Archive for the ‘Coffee Snob of the Month’ Category

Cool Beans Boquete Coffee Shop

March 20, 2011

Cool Beans Boquete is the kind of neighborhood coffee shop we all long for.  Great coffee.  Friendly barista.  Cheerful décor.  Welcoming.
Owner Ross Brennaman coined a catchy name to attract customers; Cool Beans is catchy and has a familiar ring as in “Cool Beans, Man” plus the name suggest that it is a cool place, one you want to frequent.

Brennaman credits his love of coffee to watching his Dad make coffee every morning before leaving for work.  Like many children, he begged for a sip of his dad’s coffee and one day his father relented and let him have a sip—just one sip.  One sip was enough!  Ross remembered how that first taste of coffee “hugs the tongue.”
He loved the morning ritual of smelling coffee, listening to the coffee maker perk and savoring a sip with his father.   As a teenager visiting the many Mom and Pop coffee Shops in his home town, his love and knowledge of great coffee continued.   The hospitality, the atmosphere and the owners’ personalities captivated his imagination, and he determined to someday brew good coffee in a coffee shop others sought.
Brewing the best coffee meant traveling to Central America in the Boquete region where “coffee beans are rich with nutrients thanks to the fostering atmosphere and volcanic soil along with the right amount of rainforest precipitation and cooler evening temperatures.” http://www.gourmetcoffee.net/panama
Brennaman explained that like fine wine, favorable, less acidic coffee is dependent on the soil, the climate and the care of the cherry trees (coffee trees).
This neighborhood coffee shop is a favorite for many.  One day recently, two patrons sat at tables drinking coffee and tapping on their laptops.  Nearby, two connoisseurs told me they stop daily, and added positive comments about the coffee, the shop and the owner. “I can’t get enough of the good coffee—and his personality,” professed one faithful fan.   At that Ross flashed his engaging smile and stepped back behind the counter to serve another customer.
Ross Brennaman has created a cool place with a catchy name: Cool Beans Boquete’ Coffee Shop.

Anti-Coffee Snob of the Month: (Currently Madquerading as a National Holiday)

October 11, 2010

October is a month when cinema and costume shops brim with versions of an anti-Christ, and pharmacies pedal antihistamines.  So with Kleenex, Claritin, and a cross to ward off the latest vampire flick, we bring you our Anti-Coffee Snob of the Month.

He is none other than that slave trader from Genoa himself; that voyager who aided in the transfer of diseases like small pox and typhus to The New World; that discoverer who brought coffee to the “Rich Coast” and never drank a drop. Yes, you guessed it. Our Anti-Snob of the Month is the celebrated Christopher Columbus.

Back then coffee was vogue only with those libertines in Venice (How else can a hardworking gondolier get up in the morning after shuttling party-goers to and fro while fighting off rats until the wee hours of the morning?) The admiral’s Ligurian culture frowned upon public or private consumption of coffee:  Alcohol good, caffeine bad.  So a while back “in fourteen hundred and ninety-two (through to 1502) when Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” he was blasted on sherry. No wonder he missed Asia by a long shot. High in sugar, high in alcohol content…Hangover! He should have known better. He’s from right next to the Piedmont region of Italy. Surely there was a nice Barolo he could have brought with him. (Wine Snobs we refer to your historical expertise here.) He still might have gotten lost, but he’d have had a better food/wine pairing with the chocolate he brought back to The Old World.

Maybe if Columbus had had a good strong cup of coffee during his explorations he would have docked at his intended destination.  But then where would we be? There might not have been The Columbian Exchange. No New World potatoes for Ireland’s famine? No tomatoes for spaghetti sauce? And conversely, what about no Old World horses for the Amerindians or wheat for America’s Bread Basket?  Can you imagine a Costa Rica without a coffee plantation?  Eureka!

Therefore, we recognize this inadvertently influential, non-consumer as our Anti-Coffee Snob of the Month.

Resources include: nationalhumanitiescenter.org; geographia.com; castellobanfi.com; peacecoffee.com; botanical-online.com; uncork.biz; Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, volumn 6; my third grade teacher

Coffee Snob of the Month

August 9, 2010

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