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TaoMeow on Coffee

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"Desire" is likely my favorite album from Bob Dylan and that is likely because of the way the fiddle was used in the songs.

 

 

Oh, and I don't like beer no matter what its temperature is. Never liked the smell or the taste.

Edited by Marblehead

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One thing I like about the 'cold brew' method is that when you add water to dilute the concentrate, you can use hot or cold. I mostly drink mine hot, and cold brewing is the only way I like it cold - the low-temp steeping prevents a lot of the more bitter volatile oils from making their way into the liquid.

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The last group I played with, we played a version of that song. Would still often give me chills while we played it at a local restaurant...

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I don't do Starbucks. Coffee? Good, sure. Price? Rediculous.

 

One McDonald's senior's coffee please.

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When I read the thread title, I thought this was a thread about the things that Taomeow says when she's on coffee.

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Part II of the interlude:

Taomeow on Coffee and Ayahuasca

Once again, the woman said something I didn't understand and then quickly climbed down the ladder and disappeared in the forest. I was hoping she went for help, and mercifully, I was right. In a few minutes, she was back, accompanied by an Indian man, who was, like her, short and thin but, hopefully, strong enough to take on the beast under the boot. He pantomimed a question to me to ascertain the woman understood me correctly. I repeated the tarantula dance, pointing at the boot.

The man approached it very carefully and lifted it a bit with two fingers, peeking under and dropping it back on the tarantula with a nod of confirmation: still there. Then he straightened himself up and, with a brief but ear-splitting war cry, jumped onto the boot, landing with his both feet on where the tarantula was supposed to be underneath. After that, he lifted the boot carefully once again, pulled out the dead creature by one of its hairy legs and tossed it casually through the open door.

Into the thick vegetation surrounding the hut it went flying, together with all my prior indoctrination regarding the utmost respect and unfaltering reverence native folks exhibit at all times for all creatures great and small. In my own home, if we spot a spider, we cover it with an overturned glass and guide it onto a sheet of paper, then turn the glass bottom down while covering it with the sheet of paper and proceed to shake the spider out into the wild with a word or two of gratitude for the honor of a visit. I expected something of this nature to happen here, but on a grander scale to match the size of the visitor. I was wrong.

The man bid me farewell and left, while the woman did something rather inexplicable. She looked at me with fathomless eyes for a full minute, then she looked up and whispered something, then she smiled broadly and grabbed the pot of coffee she had initially arrived with, and made for the exit. Only then did I realize that its presence in the background of the whole tarantula scene had been a comfort for me all along -- something in me that always keeps track of coffee's comings and goings in and out of my life was aware at all times that when it's all over, I'll have a cup of fresh coffee waiting for me. I was wrong again. The eager move toward the pot inexplicably gliding away from me got noticed and rebuffed -- "No!" And down the ladder she went, taking all that fresh coffee to a fate unknown.

I got curious, however. I climbed down myself and followed the woman. She walked a short distance to another hut, climbed in and immediately went back, empty-handed. When she left, I approached the hut and called, "Hello?"

A man and a woman appeared in the doorway, each holding a coffee mug and sipping.

"Do you speak English?"
"We do."
"What's the procedure for procuring coffee here? I saw you get a pot just now..."
"Oh, you tell Maria -- she's in charge of the kitchen. Tell her that you want coffee and she'll make it for you. Tell her well in advance though, because all she has is a wood-burning stove, there's no gas, no electricity, nothing of this nature, and that stove takes a long time to start. You may want to time your coffee to when she's cooking anyway and the stove is hot."
"Well, did you ask her?"
"Of course. We do every day. Unless you ask her, she won't make it."

I thanked the couple and went back, thinking, something here doesn't make sense... If Maria lives here, how could she make a mistake and deliver the pot to a different hut from the one to which she brings it every day?

