Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li
liralen

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Cupping at Coffee Jones

We had two specific appointments today and a garage sale to do. I had a massage appointment at 10 a.m. and we had a cupping at Coffee Jones at 1pm, so it was imperative that Jet go down for his nap before 11:30. Then, during the garage sale, someone said that she was going to buy the crib that Jet never slept in and that she couldn't get back until noonish, plus the OUR center was only open for donations until noon. So we had a lot of time-specific things happening all at once.

John and Jet got up early. made coffee and sold stuff while I slept in for a while. The coffee cake from yesterday was all wrapped up and ready to eat, so John took it out to sell it along with everything else and also for eating for breakfast. Jet asked for popcorn, so he got popcorn for breakfast along with a bowlful of cantaloupe. He ate it all happily. They sold stuff.

The couch went. The dog holder went. The futon had gone yesterday. I went to my massage with most of the table emptied. That was cool. The massage lady, this time, was the lady from the Farmer's Market. She lives in our neighborhood, so I biked over to her house, and she showed me to her beautiful setup. She got to work, and I was made much happier with the stuff she did. She didn't work as deep or as hard as CeLena, which was more comfortable for me; but she didn't work on my hands and arms nearly hard enough to relieve all the problems I has having there, either. But she did do a lot of work on my shoulders, back, and chest muscles, which may well lay the basis for other releases later. It was pretty hard work.

When I got home, Jet was asleep. John ran off to the OUR Center. I called my Mom. The lady came for the crib and paid cash. Wow. That was nice. John came home, we loaded up with lunch, snacks, and drinks for Jet, and loaded everything, including the still sleeping Jet into the Eurovan. He woke up as we got there, and wanted Up. So he got up, his chocolate milk, some crackers and cheese and cookies while we entered the concrete confines of Coffee Jones' production area.

They had thirteen coffees lines up for smelling and tasting. Some were single area varietals, some were blends, and a few were non-arabica beans. The roasts ran the gamut from light, city roasts, to Scandinavian dark roasts. It was pretty interesting seeing the sheer scale of differences between the beans Carl was highlighting. I was pretty impressed. It took a while for the "cupping" to get started, and Carl introduced the whole concept and then let us at them.

The sales lady, who had grown children asked Jet if he would come with her. Since she asked him directly, Jet smiled and said, "Sure!" and went to her gladly. He hugged her close, sat comfortably on her hip, and then started telling her stories about bad guys and good guys, monsters and crocodiles, veggies and camels, and she listened raptly. Wow.

I got to break the crust on various coffees and stick my nose in and really, truly smell them. Smoke and apples, caramel, red wine and roses, licorice and brown sugar, oak or pine, and quintessential coffee... oddly the Brazilian varietals made it impossible to think of it as being anything other than "COFFEE", beautifully roasted, not too much, not too little. The others all had hints of "Other Things", but the Brazilian was just there. I may have to buy it just to satisfy that need. It was cool to smell all that. Then the tasting. A good ounce of coffee per eight ounces of water, ground, the water poured on hot, the crust broken, a spoon used to try and settle the grounds, and a lot more time, and all the tasting cups had been sitting there for at least half an hour before we got to them. So they were all room temperature, which is great for really tasting flavors; but there were a few reactions of "Oh, how gross... cold coffee..."

It did prove to me, though, that bitterness in coffee has absolutely nothing to do with how long the water has sat on the grounds. At least half an hour, if not an hour, these things had been sitting on the grounds, but no bitterness in any of them. I'm now convinced that bitterness has everything to do with brewing too little coffee in too much water.

Carl reminded me of Singer and of Victor in many ways. Obsessed with this item of his passion and unabashed about it. On a crusade to make this daily cup of brew something that could save at least part of the world. Most of his coffees are organic, some are certified Fair Trade (organic AND the growers get a good price on the beans), and he really appreciates the uniqueness of each and every one of them. I'll admit, I'm not a coffee person the way he is a coffee person. I'm far more of a tea person, but the enthusiasm is infectious. John drinks coffee and really knows what he likes and what he doesn't like. It's obvious to him what makes a great cup of coffee, so he was on even footing with these folks. And it was cool to hear them go at it. Given that we have our own roaster, it seems inevitable in some ways.

They gave us a couple of pounds to take home for ourselves.

We went to McGuckins, since we were in Boulder for the cupping, and bought a tumbling composter as I really wanted a composter. I'm just tired of throwing all that good, organic stuff away when we could be composting it for my garden or the yard. The young man there was great about explaining things and how it all worked. He seemed like a nice young man who had grown up in Boulder admiring the men in green at McGuckin's and wanting to be That Knowledgeable and finally attaining his dream.

When we got home, I made spaghetti with tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. It was good with toast, which Jet gobbled with jam and with garlic "butter" which is actually some healthy fats spread (no trans fats, no saturated fats) that actually tastes pretty good. Jet kept asking to play with the other kids; but no one was home. We went to look anyway, and when he was convinced we came home and played trains.
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