A Perfect Cup

2 Jan

I should know my way around coffee; I’ve been around it enough. There were lucky days when my Mom drove us to school and we stopped by Coffee People (the famous Portland, OR chain) and grabbed Kahlua lattes and raspberry scones. My last summer before college I spent working at a tiny shop that had over 50 flavors of coffee. Now, I think that’s disgusting but back then it was the place to grab coffee: strawberry coffee, hazelnut coffee, whatever crap flavor we could order. The owner was sweet, always making sure my tip jar was topped-off on slow days. I still have the letter of recommendation he wrote tucked away somewhere.

In college, I really learned how to be a barista while working at a hidden cafe that I still think has some of the best food in Seattle. The coffee was pretty amazing too- we melted chocolate on the top of the espresso machine for mochas. The owner was, in addition to a pool shark (complete with silver-encrusted cue), trained by a Washington State espresso champ. His wife was a bitch to work for but made amazing Korean food and the husband wife duo became like parents to the girls (including me) who worked there.

After I moved back to Portland I still worked with coffee while waiting for life to lead me in some sort of direction. It took awhile for me to figure out that I had to lead life. I worked at another tiny cafe for one of the craziest people I’ve ever met. Fucking nuts–but that is another story–we had great coffee.

So I feel like I have the experience to talk about my favorite cup of coffee even though I pretty much started drinking coffee this year- before I would turn my nose up unless it was a latte, dry cap, or americano. Now I am too poor for everyday fancy drinks. Now I need that morning cupajoe. So here is what I do:

1. I drink 1 cup. That’s it. Anymore I go bonkers so this might not work for you if you drink more than one. Buy good coffee.

2. Grind enough for about 2-3 tablespoons. Make sure it is pretty fine- coarse coffee doesn’t work here. Grind as needed- do not pregrind coffee the day before.

3. Us an unbleached filter, ceramic 0ne-cup filter holder thingy (plastic=cancer). These are usually available for less than $5 and you can get a reusable coffee sock instead of filters. I found one at New Seasons in Portland but they should be at all trendy grocery stores. I used it for a week then switched back to filters because I don’t like handling used grounds.

4. Put one-cup coffee thing on cup and pour in just under boiling water. I boil it then wait just a second. Pour a tinsy bit down one side to get some grounds stopped up in the bottom. The start pouring around the outside. Only pour a little at a time. I try to keep the grounds as compact as possible or else you might end up with watery coffee.

5. This coffee is pretty strong.Drink cautiously.

I have also used stove espresso pressure things with success and coffee pots but W and I fight over the coffee pot so this is easier. I like stove espresso things but they are a bitch to clean everyday. There is almost no cleaning with the above coffee route. I hate HATE french presses. Here is a good article from the NY Times about Coffee.

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Pumple Cake

12 Dec

Of course for my first post on my own healthyish cooking experiment blog I am not using my kitchen, cooking anything, or being healthy.

This happened in early fallish when I was emailing with a friend and she said ‘TRY THIS FOR ME!’ I had nothing to do after class so I obliged. I obliged by eating one of the most interesting cakes I have eaten and about 2000 calories.

THIS referred to the the Pumple Cake made by Flying Monkey Bakery located in the Terminal Market in Philadelphia, PA.

pumple cake

Stay away Dog!

What is the Pumple Cake? Honestly it is something that should be on ‘thisiswhyyourfat‘–it probably already is. Its almost 2000 calories of cake…cake with pie baked inside. Specifically, apple pie is baked into vanilla cake on top and pumpkin pie baked into chocolate pie on the bottom; all surrounded by AT LEAST an inch of vanilla butter cream.

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