Coffee Notes, by Jay Spencer Seiler


Some More James T. Allen……
February 8, 2010, 12:10 am
Filed under: etc. | Tags:

Okay folks let’s take a break from Coffee for a bit. This is the second chapter of James Allen’s book; All Things Added.

2. The Competitive Laws and the Law of Love

When I am pure
I shall have solved the mystery of life,
I shall be sure
(When I am free from hatred, lust and strife)
I am in truth, and Truth abides in me.
I shall be safe and sane and wholly free
When I am pure.

IT HAS BEEN SAID that the laws of Nature are cruel; it has likewise been said that they are kind. The one statement is the result of dwelling exclusively upon the fiercely competitive aspect of Nature; the other results from viewing only the protective and kindly aspect. In reality, natural laws are neither cruel or kind; they are absolutely just—are, in fact, the outworking of the indestructible principle of justice itself.

The cruelty, and consequent suffering, which is so prevalent in Nature, is not inherent in the heart and substance of life; it is a passing phase of evolution, a painful experience, which will ultimately ripen into the fruit of a more perfect knowledge; a dark night of ignorance and unrest, leading to a glorious morning of joy and peace.

When a helpless child is burnt to death, we do not ascribe cruelty to the working of the natural law by virtue of which the child was consumed; we infer ignorance in the child, or carelessness on the part of its guardians. Even so, men and creatures are daily being consumed in the invisible flames of passion, succumbing to the ceaseless interplay of those fiery psychic forces which, in their ignorance, they do not understand, but which they shall at last learn how to control and use to their own protection, and not, as at present, foolishly employ them to their own destruction.

To understand, control and harmoniously adjust the invisible forces of its own soul is the ultimate destiny of every being and creature. Some men and women, in the past, have accomplished this supreme and exalted purpose; some, in the present, have likewise succeeded, and, until this is done, that place of rest wherein one receives all that is necessary for one’s well-being and happiness, without striving, and with freedom from pain, cannot be entered.

In an age like the present, when, in all civilized countries, the string of life is strained to its highest pitch, when men and women, striving each with each in every department of life for the vanities and material possessions of this perishable existence, have developed competition to the utmost limit of endurance—in such an age the sublimest heights of knowledge are scaled, the supremest spiritual conquests are achieved; for when the soul is most tired, its need is greatest, and where the need is great, great will be the effort. Where, also, the temptations are powerful, the greater and more enduring will be the victory.

Men love the competitive strife with their fellows, while it promises, and seems to bring them gain and happiness; but when the inevitable reaction comes, and the cold steel of selfish strife which their own hands have forged enters their own hearts, then, and not till then, do they seek a better way.

“Blessed are they that mourn,”—that have come to the end of strife, and have found the pain and sorrow to which it leads; for unto them, and unto them only, can open the door which leads to the Kingdom of Peace.

In searching for this Kingdom, it is necessary to fully understand the nature of that which prevents its realization—namely, the strife of nature, the competitive laws operative in human affairs, and the universal unrest, insecurity and fear which accompany these factors; for without such an understanding there can be no sound comprehension as to what constitutes the true and false in life, and therefore no real spiritual advancement.

Before the true can be apprehended and enjoyed, the false must be unveiled; before the real can be perceived as the real, the illusions which distort it must be dispersed; and before the limitless expanse of Truth can open before us, the limited experience which is confined to the world of visible and superficial effects must be transcended.

Let, therefore, those of my readers who are thoughtful and earnest, and who are diligently seeking, or are willing to seek, for that basis of thought and conduct which shall simplify and harmonize the bewildering complexities and inequalities of life, walk with me step by step as I open up the way to the Kingdom; first descending into Hell (the world of strife and self-seeking) in order that, having comprehended its intricate ways, we may afterwards ascend into Heaven (the world of Peace and Love).

It is the custom in my household, during the hard frosts of winter, to put out food for the birds, and it is a noticeable fact that these creatures, when they are really starving, live together most amicably, huddling together to keep each other warm, and refraining from all strife; and if a small quantity of food be given them they will eat it with comparative freedom from contention; but let a quantity of food which is more than sufficient for all be thrown to them, and fighting over the coveted supply at once ensues.

Occasionally we would put out a whole loaf of bread, and then the contention of the birds became fierce and prolonged, although there was more than they could possibly eat during several days. Some, having gorged themselves until they could eat no more, would stand upon the loaf and hover round it, pecking fiercely at all newcomers, and endeavouring to prevent them from obtaining any of the food. And along with this fierce contention there was noticeably a great fear. With each mouthful of food taken, the birds would look around in nervous terror, apprehensive of losing their food or their lives.

