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Megan Blocker

My morning coffee fix...

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This minute---second cup of doubleshot, double S&L, hot skim very foamy. Sun reaching through the haze of organza at my kitchen window, shadow-skeleton of the Summer-clad grapevine swinging in the remnants of last night's siren-shrieking, window-rattling, three-sets-of-wind-chimes-orchestrating winds which set records from here to Memphis.

Last night was Spring-wind-too-warm, today is bright chill with clean-swept skies, lawn, thoughts. Last soul out the door for work, just me and the keyboard and the throaty chuckle of the Senseo, foaming out these few words and the rich, steamy day-in-a-cup that brings the world into focus.

Today is marketing day, for fruit and fresh greens and tiny peas to go bouncing into the pan. Rosy radishes, I think, and some bitter endive to support these huge peasant-bread croutons crisped long and slow in last night's oven cooling after the casserole. Navel oranges hefty with juice, tiny burgundy grapes for the weekend chicken salad, some long whips of scallion, a pearly handprint of fresh ginger for the lo mein.

The foraging will consume my morning, the gathering-in, the setting-by. But for now, a bit of sunshine and a hot, foaming sweet cup. And maybe a Fortune-tip out by the lavender bed.

Edited for apostrophe--I've always thought that should be one of the Muses


Edited by racheld (log)

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Marketing went beautifully. Fate handed out a big "HA!" to the enjoyable musings and event.

Yesterday morning, as we were getting ready to head out for a day's wedding photograph session, I went up to give a bite of bacon and a wee section of pastry to our macaw, who occupies the sunny spaces of the upstairs kitchen all to himself.

Pool of blood in the floor, leakage from the FREEZER side of the up fridge. It had to have been OFF/DEAD/Kaput when I put away the FOUR on-sale-today John Morrell hams--.79 per pound, butt portion.

Two huge briskets in the freezer bottom were still icy-cold, but thawed clear through; all the other packages of meat were soft to the touch, but VERY cold.

Thank goodness for the 6-degrees-but-sunny outside. We evicted all the gift wrap, sewing supplies, packages of pictures and spices and pastas from their big snap-top clear lugs in the cold storeroom downstairs, and put all the food, including the orange juice, outside on the shady patio. Produce all fit into the downstairs fridge, and tomorrow a.m. the new fridge arrives. Adieu and a gold watch to the brave old one, friend of a thousand pies and a ton of produce, countless bags and boxes of frozen vegetables and fruit, keeper of icee bags for sore knees, icy-pops for the grandchildren, ice cream for a midnight foray.

Farewell, Old Companion of the dowdy outdated gold finish. Welcome gleaming new white marvel. I've got just the space for you, all swept and mopped, and lots of filling for your shiny insides.

And we discovered the orange juice at breakfast this morning---on a patio table, a solid block in the handy Tropicana carton. It should make a nice slushee for tomorrow a.m.

With my lovely creamy cup of cap. There.


Edited by racheld (log)

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I love working in restaurants because I always have an espresso machine at my disposal. My morning routine hasn't varied in several years.

Upon first arrival I prepare a double shot of espresso. I top it off with hot regular coffee and then steamed milk. Fortunately there is always steamed milk waiting for me these days since there's an abundance of Mexican kitchen staff that are always making Cafe con Leche before I arrive. They get in earlier than I do and make my first coffee that much quicker and more accessible. Bless them. :wub:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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i moved to the pacific northwest in july 2004. i am becoming more and more a coffee addict because of all the wonderful roasters and cafés in portland.

i get coffee approximately three times a week and i always go for the same, single shot vanilla latté, no additional sugar. nonfat if i feel like tagging that onto the list of specifications.

yum. and there's now a bakery in the ground floor of my office building that makes the best i've had!


my motto: taste, savor, share

circulation manager, imbibe magazine

celebrate the world in a glass

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On Saturday or Sunday I make sure I have roasted enough coffee to last Monday-Friday. Lately I've strictly been an Ethiopian Harar man, it's good for burning off the initial morning fog. During the week I wake up, fill the teapot and get it on the burner, set the timer on the burr grinder to "8" and go take a shower. After my shower, the water is boiling so I put the coffee in the French Press, douse it, throw on clothes and go make sure the dog is just as regular as ever. A few minutes later I'm filling my one quart thermos with coffee, a few packets of Splenda, and topping it off with a little 1% milk. No coffee until I'm actually AT work, and this routine has only backfired on me when, nightmare of nightmares……….I'm halfway to the office and realize in my morning daze that I filled the thermos and left it on the counter as I went to get my laptop. At that point I'm stuck with the free office Folgers, but recently someone was good enough to designate one of the shared carafes as "double" so everyone knows to put TWO coffee packets into the machine if they're filling that one. It's pretty terrible, with no discernible coffee flavor, but after about forty cups vs. one cup of the Harar I can usually wake up.

