Tag Archives: coffee

Lazy Saturday

It’s a lazy Saturday, and I feel like dropping a few words on this site 🙂

I’ve just been working from home – from my couch – for an hour, and now I’m listening to Dave Brubeck and John Mayer. Rather than the typical, hasty cup of instant coffe, I used my AeroPress to make an awesome, espresso-like cup using freshly grinded beans. My goal was to put summer tyres on my car today, but it will probably be postponed till tomorrow, or even Monday. I have the day off on Monday, so I have enough time for stuff like that. I need the car to be working in a few hours, so I don’t want to risk anything by rushing through the procedure.

Yesterday I biked to Madum Sø (Lake Madum) and ran around it:

20140411-running-at-lake-madum

Without anything specific in mind, I had been looking forward to a run the entire day at work, but on my way home I fleshed out something concrete – it should be at Madum Sø, and I would bike the 2 x 7.3 km between my house and the lake. Leading up to it I was a bit tired, but a fun, spontaneous event like that reveals that you have more energy than you imagine. The bike got some air and oil, as it was its first time on the road after winter, and I brought some fruit and water in my backpack.

Together with a wise neighbour I have changed the hydrophore and some piping in our shared, private water supply. A hydrophore is a pressurized water buffer that prevents the pump from starting every time a tap is opened. Without one, you would have to wait for the pump to start, and the pump wouldn’t last long. That work was actually done last week. It went well, even though I had an involuntary cold bath in the process. I was below the old hydrophore when 10-20 liters of water, together with some rust, ran out of it.

I have bought a new pair of shoes for everyday use:

201404-new-shoes-gobi-ii

It’s a pair of Gobi II from VIVOBAREFOOT, and I’m pretty satisfied with them so far. Of course leather shoes require a bit more maintenance, but that’s ok. I must admit that I’m a sucker for barefoot shoes these days. I have other types of shoes, but they have specific purposes, and, after almost a year and a half in a pair of Neo for everyday use, my feet only feel at home in barefoot shoes. I still run exclusively in Evo II.

With competent assistance from a very special tooth fairy, i.e. the wonderful girl that I’m seeing, I have been out shopping for some new clothes. Among many items, I got a nice summer jacket and some relatively tight pants, where especially the latter show off my figure a bit more than my usual, baggy, unsexy pants. I have probably lost a bit of weight, since most of my old pants have become too large. I definitely needed some new clothes, and I probably need more in a not too distant future.

That’s all for now 🙂

A quick peek behind the curtain

I realize that I’m not writing a lot of interesting stuff on my blog for the time being. Filling it with easy posts solely about e.g. metal music and running wouldn’t paint a real picture of my life at the moment, so I’m not going to resolve to that.

So what have I been up to lately? Well… I’m seeing a lovely girl, I’ve been to the dentist for the first time in several years (everything ok), I’m quite busy at work, I’ve been cut into by a doctor (nothing really serious but there’s a healing process), I’ve painted inside my house and replaced a few pieces of furniture, I’ve bought and assembled furniture for my terrace, I’ve cut down a tree in my garden and turned it into firewood, I’ve become a board member of the civic association in my country town, I’m planning maintenance work on my private water supply together with a neighbour, I’m in the process of getting my car approved for two more years at the biennial, statutory inspection, I’m trying to get better at unwinding and relaxing, I’m learning to appreciate good tea (but also rediscovering the joy of good coffee), I’m expanding my cultural horizon with new genres for music, movies and series, I’m thinking about how to celebrate my 30th birthday later this year, I’m starting to do gardening, and undoubtedly more.

That’s it for now.

Here’s a small bonus for my fellow metal heads:

Daylight saving time

Here’s a glimpse of my Saturday morning:

20130330-morning

Freshly pressed Aeropress coffee made from freshly ground beans, a car magazine, a hunting magazine and a Puppet book.

The coming night, Denmark, together with many other countries, will switch to daylight saving time. This means we will advance our clocks one hour and therefore go from UTC+1 to UTC+2, or, alternatively, from CET to CEST. Less sun in the morning, more sun in the evening. Let’s say you get up at 6 AM on Monday. If the clock hadn’t been advanced, it would only show 5 AM. I’m just thinking out loud here… 🙂

I’m on call for my workplace when the clocks are advanced. That actually worried me a bit, but then I realized that I had mixed up two events – the insertion of a leap second on Saturday, June 30, 2012, and the switch to standard time on Sunday, October 28, 2012. It was the former that caused massive problems. As far as I know we (system administrators) rarely see problems related to the rather regular switches between standard time and summer time. Phew.

February so far

Luckily, the paycheck in the end of January included a quarterly bonus, as February is and will continue to be an expensive month. It is certainly also a stressful and unhealthy month. Too much partying and drinking and too many things going on at work.

Usually months go by without me and Aalborg’s well-known Jomfru Ane Gade meeting, but during the previous two weekends we have met three times. Each time most of the night has been spent binge drinking at Heidi’s Beer Bar. The first weekend I lost my work phone at Heidi’s on Friday night, but fortunately I got it back the next night. The second weekend, on the third tour in the city, a friend and me decided to run home (6 km), because we got tired of waiting on a taxi. That was after an evening and night of drinking, after a double whopper burger, in fancy shoes, in a winter jacket and through snowy streets and alleys. It was great 🙂

With regard to work, it’s not that I have had extraordinarily many hours, it’s just that I have been working on many things simultaneously. Also, my physical training is at an all-time low, and it is clear that this affects my mood. I must get into a regular schedule, even though my feet say no to long runs and my crappy, half-broken bike makes it difficult to get to the fitness center.

