I received an e-mail from my boss today with a link to Muddy Dog Roasting Company’s blog about wine and coffee (very interesting…thanks TJ!).  I proceeded to poke around the blog a bit and found this lil’ post about “drinking better coffee in 2011.” I enjoyed reading it so much that I wanted to share it here. It has very simple, not harsh or demeaning, ways to drink better — maybe even eat and live better. Enjoying the sweet nodes of life’s simple pleasures….


Again I just copied and posted below, there you will find their website and blog if you want to read more….  enjoy.


Top 10 ways to drink better coffee in 2011

January 2, 2011 by muddydogcoffee

OK, I have to admit this post is a recycle from 2010, but it was good advice then and now, and one of the most popular posts of the year on this blog.  So we are going to rerun it!

#10.  Stop Drinking Coffee as a Water Substitute.

Much as we want to sell coffee, it’s not the right beverage for every occasion.  If you’re thirsty, drink water.  If you’re at a pub in London, hoist a pint.   If you’re having dinner at a fine restaurant, have a glass of wine.  Every beverage has its time and place to be savored.  When you want to relax with a warm beverage, or a little pick-me-up, drink coffee.  Savor it.  Enjoy it.  Look forward to it next time, in between water, wine, beer or other beverages.

#9.  Lose the Condiments

We spend a lot of time watching people prepare their coffee.  Most people (90%+ by our observation) don’t even sip their coffee without adulterating it with cream and sugar.  To drink better coffee, you must be able to taste it.  Commit to drinking your coffee black for a month as a first step on your journey to great coffee.

#8.  Be an active, not a passive taster.

Most of us eat every day.  Some things we like.  Some things we don’t.  When asked why they prefer one thing to another, many people are challenged to describe exactly how something tastes.  Taste, don’t chug, and THINK about what you’re tasting.  Chocolate?  Fruit?  Flowers?  Wood (not so silly – think about chewing on a toothpick)?  Cardboard?  Seriously.  THINK about it while you taste.

#7.  Choose Your Cup.

Different beverages are served in different containers because they make sense.  Wine glasses are shaped to allow your nose to capture the bouquet and have a stem to prevent warming the beverage with your hands.  Shot glasses make sense for whiskey because a larger portion is just too much.  Coffee, on the other hand, is served in all kinds of  containers.  Paper.  Foam.  Stainless steel.  Thermal. Ceramic.  The list goes on…  Find your favored serving container and stick with it.  For regular coffees, it’s hard to beat a pre-warmed ceramic cup about 5 or 6 ounces in size, preferably one that tapers down slightly at the top.  The shape allows you to capture the nose of the coffee.  It is a good size to allow you to savor the beverage through various stages of cooling.  It feels good on the hands.  If you must go disposable, opt for paper – foam imparts off flavors to the beverage.

#6.  Just Say No to Swill.

When you taste obviously bad coffee, stop drinking it.  Period.  Yes, toss it (after cooling) on one of the office plants.  Complain to the server, in the long run you’re doing them a favor.

#5.  Buy a Grinder

The single best investment you can make in equipment is a decent grinder.  Buy yourself a good burr mill and toss the old $20 blade grinder.  You can buy a decent burr mill from us for $100.  I don’t even want to hear that you think that’s expensive.  For the pleasure and longevity it will deliver, it’s a bargain.

#4.  Buy a French Press

The second best investment you can make in equipment is a nice press pot.  Simple, inexpensive, easy to use and infinitely controllable.  Bodum makes the best workaday press on the market; stick with the classic Chambord model.  And never buy a press smaller than 0.5 liter – making coffee is a non-linear process, and it’s hard to get a really good result with a single cup press.  Save the extra coffee if you must and use for iced coffee.

#3.  Find a Great Local Roaster.

When you go to a great restaurant, you place your trust in a professional sommelier, right (even if it’s just to have gather the selection in the cellar)?  A great local roaster will be knowledgeable about  seasons, origins, processing, roasting and more.  They will enable you to experience the world of coffee in ways you never knew possible.  Obviously, we think we fill the bill for central Carolina people.  Regardless, find a good local roaster and develop a relationship – it’s symbiotic, and fun.

#2.  Be Adventurous.

Don’t stay in your same old rut.  Try new origins.  New prep methods.  Taste things you think you’ll hate, and taste them roasted and prepared several different ways.  Never stop exploring.

#1.  Buy the Best Beans.

Think about the difference between a fish taco from a street vendor in Mexico, and Coq Au Vin from a French bistro in Paris.  They are completely different, yet both may be the best example of that particular thing that exists.  Best doesn’t necessarily mean most expensive.  It means beans with a known pedigree, selected with purpose, that are freshly roasted (within 2 weeks).   We hope you’ll consider buying from us.


Cave Getaway…

So I enjoy poking around on the internet and find some real interesting places and things. I have to share this because it is such a unique place, and I would love to go someday — or at least dream about going. Here are some pictures of a wonderful vacation getaway in the side of a mountain : Yunak Cave Hotel !




<object width=”480″ height=”360″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/x4lv1b_trailer-women-are-heroes_creation?additionalInfos=0″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”></param></object><br /><b><a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4lv1b_trailer-women-are-heroes_creation”>TRAILER &quot; WOMEN ARE HEROES&quot;</a></b><br /><i>Uploaded by <a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/JR”>JR</a&gt;. – <a target=”_self” href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/us/channel/creation”>Watch original web videos.</a></i>



This video just makes me want to dance. It’s a good way to start of the week…. enjoy.

So Beautiful

This is the best telling of the Christmas story that I have seen in a long time: