thelerner

TaoMeow on Coffee

321 posts in this topic

Here is a TaoMeow comment on coffee that I thought deserved its own thread (originally in a anti-sunscreen thread). Great read & insight on coffee.

"You've opened my favorite can of worms... er... of coffee.smile.gif

Carrot juice -- well, yes, you need organic carrots because otherwise you'll get a hefty dose of pesticides far in excess of what you might get from one or two carrots. And drink it fresh, don't store up.

Coffee... OK, I brew mine in an ibrik aka cezve aka jezweh -- it looks like this:

http://www.natashasc...html/ibrik.html

I have a small collection...

If you're not going to use this, the French press or the Italian stovetop percolator are your second best choices. (VERY second best far as I'm concerned. In a jezweh, you don't have to make Turkish coffee, you can make what I make -- Armenian coffee... yum!) No drip coffee makers -- these filter out the oils which have all the antioxidants, and a considerable amount of flavor.

Yes, you start with the freshest beans you can find, no "dark" or "French" roasts (they are roasted this way to mask the staleness, the normal way for good quality coffee is medium or light roast). I have an electric coffee grinder which I use every morning, no stored pre-ground coffee. Sugar -- I always use sugar. Cream -- I don't like in my coffee, but if you have no particular problems with dairy, cream is fine. Decaf is a big no-no. If you're caffeine sensitive, try making your coffee very right but very weak, see what happens.

 

Caffeine sensitivity usually subsides and in most cases disappears after two weeks of regular consumption, but I know at least one guy who is so super sensitive that he can get wired all up from just smelling my cup.laugh.gif Another important thing: coffee has to be consumed within 15 minutes of brewing, its antioxidants are very beneficial (a small cup has as many of these as do three oranges, but of the variety oranges don't have -- stimulating the liver to release SOD, aka superoxide dismutase, which is the most powerful antioxidant on earth -- the creature that produces the highest amounts of it is bacterium radiodurans that lives in nuclear reactors -- SOD is brawny enough to neutralize all the free radicals even under these conditions!) -- where was I? -- oh, the antioxidants in coffee are very sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen, so they deteriorate rapidly and if you don't drink up as soon as you made your coffee, it will lose them.

I'm glad I got this off my chest once again... "spiritual" forums are so often plagued by tea fundamentalists that I seldom get to talk about the love of my gastronomic life. Thanks for prompting me!smile.gif"

Edited by thelerner
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Thanks, Thelerner! :)

 

So now that it's a thread, I continue with a book recommendation:

 

The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug

Bennett Alan Weinberg, Bonnie K. Bealer

 

While I vehemently object to the sleight-of-hand (or rather sleight-of-tongue) uses of the word "drug" to describe anything created by mother nature rather than by lab rats in white coats, it's a separate topic altogether so I won't go into that -- but aside from the title which is the unfortunate victim of modern mind manipulation via linguistic tricks and black magic spells, the book is a very fun read, has dozens of pages of scientific references to research that pretty much disproves all mainstream myths about the "evils" of coffee, while the book itself sheds some light on the origins of both this wonderful herbal decoction (that's what it really is, not "drug" until you extract pharmaceutical grade caffeine out of it and use it separately from the plant -- that's a "drug," coffee is an "herb" in the classic sense of "culinary/medicinal plant") and of the myths surrounding it for centuries.

 

I've been not only drinking but researching coffee (traditionally brewed) throughout my adult life, and call it "my liquid brain" -- one of the effects of long-term consumption is consistently higher intellectual ability in drinkers vs non-drinkers of coffee, another one is preserving whatever intellectual ability you have at the age of peak performance into your ripe old age -- among other things, coffee stimulates, preserves, and protects the areas of the brain specifically in charge of higher cognitive functions, and is an antidote to growing progressively rigid (mentally and physically) and all-around stupid as you grow old, and an aid to growing wiser as you grow older. (There's no "drug" that can do that.) There's lots more to the coffee story though. It's a story of a friend, not a foe... The best of friends have some quirks and no one is perfect, but you don't abandon them based on rumors and gossip... and that's what coffee has been getting from mass disinformation sources... for reasons that are rather fun to explore and understand.

