I wear a lot of hats around here. Well, that's not true. I really only wear the DoubleShot trucker hat. And my cycling helmet. But I have a lot of varied duties at the DoubleShot. So many that I can't seem to get everything done and I work too much for my own good. The added stress and responsibilities of construction manager, draftsman, designer, and city permit office whipping boy have taken me to another level of tired. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've been tired in the past. So tired that I had to lay down on the floor to take a nap before I could finish the dishes after I closed. But recently I've found myself whittling away at parts of my life that cause me any extra stress. I just can't deal with it right now. And yesterday I was preparing to roast, trying to get everything in order, and my mind drifted to the days of knights and kings and ale and eating chicken legs with your bare hands. Of moats and very fancy clothes and damsels who may or may not be distressed. I imagined the king, upon his throne or in his private quarters, the responsibilities of his kingdom weighing on his shoulders. The final rule of government of his people and his land resting with the king. Oh, the responsibility he must have felt, especially if he were a benevolent dictator. And I thought of the nursery rhyme about Old King Cole. I sometimes call for my cigar. And a bowl of coffee. Not sure about the fiddlers. But a jester. I had the feeling that I needed to laugh. I needed someone to make me laugh. Laughter seems to cure the ills of stress. And I can imagine the usefulness of a jester.
Though that reminds me of the Tulsa Opera performance of Rigoletto, a tragic affair in which the Duke's jester is horribly wronged. That was a disturbing show that left me wondering about the minds and morals of people in the 1850s.
When I was a youngster I wanted to be an architect. I always loved the idea of creating and drawing and I have never been very good at drawing freehand, so the use of rulers was a plus. And imagining the buildings I could build. The castle I drew over and over again. The castle I wanted to build for myself to live in. I forgot about that. My young mind envisioned this huge stone structure with turrets and huge front doors and a drawbridge, of course, which lowered down over the moat. Green rolling hills and whirling dervishes come to entertain me on my throne. Whirling dervishes supposedly are the sect of Sufis that were the first to use coffee for its caffeination. The coffee helped maintain their energy and alertness during all-night whirling, dancing prayer ceremonies. Turning and turning.
I woke up from a dead sleep a few nights ago with the thought that coffee could be brewed using alternate forms of pressure. Right now, we are familiar with the espresso machine, which brews using an electric pump that maintains a fairly consistent 9 bars. The aeropress is a manual device in which you force water through the coffee using air pressure. Air pressure. What about blowing up a balloon and letting that air push the water through the coffee? Maybe I'll try slipping a balloon over the top of my aeropress. And drip coffee and pourover coffee, which solely uses the force of gravity to brew. The vacuum brewer, which we already discussed, is not a siphon after all, but it uses negative air pressure to suck water through coffee grounds. And I though about this whirling that the dervishes taught us, and it came to me out of a dream as a centrifuge. We could use centrifugal force to brew coffee. Why couldn't we put water and coffee into a centrifuge and let the spinning force the water through a filter. The g-forces would be easy to control and the amount of pressure used to brew the coffee could be changed at the turn of a dial. Or what about magnetic force. Two magnets drawn to each other, pulling water through ground coffee. There are any number of forces that haven't been dealt with in coffee brewing, and each could offer a new coffee beverage for us to taste.
We have so many new coffees you need to try. I'm so pleased with the new offerings. The Costa Rica Brumas de Zurqui is a honey process (pulp natural) micro-lot from the Central Valley, and it is sweet, slightly citric, has a really nice complexity. I want to drink a lot more of it before I tell you too much more. When I opened the plastic-lined bag of our new Natural Sidamo, I knew it was going to be great. The green smelled so good. We have a natural from Brazil - Rodomunho. Nice Brazilian nut and wood with a sweeter, less winey than usual, fruit jam. A Peru. A new Kenya. A coffee from Sulawesi.