Thursday, September 24, 2015

Zen and the Art of Squirrel - Coffee

I really like coffee.

Even before I started working for a coffee roaster I really liked coffee.

Of course now I get free coffee, and I drink espresso shots all day, but I have liked coffee for a long time.  Not just any coffee, the stuff my parents drank while I was growing up was crap.  The stuff that they serve at most restaurants is warmed over crap.

I actually want to taste my coffee.  I drink it for the flavor.

Well the flavor and the fact that it relaxes me and allows me to think more clearly.

When we do travel for roller derby we sometimes have to be cooped up in a car for several hours as we go from one end of the state to the other.  The referees that I ride with don’t like riding with me so much unless I have my liter of coffee.  And this is not just any coffee, this is Jeffy coffee.  It is black, it is thick, it tastes and smells like coffee should.

If I do not hav my coffee my brain goes on overdrive since there is little else to do on a car ride but let it go, unless I am driving.  Usually we drive with Bacon because he is a very relaxed driver and has nicer cars.

One time I forgot my coffee.

I was calculating the kinetic energy potential of a weeping angel (from Doctor Who) based on that if you send someone back to the same location in space, but at an earlier time, due to the expansion of the universe they would be tecnically closer to the center.

It was a very long car ride.

They actually check to make sure I have my coffee with me now, before that they just found it to be a curiousity.

There is a reason that this works.

I have, among other things, a mind with a prediliction for attention deficite disorder.  The drug that they love prescribing for ADD is Ritalin®.  Ritalin® is a stimulant.  Caffeine is a stimulant.  My 600mg morning caffeine intake is comparable to taking a bunch of Ritalin®. 

Caffeine is cheaper, and I am going to guess better for you.

I love my coffee.

I dispair because there is a lack of late night coffee shops in this town.  Crusty old people drink coffee in the morning so they can go to work and coffee shops have built up around this market.  I am not in that market.  I don’t drink coffee to wake me up, it doesn’t work that way.  I am plenty awake, I need to slow my brain down.  I need my thoughts to stop tripping over one another.  I need another coffee shop that is open late so I ca drink coffee and write, read, study, think, create….

Because I love my coffee, I really love my coffee.

I do not like putting things in my coffee.  No cream, no sugar, no Pumpkin Spice flavoring and steamed milk.  I hate that crap.  The Pumkin Spice Latte is a sign of what is wrong with America.  I hate coffee pollution.  If the coffee that people were drinking did not taste like garbage most of the time they would realize that they didn’t need all of those flavors to cover the best part.

The coffee flavor.

I like coffee flavored coffee.

The caffeine hits my brain like a tsunami, the neurons start dancing together rather than trying to jump in all different directions at once.  Eventually the thoughts start to clear, the words start to slow down and make sense.  The ideas become unified and I can see the world as it is.

Sometimes, for a brief moment, I can even talk to people.

I walked into a class once, Senior Seminar in Natural History.  I was a little tired as it was the beginning of the afternoon and I usually start to slow down around noon in the winter.  The professor asked me if I wanted to go get a coffee and I said that I had already had six shots of espresso, another cup would not make a difference.

He was stunned.  Six shots of espresso and I was falling asleep?

I fall asleep in the middle of drinkin my liter of coffee sometimes.

I do not drink coffee to wake myself up.  I drink it to calm myself down.

Make the neurons all dance together and act like they are friends for a while.

I think we should stop prescribing all of the ridiculous gateway drugs that we prescribe to the youth of today and just give them coffee. It is cheaper and it I better for them.

You can cross the border with a cup of coffee and they don’t bat an eye. Try doing that with a handful of Ritlin®.

Someday I want to end up someplace where I am largely alone with my thought.  Whether that be on a boat, or a cabin in the woods, or a tin house on the prarie.  The main consideration that I have is where will I get my coffee.

I discovered last year that it is actually difficult to bre coffee properly at high elevation. I related this to a story in The Voyage of the Beagle where they are attempting to cook potatoes in the Andes.  The same reason you cannot cook potatoes at high elevation is the reason that you cannot brew a good French Press of coffee at elevation. 

When you go up in elevation the air prssure decreases.  When the air presure decreases the boiling point of water decreases.

The extraction of all the good parts of the coffee requires water of a certain temperature, that temperture is more difficult to obtain when the boiling point of water is to close. 

I was taking a class in Park City, Utah.  We were a bit over 6,000 feet for the time.  The air was clear, the stars were bright, and the water boiled too easily to make a decent cup of coffee.

It works great at sea level.

I wish I could go out at night and drink a good cup of coffee.  Talk to friends.  Play a nice game of Go.

There is a lack of late night coffee shops in this town.  We have plenty of bars, no late night coffee shops.

If I could get a decent cup of coffee right now I would be writing this right now with a cup of coffee sitting next to the lap top.  The only coffee I can get, and they don’t lke you just sitting there drinking one cup of coffee and killing the wifi, is Starbucks.

I like coffee, I don’t like burnt coffee.

When you dark roast a coffee you roast the character out of it.  It also allows you to cover up that you are buying a lower grade of bean and trying to pass it off as something that it really isn’t.

You can go to far the other way as well, that white espresso crap has to go.  There is a sweet spot where you can get the really amazing flavors out of a coffee.  It depends on the bean.  The beans that you can get amazing coffee flavors out of are often quite expensive.

You can put flavoring on anything and it will still smell like a flavored coffee.  I can’t drink the stuff.

The flavoring covers up the coffee.  What good is that?

Coffee is good for you, if you are on the ADD/ADHD spectrum it does calm the mind in a way that helps you think.

It is better for you than taking a bunch of drugs.




Copyright Jeff Harrison – 2015 All Rights Reserved

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