Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cafe Takesi Bolivia

When Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company proclaimed a few weeks ago that it would be selling a limited amount of the highest grown coffee in the world, I put a note in my calender and dug out my Groupon. I have a penchant for coffees grown at higher elevations. As one climbs, I feel that the fruit and flower notes come to the fore, especially as the coffee cools.

Cafe Takesi is cultivated at elevations between 6200' and 8500', an almost absurd height for coffee. The highest coffee I've ever had previous to this was George Howell's Terroir Coffees El Vergel, grown at 6100' (if you recall I raved about it last July). Cafe Takesi takes its name from the river valley where they are grown. This coffee won a Cup of Excellence in 2009 as well; no small feat. Apparently the Inca Trail runs right through the farm, other than placing it on the Western side of the Andes, that fact hasn't helped me find the location of either the river valley or the farm. Maybe I'll ask Jeff Babcock this weekend when I'm in Seattle.

My 12oz of these sold-out beans arrived last night and I just made a cup after coming home from pilates (so good to be back in the swing of having a core). 

I filtered a fresh pot of water, ground up 26g, prewetted my paper Hario v60 filter, and slow poured 12oz at 204 degrees. The bloom was amazing. I need to wait ~40 seconds next time for a denser puck and a better pour. Nevertheless, it turned out well.

Like the El Vergel, this coffee has definite belgian ale lightness, almost floating to the roof of your mouth. Smooth, syrupy going down, finishing with a bread/yeast/graham cracker like taste. The fruit notes are super complex. Oranges, raisins... well, smells like citrus and feels like raisins. Chewy almost. Mellow. Sugary, but in a super subtle way. Like a sweet potato or a beet.

I'm going to have to ponder this one; one of the more complex coffees I've had. 

happy sipping!

Friday, January 28, 2011

end of month update

Hello friends!

while I have not been writing a lot here, I have been writing vast amounts elsewhere. sorry for the quietness. here's what has been going on:

we visited philadelphia last weekend to visit some dear friends: beautiful city, lovely times. can't wait to go back.

i've been catching up on school: reworking a 40-50pg paper, writing blog posts for kaplan, really getting into classes & notes for those classes. i love all my work, it's just a matter of not letting it overwhelm me.

my business partner paul and i have been hammering out a logo design for fizzy media, our new llc w/meggie, a good friend of mine & bril artist. we're also setting up a few sites for some clients and working on getting our company's page off the ground. loving being an entrepreneur. deeply.

applying for jobs and networking in seattle, where I want to be this summer. part of me just wants to focus on web development, but a legal job is crucial for further career development. honestly, i love law as well, so really its just a matter of finding a job that combines the web and law. shouldn't be too hard, right?

working out some good transitions w/the wifey: from student to breadwinner for me and from breadwinner to stay-at-home mother/blogger/crafter/photographer extraordinaire for her. it's a new stage of life and we're incredibly blessed and excited for it. excited to be a father to this little girl, hopefully some day soon.

getting back into running: ~ 20miles a week. took last week off b/c my lower legs always take a bit to catch up and injuries suck.

really learning to leverage the various social medias available to us: tumblr, twitter, readers, plugins, codes, all kinds of brilliance all over the place. it's awesome to be riding this technological wave.

anyway, i'm going to be in seattle this weekend and the beginning of next week in a slew of interviews and meeting. look for some coffee posts before too long! in the meanwhile, check my updates on tumblr and twitter. some amazing beauty and interesting ideas to be had.

namaste my friends

Saturday, January 08, 2011

2011 Resolutions

i) reorient my life to my values, rather than orient my life to external demands. I find that I easily wrap myself up in the demands others make on me. not necessarily a bad thing, but one that I am going to change this year. I want to spend more present and conscious time w/my wife. I want to have coffee with good friends. I want to read fiction. these things will only improve my grades and career prospects. I know this. I've tested it. 2011 is for making this a reality.

