miscellaneous miscellany

Lumping together a few random coffee things I’ve come across recently, whilst waiting for the polar vortex to wipe out North America……

I was passing through Georgetown the other day and stopped at one of the places I enjoyed a little while ago when putting together my field report (it was a Sunday morning, so only took 15 minutes to find street parking). The shop was a little crowded, not getting slammed or anything, and I waited on the side of the counter. This meant I got to watch the barista at work, which I very much regretted when she was steaming the milk. While I was there she made 3 or 4 drinks, and each time she used the steam wand the milk slopped out of the pitcher as she steamed it, then after each pitcherful she wiped down the wand but didn’t purge it with a blast of steam. I’m neither a germaphobe nor a neat freak, but the thought of strands heated milk making themselves comfy inside the steam wand gave me the willies.

This sounds like a really cool business, a company that sets up a coffee bar for events, receptions, meetings, etc. Located in North Carolina’s Triangle, Apt. N Coffee is two young gentlemen with a love for coffee, some high-end gear, and a lot of hustle. They’re working with Counter Culture, so the coffee should be good. Hope they’re successful. If you know someone getting married in North Carolina, force them to use these guys and let me know how it goes.

Today’s abject failure:


I was interested recently by an article on Sprudge about a study being undertaken by Oxford University researchers and a Brazilian organization looking to bring “scientific rigor to the world of specialty coffee.” They were looking for coffee professionals (nope, not one of those) and consumers who have been drinking specialty coffee for at least a year (ding! ding! ding!). In fact, my excitement at reading the article put my BS detector into sleep mode, because I didn’t pick up on this as much as I should have:

 In the study (that takes roughly 10-15 minutes to complete), participants will be presented different cup shapes and cup colors and will assess certain attributes—bitterness, sweetness, acidity, etc—according to their expectations.

And that’s exactly what the survey is. Just picture after picture of empty coffee cups, either round or square, in different colors, and you use a slider for each one to select whether you expect the coffee in that cup will be strong or weak, bitter, acidic, sweet, etc. After a couple pages of this one starts to think they’ve been hornswoggled, after a couple more one starts to question the usefulness of academe in general, and after a couple more one starts to feel like this

And finally, not coffee related, but I got myself a new toy.

3 thoughts on “miscellaneous miscellany”

  1. What kind of bike is it? Fat tires for…? Does it fold for storage? Me likes…😉. Stay warm MM. xojo

    1. Specialized Roll. It’s a hybrid, fatter tires (but not the huge ones) are what it comes with. Doesn’t fold. Smooth on shifting and braking. Good seat, upright riding position. Only been out once but so far I like it.

  2. Ooh, I wish we had Apt. N coffee. I would hire them for every event. Especially, the upcoming WMG brunch. But, maybe not for an evening thing. Which reminds me; Henry says that, in Vietnam, people drink coffee late into the night and have no trouble falling asleep. I wish I could do that. Maybe you could investigate that for one of your next articles.

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