On Tuesday I participated in coffee tasting with my work colleagues at the cozy cafe Behag din smag. I’m sort of a coffee nerd, so I knew a lot of what we were told, but I got to tasty some very nice cups of coffee. I can definitely recommend the place. They know what great coffee is.

This weekend I’m just relaxing at home. My parents (and perhaps my brother?) will come by for lunch tomorrow (Saturday).

Coffee roasting, for once

I was about to run out of bought, roasted beans, so I decided to roast some green beans myself. It’s not a new thing for me, as I’ve done it three or four times before and have approx three kilograms of green beans in stock, but it certainly has been a while since the last time.

150 grams of beans, 230 ºC, approx 13 minutes. Cool them down outside for half an hour. Blow the shells away with a can of compressed air. Let them degas for approx 24 hours.

      

That’s good coffee

I have had my Bodum Bistro grinder and Aeropress for a few weeks now, and the cups of coffee produced by them still amaze me. Compared to my earlier brewing, it is probably these two facts that make the biggest difference:

  • I store the coffee as whole, roasted beans and grind them just before brewing.
  • I use more coffee per cup – it’s a bit more expensive but definitely worth it.

So how does this weird Aeropress thing work? 🙂

My recipe for a good cup of coffee:

1. Put 500-600 mL of water into an electric kettle and turn it on.
2. Put two scoops of whole-bean, roasted coffee into your grinder and grind them on (almost) the espresso setting.

3. Insert the piston in the tube, turn it upside down and use the funnel to pour the coffee into the Aeropress.

4. When the water boils, pour 100-200 mL of it into a cup in order to pre-heat it.
5. Wait for one minute such that the temperature of the water in the kettle drops slightly.
6. While waiting, put a filter into the cap and wet it such that it sticks.
7. Fill the Aeropress 80-90 % with water and stir 20 times (for approx ten seconds). Top it off with more water.
8. Put on the cap and wait for 1-2 minutes. You can use the time to rinse the funnel and the grinder’s container.
9. Pour out the pre-heating water such you have an empty, warm cup.
10. Turn the Aeropress around and place it on the cup.

11. Slowly push the piston down – make it take 30-40 seconds.

That’s good coffee 🙂

See also

Coffee from scratch

I present to you my next step up the coffee gear ladder:

After a few weeks of research I’ve purchased an Aerobie AeroPress coffee brewer and a Bodum Bistro coffee grinder. Regarding the grinder, I must admit that I picked the somewhat repulsive color due to a significant saving – approx 35% off. The color looks faded and sad on the packaging, but I find the grinder’s actual color refreshing. Needless to say, I’m more interested in its grinding capabilities. The AeroPress was recommended to me by two colleagues at work, and after tasting a brew from one of their presses my doubts vanished. Assessing the quality of coffee is all about your frame of reference, so it is impossible for me to guarantee that an AeroPress will impress you too. I can only give the simple statement that the coffee I brew using my AeroPress definitely tastes better than what I used to brew using my French press. The Bodum Bistro grinder was recommended to me by a friend, and I also read a number of reviews online. As my first grinder, it’s probably a good choice. Reviewers seem to agree on the label “good value for the price”. It’s a burr grinder, not a simple blender type grinder, so I should be off to a flying start.

Using green (raw) coffee beans, my oven, my grinder and my AeroPress, I’m now able to make a fantastic cup of coffee “from scratch” 😀

Last night I roasted 150 grams of the sort “Costa Rica, Strictly High Grown, Blue Mountain”:

They were roasted for 13 minutes at 230 °C, which was undoubtedly 1-2 minutes too long. They degassed during the night and were ready for use today – some roasting guides mention a degassing time of 24-48 hours, but with all my new gear I was of course impatient. My first cup of the day was actually brewed at work, as I brought the AeroPress and the beans along with me, but here is a couple of brewing pictures from my home:

The AeroPress reminds me of the quote “Honestly! It’s not mine!” from Austin Powers 😉 Do not miss the introductory part

The place Sigfreds Kaffebar in Århus demonstrates the AeroPress elegantly in this video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp_bN8T7jUk]

Fragrant apartment

My apartment smells really nice this evening, as I roasted coffee beans yesterday and baked my second no-knead bread just a couple of hours ago. Yes, I know – I roast in my oven, and the roasting process itself doesn’t smell nice. It mostly smells burned. The roasted beans, however, deliver a nice coffee smell, while they rest uncovered in the kitchen overnight. I roasted 150 grams of the sort “Columbia, Supremo, Papayan” at 230 °C for 13 minutes. A trick to blow away (most of) the shells is to place the beans in a deep baking pan, go outside and blow with a can of compressed air.

Rather than using the bread recipe in the previously mentioned Politiken article, I went with this recipe at the Danish food site kvalimad.dk. I substituted a quarter of the wheat flour with oatmeal. The dough was much wetter than the dough for my first no-knead bread. In addition, it kept its humidity, as I covered it properly with plastic wrapping this time. I used a dishcloth for the first bread, which was a mistake.

I have added a ovenproof casserole to my wishlist, but for now I use a loaf pan and another pan to cover it.

The bread is cooling down and I cannot wait…

Lovely crisp on the outside and with a fluffy inside: