A more efficient method of vessel making was required. Need precedes production: Voila`, the potter’s wheel.

 This is where the genus of two snob classifications intersects: the Wine Snob and the Coffee Snob. (Though we all know who puts the pigeon feather in their chapeau.) Though today, the fact remains that the hand crafted ceramic mug is the vessel of choice for most Coffee Snobs, while the Wine Snobs have shifted to crystal  – draw  your own conclusions.


The single most influential sound in the history of man wasn’t a voice inflection, a guttural grunt indicating a need or pleasure. It was “arf.”  This lead, after the (slow) emergence of language, to one of the first sentences uttered: “Can we have puppy?” No other words have had a greater impact on the rise of civilization, and more importantly, the Coffee Snob, agriculture, and yes, goats. 

(“Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. What puts man in a higher state of evolution is that he has got his laugh on the right end.”             ~ Max Eastman)

 Domestication of Sapien Sapien’s best friend set off a continuum of lifestyle altering changes that established the coffee snob’s place in history. For the linear thinker it went like this: Nomad + dog > Kaldi the herder x goat = discovery of coffee ^ art + leisure + bra-burning (& hot pants) +internet > coffee break % standards= Homo Sapien Snobien.

Evolution is complete.

 *Disclaimer: Prehistory is a disputable matter of artifacts and perspective, not unlike garage sales and politics.

Coffee Shop Poetry

July 24, 2010


“How you bean, man?”

Ah, you come,

bringing bean,

buoying up spirits,


compassionate conversationalists,

compository of bean lore,

brewing doing, blendings,


Be proud of your lineage,

the old beatniks with their jazz

and funky shoestring haunts,

their big brass espresso machines

like something out of Jules Verne,

of the folkies, poets, social revolutionaries

bohemians and artists,

their chessboards and blues.

Be proud of yourselves,

creators also,

underpaid, undertipped,


– Anthony  Swann 6/10/10

Coffee Facts Friday

July 23, 2010

Coffee Day is Saturday, July 24 (National Coffee Day – 9-29)
It was common to drink alcohol on board ship, until Admiral Josephus “Joe” Daniels became Chief of Naval Operations and outlawed alcohol except for special occasions; hence the term “cup of Joe.”

Wordless Wednesday

July 20, 2010

The French Pastry Shop & Creperie, Santa Fe, NMThe French Pastry Shop & Creperie, Santa Fe, NM

Coffee Facts Friday

July 17, 2010

Personality Profile
If you love your coffee and ice cream, then you are lively (probably because of all of the coffee).  You are dramatic (got that caffeine buzz).  You are flirtatious (ahh, hot, steamy coffee).  You over-commit to new projects, leaving old ones unfinished.  And you thrive on new adventures and relationships, but bored with dull: so, maybe Al Gore isn’t your romantic compatibility.

The Finest Coffee in the World

July 14, 2010

Who would have thought cat-poo coffee would be this much trouble?  Like so many who snickered when Morgan Freeman’s character informed Edward Cole (played by Jack Nicholson) that Cole’s imported coffee is really cat-poo coffee, I was intrigued. When one of life’s surprises landed me in Bali, I quickly included a visit to a coffee plantation determined to savor the finest coffee in the world.

Sitting on stone benches in the middle of the coffee plantation, we sampled freshly roasted and ground coffee served in white porcelain cups. Granted I was determined to purchase these much sought after beans, but one sip sealed the deal. Kopi Luwak coffee is a rich, deliciously smooth elixir. I purchased 100 gr of Kopi Luwak beans for more Rupiahs than I could understand, but in American money, $62.71—to be exact.

Perhaps it was the mist lifting on the mountainside revealing the lush green terraces; perhaps it was Darma, our charming tour guide; no, it was the coffee—coffee good enough to risk going through customs; coffee good enough to pay about a zillion Rupiahs for a tiny package.

Trusting that since the beans were roasted and vacuumed packed, I could bring them through Australian customs, I declared my precious beans.  Well, not so fast.  Grinning, the customs officer picked up my package “You do know where this comes from, don’t you?  And it is pricey” he remarked as he scrutinized the tiny package, turning it over and over.   And then he walked away.  With my coffee!  My heart was racing.  With a lump in my throat, I felt as anxious as when the doctor took my first-born away for his check-up.  There I stood—arms outstretched, eyes transfixed on the closed door—waiting, waiting for the custom officer to return.  Rushing to his side, I clutched my cat-poo coffee to my breast.  Perhaps next time I won’t declare.

Coffee Facts Friday

July 9, 2010

June 30:  National Blonde Day

Do blondes have more fun?  legendary star Jean Harlow did.  Was it her blonde hair or that her maid served coffee and doughnuts to her film crew?  Hmmmm, what are your views?

Wordless Wednesday 7/7/10

July 6, 2010