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I used to home roast using this method.

 

http://www.homeroaster.com/heatgun.html

 

I've used just about every method of making coffee I could find. Ibrik, French press, vacuum pot, pour over filter, espresso machine, drip pot, and even that nasty old percolator. My favorite has to be the vacuum pot.

 

http://www.northwestglass.com/yama-coffee-syphon5-cups-p-130.html

 

In my experience from roasting my own coffee I find certain coffees benefit more from a dark roast and others are better at a light or medium roast. Some coffees are far too acidic lightly roasted. It's all relative.

 

http://www.sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.php

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I used to home roast using this method.

 

http://www.homeroast...om/heatgun.html

 

I've used just about every method of making coffee I could find. Ibrik, French press, vacuum pot, pour over filter, espresso machine, drip pot, and even that nasty old percolator. My favorite has to be the vacuum pot.

 

http://www.northwest...cups-p-130.html

 

In my experience from roasting my own coffee I find certain coffees benefit more from a dark roast and others are better at a light or medium roast. Some coffees are far too acidic lightly roasted. It's all relative.

 

http://www.sweetmari...sualGuideV2.php

 

Nice to meet another aficionado! I also tried all the methods you've mentioned, and in addition, the sandbox (my favorite) and, er, coffee enemas!

 

Never roasted my own, but used to have it roasted to my specs at a coffee place in LA that offered the service. Don't know if they're still in business.

 

To get the acidity right, I mix 80% arabicas with 20% hararis. Hararis are the ones that tend to be acidic, I don't use them straight up.

 

I don't use methods that don't produce foam (just naturally, no gimmics with stirring and whipping!:lol:) I was told by my coffee guru that foam is the face of coffee, and if it has no foam, it has "lost face," funny that this concept so important to the Chinese is extended to coffee where coffee is important. So... no faceless coffee for me unless I'm rushed. That's one reason I don't need cream -- I do like the "oily" feel to coffee, but good foam provides just that. If I drink coffee made by someone not trained in the tradition (some of my family members and friends are), I might add cream to counteract the almost invariable bitterness of amateur coffee. I will also do that if I'm dealing with a dark roast, with few exceptions.

 

Here's what they used to know in the US two hundred years ago (quoting from some book on US history): "Coffee has to be black and hot and sweet like a night of passion, and strong enough to walk on its own."

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Nice to meet another aficionado! I also tried all the methods you've mentioned, and in addition, the sandbox (my favorite) and, er, coffee enemas!

 

Never roasted my own, but used to have it roasted to my specs at a coffee place in LA that offered the service. Don't know if they're still in business.

 

To get the acidity right, I mix 80% arabicas with 20% hararis. Hararis are the ones that tend to be acidic, I don't use them straight up.

 

I don't use methods that don't produce foam (just naturally, no gimmics with stirring and whipping!:lol:) I was told by my coffee guru that foam is the face of coffee, and if it has no foam, it has "lost face," funny that this concept so important to the Chinese is extended to coffee where coffee is important. So... no faceless coffee for me unless I'm rushed. That's one reason I don't need cream -- I do like the "oily" feel to coffee, but good foam provides just that. If I drink coffee made by someone not trained in the tradition (some of my family members and friends are), I might add cream to counteract the almost invariable bitterness of amateur coffee. I will also do that if I'm dealing with a dark roast, with few exceptions.

 

Here's what they used to know in the US two hundred years ago (quoting from some book on US history): "Coffee has to be black and hot and sweet like a night of passion, and strong enough to walk on its own."

 

My most interesting coffee experience had to be a plantation liberica roast I got from Sweet Maria's.

 

http://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Topic25109.htm

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Cool thread, I like drinking the Hazelnut coffee at work occasionally, black with no sugar. I like the taste.

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(moved from "Summer is here" thread in OT)

 

BTW, what do you think is the first website to show in google search results with the search word "coffee?" Starbucks! :lol:

 

Just want to say that I continue to enjoy my new coffee routine, TM. The smell and taste are a welcome addition to my mornings. :) Due to caffeine sensitivity, I brew about 1/2 - 2/3 strength. My routine works best when drinking coffee after a morning meditation (to circulate the energies) and a small meal. The one time I had a cup without meditating first, I was a bit too wired. :wacko:

 

How do you like to store your coffee beans? I have them in the original container, in a dry, dark, cool pantry. I also will consider in the near future investing in a burr grinder.

