October 13th, 2005

leaf

Quality

When I make coffee at work I put a rounded 2 tablespoons of coffee beans into my grinder. I gather up the grinder, the filter in its cone holder, my glass measuring cup, and my mug for the results.

I go to the break area, as I don't want to bother the folks around me with the grinder. I then get an exact eight ounces of water out of the coffee maker into my glass measuring cup. I put the cup into the microwave and hit "1" for a one minute heat. The water in the coffee maker isn't nearly hot enough for making good coffee because it usually takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute for the water in the cup to actually boil.

While the water heats I grind the coffee (which I roasted within a week of this venture), and put the grinds into the paper filter. I set the cone on the mug. By this time the water is usually boiling (203° F) in the measuring cup. Since glass is an excellent heat insulator the water usually continues bubbling as I make my way to the filter. It is not superheated or it wouldn't be bubbling. No scalds for me.

I then gradually pour the water through the grounds, often pouring in different spots to push the grinds into the infusion and roughly keep it brewing for about 3-4 minutes. I don't pour all that much at a time.

Amusingly enough, I can taste the difference if I leave any of these steps out (water hot enough, grind right as I'm about to brew, brew for long enough).

When I was done this morning, a guy said, "For all that work, you should have brewed a whole pot." He thought a bit, "Hm. Unless that's the only cup you drink a day. Then it's worth doing to have one great cup of coffee."

Bingo, he got it. It is my only cup of coffee each day, usually. And it's perfect and completely enjoyable to the very bottom of the cup. For me the quality of it was far more important than the quantity or price in my time or my money, and my process showed that. I cannot drink the free coffee off the hot plate of the coffeemaker that doesn't make its water hot enough to actually brew even good coffee.

I realized, recently, that placing my value of quality over my valuation of my time or money or quantity is not something everyone understands. Maybe this will be a good example of how I am the way I am.
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Twenty Things on My Mind


  1. What? Only twenty? Wimps.
  2. Time had an article about a 60-year-old doctor's take on how to age gracefully and one of the things he mentioned was a Buddhist method of psychotherapy based on what he called the Buddhist premise that all misery stems from the mistaken separation of experiences into "good" and "bad" and trying ones damnedest to avoid the latter. I have many mixed feelings about this and thoughts that float in and out of my head on this, including "isn't that Taoist?" "what does that make my pursuit of coffee perfection?" "does bad coffee actually make me miserable? (not really, add milk and sugar to dead burnt badly brewed anything and it tastes okay)" "that's one of my root axioms" "it's what makes some people call me amoral or 'afraid to judge'" "damnit, I'm a P, I shouldn't have to judge" etc.... ahem
  3. Work is challenging and useful to many people. It is stressful and demands my full capability and I become sharper, harder, faster, and more abrupt because of it. Like a blade being honed I'd think it a mildly painful process for the blade but it becomes more of what it was intended to be.
  4. John is the rock to my blade. Hm... does that make Jet paper?
  5. My completely FULL ToDo list for today in my Franklin-Covey planner.
  6. Need to refill planner, the Collage setup looks cool in that I can reconfigure it the way I need to, yes, I rely on paper when my hands hurt too much.
  7. MUST make spreadsheet and questions today. I hate holding up other people on things that they need to do.
  8. Uncle Charlie makes very, very sloppy, delicious, sticky pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. There is a spot of sauce on my Hawaiian shirt to prove it, and a spot on my keyboard. Yeesh. Rub rub rub
  9. Keepsake Memories is not my kind of scrapbooking shop. It specializes in all the consumables and does very little for those of us looking for durable, flexible, configurable solutions for every situation.
  10. But... mmm... precision tip scissors.
  11. Kodak AND Yahoo! now have fifteen cent 4x6 prints for digital pictures! I can now do that darned kaleidescope with precision.
  12. A single page gives me an immense amount of satisfaction. To the point where I can now sleep at night when I finish a single page.
  13. Tea is good. Smoky Imperial Breakfast is very, very soothing and sharpening as well.
  14. Bonnie is out getting her third child, a girl adopted from China and it's a big thing for her. I'll admit that what's most on my mind, though, is "dang, no massages for a while and extra work is tying everything up in my hands." Right hand is getting tight enough I know it's going to go numb if I keep pushing.
  15. Luckily, today is my Friday. Yes, having a flexible work schedule is a blessing. I am thankful.
  16. Midnighters is very much a reflection of a side of high school life I saw late.
  17. It's good to be able to read Changeling Sea in an hour.
  18. I LOVE Robert Rodriguez's Rebel without a Crew as much for his message about how to do something you love without fear. It is absolutely amazing how much detail he puts in his diary on shooting El Mariachi.
  19. Overnight trip out in the mountains this coming weekend. The leaves will be turning, the snow is in the air already, and it'll be fun to have a break time outside the house with my family and John's parents. I'll get a chance to really read Rodriguez's book while Jet has four adults to keep an eye out for him.
  20. Eek! Snow! Must gather all the green tomato clusters up and into the garage to ripen... mmm... digging in the dirt...


It's a meme that's meandering about. No tagging from me, the idea is to just list twenty things on your mind.
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