In this simple incident we have an illustration—crude, perhaps, but true—of the basis and outworking of the competitive laws in Nature and in human affairs. It is not scarcity that produces competition, it is abundance; so that the richer and more luxurious a nation becomes, the keener and fiercer becomes the competition for securing the necessaries and luxuries of life.

Let famine overtake a nation, and at once compassion and sympathy take the place of competitive strife; and, in the blessedness of giving and receiving, men enjoy a foretaste of that heavenly bliss which the spiritually wise have found, and which all shall ultimately reach.

The fact that abundance, and not scarcity, creates competition, should be held constantly in mind by the reader during the perusal of this book, as it throws a searching light not only on the statements herein contained, but upon every problem relating to social life and human conduct. Moreover, if it be deeply and earnestly meditated upon, and its lessons applied to individual conduct, it will make plain the Way which leads to the Kingdom.

Let us now search out the cause of this fact, in order that the evils connected with it may be transcended.

Every phenomenon in social and national life (as in Nature) is an effect, and all these effects are embodied by a cause which is not remote and detached, but which is the immediate soul and life of the effect itself. As the seed is contained in the flower, and the flower in the seed, so the relation of cause and effect is intimate and inseparable. An effect also is vivified and propagated, not by any life inherent in itself, but by the life and impulse existing in the cause.

Looking out upon the world, we behold it as an arena of strife in which individuals, communities, and nations are constantly engaged in struggle, striving with each other for superiority, and for the largest share of worldly possessions.

We see, also, that the weaker fall out defeated, and that the strong — those who are equipped to pursue the combat with undiminished ardour — obtain the victory, and enter into possession. And along with this struggle we see the suffering which is inevitably connected with it — men and women, broken down with the weight of their responsibilities, failing in their efforts and losing all; families and communities broken up, and nations subdued and subordinated.

We see seas of tears, telling of unspeakable anguish and grief; we see painful partings and early and unnatural deaths; and we know that this life of strife, when stripped of its surface appearances, is largely a life of sorrow. h that aspect of human life with which we are now dealing; such are the effects as we see them; and they have one common cause which is found in the human heart itself.

As all the multiform varieties of plant life have one common soil from which to draw their sustenance, and by virtue of which they live and thrive, so all the varied activities of human life are rooted in, and draw their vitality from, one common source—the human heart. The cause of all suffering and of all happiness resides, not in the outer activities of human life, but in the inner activities of the heart and mind; and every external agency is sustained by the life which it derives from human conduct.

The organized life-principle in man carves for itself outward channels along which it can pour its pent-up energies, makes for itself vehicles through which it can manifest its potency and reap its experience, and, as a result, we have our religious, social and political organizations.

All the visible manifestations of human life, then, are effects; and as such, although they may possess a reflex action, they can never be causes, but must remain forever what they are—dead effects, galvanized into life by an enduring and profound cause.

It is the custom of men to wander about in this world of effects, and to mistake its illusions for realities, eternally transposing and readjusting these effects in order to arrive at a solution of human problems, instead of reaching down to the underlying cause which is at once the centre of unification and the basis upon which to build a peace-giving solution of human life.

The strife of the world in all its forms, whether it be war, social or political quarrelling, sectarian hatred, private disputes or commercial competition, has its origin in one common cause, namely, individual selfishness. And I employ this term selfishness in a far-reaching sense; in it I include all forms of self-love and egotism— I mean by it the desire to pander to, and preserve at all costs, the personality.

This element of selfishness is the life and soul of competition, and of the competitive laws. Apart from it they have no existence. But in the life of every individual in whose heart selfishness in any form is harboured, these laws are brought into play, and the individual is subject to them.

Innumerable economic systems have failed, and must fail, to exterminate the strife of the world. They are the outcome of the delusion that outward systems of government are the causes of that strife, whereas they are but the visible and transient effect of the inward strife, the channels through which it must necessarily manifest itself. To destroy the channel is, and must ever be ineffectual, as the inward energy will immediately make for itself another, and still another and another.

Strife cannot cease; and the competitive laws must prevail so long as selfishness is fostered in the heart. All reforms fail where this element is ignored or unaccounted for; all reforms will succeed where it is recognized, and steps are taken for its removal.

Selfishness, then, is the root cause of competition, the foundation on which all competitive systems rest, and the sustaining source of the competitive laws. It will thus be seen that all competitive systems, all the visible activities of the struggle of man with man, are as the leaves and branches of a tree which overspreads the whole earth, the root of that tree being individual selfishness, and the ripened fruits of which are pain and sorrow.