Then suddenly I knew. It wasn't coffee that made her come to me, it was my mental S.O.S., that's what she responded to! That's why she came! To find out what kind of trouble I was in, not to give away someone else's coffee! I remembered that the very first identified alkaloid of ayahuasca, currently known as harmine, was initially named "telepathin." So Maria, who, like many people in this part of the world, has been drinking ayahuasca perhaps all her life, is simply telepathic -- I called for help in my mind, she heard, and came to check on me while she was headed altogether elsewhere with that pot. That's what happened.

I wasn't sleepy anymore, I was... well, still wanting a cup of coffee. So I got hold of my own trusty equipment and stash, no need to trouble Maria, I can make it myself... and into the forest I went in search of the kitchen.

(to be continued...)

Edited by Taomeow
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Great analysis. But you still need your coffee. Hehehe.

 

Yeah, we hear these stories about how most ancient cultures respected nature so much more than we do but I have to question most of them.

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Part III of the interlude:

 

Taomeow on coffee and ayahuasca

 

I only had my cup of coffee a week later. On the way to the kitchen I was intercepted by our guide who informed me that our first ceremony would take place that very night -- not tomorrow night as we thought it would.

 

And it so happened that a week later, I still didn't want any coffee. I think it was the first week in my life I spent without coffee since I was 13. I didn't want any. I didn't want any food either. I was in another realm, where people who go there spend a while and then come back to the ordinary one, in and out, memory downloaded, life as usual taking it from there. And it wasn't happening in my case. I was in, and I was deeper in, and then deeper and deeper in, and there was no "out." The shaman shook his head and said -- three days later -- "you're still in it, I have never seen anything like it." "Can you get me out?" I asked. "Of course," he reassured me. He made me lie down and sang slow, gentle, lullaby-like icaros for a long time, and shook a rattle of ayahuasca leaves over me. He made me stand in the river, shivering, while he poured buckets of water on me from the top, chanted, and blew smoke into the top of my head. "You should be back in no time," he told me. "He thinks he knows everything," She giggled -- She, the Mother of the Universe.

 

A week later, I still didn't want anything because the world I was in and the world I had left behind didn't intersect on any common item I could pull out of the latter and bring into the former that made any difference to me, or any sense. I was surfing the waves of absolute extremes somewhere else, somewhere where nothing was relative, every truth was ultimate, every lie devastating to the core of every galaxy, every thought an act of self-sacrifice or of treason, every feeling magnified beyond human comprehension -- and then there was the big knowledge, the un-shareable, unspeakable knowledge of things I could discuss with no one, not because they wouldn't understand but because the bulk of my energy was being spent on desperate attempts to try to make myself not form that memory, erase it...

 

Then, after a week of no change whatsoever, not an inability as much as acute incompatibility holding me back from rejoining the regular world, I realized that I have to have a cup of coffee whether I want it or not. It occurred to me that for many years, it had acted as the bridge between my sleeping and waking worlds, my usual, tried and true, so mundane, so ordinary, so familiar way to reconnect to the hustle and bustle, or whatever else was going on. It was my anchor. It was my Pavlovian reflex -- business as usual, life is going on, it's the morning of another day, the earth is down under my feet and the sky is up above, the air is what your breathing is after and daylight is what you catch onto your retina so as to tell your mind where you are, and memory's chief task is to remind you who you are. And who am I when I'm the ordinary me, the pre-ayahuasca me? I'm someone who always, always starts the day with a cup of coffee. So maybe if I start the day with a cup of coffee, I'll trigger some chain reaction of the ordinary, the mundane, the anchored in here and now (I chuckled to myself at the sheer idiotic pomposity of these ridiculous concepts) -- and holding on to that chain, link by link, I'll come back. A cup of coffee is the first link. If I just have it and discover it's not connected to the next one anymore, or to anything at all, well... at least I tried.

 

Edited by Taomeow
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That is beautiful. Really. I was there once but mine lasted only a few minutes as I was in an environment where I needed to be totally aware of the real world.

