Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Five 9/8/06 - Five Favorite Beverages

1. Coffee: OK, I’m actually kind of picky about coffee. I blame it on having lived outside of Vienna for a year, Vienna being the coffee connoisseur capital of the known universe. There’s nothing like a Wiener Mélange. I remember when I came back to the States, Starbucks hadn’t reared its over hyped head yet. In fact, it was at least a decade before I ever even saw one. If I wanted European style coffee, I had to find some obscure restaurant where only spotty English was spoken, but I could get a REAL cuppa. I think Gloria Jean’s was the big franchise for specialty beans, but I didn’t buy any there because the quality was dismal. GJ’s is responsible for my prejudice against pre-flavored beans – often the flavoring is added to beans of substandard quality or which have been ineptly roasted. I’m not all that impressed by espresso roasts, either, unless they are, well, espresso! I’m one of those people who can tell by smell whether the coffee is decaf or not, and if it’s over 20 minutes old. Very annoying for your average hostess, although I go out of my way not to wince or say anything.

Anyway, my favorite coffees are
#1 Jamaican Blue Mountain – the Hope Diamond of coffees (a hair cheaper, though) for its marvelous mocha undertones and light flavor,
#2 Gevalia’s Costa Rican Peaberry, which comes the closer to a gold standard than any other readily available coffee can – nice fruity nose (no, really, I don’t drink wine anymore, so I have all these leftover wine words…), brews a hearty cup without being tarry, properly roasted, vacuum packed, available by mail,
#3 used to be Melitta’s regular roast, available in cans in the grocery store, but I can’t find it anymore, so now it’s Maxwell House regular blend. Yep, I named a standard brand (gasp). It’s a little under roasted, but if I’m expecting that, then I’m getting what I was after. Otherwise, it has a nice flavor that is not distractingly bad first thing in the morning, which I find a lot of popular brands to be. Folger’s classic roast is OK. I always add some Gevalia Peaberry because otherwise it seems to me to have insufficient flavor, but my husband likes it, and his tastes count too. Brewed on it’s own, it’s a little insipid.

Yes, I've tried Kona coffee, and I'm not impressed.

And, NO FLAVORED COFFEES! The flavoring changes the brew chemistry! If I add flavor to a coffee, I use either flavored sugar or separate flavoring, such as a light syrup or actual piece of fruit or chocolate or whatever. No instant coffee. Ever. Instant tea before instant coffee. Death by dehydration before instant coffee…

2. Iced Tea: I like my homebrewed the best, but I actually like Lipton’s with the whole sugar and lemon thing, too. Perfect on a hot summer day.

3. Water: I don’t buy bottled because I have well water and a reverse osmosis filter on my kitchen tap. I probably drink 24 oz. A day without even thinking about it.

4. Mountain Dew: If I’m going to have a soda, this nightmarishly bad for me soda is the one I pick. I like the citrus flavor. Plus, I get to stay up all night and watch bad TV!!!

5. Cranberry Juice: Probably this will weird you out, but I like to mix it with the Mountain Dew. Yo, BoS, Pucker UP! I like it on its own, too, or with whatever the manufacturers choose to mix with it. I drank a watered down version of this during labor with all of my kids, and it was incredibly refreshing. I think it’s a good palate cleanser, too. Also, it has that nice thing about restoring the right pH to knock out UTIs.

Bottoms up, and have a good weekend!


Bill Slankard said...


Thanks for the Blue Mountain coffee recommendation. I ordered a pound for my wife and she loves it. I don't drink the stuff, but I picked up some bonus points, which were sorely needed. She had good memories of the coffee when she visited Jamaica many years ago.

I've been reading and enjoying for several months now. Somehow I missed meeting you last HalloweeM. Will you be attending this year?


BoS said...

Hey, Bill! I think I saw your wife last year in the elevator. Yes, I hope to attend WeeM this year and have already registered. Hope I see you this time around you busy fellow!