This tree cannot be destroyed by merely lopping off its branches; to do this effectively, the root must be destroyed. To introduce measures in the form of changed external conditions is merely lopping off the branches; and as the cutting away of certain branches of a tree gives added vigour to those which remain, even so the very means which are taken to curtail the competitive strife, when those means deal entirely with its outward effects, will but add strength and vigour to the tree whose roots are all the time being fostered and encouraged in the human heart. The most that even legislation can do is to prune the branches, and so prevent the tree from altogether running wild.

Great efforts are now being put forward to found a “Garden City,” which shall be a veritable Eden planted in the midst of orchards, and whose inhabitants shall live in comfort and comparative repose. And beautiful and laudable are all such efforts when they are prompted by unselfish love. But such a city cannot exist, or cannot long remain the Eden which it aims to be in its outward form, unless the majority of its inhabitants have subdued and conquered the inward selfishness.

Even one form of selfishness, namely, self-indulgence, if fostered by its inhabitants, will completely undermine that city, levelling its orchards to the ground, converting many of its beautiful dwellings into competitive marts, and obnoxious centres for the personal gratification of appetite, and some of its buildings into institutions for the maintenance of order; and upon its public spaces will rise jails, asylums, and orphanages, for where the spirit of self-indulgence is, the means for its gratification will be immediately adopted, without considering the good of others or of the community (for selfishness is always blind), and the fruits of that gratification will be rapidly reaped.

The building of pleasant houses and the planting of beautiful gardens can never, of itself, constitute a Garden City unless its inhabitants have learned that self-sacrifice is better than self-protection, and have first established in their own hearts the Garden City of unselfish love. And when a sufficient number of men and women have done this, the Garden City will appear, and it will flourish and prosper, and great will be its peace, for “out of the heart are the issues of life.”

Having found that selfishness is the root cause of all competition and strife, the question naturally arises as to how this cause shall be dealt with, for it naturally follows that a cause being destroyed, all its effects cease; a cause being propagated, all its effects, however they may be modified from without, must continue.

Every man who has thought at all deeply upon the problem of life, and has brooded sympathetically upon the sufferings of mankind, has seen that selfishness is at the root of all sorrow—in fact, this is one of the truths that is first apprehended by the thoughtful mind. And along with that perception there has been born within him a longing to formulate some methods by which that selfishness might be overcome.

The first impulse of such a man is to endeavour to frame some outward law, or introduce some new social arrangements or regulations, which shall put a check on the selfishness of others.

The second tendency of his mind will be to feel his utter helplessness before the great iron will of selfishness by which he is confronted.

Both these attitudes of mind are the result of an incomplete knowledge of what constitutes selfishness. And this partial knowledge dominates him because, although he has overcome the grosser forms of selfishness in himself, and is so far noble, he is yet selfish in other and more remote and subtle directions.

This feeling of “helplessness” is the prelude to one of two conditions—the man will either give up in despair, and again sink himself in the selfishness of the world, or he will search and meditate until he finds another way out of the difficulty. And that way he will find. Looking deeper and ever deeper into the things of life; reflecting, brooding, examining, and analysing; grappling with every difficulty and problem with intensity of thought, and developing day by day a profounder love of Truth—by these means his heart will grow and his comprehension expand, and at last he will realize that the way to destroy selfishness is not to try to destroy one form of it in other people, but to destroy it utterly, root and branch, in himself.

The perception of this truth constitutes spiritual illumination, and when once it is awakened in the mind, the “straight and narrow way” is revealed, and the Gates of the Kingdom already loom in the distance.

Then does a man apply to himself (not to others) these words—And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shall thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thine brother’s eye.

When a man can apply these words to himself and act upon them, judging himself mercilessly, but judging none other, then will he find his way out of the hell of competitive strife, then will he rise above and render of non-effect the laws of competition, and will find the higher Law of Love, subjecting himself to which every evil thing will flee from him, and the joys and blessings which the selfish vainly seek will constantly wait upon him. And not only this, he will, having lifted himself, lift the world. By his example many will see the Way, and will walk it; and the powers of darkness will be weaker for having lived.

It will here be asked, “But will not man who has risen above his selfishness, and therefore above the competitive strife, suffer through the selfishness and competition of those around him? Will he not after all the trouble he has taken to purify himself, suffer at the hands of the impure?”

