Friday Morning Coffee Break: The To-Go Cup

KeepCup Cork/Glass sexiness

It is a beautiful day outside. I have decided to call in sick to work. And no…my boss doesn’t read my blog. Well hopefully she doesn’t. But if you are at work or at home, grab your favorite brew, grab your computer and take a break outside as we enjoy our Friday morning coffee break and learn about the to-go coffee cup. Continue reading

Friday Morning Coffee Break: Tools of the Trade “Hario Drip Kettle”

I love the holidays. I get presents, I give presents, and I get to drink some damn fine coffee.

Hario Buono Coffee Kettle

This year my ladyfriend was amazing. She bought me stuff to help build my coffee crap craft collection. On Christmas I was given a Hario Buono Coffee Drip Kettle. It is stylish, metallic, and looks like a beehive. It is sexy, gives me complete control over my water pour and just looks elegant on the counter. Being able to look like a piece of art is important when something takes up counter space. You don’t want your house to look like a mess. You want it to look like an architects/designers wet dream full of tres chic designs and shapes. This pot is made in Japan. Along with the pour over and coffee sock, I can say that Japan’s coffee renaissance has been improving the craft coffee scene for all.

What I like about the Hario kettle is, like I said before, control. When you are making coffee there are many variables that you are working with. Water quality, water temperature, grind of coffee, quantity of coffee, water flow, filtration, coffee age, brew time, etc. etc. The list is enormous. But what the Hario does is it allows you to control at least a few variables. Namely water heat and water flow. Now heat you are constantly losing from when you pull the water off of a heating element but the bee hive design of the Hario allows for longer heat retention in the pot maintaining a more consistent near boiling temperature.

The Hario also lets you control the amount of water that you pour onto the grounds. This controlling of water allows you to 1. Fully saturate the grounds during the blooming stage 2. Fill up your coffee to the desired level/weight 3. Control the pour so that you are not over extracting your coffee. Think of coffee beans like a peanut M&M. On the outside layer is the color which when extracted gives coffee it’s nice brown/red hue. Inside of that is the chocolate, all of the great flavors that you like. Finally there is the peanut. In an M&M it is good, but in coffee that is the bitter bland part that we don’t want to pull into the actual coffee liquid. The Hario allows to properly extract the good parts of the coffee and leave the bad parts in.

*I should not here that skill is still required to not pull in the peanut, but the Hario helps.

When we think about over extracting, a lot of manual brewers are gravity based. Meaning that when you pour the water over the coffee, the liquid is pulled down. The water will also look for the path of least resistance  and if the coffee grounds have an opening say on the edge of a pour-over, than that is where the coffee will go. Or the water will direct itself to the edge of the pour over thus over extracting the outside grounds and under extracting the inside.

The science is too difficult and too long to explain here so I will do that at a later date but needless to say. This is one of the best gifts I ever received. I really love it and love my ladyfriend for it.

You can purchase the Hario Drip Kettle here.

Friday Morning Coffee Break: A History of the World in 6 Glasses

Tom Standage’s other book The Victorian Internet is next on my list of reads.

Lately here in the good ol’ state of Colorado we have been getting late in the year snow storms and now late in the afternoon Rain. Miserable because I just wan’t to ride my bicycle. Oh well, I guess that just means grabbing a Cortado and sitting down to read a book. Come along and join me as today I read a phenomenal and life changing book, A History of the World in 6 Glasses. Trust me, you will not be disappointed that without whiskey and coffee, the American and French revolutions NEVER would have happened.  Continue reading

The Art of Shaving (Or my lack of understanding about razors and my face)

“I will not rush that which affects my visual appeal” -The Brotherhood of Shaving

Over the Holiday break my ladyfriend and I decided to meet up with her sister in Denver and head to Park Meadows mall. I am not gonna lie to you. Being overly sartorially eccentric I love going to the mall. I am a fan of looking at clothes and finding what perks my personal interest. I also love going to look at the stores layouts. For some reason when I enter a store like Apothecary I just imagine what my rustic life would look like. All the tweeds and flannels and man made wooden and metal interior designs. So much fun.

But on this trip there was one shop that just made my day. I mean it’s been three days since we were there and I am still ranting and raving about it. The shop is called The Art of Shaving. Imagine for a second that you, a very well dressed man, realize that even though you have a fantastic outfit you have a scraggly pre-pubescent beard and look like you haven’t showered in weeks. When you finally realize that personal grooming is just as important if not more important than your wardrobe you need to find a place that will help lead you into the clean shaven future.

The Art of Shaving storefront. Very Dapper

The Art of Shaving is just that place. An American based high end specialty shaving store started in New York is extremely impressive. With it’s classic 1920’s minimalist style the shop specializes and focuses on improving men’s grooming habits but at the same time celebrating the tradition of shaving. Walking inside the first thing that I noticed was the beautiful layout of razors, badger brushes, and straight edge razors. Not only that, they have a huge line up of shaving soaps, foams, and essential oils to keep your face clean and smelling good. All of it is laid out in the open and even spaced so you are not extremely overwhelmed by a billion different options. But the creme de la creme of the shop is that in the back there is a bona fide Barber Spa. What is that? I don’t know but all I know is is that I wanted to have a shave in there. And feel like a dapper gentleman.

