Archive for connoisseur

Crap Factory Coffee!

Posted in Coffee, connoisseur, Culture, roasting, unique, video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2008 by howsoonis08

Who knew shit could taste so good?! There is nothing I would enjoy more then to dry some of this shit, crush this shit, run pressurized water through it, and enjoy every last drop of the oily water! Confused yet? I know, personally, if someone was going to tell me that they were going to drink something that came for poo, I would be a little confused… and very skeptical… Well, as it turns out, what they’re really doing is waiting for coffee beans to be eaten, digested, and excreted from the Asian Palm Civet, and making coffee from it!

kopi_luwak.jpg Kind of looks like an Baby Ruth… no?

These coffee beans are called Kopi Luwak, and are the most expensive coffee in the world! How expensive? Well, it sells for between $120 and $600 US dollars per pound! It’s really quite something… The civets will eat the coffee berries, the bean (inside the berry) will pass through their system undigested, and will come out with a decreased amount of caffeine, and a unique palette of tastes (none of which are shitty!).

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The reason for such a high price isn’t a hard answer to come up with… for instance… the workers have to follow around a weasel-like rodent waiting it to shit…. does that help a little? What about the fact that the civets can only eat and shit so much (Low Quantity)? And if its increasing the flavors in the coffee bean, this means it’s going to be an increase in demand for coffee connoisseurs!

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This makes me wonder about people using this information to make money… If the civet-poo coffee is so delicious, why not put them onto farms, feed them beans, and harvest the poo? Of course people do this! But I wonder about the quality… If in a nature setting these civets create masterful coffee beans, what happens when you collect them, feed them a food substitute as well as coffee cherries, and then collect their poo? It probably won’t be as authentic as the real product, nor as high quality. Unfortunately this is all true, and new processes, such as chemically stimulating the civet’s digestive system, have been developed in order to create more and more of a supply…

Well… I am yet to try Kopi Luwak… Our local coffee roaster Cupper’s brought it in once, but there is no way I can afford upwards to $100 dollars a pound for coffee on a tight university budget. Someday… someday I will get to indulge in flavors that have been created by sitting in a animals crap factory…!

Misconstrued Perception

Posted in Coffee, Commercialism, connoisseur, Consumerism, fashion, Indie rock, music, rant, Symbolic interactionism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2008 by howsoonis08

Is consumerism and commercialism altering perceptions on the art of coffee and music? In my opinion…without a doubt.

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What is “indie”, or “indie rock” for that matter? I used to think that I knew. I used to think that indie music was short-form for independent music. The genre of indie rock is now more of a fashion for consumer culture and another way for capitalists to turn music into a commercialized product. They play with the label of indie rock, attributing it to underground culture and counterculture. Just another way to falsely assure the masses that they are “individual”, “unique”, and part of a countermovement to mainstream culture. It is used now to incorrectly describe the bands sound in affiliation with their independent label, or means of production. It’s a blanket term that covers many artists, grouping them into a category that appeals to a society who is constantly looking to rid themselves of characteristics of the collective; conforming to a symbol of individualism, despite the fact they are doing the exact opposite. Indie has been appropriated by commercialism to mean something that was originally not intended; it has new meaning now. It was only a matter of time before someone was smart enough to see that they could market this idea.

I’m not judging anything about the music itself. There are many artists coming out with the label of “indie” that are wonderful to listen to, and by no means should artists be judged by their label. Also, I’m not saying that there are not truly independent bands emerging from various music genres. I just wish that truly independent musicians wouldn’t get tagged under the genre of “indie”. Am I symbolically representing myself through the music I listen to? Most likely… but I would say that their is very few that could get away with saying no. Do I mean to? Not necessarily… I did for a long time, and now realize there are definitely more important things in life than defining yourself by symbolic culture. Althought I’ll never get away from it.

Now what about coffee? How have peoples perception of coffee changed? There are about 13, 000 Starbucks around the world, and in multiple countries; opening Starbucks every 6 minutes… About 44 million people a week go to Starbucks. Starbucks coffee is the most caffeinated coffee on the market. So what am I trying to get at? I want to argue the fact that Starbucks is altering people’s perception of coffee from something that is a taste sensation, to something to feed an addiction. Among other things that I think is horrible about Starbucks, this is what I’m going to try to argue. Usually when I talked to people about coffee, the response is usually something like this: “I really needed a coffee this morning, I had a horrible hangover and needed to get picked up.” Where is the enjoyment in that? Doesn’t it seem as if people are using coffee strictly for the caffeine, as a means for energy? I’m sure that symbolic imagery also has some sort of ties, but my opinion leans more towards coffee as a means of caffeine. It really is a shame that more people don’t take the time to appreciate all things that go into coffee and all aspects that change the qualities of coffee. We need to remember that we are trying to make something consistently that naturally doesn’t want to be consistent. Starbucks and other coffee chains have constrained coffee to something that can be repeated over and over again with very little frequencies of variability. So what Starbucks is doing is dealing caffeine legally and consistently. Of course this is just my opinion, and I would love to hear discussions!!

