Coffeeneuring challenge #2

October 15-

This Saturday was again started with a venture to the local farmer’s market, to pick up eggs foremost, from a vendor who has become friends with my wife, Mary. Sissi an immigrant from Mexico, raises chickens, ducks, gardens and supplies fresh produce and eggs. Her fresh produce is organic, something we seek out. Perhaps for this reason, her lettuce is very flavorful (I never knew it could be) and her other items are tasty as well. As Mary had to go to her job, I was the official shopper. I rode my Heron, a beautiful touring bike designed by Grant Peterson and made by Waterford. I pulled a trailer to carry all the eggs and produce. From there I went for coffee. In an older industrial space, a new roaster has set up business, and besides roasting good quality beans serves the coffee as well. The roasters call themselves Hyperion. Coincidentally they supplied the beans to Cultivate for the coffee I had last week. It was so good, I chose to have a pour-over version of the Ethiopian: Aleta Wondo. This would give me a nice comparison. Indeed, it was more than satisfying, it was a delicious, complex version. The pour-over brought out the same flavors, pie crust, blueberry and now some lemon. A bit lighter than the long black, it still filled the palate with taste. I drained it slowly, not wanting the cup to reach empty. When I was done, I sat and savored its taste.  Almost ready to leave, the barista (Dakota by name) offered to make the group of us in the shop a brewing of Cascara. Made from the husks of the coffee fruit, it is brewed like tea. After steeping for 5 minutes, several of us tried it, and were rewarded with the cleanness of a rose hips tea, sweet cherry-like flavor, and undertones of coffee. Perhaps because of some caffeine, or another nutrient substance, it was rejuvenating, and roused me to pursue the remainder of the days activity.

img_2983

Above, you can see the exterior of the space Hyperion occupies. The Heron leans against the curb assisted by the BOB trailer. Not visible are 4 dozen eggs, lettuce, squash, broccoli, apples.

2 weeks, 2 different bikes, 4 different coffee drinks to date. Espresso, long black last week,  a pour-over, and Cascara this week.

img_2984

This interior shot at Hyperion shows only a few feet of the table, 4 foot by 24, of a single slab of wood. The remnants of my pour-over, and in the background, what will become many flavorful cups.

Advertisements

Coffeeneuring challenge #1

October 8-

A fresh fall morning as I rode first to the Depot Town farmers market. After picking up our weekly vegetables, including a most interesting Romanescu broccoli, I detoured over to one of the nearby coffeeshops, Cultivate. This friendly, year-old establishment serves both coffee and beer. Both ends of the business aim to do the best. The beer side has 36 taps of craft beers, and has variety for every taste. The coffee side serves specialty roasted coffees from a variety of roasters, and a variety of beans. As it was still morning, and the challenge did not list beer as an acceptable beverage this year (maybe in the future) I opted for coffee. The coffee I chose was an Ethiopian variety, Aleta Wondo, and served as a Long Black. Not every shop knows how to make this, although it is simple, akin to an Americano. An espresso with a longer pull, and in a 6 oz cup. The result is all the flavor of an espresso, but not as intense. This Ethiopian did not disappoint: rich, full, blueberry notes, and a hint of pie crust. (If only I had a slice of my mothers blueberry pie to go with this!) I savored this with the morning air, and followed with an espresso. Full of motivation, I returned home to do the Saturday chores, picking up dropped branches, and clearing out some garden space. Ah, fall.

img_2979

Shown above is the shop, Cultivate, the owner, Billy Kangas and in the foreground the bike chosen for today. This is a 70’s Bridgestone, labeled as a Kabuki to make it sound more Japanese. I found it on CL, and am experimenting with the handlebars. These clearly don’t fit right, as they sweep back toward the riders knees. I may trim them or replace with a smaller version. Sitting upright, viewing the world around is quite different. It intrigues me to ride looking at what is about, rather than being in the drops, intent on what lies before. In a way, it is about being in the moment, which only enhances what riding a bike is so good at accomplishing.

Thoughts on two wheels

10-07-2016

I am embarking on a challenge. This is unlike my previous challenges, which included distances of supposedly great proportions. Having ridden the WAM300 five times, crossed the state, even nearly circled the state, I am now attempting a riding challenge to provoke thoughtfulness, enjoyment and simple pleasures. The Sixth Annual Coffeeneuring Challenge awaits. It is required that I over the course of the next 7 weeks, enjoy a cup of coffee somewhere other than my house or (if it were possible) my car. By means of a bicycle, I must travel a few miles for the enjoyment of a cup of coffee. Like many challenges there are seen and unseen elements.  For me the consistency is the challenge. I can enjoy coffee in many places. I can ride bike to many places. I now must do both, for 7 consecutive weeks. Neither strenuous nor unpleasant, only consistency is demanded.

Observe below, what unfolds.