 

I'm really glad you're enjoying it, RV! :)

 

The dark cool dry pantry will work fine if you go through your coffee fast (like I do) but if you don't, keep it in the fridge. Original container is fine.

 

You are correct in using it after the meditation rather than before. Qi-wise, the qi of coffee enters the Heart, Bladder and Kidneys meridians, stimulating them all, and the portion that goes into the Heart meridian terminates in the Sea of Marrow and creates some ripples there, it "moves qi around" in your brain, which is what people who are sensitive feel as a "wired" state and people who are used to it, as an "activated" state. In the Sea of Marrow, coffee's qi may stir up some indigenous creatures permanently residing there, some of them usually dormant, and wake them up a bit... this is the reason it is somewhat related to "creativity," "creative thought," and also "rebelliousness." The book I referenced earlier asserts that nonconformist thinkers, revolutionaries and intellectuals of the 19th and early 20th century were social coffee drinkers all of them, and that many a revolutionary initiative was initially brewed in coffee houses of Vienna and Paris where these people used to congregate to discuss tyranny and ways to overthrow it.

 

 

Thanks Taomeow! Good to know how caffeine affects qi flow.

 

 

Do you think coffee can help to "preserve the sea of marrow" (link opens as a PDF) as well as help to prevent "age-related depletion of kidney essence?"

 

Regarding acidity, what's your take on how coffee affects the stomach? I have read about a cold brew method, that it is easier on the stomach and eliminates up to 2/3 of bitter acids and oils. However, it's the oils that we want to imbibe, correct?

 

 

Funny illustration

The 5 Phases of Caffeine Intake

 

No wonder one can find so many coffee houses near universities.

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Cool thread, I like drinking the Hazelnut coffee at work occasionally, black with no sugar. I like the taste.

 

Sounds interesting. :)

 

Here's a few additions to coffee for flavor I've known and liked (with sugar in every case):

 

brew it with a slice of orange peel

brew it with a pinch of cardamom

cognac or brandy in the cup or

Irish Cream or

Riga Balsam (my favorite, hard to find)

a slice of lemon

(and my personal invention) a piece of organic raw cocoa butter

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Sounds interesting. :)

 

Riga Balsam (my favorite, hard to find)

 

Riga Balsams.

 

You are quite the gourmet. I am fortunate to have married a Latvian and so was introduced to this strange brew years ago. Way back in the 80's we only got it through relatives bringing it back directly from Riga. Nowadays there are a few places that carry it in the states. I think there is a store in the Russian neighborhood of San Francisco that carries it. Must be somewhere to find it in the greater L.A. area?

 

Tell me what you know about Riga Balsams.

 

What I know is that it is an ancient brew of many herbs, commonly referred to as "bitters". Riga Balsams is almost black and seemingly much less refined than the more common "swedish bitters" which can be found at many health food stores. It is very unique. Apparently good for digestion.

 

My immediate liking for it astounded my Latvian relatives as it is not something most Americans would favor.

 

TM you surprise me in your arcane knowledge again.

 

Craig

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Oh, cool! And you confirm once again that you are blessed with an internal navigation system guiding you toward things of real value!:wub:

 

Tell me what you know about Riga Balsams.

What I know about it is that if you meet a guy who boasts he has a bottle (yes, it had to be brought from Riga to elsewhere in the Soviet Union even when Latvia was one of the republics) and invites you for a cup of coffee laced with the miracle brew, you wind up pregnant with twins... that's the kind of power it has!^_^

 

