Morning Coffee


FrenchPressCoffee

I love my morning coffee. I don’t imagine it’s much of a surprise, but like I make all other things my wife and I eat, I also make the coffee, hot cocoa, and even the home-made sports drinks we use when we work out. I even mix the drinks when we’re doing some sort of alcohol, though the frequency of drinking in our household is dropping quickly! I’ve been using a coffee maker for years. I buy top-quality beans, and grind them myself because the flavor of the coffee really is affected by the beans, and whether you grind them yourself or if you buy them ground. So I’ve had some good habits with our morning coffee.

Which beans do I buy?

I have spent a lot of time over the years making sure that I choose the best beans I can reasonably afford. I am careful which regions I buy my coffee from, making sure that they come from regions with a strong history of quality coffee beans. I always try to buy fair-trade beans, with the hope that a little bit more of the profit is passed on to the farm and the farm workers. I believe firmly that if they’re making some money, they will work harder and produce a better product. And finally, I always buy sun-dried beans, and never the fire-dried beans. The flavor is drastically different between smaller production farms and the big outfits which supply the likes of Starbucks and Dunkin Doughnuts – the bigger outfits dry their beans using fires, and the beans taste and smell like the smoke that comes out of that fire! The difference is undeniable.

Coffee Maker:

FrenchPressCoffee1I used to use a top-quality coffee maker. But today’s post is all about how, and why, I’ve just switched to a french press in the mornings.
I’ll admit it: there’s something nice about having the brew done automatically, and waking up to a finished pot. There’s no question about it. It’s great to walk in to the kitchen and have your coffee already waiting for you. But it’s not as great as the amazing flavor of truly fresh coffee, stewed in a french-press right there in front of you while you watch. The flavor difference is incredible, and I was already using premium beans and grinding them myself!

FrenchPressCoffee2At the end of the day, I am all about the food. The end result, the final product, must be the highest quality that I can make it. And part of my food is my coffee. I’ve been talking about making the switch to a french press for a while now, but routine had been keeping me on the percolator, the coffee brewer that my wife and I used to use.

And now that we’ve switched, there’s no turning back. Just like going Paleo, the difference is astonishing. The flavor, the quality, it’s immediately recognizable and amazing! I am always in search of better quality, and this has been a huge success!

Update: Launching my “Workout and Diet” journal

I just posted my first “Workout and Diet” post last night, sharing my daily workout and food journal. I have a few goals, which I will share on the “Workout and Diet” page I am working on. But the most important part here is that you’ll all be able to keep track of my daily exercise and food journal, and my journey toward my goals.
This isn’t about losing weight, or getting in shape. As you’ll see when I post my “before” pictures, I am already in great shape. I am just short of a 6-pack (one of my goals) and I look quite good. I am, at 31 years old, in the best shape of my life. These posts are about “socializing” my training. I’ve always been at my best in social situations. I work best with a team. I train best with a partner. I even eat best when I have someone to cook for. So by sharing my training and food journal, I am bringing you, my readers, in to my social training atmosphere. You’ll be participants in my journey toward my goals.
These posts will be quantitative, not qualitative. Unlike my food posts, the workout and diet posts are not what UPC.com is all about. They are just me sharing with you what I’m up to. So I won’t be putting any effort in to making them pretty, or adding pictures. They are a training journal and food journal, and the only qualitative portions of them will be my notes on how I felt. However, they are being posted for purely social reasons. I am sharing with you to share, and you should definitely post comments, suggestions, and anything else that strikes you while you’re reading them! You are helping me to reach my goals, and you should definitely feel “included” when you’re interested in commenting!

Paleo Gin Margarita!


GVine_GinMargarita

Gin used to be one of my favorite spirits, before I went Paleo. The thing with Gin, though, is that there’s really no good reason why there can’t be any grain-free versions of Gin on the market. Unlike so many other spirits, Gin is not originally made from a grain alcohol. It is originally made from the fermented juice of Juniper Berries. So why is it such a challenge to find a non-grain Gin? Well, because grain alcohol is next-to-free compared with the cost of juniper berries…

Be that as it may: You can imagine my delight and surprise when I managed to stumble across a non-grain Gin in Astor Wines And Spirits in the east village of Manhattan. It’s a great little liquor store, and I often drop by for the various non-normal spirits that I have a craving for and don’t expect to find elsewhere. Like Xtabentun, which is an absolute favorite spirit of mine, made in the Yucatan. Astor is the only importer (or was, back when I was researching) within a reasonable distance of here, and so I go there to buy it. Well, I dropped in to find some more Xtabantun, which they were out of. And perhaps lucky for me, as I would have just left if I’d found what I went there for. But since it wasn’t there, I wandered a bit and discovered this lovely gin!

What did I do with the Gin?

Well, I chilled it, while mixing up a quick Margarita mix. I used 1 shot of fresh squeezed lime, 1 shot of coconut water, and a 1/2 shot of agave nectar. I mixed them carefully together, making sure that they were fully mixed. There was a bit less liquid than I wanted, so I added a bit more lime; probably another 1/2 shot. Then I added 1 shot of the grape-gin.

Serving:

As you see from the picture, I served it in a wine glass. Margarita’s are often served in tall-thin glasses. I am not entirely certain why. And I have a few good glasses like that, which I often use for drinking rum, or rum-based mixed drinks. But for some unknown reason, I decided to serve it in a wine glass, on the rocks. It was excellent!! I highly recommend it!!! One note: Drink it relatively quickly. It’s not as good when the ice cubes melt!