Category Archives: coffee

I spoon you into my coffee cup

I’ve been joking for months that I’ve become the unofficial publicist for my favorite coffee shops. I take all my visitors to at least one of them, and I drive well out of my way to buy beans from my favorite roaster. I’ll walk a mile from my office, round-trip, for a cup of coffee on a cold day. And I spend way too much time talking to and about my favorite baristas. (Let’s be honest: They’re an incredibly important part of the coffee experience!)

For years friends have called me the coffee queen, but these days I’m doing my part to earn the title. Just today, one of my favorites gave me a list (at my request!) of the equipment that would help me create the very best cup of coffee I can at home. Everything that I don’t already own is now on my amazon wish list, and I’ll likely purchase it bit by bit over the coming years.

But the truth? It may not be worth the money, because I sure do love hanging out in coffee shops.

Le Creuset Zen Tea Kettle, red

Every morning I heat water in my Le Creuset Zen Tea Kettle . I really should filter my water, or so the experts say. But when you’ve got Birmingham’s fantastic water on tap, it’s hard to convince me.


Baratza Maestro Plus burr grinder

Right now I’m using a cheap Black and Decker burr grinder. It’s a step up from blade, but I have my eye on this beauty from Baratza

Bodum Chambord 12 cup press

My current French press is a two cupper, but I’d like to upgrade to the Bodum Chambord 12 cup press.

Ohaus CL-201 scale

Now we’re really getting anal. I worry a lot about the amount of coffee I’m putting into the press, and with the Ohaus CL-201 scale I would be worry-free. (Although yes, my coffee-making process would be that much longer.)

These days, all my coffee comes from Primavera. Like I said, it’s an obsession … and it’s worth every penny, every drive to a specialty shop or–better still–to Primavera itself. Hey, if coffee’s my biggest vice then I’m not doing so bad …


Filed under coffee

I am 32 flavors and then some


Salsa dancing?

You went to a rural festival, a coffee shop, canoeing, to a bike shop (to check on a basket), then salsa dancing?

Were you in a movie?  Were people following you with cameras?


You mean life isn’t this fascinating and quirky journey for most people?


No, probably not, and even if it is, I doubt it follows your particular regimen of carefully-assembled urban-bohemian-white person-hipster-approved activities. I mean, you completed an almost perfect circuit of all of the hipster-approved activities in one day!  If only you’d made it to a thrift store!

Before this email exchange with a friend, I didn’t think anything was unusual about my weekend. (In fact, I really still don’t.) But in a nutshell:

Thursday—Dinner at home, followed by a beer, with friends, at my favorite spot.

Friday—Plant sale at lunch (purchased thyme for my herb garden, and a fern from my grandmother, who was working that particular booth). Dinner at home, followed by a benefit event at a fancy pants department store.

Saturday—Coffee and books in bed. Skip shower—why bother when you’re going canoeing? Pick up canoe cohort and drive to rural festival. Hobnob with the folks I know (yep, I have contacts all over this town…), eat a little festival food, then hop in the boat for a quick one-mile canoe trip. (Turn the boat around and paddle upstream for a while, just to slow the journey.) Begin planning a 10.6 mile kayaking trip, as well as a May canoeing trip. Drive back into town for coffee. Run across the street to the bike shop. Entertain employees by simply being (a gift of mine?). Run back to friend’s apartment to pick up bike basket; return to shop and entertain while she exchanges and shops. Report to another friend’s apartment to meet the girls for dinner. Rummage through friend’s closet for clothes (I’m still in canoeing garb and pigtails!). Casual dinner, followed by salsa dancing. Return home 12 hours after I left, and after a much fuller day than anticipated.

Sunday—Coffee and books in bed. Get cute to make up for Saturday’s smelliness (and because it’s fun to wear skirts for no apparent reason). Brunch with church women. Hang out with my favorite 2-year-old, who was in an extra snuggly mood (perhaps because of the current insanity in his life?). Enjoyed the extra snuggles, even with his best Simba impression (that is, licking my arm from wrist to shoulder). Coffee, gossip and books. Dreams of gardening at church. Church. Casual dinner (outdoor seating!) with friends and a random guest. Return home 12 hours after I left, again after a day brimming with more activity than I had planned.

Back to the email exchange…


So… I think I am a beer snob, an 80-year-old woman, a foodie, a diva, a hipster, a yuppie, a coffee snob, a dirty hippie, a church lady, a momma, a domestic goddess and a flirt. Sound about right?


Description: That’s you, in a nutshell.  And what a complicated little nutshell you are.


Filed under Autobiography, coffee

Saw a hundred thousand weary lost

Nothing eases the post-holiday return to work like a half-pound of coffee from your favorite roaster waiting on your desk.

A present? For me?

Ohhhhhh yes.

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What I did for love

Insanity = walking 1.2 miles in four inch stilleto boots for a cup of coffee.

And loving every step of it.

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