Coffee. I grew up with in it the house, but it wasn’t until I went to college that I truly began to understand the wide spectrum within it. I once thought it was bitter tasting brown water, but as I started exploring my local surroundings and later the world map, I began developing my palate. I started asking questions so I could expand outside my limited range of knowledge (hot/cold, black/cream/sugar). There is so much that I still don’t know, but I determined to learn more. One day, I hope to perfect the ideal cup of coffee or at least understand the basics thoroughly enough to know when I am being served up a bad cup. I may not be a coffee aficionado, but I am certainly a caffeinated nerd.
This Power-Up Mug is Self-Rescuing Princess Approved!
Q1: Do you have preferred coffee brands?
A: In Orlando, I have two places which are my absolute favorite when it comes to coffee: Lineage Coffee Roasting and Vespr Craft Coffee and Allures. In NSB, Hottie Coffee is my go to cafe when visiting my parents’ house. The current roaster on heavy rotation at The Lil House of the Nerdy is Chapín Coffee. I met one of the owners of Chapín at a bridal shower last year and when we discussed the philanthropy associated with her business, I could not help but support her small business. I love supporting independent business owners, more so when they are friends who give back to the community. I don’t mind waiting for my coffee to arrive in the mail when I know it’s fantastic and helping make the world a better place.
Q2: When did you learn about espresso?
A: My senior year of undergrad, I took a year of Italian as my foreign language. My Italian professor was also director of the Rome Summer Program changed my life forever when I went to his office hours in the weeks prior the RPS deadline. In a small seating area in his office, he prepared a proper cup of espresso with a moka and a hot plate. “This will prepare you for six weeks in Italy, and ruin regular coffee for the rest of your life.” The aroma alone disarmed me, and I realized with a single sip that I had severely limited my options in the coffee realm.
I like my espresso on The Dark Side…
In the last year, I finally invested in my own moka, but I am still learning how to properly make espresso with it on an electric range. My beautiful cousin, who shares in the family wanderlust genes, lived in Italy for several years. When she stayed with me over new years, she was kind enough to give me tips on using a moka, and surprised me with Star Wars espresso cups as a house warming gift!
Q3: How do you take your coffee?
A: My standard response when flying was “black like my heart and bitter like my soul.” I made passengers laugh for over six months, receiving praise for my witty sentiment. Once a passenger retorted, “Then you’ll need to stick your finger in it.” I immediately back peddled, informing him that it was a joke and I could never do something like that to another person’s coffee. “Well, how else am I supposed to get a little sugar in it?” Well played, Sir. Well played indeed.
This would be the polite version when words fail in the mornings.
There was a time when I would regularly dump two creams and two sugars into my coffee, but when you have jobs which require mainlining coffee to survive the early mornings or late nights, it can really gunk up the system. In recent years, I’ve taken to using almond and cashew milks as substitutes for dairy and non-dairy creamers. On rare occasions, I also treat myself to those decadent International Delights flavored creamers, but I limit myself to one and forego any additional sugar or syrup.
Q4: So are you one of those coffee snobs?
A: I love my diner coffee just as much as the next person. When I was traveling, I always had sachets of instant NesCafe and Starbucks Via just in case the hotel coffee wasn’t available. I have even made the pilgrimage to the original Starbucks at Pike Place in Seattle! Regardless of location (home, work, restaurant, airplane, hotel, office), I have had my fair share of bad coffee. Nothing ruins my morning more than inhaling that glorious aroma and then spitting out a foul sludge that could degrease an engine. With a longer morning commute, I enjoy listening to XL 106.7 as I sip my morning brew.
Mad Happy Studios knows my critical weakness for Disney & Coffee!
Q5: Do you ever review any of the nerdy products you purchase?
A: After my first visit to the ThinkGeek flagship store at the Florida Mall, I participated in their #GeekFamous Customer Action Shot contest. Although I did not win the monthly $100 gift certificate drawing, my photo has been featured on the TG main page promoting the contest. When I posted this little trivia nugget on my personal FB page, my friend Rob, informed me that I needed to be a little less humble in my bragging and a little more celebratory.
I know that there are many wonderful local places here in Orlando and across the world. While I do enjoy the cafe coffee experience, I would like to learn tips and tricks for making better cups of coffee at home. I miss walking around Central Park with a hot cup on a cold day, but I can now enjoy the same pleasure sitting on my front porch or kicking back on my back patio. I also miss cozying up at the counter to talk with the owners at Coffee House KAKO in Nagoya, but I now want to learn how to entertain with coffee and learn to make snacks and desserts which could complement the different flavors. I miss the chance to bring coffee home from around the world, but with friends all over the globe, I am interested in finding new ways to prepare, serve, pair, and mix one of the six most influential beverages in history.
Answer Me, These Questions Three!
- How do you take your coffee? What’s your perfect recipe?
- D0 you have a favorite mug?
- What is your favorite blend, roast, brand, or coffee shop/roaster?