When I work from home and on weekends I fire up my knock-off Bialetti coffee maker, unless my girlfriend is home and wanting coffee in which case I repeat the process above.

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Coffee in the morning? A ritual? Get real... this is medicine! The night before is when you put water in the Mr. Coffee. You run the Columbian Supremo beans thru the Braun. What setting? I dunno, I haven't changed it in years! You put the bean debris in the gold basket and put it in the machine. Bed time!

In the morning you kick aside the remnants of the alarm clock (I hit way too hard when startled) and pad down the COLD TILE HALLWAY to the kitchen. In the dark you grope for the switch. On goes the little light that means coffee will be up in 10 minutes more or less.

(Much more disgusting morning ritual(s))

Stomp down the hallway and fill your Starbucks plastic commuter mug 75% full of coffee. Put in a **splash** of Torani Hazlenut Sugar Free. Fill to top with 2% cow juice. Screw on lid. Grab lunch from fridge when you put the gallon of cow juice back. Stomp down hallway to front door. Grab keys (in autopilot), go down steps, across alley to locked garage. Put keys in wall, open garage, get in car, put on LOUD Van Halen, seat belt and drive slowly out of garage--hoping not to squish one of those little tiny condo dogs on 45 foot leashes. Close garage by button and take FIRST SIP of coffee.

Realize that life is good, light cigar and drive to work sipping MORE COFFEE and puffing like a fireplace.

It's a ritual. It's Zen. It is what it is.

HVR


"Cogito Ergo Dim Sum; Therefore I think these are Pork Buns"

hvrobinson@sbcglobal.net

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Coffee people are some of the wittiest, funniest, most literary and well-read on eG, with natural gifts for turning phrases, making metaphors, singing out similes, and arranging words in charming patterns.

This is getting to be my favorite thread of all time---must be all the caffeine in the air.

alarm clock debris :laugh::laugh::laugh:

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Just spotted this audio slide show on NYTimes.com...more people and their morning fixes!

Click here to listen!

While the evening is ruled by the hops and the grain, the daytime is the reign of the bean. And just like their bartending compatriots, those who pour the city's coffee serve as impeccable barometers for both the weather and mood of their constituency.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I'm now in a summer morning routine that's sure to change as fall closes in on us. Bleary-eyed I get up while it's still dark outside, drive the ten minutes to the shop, get a few airpots brewed and open the doors by 6:15. Some mornings my day starts an hour or more earlier when there's coffee to be roasted.

At 6:30 or 6:45 one of my morning regulars, a boisterous car salesman who now owns the dealership, stops for a double espresso. The new ritual is that I make one for both of us... he does his with two Sweet 'n Lo's and I used about 1/4 tsp of raw sugar in mine... we toast the day, down the shots and both get back to work.

At 8 AM I make a double shot iced latte with three or four espresso cubes and 1% or 2% milk and head to the office for the "day job". The iced drink has just the right balance to last until 10 AM and that's it for the day... for now....

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Uhh, you might want to check that your coffee wasn't decaf this morning, Owen!


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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right now I'm biking to work, so I make a nice slurry in my press, throw it in my Polar bottle, and chug it over the 8 miles to work....when I'm back at school with the house espresso machine, I'll make a double or triple shot straight up before my morning rides/runs/classes. If I'm not taking it the usual black, I'll do it carribean style and tamp a teaspoon or so of light brown sugar in the porta-filter before locking it into the machine, that way the sugar is nice and dissolved and I don't lose the crema by having to stir any sugarin. While I haven't been to Jamaica, an acquintance who has been there a few times informs me that this is the way everyone picks up their tweak juice in the mornings from the corner stands.

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A nice creamy double-shot in a thick white mug, S&L stirred in vigorously as the streams hiss into the cup. One while contemplating the shade patterns of the grapevine cover through the haze of the kitchen window curtain.

One carried out to the garden, while DS#2 tilled up several now-exhausted rows of green beans...we had fourteen quarts from two little rows, and lots of teensy ones picked out and left whole for salad.

Stroll round the hostas, couple of dips into the crema for my macaw, who looks up eagerly when I emerge from the sunny door with the cup. "MMMMM! Yummy!" he says, then a tentative, "Cookie?"

Into the house, caffeine-revved, to put on the first bottomless pitcher of cold, sweet tea with crunchy ice.

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At home our mornings involve a double latte (beans from Vivace), either iced in the summer or hot.

During the summer my wife and kids are at our cabin which is solar powered, so a honking resistive load from the espresso machine isn't possible. After flirtations with French Press, Vacuum pots and drip, this summer we discovered the AeroPress, a semi-espresso device (invented by the same guy who designed the Aerobe). It's like a giant coffee syringe. Makes great coffee, perfect for camping as well.

http://www.sweetmarias.com/aeropress_instructions.html

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I make coffee at home, and have a cup or two before I leave for work. Must grind beans fresh.

Then I make some the second I get here.

Ideally, I love cream and sugar in mine, but I'm trying to cut down on the sugar, so I've been putting soy milk or soy creamer in there. It's ok.

Favorite coffee, believe it or not, is Dunkin' Donuts.

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I make coffee at home, and have a cup or two before I leave for work.  Must grind beans fresh.

Then I make some the second I get here. 

Ideally, I love cream and sugar in mine, but I'm trying to cut down on the sugar, so I've been putting soy milk or soy creamer in there.  It's ok.

Favorite coffee, believe it or not, is Dunkin' Donuts.

(Clapping hands) I believe, I believe!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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My ritual has changed considerably now that I don't have to be up at the crack of a disgustingly early hour every morning (and now that I no longer live with a Rancilio). I have discovered the joy of moka coffee (and am hankering after a Mooka).

Angela and I are the only two coffee drinkers in our four-person household (Holli drinks tea and George...well, I have no idea what George does, as I don't usually see him in the morning. Coca-cola, maybe. Could be crack, although he's awfully laid back for that), so whichever of us makes it out of bed first (usually her. I have no idea how she is so alert before noon) fires up the moka pot. We've been trying various coffees from our local Corte Inglés (we don't have a grinder, so all pre-ground), but Angela just brought back some El Caracol, which you can only get in the Canary Islands, apparently. It's pretty awesome stuff, full of deep coffee flavor, not bitter, hardly needs any milk at all. I still heat some milk in a little saucepan and add it with one teaspoon of raw sugar, as I like my cafe con leche.

I carry my pretty coffee mug (it's white with blue flowers, handmade in Ouray, Colorado. I also have the cream pitcher and sugar bowl. Used to have another mug, sadly, it broke) out onto the terrace, look over the wall at the late-morning Madrid foot and car traffic on our street (thankfully much more of the former than the latter) and sip coffee and enjoy the breeze and sunlight till my brain cylinders start firing and I'm finally really awake.

Usually Angela and I go through at least two moka pots between us (she's in cleaning frenzy at the moment...just defrosted the freezer, which was probably a good idea because see George has this thing where he puts a coke in there to cool and then forgets about it and, well, kaboom). Today I have a rehearsal at 12:30, after which I'll probably go with David the pianist and my friend Paco for another coffee (no, Paco, we will not go to Starbucks. I did not move all the way to Spain to go to #!%^$^#$ STARBUCKS, when now I live in the country with the best coffee I have ever had). What's really fun is when we're both sitting in the living room with our coffee, working on our computers - she translating television scripts into Spanish (she's a translator by trade) and me, at least yesterday, translating obscure French poetry into Spanish for a concert (cuz, yanno, I prefer my audience to KNOW what I'm singing about, although I gotta say this Carême stuff was hard enough to translate into English the first time, let alone Spanish now). We sit there and type, sip and curse in several different languages.

I plan to bring back some ground, vacuum-packed fresh-roasted beans from my dad, next time I hit AZ.