No, he will not. The equity of the Divine Order is perfect, and cannot be subverted, so that it is impossible for one who has overcome selfishness to be subject to those laws which are brought into operation by the action of selfishness; in other words, each individual suffers by virtue of his own selfishness.

It is true that the selfish all come under the operation of the competitive laws, and suffer collectively, each acting, more or less, as the instrument by which the suffering of others is brought about, which makes it appear, on the surface, as though men suffered for the sins of others rather than their own. But the truth is that in a universe the very basis of which is harmony, and which can only be sustained by the perfect adjustment of all its parts, each unit receives its own measure of adjustment, and suffers by and of itself.

Each man comes under the laws of his own being, never under those of another. True, he will suffer like another, and even through the instrumentality of another, if he elects to live under the same conditions as that other. But if he chooses to desert those conditions and to live under another and higher set of conditions of which that other is ignorant, he will cease to come under, or be affected by, the lower laws.

Let us now go back to the symbol of the tree and carry the analogy a little further. Just as the leaves and branches are sustained by the roots, so the roots derive their nourishment from the soil, groping blindly in the darkness for the sustenance which the tree demands. In like manner, selfishness, the root of the tree of evil and of suffering, derives its nourishment from the dark soil of ignorance. In this it thrives; upon this it stands and flourishes. By ignorance I mean something vastly different from lack of learning; and the sense in which I use it will be made plain as I proceed.

Selfishness always gropes in the dark. It has no knowledge; by its very nature it is cut off from the source of enlightenment; it is a blind impulse, knowing nothing, obeying no law, for it knows none, and is thereby forcibly bound to those competitive laws by virtue of which suffering is inflicted in order that harmony may be maintained.

We live in a world, a universe, abounding with all good things. So great is the abundance of spiritual, mental and material blessings that every man and woman on this globe could not only be provided with every necessary good, but could live in the midst of abounding plenty, and yet have much to spare. Yet, in spite of this, what a spectacle of ignorance do we behold!

We see on the one hand millions of men and women chained to a ceaseless slavery, interminably toiling in order to obtain a poor and scanty meal and a garment to cover their nakedness; and on the other hand we see thousands, who already have more than they require and can well manage, depriving themselves of all the blessings of a true life and of the vast opportunities which their possessions place within their reach, in order to accumulate more of those material things for which they have no legitimate use. Surely men and women have no more wisdom than the beasts which fight over the possession of that which is more than they can all well dispose of, and which they could all enjoy in peace!

Such a condition of things can only occur in a state of ignorance deep and dark; so dark and dense as to be utterly impenetrable save to the unselfish eye of wisdom and truth. And in the midst of all this striving after place and food and raiment, there works unseen, yet potent and unerring, the Overruling Law of Justice, meting out to every individual his own quota of merit and demerit. It is impartial; it bestows no favours; it inflicts no unearned punishments:

It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter-true
It measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;
Times are as nought, tomorrow it will judge,
Or after many days.

The rich and the poor alike suffer for their own selfishness; and none escapes. The rich have their particular sufferings as well as the poor. Moreover, the rich are continually losing their riches; the poor are continually acquiring them. The poor man of today is the rich man of tomorrow, and vice versa.

There is no stability, no security in hell, and only brief and occasional periods of respite from suffering in some form or other. Fear, also, follows men like a great shadow, for the man who obtains and holds by selfish force will always be haunted by a feeling of insecurity, and will continually fear its loss; while the poor man, who is selfishly seeking or coveting material riches, will be harassed by the fear of destitution. And one and all who live in this underworld of strife are overshadowed by one great fear—the fear of death.

Surrounded by the darkness of ignorance, and having no knowledge of those eternal and life-sustaining Principles out of which all things proceed, men labour under the delusion that the most important and essential things in life are food and clothing, and that their first duty is to strive to obtain these, believing that these outward things are the source and cause of all comfort and happiness.

It is the blind animal instinct of self-preservation (the preservation of the body and personality), by virtue of which each man opposes himself to other men in order to “get a living” or “secure a competency,” believing that if he does not keep an incessant watch on other men, and constantly renew the struggle, they will ultimately “take the bread out of his mouth.”

It is out of this initial delusion that comes all the train of delusions, with their attendant sufferings. Food and clothing are not the essential things of life; not the causes of happiness. They are non-essentials, effects, and, as such, proceed by a process of natural law from the essentials, the underlying cause.

The essential things in life are the enduring elements in character—integrity, faith, righteousness, self-sacrifice, compassion, love; and out of these all good things proceed.

