Quest for Coffee 6: Coffee Bianco

I saw this cafe near the new location of my Krav Maga class, so of course I had to stop by.  I got the Bianco Roast with the usual.

This one was kind of hard for me to identify and describe.  Initially, it tasted like any other light roast coffee.  However, there was something else underneath it:  a sense of comfort.  It brings an image of a fireplace during a snowstorm.  It’s a step above the Keurig cups I usually have.

Next time I’ll venture back to Atlanta.  I now wonder what I’ll do once I run down the whole list of best coffee places; probably Google every little cafe in Georgia.

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Quest for Coffee 5: Condesa

Once more, I venture out into Atlanta for coffee, this time at Condesa.  I got the Chema drip with the usual and…

It was almost the same as the coffee I had at Hodgepodge, except slightly sweeter and fruitier.  The image that comes to mind is the same as well, except the coffee beans are dripping with juice.

At this point, I have to wonder if these coffee houses are buying the same coffee beans from the same place.  If so, then what makes a good coffee?  Is it the flavor of the beans?  The duration of the brew?  Can I really find a unique coffee like no other?

I’m kind of in a questioning crisis point right now, but I’m not stopping this quest.

Quest for Coffee 4 + News: HodgePodge

A friend of mine saw that I was on a quest for good coffee, so he invited me to HodgePodge.  We each had our own coffee while we chatted about life in general; he had a latte and I had drip with the usual.

It started off bitter to me, but the taste got better with each sip.  Bitterness turned to boldness; it almost had a wild quality to it.  The image that came to me was that of a jungle with coffee beans as large as papayas hanging off the trees.  One of these days I have got to start drawing out these images.

I believe I might be back on track with finding unique and meaningful coffee.

Oh, and I’ve got news!  So, my favorite Food Network chef, Alton Brown, has plans to open a coffee shop in Marietta.  No one knows when it’s going to open, but I feel like it’ll be the ultimate highlight of my Quest for Coffee.  Someday, someday.

Quest for Coffee 3 + Edit: Amelie’s

Sooner or later, I was going to go to a French cafe to have coffee, and that time was now.  Amelie’s has a good selection of coffee, but I went with the cafe filtre.  The flavor I got was a Costa Rican blend with the usual.

I put too much cream in the first cup, so the image that came to my head was a still pond of cream.  Thankfully, I was allowed one free refill.  I put less cream in the second cup and tasted it.

It might have been because the first two excursions were successful, but this coffee was disappointing.  It tasted just like coffee you would brew at home or buy at a gas station; nothing special or memorable.  No images came to my head.

The coffee I got was brewed instead of drip, so that might have been a factor.  The only thing I can say is that I hope my next trip goes better.

Edit:  I am now including espresso in my list of coffees.  After this trip, brewed is up for debate.

Krav Maga: Why I Take It

So, what is Krav Maga?  This link will help explain:

http://www.kravmagainstitute.com/self-defense/what-is-krav-maga/

Then comes the next question:  why am I taking it?

I’ve got several things that make me a target for attack:

  • I’m short
  • I’m physically female
  • I travel alone most of the time
  • I’m transgender

The last point is the biggest one.  No one wants to believe it, but we transfolk are hate crime targets.  Many get injured, but some end in death, and it seems like the statistics are only getting higher.  I don’t want to be a part of that statistic.  However, my safety is not the only reason for taking Krav Maga.

In January 2017, one of my best friends was attacked and robbed while she was walking home from the bus stop.  She was shaken and had a large taser burn on her arm.  My coworkers and I were shocked, but some of us were also enraged.  There are people who are close to me in my life, and I want to protect them, too.

I started looking up martial arts that could be applied in real world scenarios.  The result that popped up most was Krav Maga.  I found a place that taught it and I began my weekly classes.  I’m still a beginner, and I have yet to learn more advanced techniques like disarming weapons, but I am slowly improving with each class.  The price is high ($89 a month for one class a week; the cheapest I could get), but I’m doing this so I can learn how to defend both myself and those close to me.

Should someone try to hurt or kill me, I will not go down without a fight.  I will show them that, despite how I appear physically, I am not someone to be messed with.

Quest for Coffee 2: White Windmill

Months before I started on my Quest for Coffee, I was browsing interesting stores and came across White Windmill.  They advertised on their chalkboard sign a “Dutch” coffee that “any coffee lover would love” (paraphrasing).  It also said that it had been brewed for at least 12 hours.  It costs almost $6, but it was a limited time item.  I checked back today and saw that they still had it.  I decided that I would pay the $6, since it wouldn’t be around forever.

What I didn’t know right off the bat was that it was iced coffee.  However, it was still black, so I’m still counting it as drip.  Besides, the ice works for this summer time heat.  I added the usual and gave it a taste.

