Thursday, March 09, 2006

bore yourself some coffee

the setting is quite familiar. one-time avid blogger has been posting rather infrequently due to various reasons. millions of readers grow weary waiting for posts, there is worldwide speculation about the blogger, a meme about the top 10 guesses for the absence of posts is started by the blogger himself. it traverses exactly 0 blogs. blogger dreams up vague topics then trashes them as they are worse than the meme idea. like a caffeine addict who has gone the first half of the day without coffee, a nagging feeling starts taking control. mere facts are hypothesised to have mucho blogging potential. some one-liners start looking like inner cores around which planets and solar systems could be built.

that is for most other avid bloggers. i am too lazy to get that worked up (or so i claim). i just decided to go the gimmicky way. it is fast, easy and i don't have to think. so what does an idea-starved blogger do when he/she is in the caffeine capital in the world (in the united states that is). he decides to blog about coffee. seeing that i've already praised the nectar to heaven i had only one recourse. i decided to rate the baristas of seattle.

any valuable scientific study such as this requires samples and most researchers who undertake such studies have vast armies of research assistants and government backing. i had a road map of seattle's downtown and my trusty piece of plastic. armed thus i started at the somewhat-tall-but-totally-not-worth-$14 space needle. needless to say there was a starbucks on its top. what was surprising that travelling a brief 600 feet vertically had caused the coffee to appreciate in value by about 60 cents. a quick calculation aided by my abysmal math skills revealed that if and when they put a starbucks on a space station (they surely will) one cup will probably cost the same as your arm(your cybernetic arm that is). the extra 70 cents made no difference in taste but a thought popped into my head. i had to rate the baristas so my 'millions of readers' could benefit from my experience.

the next cuppa joe was at another starbucks rather strategically placed near a bus stand at the base of the space needle. the very fact that it was cheaper by 60 cents made it taste better but my study was not one that would be swayed by external factors. the taste and taste alone would matter. it was a different blend. they called it nutty flavored. my sensitive palette however detected no difference. thats when it struck me that i had to use a wasabi equivalent in order to wash my mouth of the previous cup's taste. enter some breath mints. the next cup took awhile. a bus ride up to the south side of the city took me to pioneer place. this quaint side of town had relatively fewer starbucks per sq inch and my next cup was at tully's. i liked this cup a lot. the chalk board above the counter described it as smooth and bold. i thought it smelled good and was not too watery. 3 cups gone and tully's had been the best cup by far.

if u r a coffee drinker you proably also know it is a diuretic which means that it dehydrates the body rather quickly. which means that in studies such as this it is not enough if you find where the next sample will come from, you'll also have to make sure and locate somewhere that the previous sample can be evacuated in a sanitary manner. thankfully the coffee shops provided such outlets. the next stop was at a seattle's best shop. by far the worst cup i'd had that day. it was too light and i found after ingesting half a cup that i hadnt noticed the choice of a darker blend. by now the study was far from scientific and lacked the meticulous journaling that seem to accompany such ventures. nevertheless i pressed on and located this neat little shop called juan valdez. i found later that juan is the colombian guy with the donkey who symbolizes colombian coffee the world over. the coffee was good i taste buds were too tired to even realise that the drink was hot. i'd reached the extremes of coffee intake for a day and so i reluctantly gave up.

so that was that folks.i liked tullys but have thankfully gone back to drinking free coffee at work. then today my friend pointed me to this article on the web. i havent read it yet, will go fetch a cup and sit down to read it at leisure.


Anonymous said...

holla!! I see u mentioned my article :) im visiting after a long time - will check out the rest of ur stuff!

Anonymous said...

holas! i see you wrote about my city.. i hope you had a chance to visit the first starbucks opened. next time around try the smaller coffee places in kirkland downtown.. very Central Perk kind of places.

catcharun said...

hyps..that article only says 2 cups and since i'm still alive, i must be a really fast metabolizer

anon : ur city?? didnt see any statues for you :). nope i did go to the pike place market, but not the first starbucks...kirkland came after this small feat..i was literally drained off all enthusiasm to caffeinate myself we stopped at this place called triple J where there was no menu and i ordered a chai tea latte and had to take their word for ityiv