Food and clothing, and money are dead effects; there is in them no life, no power except that which we invest with them. They are without vice and virtue, and can neither bless nor harm. Even the body which men believe to be themselves, to which they pander, and which they long to keep, must very shortly be yielded up to the dust. But the higher elements of character are life itself; and to practice these, to trust them, and to live entirely in them, constitutes the Kingdom of Heaven.

The man who says, “I will first of all earn a competence and secure a good position in life, and will then give my mind to those higher things,” does not understand these higher things, does not believe them to be higher, for if he did, it would not be possible for him to neglect them. He believes the material outgrowths of life to be the higher, and therefore he seeks them first. He believes money, clothing and position to be of vast and essential importance, righteousness and truth to be at best secondary; for a man always sacrifices that which he believes to be lesser to that which he believes to be greater.

Immediately after a man realizes that righteousness is of more importance than the getting of food and clothing, he ceases to strive after the latter, and begins to live for the former. It is here where we come to the dividing line between the two Kingdoms—Hell and Heaven.

Once a man perceives the beauty and enduring reality of righteousness, his whole attitude of mind toward himself and others and the things within and around him changes. The love of personal existence gradually loses its hold on him; the instinct of self-preservation begins to die, and the practice of self-renunciation takes its place. For the sacrifice of others, or of the happiness of others, for his own good, he substitutes the sacrifice of self and of his own happiness for the good of others. And thus, rising above self, he rises above the competitive strife which is the outcome of self, and above the competitive laws which operate only in the region of self, and for the regulation of its blind impulses.

He is like the man who has climbed a mountain, and thereby risen above all the disturbing currents in the valleys below him. The clouds pour down their rain, the thunders roll and the lightnings flash, the fogs obscure, and the hurricanes uproot and destroy, but they cannot reach him on the calm heights where he stands, and where he dwells in continual sunshine and peace.

In the life of such a man the lower laws cease to operate, and he now comes under the protection of a higher Law—namely, the Law of Love; and, in accordance with his faithfulness and obedience to this Law, will all that is necessary for his well-being come to him at the time when he requires it.

The idea of gaining a position in the world cannot enter his mind, and the external necessities of life, such as money, food and clothing, he scarcely ever thinks about. But, subjecting himself for the good of others, performing all his duties scrupulously and without thinking of reward, and living day by day in the discipline of righteousness, all other things follow at the right time and in the right order.

Just as suffering and strife inhere in, and spring from, their root cause, selfishness, so blessedness and peace inhere in, and spring from, their root-cause, righteousness. And it is a full and all-embracing blessedness, complete and perfect in every department of life, for that which is morally and spiritually right is physically and materially right.

Such a man is free, for he is freed from all anxiety, worry, fear, despondency, all those mental disturbances which derive their vitality from the elements of self, and he lives in constant joy and peace, and this while living in the very midst of the competitive strife of the world.

Yet, though walking in the midst of Hell, its flames fall back before and around him, so that not one hair of his head can be singed. Though he walks in the midst of the lions of selfish force, for him their jaws are closed and their ferocity is subdued. Though on every hand men are falling around him in the fierce battle of life, he falls not, neither is he dismayed, for no deadly bullet can reach him, no poisoned shaft can pierce the impenetrable armour of his righteousness. Having lost the little, personal, self-seeking life of suffering, anxiety, fear, and want, he has found the illimitable, glorious, self-perfecting life of joy and peace and plenty.

“Therefore take no thought, saying ’What shall we eat?’ or, ’What shall we drink?’ or, ’Wherewithal shall we be clothed? . . .’ For your heavenly Father knoweth ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”



How Coffee is Made.
January 27, 2010, 2:15 am
Filed under: Coffee | Tags: ,

Do you ever wonder how coffee is made? It’s not a simple process. Coffee comes from various regions around the world and doesn’t start as the fragrant bean you are familiar with. In fact, coffee doesn’t start as a bean at all. It is a fruit, a cherry in fact. Inside the cherry are two coffee beans (sometimes it is only one bean and these are called peaberry beans).

Coffee trees take 3-5 years to produce their fruit and they require special attention to soil, light and climate to produce a quality harvest.
The cherries are either picked by hand or machine harvested. Once harvested, the fruit must be removed from the cherry to get to the beans.

Very soon after harvest, the beans have to be processed to avoid the sticky fruit from fermenting and spoiling the beans. There are two ways of processing beans: wet and dry.

Dry processing is a centuries old method in which the harvested beans are laid out in the sun to dry for about 15 days or so. They are periodically turned and spread to dry evenly.