I think what really impressed me about the shop is that it understands the need of a man versus a woman when shopping. The space is small and intimate and very quiet. The music was a background accompnament to the knowledgeable and friendly employees. The selection they have is very small, there are only five different aromatics in the shaving liquids (Lavender, sandalwood, lemon, lavender  and unscented). The shop has a very limited amount of products but all are of high quality. For me I like going into a shop that I can really look at a few pieces laid out rather than having to push through racks and racks of crap for that one diamond in the ruff. I also want to know that everything from the low end to the high end of equipment will still have a decent quality to it that won’t feel like a cheap purchase. I like my stuff to be good and long lasting. Not only that, the staff is ready to offer you demonstrations, advice, and really cater your purchase to your personal shaving needs and preferences.

I really like this type of shopping atmosphere. Instead of feeling like you are going in blindly, the staff is passionate about their products and want to give you a breakdown and understanding of what each service is. They are building passion through education and knowledge. I was recently reading an article about well dressed men and that to learn about being well dressed you should go into a gentlemen fashion store or tailor and be upfront about wanting to learn and not purchase. If they are willing to cooperate and teach you, than you should spend your money there because they treat you like a person who wants to share their appreciation of a craft. When I went into The Art of Shaving this teenage was being treated like he was royalty and the employee was taking great care about teaching him all the tricks and tools of shaving and not feeling like it was a waste of her time. To put that much sincere attention into a teenager who really doesn’t even know what shaving is shows me the respect that they give to their craft. A great store to check out if it is in your area.

Look how classy their line of stuff is!

*My personal favorite is the unscented line because it smells most like man. Nice deep earthy wood notes with a very simple floral finish.

So This is the New Year and I am off

Courtesy of Street Artist Slinkachu and his amazing world of miniatures

 

So we did it! We survived the Mayan end of the world, we got through an apocalyptic year of Honey Boo Boo and Taylor Swift’s lack of edginess and entered the awkward teenage years of the 21st century! In lieu of that I thought about being an ass and posting Death Cab for Cutie’s “New Year” like I do in all my angsty past years but I decided that this year it is time to be different.

A new year, a new look, a new me! So many new opportunities lie ahead of me! Do I have a job? Hell no! Do I have any better ambitions than last year? Nope. Am I frustrated that it is so easy for all of my friends to get married and I am so reluctant because I don’t feel like I am responsible enough to take on that responsibility? You better believe it!

But I am not letting that hold me back. I like the new year because it always feel like a fresh start. Not just to lose an extra few pounds, but for me to finally realize my true potential and what I want to do. Recently I was with my Ladyfriend and her sister at the Park Meadows Mall in Denver and became enthralled and inspired. Not with the Mall itself, I don’t like them because they take away from the community and downtown support of small business. But, all of the shops left me with this serious awe and impression that our society is finally starting to recognize and embrace our 20-something awkward fondness for the 1890’s and an appreciation of the craft persona. Because of that I feel that I am ready to not hold back and finally start taking my life in my hands and improving and becoming better for myself and hopefully for my family I will eventually want to have….maybe….sometime soon….or later…..maybe.

But it’s time to focus on the things that make me happy and hopefully through my blog, Youth Like Hubris, you can again follow my journey to become a man living with intent and hopefully feel inspired to do the same.

 

Friday Morning Coffee Break: New Screen Printed Postcards

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Friday Morning Coffee Break: New Screen Printed Postcards

With having so much time on my hands lately, being out of work, I have taken up other hobbies to try and keep myself entertained, creative, and productive.

Even though 99.9% of the time that means that there is a lack of financial gains, it makes me feel better dammit! So that being said, I have decided to embark on a Graphic Design side project creating postcards.

I like writing. I like writing something personal to my friends and families so Postcards seemed like a logical medium for me to address. Not only can you get something fun and witty, but Post-cards allow you to send something more personal than a text or an e-mail to someone you love.

These are my first two drafts and I can’t wait to make more. I will be charging $1.75 for the Christmas ones and $2.50 for the Coffee Haiku. As they get better I will keep the prices relatively the same but hope to provide great art-work!

Please e-mail me at r.jameslopez@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing. Also, If I can make this a legitimate thing, who knows, even a website storefront might be in the future!

Friday Morning Coffee Break: Coffee No More?!?!?!?!

Le Sigh,

Aaron’s not too happy I am leaving

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce on this Friday Morning Coffee Break that I have decided to leave my current position at the LittleBird Bakeshop! This has come as a shock to everyone, including myself but it is hopefully the right thing to do. Or at least we keep telling myself that right?

Continue reading