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Coffee Can Can

May 21, 2012
Summer is approaching, and I’ve got new shoes. I’m finally phasing out the flip flops which have been a hallmark of my existence for the past decade. Finding a replacement was hard.
I needed to find something that let my toes fly free, was not too restricting, provided plenty of support for my old and ailing back, were waterproof, and came in size 13 (in black). This was no easy task. Luckily a lone clerk at Track ‘n Trail in Crossgates Mall was up to the challenge.
Now you can spot me walking around in something called Chacos, which are silly expensive for a piece of plastic that’s lashed to my foot with a nylon strap. But it’s designed by foot doctors, so it makes my mom happy. They may look a bit silly, but they are better than Crocs. At least I think. Maybe some of my fashionable friends who have promised to come on the Tour de Hard Ice Cream can help me figure out if strappy sandals can ever be manly.

You know what else it’s time for? Iced coffee. If you recall, last year I got the right tool for the job, a cold brewing rig. And at the time I was eager to give it a go using really good coffee. But I was still curious about how it would perform with lesser beans. Well, I have finally found out.

It’s no secret that I drink really bad coffee on a regular basis. And by really bad, I mean really really bad. Not only does it come from inferior beans that have been pre-ground and packed in a can. But Mrs. Fussy makes the coffee when she wakes up, which is generally a couple hours before I drag my tush out of bed.

But she usually brings me my first cup of coffee in bed. So I’m not complaining.

If you ask my kids why mommy and daddy drink coffee, you’ll get a consistent refrain, “Coffee makes adults go.” And it’s true. This isn’t the coffee I drink for enjoyment. This is the coffee I drink so that I can feed my kids breakfast and pack their lunches. Sometimes I take a sip and shudder.

Now this cold brewing system is supposed to reduce the acidity and bitterness of coffee beans. So what happens if you brew a batch using coffee that’s primarily bitter and acidic? Well, you end up with a cup of coffee that doesn’t have much character, but is decidedly not awful.

This is my latest discovery after taking a full pound of Chock Full o’ Nuts and putting it through the Filtron for about 36 hours. Really, it was supposed to steep for 24 hours, but there was the small problem of forgetting to drain the coffee from the beans.

Really, this is remarkable. The iced coffee isn’t great. But it’s far better from most iced coffee you would get out at most coffee shops. Given the ridiculously low price of the beans, and the relatively high price of iced coffee, it’s a pretty good value.
So this was a successful experiment. Bad coffee can be transformed into good coffee, if you have the right tools for the job. Now I’ve just got to figure out how to transform goofy shoes into groovy shoes. I just hope the answer doesn’t involve a pedicure. Because those kind of skeeve me out.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. cheftanner permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:18 am

    Switched from LL Bean sandles this year to Keen hiking sandles…. best move ever. Free felling without people having to see my toes and they have great traction, support and don’t look too bad and are comfy.

    Now the coffee, you are on your own. I drink espresso from either starbucks or from the stove top percolator. Though I will say the best espresso I have had in a long time was at the Culinary Institute of America this past Friday at the Apple Pie Bake Shop and the Escoffier Room.

  2. Ewan permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:39 am

    Latest progression in coffee for me: the aeropress. Only makes one cup at a time, but I’m ludicrously impressed by what is a very simple gadget: has replaced my french press for morning coffee, and is as close as I’ve come yet to at-home coffee nirvana.

  3. -R. permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:56 am

    Damn. How the hell can you be so picky about so many things, yet drink that nasty brown, jitter-inducing pre-ground swill from a tin can? Honestly, I find this unconscionable – I am a coffee maven, and one cup of that shit has me climbing the walls; what caffeine super concentrate do they add to that ‘coffee’? The amount of effort and time required to grind a decent quality bean on a daily basis, and stick it in a french press (or a decent drip coffeemaker) is trivial, and if you buy in bulk (5lbs at a time), the cost is little more than Chock-Full-o’-8-o’ Clock Nuts. In the world of roasted coffee beans, mail order is your friend.

  4. May 21, 2012 12:15 pm

    Chacos were not on my fashion radar, but a quick google lets me declare that yes, they are better than Crocs. Promise.

  5. don permalink
    June 7, 2012 1:21 pm

    actually they look kinda gay..but maybe that’s what you’re going for..(not that there’s anything worng with that)

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