Wet processing is a more modern approach that takes place just hours after the beans have been harvested. It involves a cycle of washing and fermentation. This allows the pulp left on the beans to soften making it easier to rinse the fruit off. This processing method is preferable because it causes less damage to the beans.

After processing, the beans are sorted through and “bad” beans are discarded. The beans that are left are bagged up and shipped.

The final and most important step is the roasting. Roasting beans requires an exact science of time and temperature to arrive at the perfect roast. Roasting is actually cooking the beans to a certain roast (Mild, Medium, and Dark Roasts). During the process, the bean splits and the waxy coating called the “chaff” is released and discarded. The longer the beans are roasted, the more their flavor and fullness are released. This is why lighter beans tend to be milder and darker beans tend have more fullness and flavor.
This great article was from Coffee Illuminated, Another great Coffee Blog.

NOW! Go here and buy some great COFFEE! woohoo!



A little Starbucks History
January 17, 2010, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Coffee

If you like coffee, you probably like Starbucks. Here is a little history of the illustrious company from historylink.org.

In April 1971, Starbucks Coffee opens for business in the Pike Place Market, selling high-quality coffee, dark-roasted in small batches, the European way. Starbucks does not sell or brew coffee by the cup, but sometimes offers brewed samples.

Writer Jerry Baldwin, English teacher Gordon Bowker, and history teacher Zev Siegl had been buying their coffee from as far away as Berkeley, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia, and they saw a business opportunity. Each contributed $1,350 and borrowed another $5,000 to open a store that sold coffee beans, which they ordered from Peet’s Coffee and Tea in Berkeley. They wanted to use a nautical theme and looked for names in the nineteenth-century novel Moby Dick. In researching Puget Sound history they discovered a mining camp on Mt. Rainier called Starbo. This evolved to Starbucks, after the ship’s mate in Moby Dick.

At first, Zev Siegl was the only paid employee. Bowker and Baldwin kept their day jobs. Sales exceeded expectations and late in 1972, a second store opened in the University District. Siegl sold his stake in 1980 when Starbucks had four stores.

Howard Schultz (b. 1953) entered the scene in 1981. He was a New York-based vice president for a Swedish housewares manufacturer. He was “bowled over by his first sip of the dark-roasted coffee and urged Baldwin to hire him” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2000). In 1982, Schultz signed on as director of marketing and retail stores.

In 1987, Howard Schultz led a group that bought Starbucks from its founders. By mid-2004, Starbucks had more than 8,000 retail outlets worldwide and was opening new stores at the rate of about three every day.

The company planned to open about 1,500 new stores in 2005, including 425 to be located outside the United States. “I believe that we will double the size of this company at least within the next five years, perhaps within the next three,” Orin Smith, chief executive officer, told a group of Costa Rican coffee-farm owners and political officials in January 2004 (The Seattle Times). Schultz has set an eventual goal of 25,000 Starbucks outlets around the world, putting the company on a par with McDonald’s and its 30,000 locations.

Sweet eh? Well go get your Starbucks here. Starbucks.

Sources:
Howard Shultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, (New York: Hyperion, 1997), 28-35; David Wilma Interview with Patricia Howell, Director of Marketing for Starbucks Coffee International, January 15, 2000; “MetropoList 150: People Who Shaped Seattle,” The Seattle Times, October 14, 2001(www.seattletimes.com); Jake Batsell, “Starbucks Turned a Shot into a Grande,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 4, 2001 (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com); Christine Frey, “Starbucks’ Profit Jumps 44%,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 22, 2004, p. D-1; Jake Batsell, “A Bean Counter’s Dream,” The Seattle Times, March 28, 2004, p. E-1.



Let’s talk about Cat Crap Coffee…..
January 8, 2010, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Coffee

Kopi Luwak Coffee is that coffee that is collected and roasted from the dung of a weird Indonesian Monkey cat Raccoon hybrid called a Civet cat. The Coffee is sometime called Civet Coffee . This coffee is quite rare and cost around 400 to 600 dollars a pound. Apparently the Civet Cat is very fond of Coffee cherries, those cherries that are typically picked by some Juan Valdez guy. After eating them they pass through the cat’s digestive tract and while making the journey they impart something ‘special’ prior to being excreted. Here is what I want to know, how do they recover these beans? Does someone follow one of these cats around with a baggie? Do they walk through the woods looking for cat crap? And how did someone get the great idea to even try this out? Was somebody really really bored one day and said to themselves, hey I think I will try brewing a pot of this cat crap and see what I get? Those crazy Indonesians! What will they think of next?