 

Yeah, coffee helps bring us back to the 'real' world. Too bad we can't stay in those "other worlds" for longer periods and more often.

 

Thanks for sharing. That was fun.

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interesting anecdote, taomeow

 

i've been making my coffee with the ibrik now but i'm afraid i still have no idea what i'm doing, i end up with a really strong but gritty cup of coffee 90% of the time. i'm experimenting with different things at the moment ie not stirring after first "froth" or scooping up the crema and putting into a cup first etc to varying degrees of success...

 

on a lighter note i should be receiving some ethiopian dry press coffee soon, my lavazza beans are 70% robusta/30% arabica which probably explains the absurd amount of crema they produce :closedeyes:

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OK, Mantis (and whoever else is looking for a transmission :D ), until I get around to making the video, here's a description:

 

1. Coffee has to be ground VERY FINE.

2. Put 2 or 3 heaping teaspoons of coffee on the bottom of your ibrik (this is approximate of course, since I don't know the size of your ibrik or of your appetite. Adjust the amount the next time if this is too strong or too weak for you).

3. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar (adjust to taste if it's too sweet or not sweet enough).

4. Pour 1 cup of COLD water over the mix. DO NOT STIR.

 

The amount of substances in the ibrik should leave ample room on top for the foam to rise. It is crucial that you don't overfill the ibrik with water -- stop well before you reach the rim. As it brews, soon your coffee will spontaneously form a gritty "cork" on top. This is not done even as it rises -- you need room for the next crucial step to take place. The FINER FOAM should BREAK THROUGH this "cork" and SUBMERGE it completely -- and the SECOND it happens you need to remove the ibrik from the stove. DO NOT LET YOUR COFFEE BOIL, but don't remove it from heat until it came to this point of sudden eruption of fine foam (it's very similar to boiling milk -- if anyone has ever done that, you've seen this abrupt volcanic arrival to a boiling point -- it will run away if you don't turn the heat off immediately.) So, your cue is seeing the FINE foam break through the gritty cork. Timing is everything here, and good coffee is a function of good reflexes. In a short while (a few seconds to a minute), put it back on the flame for the fine foam to rise again. You can do it a third time too if you like. I've seen it done up to 10 times too, but after the second one, the law of diminishing returns kicks in, so you don't really have to work too hard.

 

5. If you don't want gritty, you have two options:

a] let it sit for two minutes before pouring into your cup -- carefully -- all the grounds will have sunk to the bottom by then, or

b] if you want it right meow and can't wait, pour it into your cup through a FINE steel mesh strainer.

 

For those who still want tons of foam, you do the opposite with the initial step -- where I said "do not stir," you stir. The more vigorously you stir, the more foam you'll get in the end. But if you are pursuing the best taste rather than the most impressive presentation, trust me -- the best-tasting coffee made by this method is unstirred. You don't disturb the alchemical process at any point. The shape of the ibrik does the trick, you just watch and stay alert and it's going to make itself perfect.

 

A version for the patient gourmet: make it on very low flame, very slowly (not to exceed about 8 minutes though) -- this is the best approach outside of quartz sand heaters. I don't have the patience for the low flame though except when showing off to guests or initiating a coffee apprentice.

Edited by Taomeow
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Hey Taomeow! You gave me a great idea for the next time I use my espresso machine to make a cup of coffee. I'll mention it if it is successful. (If I fail I won't say anything. Hehehe.)

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first day of classes this fall semester and the gal who served me my starbucks frappacino remembered my name from last spring.

hehe .. dang i wish i coulda remembered hers :blush: she didnt hurt the eyes none

ahhh the life

i bet they remember my name at the other coffee shop on campus too

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Yeah, a single man has to pay more attention. A married man should remember only his wife's name.

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thanks for the help taomeow, i used your method today. there was no foam, that's true, but i think the taste suffered because the lack of foam, is this possible? maybe i've gotten used to a more substantial "mouth feel" via the presence of it before and now don't know what's going on that it's gone, or i just screwed up somehow along the way.