When I'm on a job, it's a different story - breakfast is provided in all the hotels I've stayed in, so if I can force myself out of bed before they start serving (not an easy task when the opera started at 10pm and ended sometime around 1:30 and you didn't get back to the hotel till 3 and you were too wired to sleep till 4:30 or so), I head down, grab a yogurt and some fruit and let SOMEONE ELSE make my two cafes con leche for me (ok, bane of my life: hotels with those frigging push-button machines that make some beverage that is DEFINITELY NOT COFFEE, I don't care what it says. In those cases, I will actually head outdoors and find a restaurant and order coffee from the bar).

When I was on a job in Italy in July, I used to stagger down to the Caffe Gran'Italia in the piazza and order a cappuccino. And every. single. frigging. morning. I had to explain myself to the waiter, as ordering cappuccino after 10 am is apparently frowned upon (my explanation: I live in Spain. This IS morning. And you are not nearly cute enough to keep giving me that doubtful look before I've had my first coffee).

K, sipping a second - or is it third - cup


Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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How Rebecca and I would love to have coffee with you!!! There, with all your new-found delights of taste and sight, or here, for a stroll out by the lavender bed, cups in hand, and murmurs of conversation to match the soft clang of the windchimes.

And Rebecca tells wonderful fortunes.

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I NEED someone to make coffee fo, and tell fortunes to, as well, these days! No coffee for Rebecca anymore :sad: .  Not even decaf. :shock:  :sad:

Darlin, if I still lived in the Metro area, I'd be happy to keep you company all day lon with coffee for me and herbal tea for you! So, can you tell my fortune over the 'net? :rolleyes:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Once a week I visit my parents and pet their dog.  I knew you'd want to hear about my dog  :laugh:

But in the morning I'm blissfully unencumbered by anything other than work responsibilities.

So here's how it works for me:

Two or three evenings per week and once on the weekend I roast  about 150 - 300 pounds of green coffee beans per day in 34 pound batches.

I roast it on this gizmo:

gallery_2480_97_3826.jpg

Tuesday through Friday mornings at about 8:30 I make myself a quad shot (two double ristretto shots - about 3 fluid ounces of espresso)  latte with foamed 2% milk in a paper cup.  I get up at 5:00 AM and begin work at 6:00 AM but don't care for caffiene that early in the day.

I use the "house espresso blend", which is a staple on my early morning barista job.  That drink travels with me to to my desk -  where the "real" job begins at 9:00 AM- and the drink lasts until 10:00 or 10:30 AM. 

I make the drink on this beautiful machine:

gallery_2480_188_1097006044.jpg

Friday night I turn on my little home espresso machine.... leave it on straight through Monday morning and drink any number of 6 oz cappuccino's in these cool little Illy cups. I can rarely handle more than two of them each morning (each has a 1.5 oz double ristretto shot of espresso) but sometimes I cave in to desire (make that most times)  and have another one in the afternoon or after dinner.

The espresso blend is usually one that I've been experimenting with for future use - sooner or later Phaelon Coffee will be selling it on-line but for now it's just research. My current favorite includes Brazil, organic Mexican Chiapas, organic Sumatran and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.  But I've sworn myself to secrecy and I can't reveal the proportions here (despite having already done so in this forum in some previous post  :wink:  ).

I make them on this:

gallery_2480_97_80445.jpg

And the drink looks like this:

i4379.jpg

Occasionally I even manage to achieve some rudimentary latte art but for me...  at home...  it's all about how it tastes. And it tastes good.

I am sooooooooo jealous...those machines look amazing.

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For me, the coffee begins shortly after booting in my office door. I drop whatever detritus I've brought with me, take my the carafe from my Black & Decker Thermal Cafe, and take it to the janitor's room to give it a rinse and a fill.

The janitor's room is where the sweet water is, as opposed to the briny swill we refer to here as "raw water".

Dripping disconsolately, I make my way back to my office, snarling cheerfully as my colleagues straggle in from the heat.

I pour the water in the machine and give my attention to the beans.

Every year I bring back 40kg of different beans from Canada to support my office addiction.

For the moment, I favour the Mexican Blue Mountain. Lighter, nuttier, an uplifting cup.

