In which I act like a hipster, though I cannot dress like one.

I went to a coffee shop that's way too hip for me today. Been meaning to go to this place for a few weeks now, because it's affiliated with a roaster that makes well-reviewed beans. And I've been having a coffee renaissance recently, unconnected with any new fic projects. Well, there's a connection, but it goes in the direction of making me more interested in the idea of a coffeeshop AU than I would be normally. This connection also makes me think about writing the hardcore iron gym AU, in which Xander is a bodybuilder and Giles is the trainer who is cranky but eventually agrees to work with him and makes him do strange things in the name of strength. Buffy trains with them. Giles makes them flip truck tires in the rain. There is a shirtless-Xander massage scene.

Where was I? Oh. Coffee shop. It was filled with hipsters: wallet chains and tats on the women, really old Apple Computer hats and facial hair on the men. Actually they weren't hipsters. They were college students who looked like college students everywhere. Alas, the music playing was horrible. The contents of my iPod are hipper than that. Unless one now listens to A-Ha and Michael Jackson ironically? Perhaps I am just not thinking the right way. Some day I will walk into a coffeeshop that's playing psychill and I will never leave it.

Modern coffee culture! This place will brew you coffee by hand-pouring into Hario drippers using long-spout kettles. This apparently brews a nice cup of coffee, but you have to know how to pour the water onto the grounds. Too labor-intensive for me. (I'm addicted to my Aeropress. Yes, that's a geeky-hipster way to brew coffee.) If you're not into the brew, a barista will do things with espresso for you. I ordered an espresso drink that I will not describe here because I'm holding onto those details for the story, but it was freaking awesome. Fueled by that I wrote a chunk of novel.

Came home with a pound of decaf beans and a pound of espresso. They join the small collection of beans from Bay Area roasters I've been drinking during this mini-phase. I'm still mostly on the decaf but I suspect I'll be tipping over the edge soon.

 Melanine by Tycho from Dive (Rating: 0)
If you cannot dress like a hipster, I am proud to say I know you! They make my eye twitch. The very moment I realized 10 was supposed to be a sort of hipster, he immediately got downgraded in my personal doctor hierarchy. This past week I was considering applying to grad schools in Portland, but discounted it because I don't think I could survive living 5 years in their nest.

Can't wait to read the coffeeshop AU. Is the Aeropress thing like a vacuum brewer or something different?
The Aeropress is a very simple gizmo designed & made by a Stanford engineering professor who went about methodically exploring the steps in making a good cup of coffee. Here's a ridiculous page of raving about it. It's incredibly cheap, too, especially in comparison with other low-tech gizmos like the Hario.

I am too geeky to ever look like a hipster. Also too middle-aged.
Oh I used to buy beans from a guy who roasted his own and ran a coffee shop. Alas it was too far away and I was reorg'd into another group at my old job who weren't coffee drinkers, so I became complacent. Was fun while it lasted though.

Yay for writing! :)
Mr Pedia tells me that the truly trendy coffee geek thing to do is roast your own in small batches, at home, before grinding etc. He mocks me for buying these pre-roasted beans.
You know, I consider myself competent in the kitchen, but whenever I have to roast spices or nuts for a recipe, I get all sorts of wrapped around the axle about it. I always worry I am going to do it for too long, burn them and then it's just ick in the kitchen for the entire day, no matter how long you air the place out. I could just imagine my anxienty dealing with the beans. I love a dark roast, but if I can find someone to do it for me, that's just easier. And I've found a coffee I like that satisfies the everyday need, and brewed in my coffee press, nice, bold, velvety smooth... It's not hoity-toity, but it gets the job done.

One day I'll try to take it to the next level.
I work at Pacific Bay coffee in Walnut Creek and we roast our own beans. We also do custom pour overs and yeah, it's like a million times tastier than what you get out of the big coffee urns. (Plus, the metal baskets of our urns that the filters go in are all banged up and I really think that's what affects the taste because the coffee isn't brewing at a consistant rate). It's not that hard to get the hang of pouring the water over the grounds correctly, but it does take a while and there's no rushing it.

ANYHOODLE, sometimes I'm a barista so if you want to pick my brain in the name of giles porn, do it. Can I ask where you went to?
I went to Barefoot Coffee, Santa Clara location. It's not exactly near to me, but I did the drive down because they were on my list of beans to try. And they're not in San Francisco, which is too much of a pain to drive to. Well, it's not the drive, it's the parking, but you know what I mean. I will probably drag myself up to Sightglass eventually just in the name of, uh, research.

Why are there no coffee shops like this in Redwood City? There's Coupa Cafe in Palo Alto, but that's not strictly a coffee shop and you have to compete for tables with the VC trash holding meetings.

I will pick your brains at some point :D

Edited at 2011-10-12 05:40 pm (UTC)