Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

Coffee Conversations

January 19, 2012

“It’s about tradition.  If you’re going to do any serious talking in a gentleman’s home, he offers you some coffee first.”

Tony Hillerman’s characters solve mysteries over coffee in The Wailing Wind.


Coffee Buzz: Be Merry, Healthy and Wise in 2012

December 31, 2011

Daily, 150 million Americans drink about three cups of coffee.  Join the crowd, join the celebration and make one New Year’s resolution and reap the benefits all day, all year long.

Be Merry

Drinking a delicious cup of freshly brewed wonderful coffee improves coffee drinkers mental health.  Just inhaling the rich aroma has a positive effect of boosting your mood.

Be Healthy

Savoring two or three cups of coffee each day may lower the risk of developing Type 2Diabetis.  A cup of Joe counters the disease’s onset by lowering the blood sugar and promoting delivery of insulin to the blood stream.  Coffee is loaded with antioxidants that seem to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  But—and here’s coffeesnobology’s caveat:  moderation is key.

Be Wise

Brew a cup of jolt to jumpstart your brainpower.  Cognitive performance and short term memory is improved while sipping, and that’s a Java truism every college student pulling an all-nighter lives by.

As one coffee enthusiast remarked “If you want to improve your understanding, drink coffee; it is the intelligent beverage.”

Huffington Post offers more grounds to join the caffeinated party.  Drink up!  Be merry, healthy and wise in 2012.

Latte Literature: News to Me

June 19, 2011

Laurie Hertzel’s memoir News to Me:  Adventures of an Accidental Journalist affectionately captures life in the Duluth News Tribune newsroom.  Readers are swept up in the noisy and busy newsroom where reporters and copy editors work against deadline in smoke-filled air, “punctuated by the rich smell of percolating coffee.”

In the chapter “Not Making Coffee,” Hertzel’s first job as newsroom clerk included answering phones, writing obituaries, compiling the marine log, and making coffee, a responsibility she cleverly found ways to avoid until “that responsibility just sort of evaporated…”

The room lived on coffee.  The men drank it by the gallon, all day, and into the night, and it was up to me to make sure the big urn in the corner never ran dry.
And then I made coffee…badly.  Undrinkably so.  In a newsroom that’s saying a lot.  

Hertzel’s cheerful account of reporters and copy editors gathered around the coffee urn got coffeesnobology wondering about the origin of coffee breaks.

The first coffee break probably happened around 1000 A. D. when goatherd Kaldi chewed the same red berries that his goats did, but it was most likely an unauthorized coffee break.

Howard Stanger, historian at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. describes the dreary and dangerous late 19-century workplaces where workers had few breaks from the drudgery.  Because of social reform activists, Buffalo N. Y. companies and manufacturing employers in 1901 and 1902 installed in-house lunchrooms, so workers could take brief mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks.

The actual phrase coffee break is credited to a 1952 Pan American Coffee Bureau ad campaign urged consumers to “Give Yourself a Coffee Break—and Get What Coffee Gives to You.”

June’s Coffee Quote of the Month

June 3, 2011

“Ah, that is perfume in which I delight;  when they roast coffee near my house, I hasten to open the door to take in all the aroma.”

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Latte Literature: Night of the Radishes

May 23, 2011

Sandra Benitez’s novel Night of the Radishes is a story of lost, love, redemption and renewal.  In her quest to find her brother Hub, missing for twenty years, Joe Cruz who travels with his compact Krups espresso maker along with his CDs and books befriends Annie Rush.  Over coffee, Joe explains “I drove down from California, so it was easy to bring stuff.  I don’t think I could make it without my espresso maker.”
Coffeesnobolgy understands.

Night of the Radishes is set in Oaxaca (Wah-Hah-Kuh), Mexico, known for it’s deliciously smooth Arabica coffee.  Since 1877 in the Pluma Mountain in Oaxaca, growers have followed traditional farming methods.  The coffee is a wonderfully balance of body, intense sweet aroma, low acidity with chocolate undertones.

May is Latino Book Month, and Sandra Benitez ‘s Night of the Radishes will sweep readers into the vibrant and lush beauty of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Coffee Quote for May: Pedal Power

May 16, 2011

“We didn’t have cars. We weren’t interested in getting cars and we love riding bikes so we just thought, hey, let’s jump on bikes and deliver this.”