This…was probably the strongest coffee I’ve tried in my life.  The taste lingers in the mouth for several minutes.  This coffee was meant for the extremely tired that want to get an extra strong adrenaline boost for the day (or night).  Hours later, my heart is still feeling the effects of the caffeine.  Now I have to wonder:  is there a connection between the length of brewing time and the amount of caffeine in the coffee?

Because of the strength of the Dutch coffee, plus the fact that it was iced, the image that came to me was this:  a lone individual suffering from cardiac arrest on top of a frozen lake during a blizzard at night.  How can I convey that into a drawing?

I’m personally not one for iced coffee or coffee of that strength.  I think I’ll look into Atlanta’s caffeine beating heart for my next episode of…Quest for Coffee!  (In a dramatic echo.)

Quest for Coffee 1: Rev

My first stop on my Quest for Coffee was Rev Coffee Roasters.  I found it by Googling “best coffee in Atlanta”.  I will check the others on the list at a later date.

I got a cup of light roast drip coffee, plus cream and Splenda.  I sat down outside and I took my first sip.  The taste was bold, and I knew I had taken my first step into the world of meaningful coffee.

It was also strong, with an underlying flavor to it (and that was just the light roast!).  It was not the type of coffee you could just order from the drive-thru and chug it down mindlessly while driving to work.  No, this is more like the type of coffee you would get when you sit down to study or work on your laptop.   The boldness and strength forces you to take single gulps at a time.  Because you’re taking gulps, you actually get to savor the flavor of the coffee.

When I drank it, it brought images of a blue mountain to my mind.  Sometimes, drinking certain things conjures artistic images, or brings back certain memories.  For example, drinking a good green tea brings the image of bamboo groves in my head.  This coffee in particular made me think of blue mountains, for some reason.

It’s also giving me the strong compulsion to draw it.  Maybe I should do just that one of these days.  Either way, Rev’s drip coffee was a good start in my Quest for Coffee.

 

Quest for Coffee: Introduction

So, I’ve kind of fallen out of my Cooking Experiments.  The drive has dwindled, and anything I’ll post will only be the successful ones.  I feel like I need something else to pursue.

It started when I was drinking my coffee on one morning.  I thought:  “There are loads of coffee places out there, big and small, corporate and independent.  Out of all the types of coffee out there, which is the best?  Which coffee is actually meaningful?  Which one is ‘more than just coffee’?”

So, as of two days ago, I began my own “Quest for Coffee”.

My area of search is limited to the state of Georgia for right now.  I’ll search for the best coffee houses and try their drip coffee.  I say drip coffee because I don’t want any sugar/syrup blends to interfere with the raw taste of coffee.  Granted, I can’t drink coffee black; I’ll add cream/milk and Splenda (or any other sweetener that’s not sugar; then again, I don’t always come across Stevia or Truvia) to mine.

I’m no expert on coffee, mind you, but I do want to find a memorable cup of coffee.  I’ll visit where I can, take notes, and post my thoughts here.

Cooking Experiments: Imitation Crepe

During the time I was experimenting with Tofu French Toast, I cooked the leftover dipping egg.  Because there was so little of it left, and because I was using a large pan, it spread out and cooked thin.  This gave me the idea for Imitation Crepes.  It only has three ingredients:  egg whites, plain Greek yogurt, and a fruit of your choice.  That’s it!

The first time around, I added too much yogurt and bananas, so it came out pretty stuffed.  However, I adjusted the amounts later and I call this a huge success.  As such, I can now freely share this recipe.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • small amount of berries or bananas
  1. Heat up a large pan and coat with coconut oil
  2. Pour egg whites into the pan and tilt it so that it spreads thin
  3. Cook egg white sheet.  Careful, it can tear easy at this point
  4. Place on plate and spread yogurt and fruit in the middle
  5. Fold egg whites; drizzle with maple syrup if so desired

Needless to say, it’s delicious and a good alternative if you don’t have flour or if you’re living gluten free like me.

Cooking Experiments: Reses Tofu Pie

So, Halloween 2016 was a bust for me.  I buy all these bags of candy, and I get less than 10 trick-or-treaters.  I’m left with three bags of Reses and Kit-Kats.  I decided to get inventive with the Reses and incorporate them into my next experiment.

I was originally going to follow this recipe

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/04/11/secretly-healthy-cappuccino-cloud-cheesecake/

but then I decided to do something different altogether.  I mean, a Reses Tofu Pie sounded delicious and somewhat healthier than normal pie, right?

I had no crust, of course, and instead of coffee, I added in chopped up Reses peanut butter cups (they were the orange Halloween versions, hence the orange color in the final product).  I didn’t have a food processor at the time, so I used a potato masher for the tofu.

The end result did not turn out so well.  It was delicious, but it looked like cat vomit.  It was watery and the slices didn’t hold their shape.  Admittedly, this was the one time I didn’t press the tofu beforehand, so that’s probably something.  This experiment wound up in the trash.

It was also around that time that I found out that tofu isn’t paleo at all.  As such, my tofu experimentation came to an end.  It was time to move on to other things.