All joking aside it seems that the digestive process of the cat breaks down the enzymes that give coffee it’s bitter flavor. Huh, who would have thought of that? I think those dudes in indonesia were hitting the bong one day, got the munchies and got something mixed up with a Nutty Buddy. Anyway believe it or not this Kopi Luwak has been researched a lot, for what I think are obvious reasons. The beans washed thoroughly with a special wash before they are roasted to kill any bacteria before the beans are ground into coffee. Special analysis by labs have surprisingly showed roasted Kopi Luwak beans have lower bacterial levels than normal coffee. Scientific study of the chemical compounds in the cat poop coffee also reveal how completely different Kopi Luwak coffee is. This might account for the incredible taste, isn’t that amazing? hehe.

Before you rush over to Starbucks or your local roaster to get a pound, know this. There are only 1000 pounds produced a year. This rarity and increasing world demand have pushed prices to about $450-$600 a pound or $50 dollars a cup. Holy Crap! (no Pun intended)

Most people if they are going to spend $600 dollars on a pound of Kopi Luwak want the real thing. This is a matter of concern as scam artists have been passing off coffee digested by humans as the real thing. Ewwwwww! Experts (experts? How do you become a cat crap coffee expert?) suggest ordering the beans still unroasted in the cat poop as proof. You mean to tell me you can buy this shit while it’s still in the shit? We live in a strange world. Why not buy a civet cat and feed it yourself with coffee cherries? Then your coffee is really fresh. I mean how can you tell civet cat crap from other crap?

Here is what I think you should do. Go to this website, and order your coffee there. It’s safer that way, and cheaper. Get it here!



Using the Bialetti Style Coffee maker.
December 28, 2009, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Coffee | Tags: , , , ,

Ever wish you could make a cup of espresso or cappuccino at home like you get at a coffee shop? Well now you can by using a stovetop espresso maker known as a Bialetti coffee maker. I bought one of these puppies yesterday and tried it out that afternoon. It was Great!

The Bialetti coffee maker was invented nearly a hundred years ago. The water is put into the bottom compartment and a rubber gasket makes an airtight seal when the bottom is attached to the top section.

The coffee grounds are put into a compartment between the top and bottom sections. It looks similar to a percolator basket. By the same principle when the water in the bottom boils, it is forced up by pressure through the grounds and then through a pipe into the top chamber.
Coffee from a Bialetti coffee maker is a cross between espresso from an espresso machine and coffee from an electric drip coffeemaker. This is by far the best coffee you can make at home without going out and buying an expensive espresso machine. And really who needs that?

Here are step by step instructions
Step 1
Disassemble the coffee maker into its three parts: bottom, filter basket and top.

Step 2
Fill the bottom part of the Bialetti coffee maker with filtered water. DON”T overfill. Fill it to just below the pressure valve on the side.

Step 3
Insert the filter basket into bottom of Bialetti coffee maker. If the bottom of the filter basket gets flooded, You have probably added too much water. Remove it and empty a little water out of the bottom of the coffee maker.

Step 4
Place 1 tbsp. of ground coffee in the filter basket for every espresso-size cup of coffee you’re making.

Step 5
Firm down the coffee grounds very lightly using the back of a spoon.

Step 6
Run your finger along the rim of the filter basket to remove any stray coffee grounds.

Step 7
Screw on the top part of the Bialetti coffee maker.

Step 8
Put coffee maker on the stove burner. If you are using a gas stove, adjust the flame so it is directly underneath the pot and does not crawl up the side of the coffee maker. If you are using an electric stove, place the coffee maker near the edge of the burner so that the handle is not above the heating element. This step is only necessary if you don’t want to melt the handle of your Bialetti coffee maker. And who wants to do that?

Step 9
Open the top of the coffee maker (it will stay up by itself). Stay by the stove and watch your pot. Hey this is the exciting part.

Step 10
When you see the coffee start to come out of the inner spout in the top of the Bialetti coffee maker, close the cover and stand by. We are almost done! It will start to make hissing and gurgling noises.

Step 11
When the coffee maker stops hissing and gurgling, the coffee is done. Remove it from the heat immediately. Now you have espresso! Drink it straight or make a cappucino or latte with it.
REMEMBER the bottom of the coffee make is likely under pressure. WAIT until it is cooled before attempt to open it up and clean it.

Step 12
ENJOY!



