Today I had two coffees for breakfast

For years I have been eating avocado. Growing up with a Cuban Father and a Puerto Rican Mother that is very much a given. But just like music always invited me to experiment, so have foods and drinks tickle me in challenging directions. Avocado halves succumbed to my coffee universe many years ago, but experiences of the palate are even more abundantly available than the monetary wealth any of us might witness. And so, a couple of ingredients I have known for many years were composed in a new form today, accompanied by a spice totally new to me from Turkey: Urfa Biber – a type of chili pepper native to the Urfa region of Turkey. It is smoky, slightly sweet and of a milder spicyness. Here I suggest just filling the avocado cavity with two parts Pumpkin Seed Oil and one part Espresso Balsamic Vinegar.

Make sure you mind your palate.

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About the Evolution of our taste of Coffee

It is certainly not that coffee has changed in the last 500 years. It is not that coffee should be thankful that we have been mixing it the last two decades with sugar, salt, spices or even sirups, so it becomes a better and diverse taste.

No, coffee – as the seed it is – has not really changed at all. It continues to give back what the earth and environment where it grows, give to it. It has always been that way.

The evolution has happened in us. We have somehow managed to pay much more attention to the qualities within a seed of coffee, to the importance of how much sun and how much shade it grows under. And we have been paying more attention to our palate.

We are paying more attention to what has always been there – the complexities in nature. This is how a list has been put together under a coffee that make many people think, this is a cocktail that includes coffee.

As just a random example, this Aragón Coffee from Guatemala has within itself an array of taste notes that read like an exotic garden.

It is – however – just coffee.

Drunk at the Cafe Grumpy, W 39th Street, New York, NY / Leica D-Lux 4
Drunk at the Cafe Grumpy, W 39th Street, New York, NY / Leica D-Lux 4

 

 

To Coff your Pop

(found in the Dirty Pirate Popsicles)

I found this picture with recipe and – as so often – need to adjust a few things…
Photo: also found at Dirty Pirate Popsicles

 

  • 2 1/2 cups Curiosity Cola from Fentimans
  • 1/3 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua (or a self-made coffee liqueur, or another good (bought) one

 

Comparison: Joltin’ Joe vs. Espresso Coffee Soda

Yes, we are the individuals we are to a great part through our collected experiences, but are more precise in being through comparison.

My eyes caught the “Joltin’ Joe Sparkling Espresso Black” from “Arizona” about a week ago and the first can I drank did not disappoint me. And so, I wrote immediately what my palate told me.

The bitterness which one might immediately connect with that of an espresso containing a fair amount of robusta seeds, could be connected just the same with the bitterness found in some beers (like Kölsch). Perhaps due to the taste being of a light concentration and that it is a sparkling drink.

I must make a positive comment about Arizona for an unusual point. If produced for the commercial masses, it is certainly mot common to use less, but rather more sugar than the palate needs and is accostumed to. My immediate impression perceived little sweetness, something that allows a more present coffee taste.

All I had for the mandatory comparison was my memory, and although the memory is very limited next to a one to one tasting, today I do know the memory delivered with a fair amount of accuracy.

One of my favorite drinks, one of the best soft drinks ever made, must be the Manhattan Special Espresso Soda from Brooklyn, New York. The memory comparison was very clear about the Joltin’ Joe being a drink to quench the thirst, while Manhattan Special produces a nectar with a high taste concentration level. A well diluted sirup, meant for a quiet, meaningful hour, possibly resulting in repercussive pleasure. The fact that a can contains 15,5 fluid ounces, almost half a liter, suggests that it is made for qick drinking, while an individual serving of the Espresso Coffee Soda contains only 10 fluid ounces. And we know well what is said about the contents of small bottles.

Needless to say, my memory could give me limited satisfaction, it belonging to someone with a critical mouth and having the need to share experiences with readers in a manner that will be respected by the reader as reliable and well-researched. Hence, soon enough I had to buy the two and compare in a one-to-one tasting. Now I know of the miserable judgements possible, when based on experience without comparison.

Whenever we allow it, the nose could judge, warn and speak volumes. Put two glasses in front of you: one containing an Espresso Black, another an Espresso Coffee Soda. You will already have your nostrils help delivering a whole chapter. Joltin’ Joe has a much stronger aroma than Manhattan Special, but although it says clearly coffee, it has clearly a bouquet of synthetic flowers.

The eyes cannot help but see a muddy water, as opposed to a dense brown-black fluid.

The palate has it the worst. Here is where the memory clearly shows disadvantage. Two subjects are only objectively perceived, when the perception of both happens simultaneously. I must repeat, my first bottle impressed me, but the second time around I firstly took a sip of the Espresso Coffee Soda. As I then sipped the Joltin’ Joe, the scientist in me had to fight with my palate. Obeying my palate would have meant an immediate out-spitting of this Joe.

The taste is much better than muddy water, but it comes nowhere close in quality and taste to the darling of the Manhattan Special brewing factory. They make an honorable brew, a nectar in the natural sense of the word.