As for its history, it was, in particular, immortalized in Goethe's Faustus and referred to as "the elixir of youth" -- and its aficionados today include the British royal family. The recipe is indeed ancient, supposedly monastic, but probably much earlier than Christianity itself, since the monks did not invent their famous herbal-alcoholic-medicinal brews, they merely used the local herbal knowledge of way before. The brew went secular in the 17th century and wound up as a secret recipe possessed by a Riga pharmacist, Abraham Kunze. In this capacity it became locally famous as a remedy for many common illnesses, colds and upset stomachs and the like, as well as a general tonic. Catherine the Great happened to suffer from a stomach colic when traveling to Riga and was promptly cured with the balsam, whereupon, in gratitude, she granted Kunze exclusive rights to manufacture it commercially. Which he did or didn't, don't remember exactly, because soon thereafter a Russian merchant bought the rights from him and started making the balsam and supplying it to the empire and exporting it too. The ceramic bottle it comes in, unchanged in centuries, I used to reuse to make all kinds of herbal tinctures that require a dark container after the original contents were gone...

 

Yes, the taste is "love it or hate it," many people would find it too medicinal for an alcoholic beverage to drink straight up... but in coffee it truly shines.

 

Gonna go check out a Russian store in La Jolla, see if they might have it...:)

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sounds intriguing, mysterious, complex, alchemical B)

sounds like just the sorta thing i would be interested in.

 

i imagine there is a secret recipe? :closedeyes:

and it could be made at a secret cave(ancient still)?!

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sounds intriguing, mysterious, complex, alchemical B)

sounds like just the sorta thing i would be interested in.

 

i imagine there is a secret recipe? :closedeyes:

and it could be made at a secret cave(ancient still)?!

 

Yes, dear alchemist, there's a secret recipe, I know it approximately but not precisely and am willing to share what I know with a secret cave dweller.

 

The crucial ingredient is "aromatic water," and you will need a still to make it. Lavender, peppermint, sage, rosemary, dill seed and cinnamon bark must be covered with 87% alcohol (75 ml) and water (300 ml) for 24 hours. Next, you distill this. You get 200 ml aromatic water. This will be 75% of the volume at this stage; 22,5% will be an alcohol extract of (originally) 40+ more herbs, which I doubt anyone uses anymore, and 2,5% alcohol extract of saffron. This composition gives you only a 16% alcohol beverage, whereas the balsam has 45% alcohol. (there's fakes out there too, 50%+ alcohol they are and have plastic stoppers instead of the real thing's oak ones... buyer beware.) How it is brought up to 45% alcohol I'm not exactly sure, I'm told with best quality vodka.

 

Next, the whole thing is kept for an undiscolsed but supposedly rather long period of time in oak barrels, this step can't be omitted. Next, special "healing" clay is used to make the bottles, the kind that has been used since antiquity for the purpose. It preserves the brew's medicinal strength which, supposedly, fizzles out to a great extent out of any other type of container.

 

If you're equipped to experiment, by all means, go for it! I was googling around and came across Russian studies that assert Riga Black Balsam cures depression, among other things. Who knows what else it can do... alchemy is like that -- mystery is an invariable ingredient. :)

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http://www.wineanthology.com/p-3464-rigas-black-balsam.aspx

 

these guys ship to most states

 

I make my coffee in an aeropress (doesn't get the crema tho) and put a bit of cardamom powder in it as I read this counteracts the adrenal stress from the caffeine (don't know if its true or not)- only use a touch or it tastes foul

Edited by growant

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Yea.. I have a single metal cup that makes about 8 oz of coffee. I doubt it can make like an ibrik style coffee. I tried.

 

Anyways.. I found on some website about making turkish style coffee that the correct temeprature of foaming is about 158 degrees F (70 C).

 

After brewing coffee at this temperature I now think this is the optimal temperature to make coffee. I now drink coffee without sugar and I think this is the best way to make sugarless coffee without the bitterness. I used to make french press coffee all the time and thought this was optimal.. I always measured the temperature at 200 F, and brewed for 3-4 mins, and added sugar.

 

There's also cold brewed coffee but I'm not sure of a good ratio of coffee to water so it doesn't end up tasting bitter.

 

Though TBH.. I need to stop drinking coffee. I've been addicted to many things and coffee has been one of them.

 

Coffee depletes calcium or interferes with calcium uptake, decreases phosphoric acid levels (leading to depression) and also glutathione. It can also increase cortisol levels, leading to weight gain and water retention.

Edited by Non
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I forgot to add: in a TCM perspective coffee (as well as other stims) can consume heart yin.