And for some neat indie rock picks, check out: Pavement, Guided by Voices, Built to Spill, Jesus and Mary Chain, Polvo, and solid old Sonic Youth

(Am I secretly representing myself symbolically through these bands?? Fuck… This just gets confusing.)

Always stay unique! (Is that even possible?)

Posted in Coffee, connoisseur, Matching, music, Owls, roasting, unique with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2008 by howsoonis08

Hi everyone! This go around is going to look at extremely interesting ways of playing instruments, and matching it with unique ways people are home roasting their coffee! Although many would argue that regardless of how well these new takes on old idea are, if they are not done classically it’s not done right, but that’s not what I’m going to be doing here. Classics are classics for a reason, but isn’t it fun spice things up and take on a new perspective? Videos are always enjoyable to look at, so lets get down to business and check out some crazy instrument playing!

This is Andy McKee! He is an American guitarist who has developed a rarely seen style of playing. Just recently, largely due to the enormous reaction his video got on youtube, Andy has sky rocketed in popularity; he definitely deserves it!  If you like guitar playing like this, make sure you check out anything by Owls, Make believe, or Ghosts and Vodka.

This is a video of someone performing a Steve Reich composition. Steve Reich was a pioneer in minimalist music composure. Steve’s music is filled with repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, and make for a very interesting take on the use of instruments and the use of tape loops. If your interested, definitely check him out! click here to broaden your minimalist palette!

Now onto to the coffee aspect! There is a very great emphasis that needs to be presented on how important roasting coffee is when it comes to creating a savory cup of coffee! What is desired from the roasting process is the flavorful oils that are emitted during the roasting. The bean looses moisture, protein, caffeine, and certain other chemicals, and the sugars are burned which give the beans the brown color! Home roasting is becoming more and more popular because of the fact that the coffee beans loose flavor with each ticking hour that goes by after the roasting process; though some prefer to wait 24 hours before making their first cup. Take a look see at wacky ways of home roasting!

Let us get started by first saying hello!

Posted in atmosphere, Coffee, connoisseur, Matching, music, Owls, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2008 by howsoonis08

What does this —–> turkish coffee

And This —–> Owls [Self Titled]

Have in common?? Well… they are both very interesting… and each involve individual taste! I would like to thank you for visiting my blog, and hope that you are compelled to visit again! What I’m going to attempt to do, as often as possible, is match music with coffee.

In the same way that I select my music (mood, atmosphere, etc…), I also select my coffee. I start to select brews of coffee based on factors such as: what time of day it is, how I’m feeling, time constraints, etc… So… just like a wine connoisseur will match particular foods with wine, I’m going to attempt to match particular kinds of coffee with particular artists or genres of music.

So lets get right to it! Above I’ve selected a traditional Turkish coffee and matched it with the music of Owls. Lets take a closer look at both shall we? Turkish Coffee is most likely very very similar to how the earliest coffee makers made their coffee! It’s a combination of very finely ground coffee, sugar, and water boiled three times before being served. What you do is place the grounds of coffee, the sugar, and the water into a small brass jug – in that order – much like the one shown in the picture above, boil three times, and get ready to enjoy a unique, sweet, and delicious treat! I usually only drink these on occasions when I’m craving a sweet pick-me-up, and usually it’s after dinner or later in the evening.

Owls formed in 2001 from members of the screamy emo/hardcore sensation CapN’ Jazz, and disbanded in 2002… rumors attributed the lead guitarists heroin addiction as the cause for the falling out. None the less, Owls are amazing! Tim Kinsella’s off kilter voice will pound you like a seal clubbing mad man, Victor Villarreal’s spinning, undulating, puzzle of guitar playing will leave you in a mess on the floor, and Mike Kinsella’s intense and complex drum patterns is nothing short of extraordinary! I’ve matched this up with Turkish coffee because you can achieve the same unique experience in both situations!

Please try both! Make or buy a Turkish coffee, and listen to Owls, you will not be disappointed!