ii) recreating and blending career plans. I jumped on the work-at-a-big-firm-until-your-debts-are-paid-off bandwagon with a vengeance 1L year. it's a good career path! but I'm not sure it is for me. my career ideas are really broadening and incorporating my own interests. perhaps because the job market isn't great. perhaps because a few people close to me who are movers and shakers in the legal field are rethinking the world of law. perhaps because I live and breathe the entrepreneurial life. who knows. all I know is, that my career path will be my own. I'm tired of listening to "the way it is done." know, that if I am a barista in 15 years, it's what I wanted to do. ;)

iii) remembering that my physical being and my intellectual being are one. I alway seem to forget diet and exercise when the going gets rough. all that does is make the going rougher. this year I'm sticking with my running schedule, integrating a pilates/yoga routine, and paying attention to my diet. goals: sub 3:10 Boston qualifier; body weight btwn 155-160lbs; 300 pushups at one time; and a regular yoga practice.

iv) growing Fizzy Media, LLC. My good friend Paul and I started a web development company. we have a few clients and a list of wild ideas. we're going to make them real. we're going to learn much in the process.

v) living minimalism. I don't need a lot. but I feel I do. this year will be an exercise in parsing out the unnecessary.

namaste, my friends.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Who are you?

You know those days you look in the mirror and realize you haven't seen yourself in weeks? Two-thousand-and-ten was a speeding freight train of revolving weeks of that feeling. Sometimes I was standing on top of the train, wind in my hair, arms out-stretched, thrilling the sky. Other days the train just pulled me along behind, bumping along the railroad ties, usually trying to study while doing so. I didn't really blog as a result, and my life was poorer for it. Let me recap a bit though, going into this New Year. After all, anything worth doing is worth doing badly. ;)

  • My sister-in-law Vivers decided to move from Long Beach to Boston in January! We spent five awesome months together watching Friends, wandering Boston, getting lost, looking for work, having long discussions over dinner, and living the life. She moved out to her own place after she found a full-time position (in her desired field nonetheless), but she's close and we're blessed to see her often.
  • Anne and I started the domestic adoption process in April. Still finding words to express the joy of being in this process. Anne (she-of-the-golden-tongue) has several powerful posts on this incredible journey here:
  • I finished my first year of law school at Boston College Law. I had a blast. It was both harder and easier than I anticipated. I am so glad for the opportunity to be in law school, even in this terrible economy. It's what I am meant to do. and I love doing it.
  • I didn't have gainful employment during the school year for the first time since 2003. In retrospect, I would have worked 20hrs/wk. Work + school makes Taylor a better student. I missed working. I missed having something different to turn to during a long day of productivity.
  • I made new friends and caught up with so many old friends. Social media is amazing. Those who hate it don't understand it.
I also discovered a lot about myself:
  • I love IPAs. especially Imperial IPAs. Stone Brewery helped me fall in love with drinking a pine tree. Somehow they remind me of the whole West Coast. Brewery based in San Diego helping me remember the pine forests of Washington State.
  • I miss not playing my cello. seriously. I played for nine years and then left it in the case the last three. Time to change that.
  • I love to read and that means I love to write. All kinds of things. I'm good at it too. I never seem to actually do any writing though. I procrastinate on papers, I leave aside blog posts, I only occasionally write a piece of short fiction. Hm.
  • I'm not sure I can spend my life working for someone else. I can do it. I like doing it. But it doesn't allow me to create in the same way as starting my own venture. I start things. I begin things. It's what I do naturally and best.
Reading really took a central role in my life this year. I was doing hundreds of pages of it for law school and needed something real to keep my mind going. I subscribed to The Paris Review, One Story, the New Yorker, and Zoetrope. I blazed through The Master and Margarita (which I'm still trying to understand: a beautiful, wild book). I reread many more books as well. I delved deeper into my poetic mainstays: Czeslaw Milosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Robert Hass, Seamus Heaney, and Jane Hirshfield. It balanced out my law school experience, I'm certain. 

That was 2010. A ramble, and conveyed in the manner I recall it. Here's to the New Year!