 

I def. noticed this. I started drinking lots of coffee and then all of a sudden I was getting heel pain/tingling. I attributed it to my coffee intake. Not to mention the chest pain from acidity and the scattering energetic effect, achy joints, etc.

Edited by Non
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Just like I've gone from rare monkey picked teas(slightly exaggerating) to Lipton and back, I've also been hitting the low road of coffee lately and loving it.

 

I put a few ounces of milk into my glass, then boiling water. One heaping teaspoon of Trader Joe's instant coffee, topping it with whipped cream. Then sprinkle on a little more instant coffee, cinnamon, & nutmeg (freshly ground).

 

Its quick, tasty, cheap.

 

I'll probably cycle to something else in the future, but right now, I'm Keeping It Simple & Satisfying.

Edited by thelerner

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A very reputable TCM doc (my professor) and tuina practitioner (the real hardcore Chinese taught tui-na not the spa type) says no more than 12 oz a day of coffee. And it can be good for stimulating the heart/invigorating. It tonifies the spleen qi. In excess though can consume the yin, especially when used in excess for energy. It is like fake energy, not the real yang, which dulls natural yang with time by consuming/burning up yin.

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BTW Kona coffee is like heaven. It kidna tastes like caramel.

 

ADDICTION!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Well, I want to try the tanzanian pea berry stuff.

Edited by Non

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i ordered from coffeefool once because I'm a coffee fool. was not bad, but I was EXPECTING SWEET COFFEE like they advertised.

 

I guess they meant "sweet" in quotations. I guess truly sweet coffee does not exist. It only can have an aftertaste of sweetness, or a hint/smell of something sweet.

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Finally picked up an ibirk and have been trying to figure out how to make Turkish coffee on an electric stove.

 

After a number of wasted cups, I have figured out the dos and don'ts

 

1)heat the water a bit on the burner, in a separate pot, to get the temperature up and also because it takes too long to get the froth going on an electric stove which could eliminate the antioxidants. You can also use the extra water to make it an Alongee if you want.

 

2) cover the bottom of ibirk lightly with sugar to get some caramel in the froth

 

3) put the Turkish grind on top of the water and spread over the top to create a seal, do not stir yet. You also need to add enough coffee to lower the boiling point.

 

4) bring the heat down to about 35%

 

5) when the froth starts to show, tip the ibirk up 2 or 3 millimeters so that only the side is on the element, circle it around so the froth comes up the other sides too

 

6) stir the froth, repeat frothing, stir and repeat frothing

 

7) spoon froth into bottom of cup, if you add cream, add it to the froth

 

8) pour the coffee without letting grains fall out.

 

Truly time&effort/gong-fu coffee with lotsa love

Edited by Harmonious Emptiness

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this website has very fresh coffee, i believe he roasts it right before it's shipped to you

 

http://www.westcoastroasting.com/

 

after going from grinding your own beans, using good equipment, etc the difference really is night and day. i still need to pick up one of those ibrik/cezves, though.

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The title is disappointing, I expected TaoMew to be all over this thread on coffee

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The title is disappointing, I expected TaoMew to be all over this thread on coffee

I sort of was on the first page. :)

 

OK, to add some new developments:

 

I often drink Bulletproof coffee these days --

 

http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

 

but what I use is either raw butter or raw cocoa butter, or a combo of both. I don't always have the patience to shake it, and don't like to use the blender because I can't keep it hot enough this way. I have a small thermos which I use for a hand shaker. If you're going to try this, open it with great care (use a kitchen towel or some such to cover the top as you open it) because it builds up some pressure in the process and can go pop splattering you with the hot contents. (You've guessed right, it did happen to me the first time I made it this way.)

 

Another new addition to my coffee repertoire, courtesy of a Vietnamese friend -- Vietnamese coffee. (Yes, I know it's not originally Vietnamese, but French and Russian influences left their mark on this non-indigenous but apparently popular brew). This is iced and sweetened with condensed milk. Very yummy, though it's not so much an adult's coffee as a kid's treat IMO. Reminds me of the drink that was popular where I come from in my childhood -- cold coffee with ice cream.

Edited by Taomeow
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