Best way to brew coffee
December 20, 2009, 2:09 am
Filed under: Coffee | Tags: , ,

There really is no best way to brew coffee. Coffee is such a drink that is used all over the world and every region has its own way of making it. Good choice of brewing equipment is essential to have a good flavor and aroma from a cup of coffee. It is essential that this brewing equipment is clean. There are a large number of brewing devices available on the market. Most of them make coffee in one of the seven brewing principles. There is no single correct or best way to brew a cup of coffee. The selection of coffee brewing method depends upon one choice and interest. For brewing coffee, one out of two features are used.
First either, put the coffee in boiling water, wait for at least five minutes, and then filter it, or boiling water is made to flow through ground coffee (and a filter) forcibly either by its own weight, by a little steam pressure, or by high pressure.
The easiest and the most popular in the USA is the drip brewing method. Water at a close to boiling temperature is poured gradually through the grounds at once. The resulting cup is clear and smooth. The hotter the water within the stated range, the brighter the coffee. Medium ground coffee is used. The filtering devices can be wedges or baskets made from paper, cloth, metal, plastic, or coated plastic. Paper filters are also vary widely. Drip makers come either in manual or electric versions.
I personally prefer the Bunn that we use. Though the Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker has got to be the most popular in the US. The drip method makes a great cup of coffee and by using freshly ground coffee and a clean brewing device and fresh water, you can get one helluva good cuppa. So far we discussed percolating, french press, and now the drip process. Next we can spend a little time talking about vacuum coffee makers.
Now all that said go here and take advantage of a chance to buy good coffee at great prices. See you next week.



The Writings of James Allen.
December 15, 2009, 9:22 pm
Filed under: etc.

I am a fan of James T. Allen. Now I realize this isn’t about coffee. But you could say it is, indirectly, since what a better thing to do than read an essay by James Allen while sipping your favorite coffee. He is probably most famous for his book, As a Man Thinketh. And a great book it is, but he has also written much much more than that. He retired from active employment at age 38 and only lived for about 10 more years after, publishing 19 works during that time. He was also the Editor and Publisher of a magazine called, The Light of Reason. Most of his work is now in the public domain, if not all of it. I personally have bookmarked this URL which has a list of his work online. I have published below the first chapter of his essay, All These Things Added. Enjoy, I know I do.

1. The Soul’s Great Need

I sought the world, but Peace was not there;
I courted learning, but Truth was not revealed;
I sojourned with philosophy, but my heart was sore with vanity.
And I cried, Where is Peace to be found!
And where is the hiding place of truth!

Filius Lucis

EVERY HUMAN SOUL IS IN NEED. The expression of that need varies with individuals, but there is not one soul that does not feel it in some degree. It is a spiritual and casual need which takes the form, in souls of a particular development, of a deep and inexpressible hunger which the outward things of life, however abundantly they may be possessed, can never satisfy. Yet the majority, imperfect in knowledge and misled by appearances, seek to satisfy this hunger by striving for material possessions, believing that these will satisfy their need, and bring them peace.

Every soul, consciously or unconsciously, hungers for righteousness, and every soul seeks to gratify that hunger in its own particular way, and in accordance with its own particular state of knowledge. The hunger is one, and the righteousness is one, but the pathways by which righteousness is sought are many.

They who seek consciously are blessed, and shall shortly find that final and permanent satisfaction of soul which righteousness alone can give, for they have come into a knowledge of the true path.

They who seek unconsciously, although for a time they may bathe in a sea of pleasure, are not blessed, for they are carving out for themselves pathways of suffering over which they must walk with torn and wounded feet, and their hunger will increase, and the soul will cry out for its lost heritage—the eternal heritage of righteousness.

Not in any of the three worlds (waking, dream and sleep) can the soul find lasting satisfaction, apart from the realization of righteousness. Bodied or disembodied, it is ceaselessly driven on by the discipline of suffering, until at last, in its extremity, it flies to its only refuge—the refuge of righteousness—and finds that joy, satisfaction, and peace which it had so long and so vainly sought.

The great need of the soul, then, is the need of this permanent principle, called righteousness, on which it may stand securely and restfully amid the tempest of earthly existence, no more bewildered, and whereon it may build the mansion of a beautiful, peaceful, and perfect life.

It is the realization of this principle where the Kingdom of Heaven, the abiding home of the soul, resides, and which is the source and storehouse of every permanent blessing. Finding it, all is found; not finding it, all is lost. It is an attitude of mind, a state of consciousness, an ineffable knowledge, in which the struggle for existence ceases, and the soul finds itself at rest in the midst of plenty, where its great need, yea, its every need, is satisfied, without strife and without fear. Blessed are they who earnestly and intelligently seek, for it is impossible that such should seek in vain.