I crack the hermetic seal, pour a flurry of beans into the grinder, reseal the container, and then grind.

And everything becomes better.

I love the smell of coffee when it's just being ground, and everything goes into the air. As you lift the grounds out of the grinder, you can close your eyes and imagine a nicer place.

Then the filter goes in the basket, the coffee goes in the filter, the trap swings shut, and the carafe slides into place.

With only a moment of trepidation, I slide the switch to on, and then listen contently to the rumble and hiss as the water pushes through the coffee, clutching and tearing at the flavours in order to bring them to my pot.

At this point, everyone else in my corridor hates me.

And I don't care.

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How Rebecca and I would love to have coffee with you!!!    There, with all your new-found delights of taste and sight, or here, for a stroll out by the lavender bed, cups in hand, and murmurs of conversation to match the soft clang of the windchimes.

And Rebecca tells wonderful fortunes.

You're on. I'll be in the States in October and early November. PM me.

K, on her third moka cup for the morning (hey. I had a late night. Again).


Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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My second cuisinart grind and brew is having problems with the grinder sticking in the machine. A crowbar won't pry this thing out. That's it. I'm getting a regular cuisinart brew central and a separate grinder. :sad:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I usually get up around 5:30 or so. In Miami Beach it would be sunrise on the shore, but here in New Jersey it's dark in the parking lot. I get out my little ibrik, (Ibrahim/Abrahim depending on my mood, but I always talk to him) and I grind myself some coffee, very fine, almost a paste, it's so fine. I turn on my lovely NJ gas stove and put my ground beans and some raw sugar in the ibrik, and then fill it up to the collar with cold water(not hard to find in NJ!). Sometimes I crush a cardamom seed in as well.

Now my dance begins. When the coffee boils and bubbles to the top of the pot, I take the pot off of the fire at once, it calms, I repeat the journey of coffee coming past the collar, twice, thrice. We're ready! The smell of this strong brew is heady, intoxicating, really fetching and evocative of sensual intrigue. I kid you not.

Especially when I have well roasted Ethiopian beans, oh my.

I pour my darkly sweet brew into a rounded cup. I let it sit for a moment and the 'grinds' settle. I take my cup to the glass doors that open on my tiny back garden(here in NJ I have planted only evergreens so far, so that I will a green winter).

Kiddle will wake up soon, now. I'll be making breakfast, reminding kiddle of myriad mundane things to be done, "brush your teeth, where are your lab chem notes? wear a hat! bring your lunch bag home today. hug me or I'll chase you to the bus stop. call me if you're bringing more than 2 people home. brush-your-teeth."  is usually how it goes. But right now, I'm still Rebecca, still the me who isn't Mommy of a thousand reminders, sister of a thousand smiles, Auntie of a thousand pocketfuls of surprises, nice girl who helps a thousand strangers.

I drink my dark coffee alone.

Standing at the doors of my tiny back garden, I feel solitary and peaceful.

The brew in my cup is aromatic, rich, highly caffeinated(long contact time of beans and water, you know) and delicious.

Finally, I take my grind filled cup over to a little plate I keep in the garden. I quickly turn my cup over onto the plate. 1-2-3, I count. I remove the cup. I look into the cup and stare into the patterns those fine grinds have made on the interior. I think about what they remind me of, what form they have taken. Sometimes I make up a story, like my father did for me when I was a child. Sometimes it is simply lovely imaginary things, like gazing at clouds. Sometimes I have a different kind of fun and make up fortunes, like the older women did with the grinds at family get togethers when I was younger.

So, that's it. Most people know me differently than this morning me, I'm known to be silly, light hearted(and -headed by some!), and giving. My friends think of me as soft hearted. Here on eGullet I'm a bit fluffy, I suppose, because I've only been here a short while and joined during a long convalescance, and few here know me in person. But this is me, almost every morning, and I think of Camus, Grass, Trillin, Joyce and Sartre, whoever I'm reading or rereading at the moment, as I drink a cup of coffee that is really a bit more to me than just that.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I just spoke to Rebecca, for maybe a minute---her voice is soft and she needs to rest and keep up her strength, but she was cheerful and so glad to hear from one of our eG Family.

She's offline for a while, but will be back in all her witty, fortune-telling, coffee-brewing glory before long.

rachel

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