August 9th, 2005


Decaf Donkey Blend

Bought: 3 months ago, green, from Sweet Maria's. Yeah, they have funny names for their green blends.

Roasted: 20 seconds into second crack, which left it pretty dark, Vienna roast rather than Full City. Aromantic as anything.

Brewed: MC40 with usual prep, ground with the Solis Maestro at the espresso icon.

Decaf green coffee beans are strange critters. They've been processed to get the caffeine out, so they're shriveled up and dark already, so they roast much more quickly than normal beans. Odd little guys.

It roasted up smelling good, and when I brewed it, it has proved impressive for a decaf. Tasty, caramel, earth, and chocolate like bittersweetness, no real high notes, but a good base taste. A little less body than I'd like. Pretty good crema for two days, less after that, so I have to be careful to roast it only when I need it. But to my tastes it still tastes pretty good even after that. It's easy to get to be good, but hard to make great, but I'll take good when I need an evening cup of comfort.

8 of 10 for a decaf. ;-)

Golden Monkey

okay, okay. My day for Odd Names...

Bought: Imperial Tea Court, about six months ago.

Brewed: Yixing clay, my black tea pot which was pre-washed in boiling water. 2 tsp to 4 oz boiling (203 degrees Farenheit) water for 5 slow tai chi breaths (about a minute), 6 breaths for the 2nd steep. Third steep was very weak compared to the other two, so I just threw it out.

First steep: Clean tea aromatics with hints of wildflower honey/fruit. Crisp flavor with just the beginnings of the sweet maltiness and some tannins and toast. Beautifully light finish.

Second steep: Less fragrant, more complex and the flavor dives deep to full malted grains on the tea tannin depths. Honey gold complexity on a very familiar TEA basis. The color is gold-brown, a little red tinge. With all the flavors in the mouth, the finish was surprisingly clean and much like the initial flavors, no souring after affect from the sweetness. Very nice. With a meeting getting in the way of the last of this, even the cold dregs were a nice refresher before going home.

Golden Monkey is one of my favorites, and when I'm tired of things that are too perfumey (oolongs), too tricky (greens), or too weird (flavored or herbals or pu-erh) I turn back to this one.

9 of 10

And, yes, my co-worker's eyes get big at the sheer number of tins (14 at today's count with 1 coffee jar) and brewing implements (4 tea filters/pots/things and 1 paper coffee filter) I have at work. I'm rather into variety more than anything else, as I'll keep old teas around for a while as I just want the change more than having it be perfect.

Ride Sharing

John rode my bike to work this morning, and I dropped Jet off at pre-school with the car. So when John went to get Jet I got to ride my bike home. Now that is kind of fun.

I'm home alone again, and with advice from palinade and silkiemom I went to a scrapbooking store and found two kinds of photo-safe stickum, a glue stick and a dispenser of little, clear, two-sided tape pieces that are square. Keen!

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