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My First Existential Coffee Hedonist Meal

Avocado half, sprinkled with Espresso Sea Salt (from Filling Station)

Many many years ago – I had already tasted my initial Mexican coffee near Harvard Square and a few others, but  knew not what a coffee drinker is and was far from putting a single sentence together, was decades far from formulating any sentence, thought or even phrase trying to elevate the value of this or any other seed – back in the late eighties I began frequenting the Bauturm Café in Cologne, when the land was still known as West Germany. I found it odd, creative and telling to see that something as simple and routinary as breakfast could be set in a philosophical context. On their menu there was an “Existentialist Breakfast”, consisting of a coffee and a single Gauloises – the famous French cigarette. I wonder if Albert Camus ever sat down to have breakfast and conscienciously had his Gauloises and coffee in such tight connection with his existential views, or Jean-Paul Sartre, for that matter (also a Gauloises smoker).

I have been having my wonderful coffee infused cigars from Drew Estate of late and some days ago I thought of going in the fresh air and just having an avocado and a cigar, instead of going into two separate localities: in one to obtain a cooked meal and into another to enjoy a cigar. It is then that the Existential Breakfast idea left my memory and entered the present. Being that I never was a great fan of Gauloises (I prefered Roth-Haendle), I never ordered that breakfast at Bauturm myself, but the idea of taking the bare minimum on food, do it in a very simple form (raw fruit) while adding the pleasure factor, was very inviting. Well, I am an existentialist. Besides, lately I have been enjoying a wonderful discovery as well: the sea salt mixed with espresso from the Fill Station at the Chelsea Market. For a few years I have been eating avocado with salt and an oil mixture, plus instant coffee. The instant coffee disolves when contacting the avocado, allowing both to mix and taste better than if it was coffee grounds. This salt-espresso, on the other hand, disolves as well, allowing also the melting of the tastes, yet without the need of an instant product.

Another coffee-salted avocado half

A cigar-avocado pairing might be an unusual situation for most palates and pleasure realms. An avocado is not what a smoker will crave when having a cigar and the avocado lover will seldon waste a thought on the tobacco taste to accompany this beloved ancient fruit.

Smoke with Coffee

It could be said with certainty that for several years now the avocado with coffee is a proven taste in my palate and that of several others that followed my idea from early on. However, the initial idea was to funktion as a salad, usually to be eaten as a side order, to accompany, to be part of many. In this case the avocado is asked to contribute to 50% of the act (meal) and receives in turn no less than half of the attention as well. It has thus very high responsibities in a minimal, but existential act for nutrition and joy purposes.

Then there is the coffee infused cigar for itself – its taste. The cigar has a rich herbal and earthy flavor, clearly supported by vanilla, hints of milk, cocoa and vanilla.

A smoker writes:

“The Java Latte Cigar – Is It A Different Class Of Flavored Cigar?”

“The Java Latte I smoked is a 5” x 42 ring gauge claro corona size cigar. I don’t know how the infusion is done, but this is a real cigar and not at all in the same class as other ‘flavored’ cigars.”

“This is a box pressed cigar.  It lights easily and draws easily.  The burn is with a moderate amount of smoke. The wrapper is a firm natural color and the cigar is very well constructed and required no relighting. The flavors in this cigar are great rich coffees.  What else?  Well, it is a coffee infused cigar and it works perfectly.  I drank a nice dark roast coffee with the cigar, and it was nothing short of a great smoke.  The aroma is also coffee, but with that nice smell you get when roasting coffee.  If you have never roasted coffee, this is you chance to experience that aroma.  The cigar is mild, flavorful and very enjoyable, especially in the morning. It is a good choice when you might want a milder cigar to start the day.  You are getting more of a coffee flavor from this cigar because of the infusion and I was impressed.”

Dr. Mitch Fadem

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Not that coffee as a drink could ever be truly compared to coffee in a smoke, but irrelevant of the coffee taste and amount or intensity of the coffee used, sugar or sweetness in a drink tend to alter the coffee taste. In smoking it does not. The immediate sensation when this cigar comes to the lips or tongue is the experiences of sweetness, not of tobacco. Then follows the tobacco taste, and both, sweetness and leaf taste enhance each other.

Existentialism without a knife at hand – finger nails and a strong twist.

A wonderful lady had taken me hiking. After a week in the Dolomite Mountains in the South of Tirol (Italy) many years ago, this was only my second time challenging a Mountain. It was in my second mountain, newly that I – perhaps trying to impress – had the sudden idea of breaking an avocado in half without the use of a knife. I made a fairly deep cut with my fingernail around the avocado, then proceeded to hold each half firmly with a hand and make a concentrated twist in opposite directions. It worked! The cut is not a clean one, but that is part of the beauty about rawness and existence.

An alternative to the avocado with espresso salt is certainly and pleasurebly the espresso balsamic vinegar.

An avocado half with Espresso-Salt and Espresso-Balsamic Essig