Category Archives: Cafe Culture

Time to say goodbye to the coffee world

Well, if you didn’t already figure it out.  I have to C O N C E N T R A T E on some things that makes it so that I can’t be focused as I would prefer on the “Bean Chaser Blog.”

I appreciate friends like Jason Dominy, Jim Hoffman and crew, Mark Prince, Dan at HB, Chemically Imbalanced, Tonx, Shannon Hudgens, Kevin & Regina @ Crema Roasters,  Geoff Corey, Scott Conary, and I will even thank Nick Cho, and I can’t leave out the team at Octane and by name Tony.  The home roasting ability of George Holt.  Finally, I thank, the professional roasting of Intelligensia Roasters and Counter Culture Coffee.

There is no certian order to that list.  Some listed had a HUGE impact on my life and I will be forever thankful.  And there is some there that taught me a huge lesson on what not to do (I mean that good and bad).  I will have forgotten some, I guess.  It’s is unavoidable.  Some people I have there faces in my head and I can’t remember their names.

If I hadn’t found Mark Prince in a Google search for “French Press” this would have never been started and I hadn’t have ever messaged Tonx, I would have never found Hudge, and thus, I would have never had my first INCREDIBLE shot of espresso (single origin, mind you).  If I hadn’t found Hudge I wouldn’t have this massive two group Faema in my kitchen, which in the words of my brother-in-law “is the first and last thing you see in that house.”

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Only 15-20

Well if you don’t know who they are or who he (on the shirt) is I guess you could ask in the comments section.

This is idol worship, but I like it!

This is idol worship, but I like it!

Courtesy of

Where in the World Is Wilson Hines

Anybody remember the computer game called “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”  I played that thing on a RadioShack Tandy back in the day!  And I OWNED it!  I could beat it ten ways each day!  🙂

I guess some people are asking where I am and what I am doing.  I have a few answers:

  • It isn’t work that is keeping me from posting quality information to my site.
  • It isn’t a lack of quality coffee (will reference some later in the post).
  • It is Twittering.  There is the whole blame.

The last post was the 21st of December.  I have found that Twitter is a fantastic tool for “Micro-Blogging” and I have been using it more and more every day.  On the mobile, at the desktop and checking the DMs constantly.  I “tweet” about anything and everything, coffee included.

Christmas was special.  We really had a good time this year.  I love Christmas and we try to make it a special coffee experience every year, as well.  This year, as previously posted, we went across the pond to the United Kingdom and purchased a fantastic group of coffees from @SquareMile Roasters in London (see there I go twittering).

The coffee Square Mile sent us was fantastic.  The Los luchadores Espresso was surely in a class by itself.  Everybody knows I like Toscano from CCC and this espresso was just as good and in some respects, better.  The Santa Rita Natural was just that: Natural.  Really full of flavor.  I even sneaked a espresso shot of that COE and it was great just as a SO espresso.   While there wasn’t anything wrong with the  El Portillo, it just wasn’t the Santa Rita!  It was great, please don’t misunderstand me.  But, the Santa Rita just kept coming back to us.

We surely enjoyed our time with their coffee and the shipping was great too; eight days to the Eastern United States off of roast.  I think that is perfect timing for some degassing and such.

Since running out of the Square Mile, the wifey and I have been going to Raleigh every 10 days or so and buying whatever strike our fancy up at Helios Cafe in downtown.  They serve Counter Culture Coffee.

Thanks for the visit and enjoy your coffee for the day!

Running into Helios Cafe in Raliegh and end up meeting important peeps!

rich_futrell_s Hmmm, I quickly with a rush blow into Helios Cafe in Raleigh to grab some Counter Culture whole bean for the press and some espresso to tide us over until the Square Mile comes in and “lo and behold” Rich Futrell is sitting there getting wired up on espresso Aficionado.

I had never met Rich, but dude was there and with the very limited time we had we were able to talk shop!! I wish I had much more time, but I had my sister’s family and mine in the Excursion waiting!

Good to meet you Rich and I hope we can run into each other again very soon!

While I was there I got a pound of Counter Culture’s Espresso Aficionado, Ada’s Finca Mauritania, & Kenya Kangocho (a personal CCC fav).

Can’t wait until the morning when I can get into this stuff.

Cafe Culture in the U.S.A is sometimes pure poisonus

Poisonus is a strong word.  And no, I don’t mean every cafe, just some of them.  Not even a majority, I don’t guess.  

It is just that sometimes I walk into a smoke filled joint like I did the other day at “The 76” in Grand Rapids, MI and one of the first things that hit me was the old U.S.S.R flag hanging from the cieling.  


U.S.S.R Flag

U.S.S.R Flag

So, then I started to look around.  These people really were not socialist.  They were stuanchly, very much communist.  There was probably as many anti-war articles and pics as there was wallpaper in most old ladies homes.   I saw more pictures of George Bush in a negative light than I saw espresso beans.  

It was evident these people were young, probably under 25, and thus never lived one minute under the “old threat.”  For some reason, they have the idea that the U.S.S.R was the place to live.  Never mind Stalin killing as little as 5 million and as much as 60 million of his own people and never mind the dang engineered famins that kills scores of people.  

As she handed me my cappuccino, which was rather Starbuxy to say the least, I mentioned the flag.  The lady glanced upwards at it and said, “Yeah, real sweet isn’t it?”  I replied, “Oh yeah, I miss those days of standing in line for bread all day and then having a KGB agent beating my wife to death because she has a Bible on her night stand.”  The girl almost went cross eyed!  

I am here to tell you they aren’t teaching true history in school anymore.  Not in High School and surely not in College.  If they did, people would think differently about all those images of a “young Castro” pasted all over the walls.  

It would almost seem the younger the kids are making the espresso the politically dumber.  The fact is they didn’t have to live through the Cold War and don’t understand it. They just assume it was another “war” and they are against “war” at all cost.  And no, I don’t think because someone believes differently than I do they are dumb or stupid.  Far from the correct answer. It is just that sometimes, like this instance, you know for a fact they have been absolutly brainwashed.  Utterly brainwashed.  

I also am aware that the U.S.A isn’t perfect.  There are problems and the answers have alluded people for years and will continue to do so.  The framers wrote in the pre-amble to the constitution on the first line the following, “…in Order to form a more perfect Union…” and I think that is fitting.  We aren’t perfect, but we are striving for it.  I will declare that while we do have our problems we also have more positives than ever before.  We are the greatest country to ever exist on the face of this earth in almost every category one could imagine.  

The moral of the story?  Stop acting like idiots and make some good coffee.  Make the coffee the story, not your crazy ideas.  You might like the results.