Cameron McKee, co-owner of Bicycle Coffee Company

Coffee Facts Friday: Fools for Coffee

March 31, 2011


Quote of the Month: Coffee As a Fool’s Pastime –  “In a word, coffee is the drunkard’s settle-brain, the fool’s pastime, who admires it for being the production of Asia, and is ravished with delight when  he hears the berries are harvested in the deserts of Arabia,” says Thomas Tyron in the 1962 The Good Hous-Wife Made a Doctor adding, “but would not give a farthing for a hogshead of it were it to be had on Hampstead Heath or Banstead-Downs.

Coffee Fact:  “Fools” world-wide consume over 400 billion cups of coffee annually…And that’s no April Fool’s Day fodder.

NOTE: Content edited 4/3/2011 – Statistic is world-wide, not U.S.

Coffee Quote of the Month: Abigail and Revolutionary Coffee

March 1, 2011

In 1777 Abigail wrote to John explaining, “that there is a great scarcity of Sugar and Coffee, articles which the Female part of the State are very loth to give up….
It was rumored that an eminent, wealthy, stingy Merchant (who is a Batchelor) had a Hogshead of Coffee in his Store which he refused to sell to the committee under 6 shillings per pound.  A Number of Females some say a hundred, some say more assembled with a cart and trucks, marched down to the Ware House and demanded the keys, which he refused to deliver, upon which one of them seazd him by his Neck and tossed him into the cart and discharged him, then opened the Warehouse, Hoisted out the Coffee themselves, put it into the trucks and drove off.”

Coffee Quote of the Month

January 31, 2011

He was my cream, and I was his coffee–And when you poured us together–it was something.   Josephine Baker

Chocolate Espresso Mousse Pie

January 22, 2011

“Pie and coffee have a lot of symbolism in people’s lives. Coffee symbolizes musing and discussion – chit chat between friends…Pie is the sweet thing that ends a meal. It adds a sense of peacefulness and closure…” ~ Dorian Scott Cole

The only thing better that I can think of deviates from the Americana tradition that comes from mother and apples. (Before reading on, note here that I am a Midwestern anomaly: I was born without a sweet-tooth and generally prefer savory to sugary. When my husband asks me to pick him up some cookies at the grocery store I stare, nose wrinkled at the bakery selections unable to make a selection. Eventually someone bumps my cart and I move to another aisle, coming home with a prepackaged bag of ginger snaps.)   

No, when I think of dessert it is in the forum of an after dinner trilogy: dark chocolate, espresso, and red wine. Not everyday fare and not pie. But, in honor of National Pie Day –  and a party I’m invited to – I decided to combine the concept of pie and coffee with chocolate mousse.

 My initial searches for a recipe did not give me what I was looking for. I narrowed my focus to chocolate mousse and found a good baseline  by Tyler Florence  (Recipe is at and my adaptations are listed below this post) that uses egg whites and a little less cream than some of the others.  The crusts I found mostly consisted of the crushed chocolate cookies type. (Go for it, but you know I’m not going that route.)  If I’d had time I might have made a tart crust with cocoa in it, another good alternative. As it happened, the day escaped me and I used a pre-made roll out crust. 

The end result is not for children. Serve up a small piece and nobody get’s seconds. It is a grown-up dessert, one had I made on New Years Eve would have helped me greet 2011 instead of my pillow.  Finally, this pie pairs beautifully with a Ripassa style wine or dry Italian…but that’s just me.  A Syrah or Scotch works, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Recipe Notes:

  • Use 4 oz bittersweet and 2 oz semi-sweet (Those who taste buds have been dipped in the Candyland well can use all semi-sweet).
  • Add one and a half shots of brewed espresso to the melted chocolate and butter.
  • Temper the eggs.
  • Prick pie crust with a fork lightly, put parchment paper over, add dried beans or stones and bake for 15 min. Remove parchment and stones for remaining cooking time: golden in color.
  • Spread mousse into cooled crust.
  • Top with fresh whipped cream (There’s a time and place for Cool Whip, but this isn’t it). I used powdered sugar rather than granular for both the egg whites and the whipped cream.
  • Crush milk and dark chocolate covered espresso beans and sprinkle on top.
  • Make sure the pie is very chilled before serving

 Last word…

For a wonderful history of pie go to to read the Hearth to Hearth article by Alice Ross, Pie Crusts: From Meat to Fruit (search in “articles” if link goes to main page). And for a celebration of pies and more history