 

i kind of feel that maybe even medium is too high a flame on my stove and it perhaps heated too quickly and didn't really allow the ibrik to do it's magic, i got my ethiopian beans (roasted just last Wednesday) far too late in the day to use them as i work second shift... will report again tomorrow (with pictures!)

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thanks for the help taomeow, i used your method today. there was no foam, that's true, but i think the taste suffered because the lack of foam, is this possible? maybe i've gotten used to a more substantial "mouth feel" via the presence of it before and now don't know what's going on that it's gone, or i just screwed up somehow along the way.

I know what you are speaking to here. When I was stationed in Italy I would go to city center (Vicenza) plaza and sit at my favorite outdoor cafe with a cup of cappuccino. No cappuccino I have ever had has compared well with those I had in Vicenza. The atmosphere was missing.

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Coffee is tasty drink and it is warming up but... bad for blood vessels and blood circulation. I am not sure it's good to have it more often than once a day. Some people add sugar to it what is twice as bad imho

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Coffee is tasty drink and it is warming up but... bad for blood vessels and blood circulation. I am not sure it's good to have it more often than once a day. Some people add sugar to it what is twice as bad imho

Well, you just pinned me to the wall. I drink, on average, seven cups a day and I always add about one and a half teaspoons of sugar to each cup. I am 72 years old and have been drinking coffee since I was eleven years old and haven't die yet. Hehehe.

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It depends on the amount of course. I stumbled upon a research where scientists said that even small amount of sugar is bad for the body. If you have one teaspoon may it is okey but if one has 3-4 cups of coffee per day adding sugar plus they have extra amount in other food.

 

And in coffee there are two bad substances which are called cafestol and cahweol which form bad cholesterol and bad for blood vessels. I wish you to live long but we should think of our health in any event in everything we do if we are concerned of good health. I am not sure that 7 cups per day is good for health promotion. I heard of 4 cups per day as safe amount of coffee. Anyway the more coffee the more bad cholesterol in a body

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It depends on the amount of course. I stumbled upon a research where scientists said that even small amount of sugar is bad for the body. If you have one teaspoon may it is okey but if one has 3-4 cups of coffee per day adding sugar plus they have extra amount in other food.

Yeah, different studies have found widely varying conclusions about sugar. I am very physically active so all my sugar intake is burned for energy. I would agree that sugar is generally not good for people who are not physically active and for those who tend toward hyperactivity.

 

And in coffee there are two bad substances which are called cafestol and cahweol which form bad cholesterol and bad for blood vessels. I wish you to live long but we should think of our health in any event in everything we do if we are concerned of good health. I am not sure that 7 cups per day is good for health promotion. I heard of 4 cups per day as safe amount of coffee. Anyway the more coffee the more bad cholesterol in a body

Your conclusions are fair, I think. Yes, my cholesterol is a little high but I think that is more from my eating so much imported European cheeses than anything else.

 

When I check my blood pressure in the afternoon or evening at least two hours after I have had my last cup of coffee my rates are well within the suggested range for my age.

 

BTW I am on break right now from working outside having a cup of coffee. Hehehe

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Yeah, different studies have found widely varying conclusions about sugar. I am very physically active so all my sugar intake is burned for energy. I would agree that sugar is generally not good for people who are not physically active and for those who tend toward hyperactivity.

 

Your conclusions are fair, I think. Yes, my cholesterol is a little high but I think that is more from my eating so much imported European cheeses than anything else.

 

When I check my blood pressure in the afternoon or evening at least two hours after I have had my last cup of coffee my rates are well within the suggested range for my age.

 

BTW I am on break right now from working outside having a cup of coffee. Hehehe

 

Cheese ... now your talking ... have we had a thread on cheese?

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I stumbled upon a research

It's all right. You can always pick yourself up, shake yourself off, and keep going. :D

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