There’s something about Saturday morning.

oh how i love thee saturday am

Cabin Door Coffee

Greetings, good people.  Boots, your friendly Badass Coffee Babe here.  I am happy to say that there has been a shift in the weather in the high country, and I am just starting to get settled into my late summer routine.  As you, too, have noticed: the days are growing shorter here in the northern hemisphere.  I am beginning to think that it’s time to start some serious wood splitting for the rainy days that are soon to arrive.

And there’s nothing like Saturday morning for getting some pre-fall chores done.  Saturday.  Even if it is a day of some heavy-duty chores, there is always the sense that the previous week has been cleared and it is time to take a deep breath.  Today, think about the joys that that first (and second!) cup of Joe brings to your morning.  Rejoice in the invigorating luxury that this “bean juice” brings to your daily routine.

A tiny coffee fact for you: Did you know that the coffee “bean” is actually the seed inside the coffee cherry?  Yes!  What we call the coffee bean is actually the seed — or the pit– inside what can be thought of as a stone fruit — the coffee cherry.   The reason that people call this seed a “bean” is simply because the seed looks so much like a bean.

Isn’t it weird how language can create a whole culture around what isn’t exactly so?  In other words, why don’t we go to that cute little coffee shop on the corner and order one pound of coffee seeds, please?   Or one pound of coffee cherry pits ground for an espresso machine, please?  This just sounds wrong.  We have developed and established a culture of bean-ology.

I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend.  I am guessing that we all could use the time to relax and count a few blessings.  Bon weekend!  A little Hoops and Yoyo for you . . .

I love the bean juice!

Click on the images and links below for some #1 Best Seller coffee cherry seeds!

Death Wish Ground Coffee, The World’s Strongest Coffee, Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic, 16 Ounce

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Lavazza Super Crema Espresso – Whole Bean Coffee, 2.2-Pound Bag

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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

simplicity. sophistication. foam art

Boots here . . . and loving this foam art.  Do you remember the first time that someone handed you a latte with beautiful foam art?  I can remember the very coffee shop and how pretty it was.  I had ordered a lavender white mocha and it was served in a white cup and saucer very much like the one in this picture.  

I was having kind of a weird day . . . hence the reason I was in the shop giving myself a little extra treat with which to start the day.  When I received my drink, it felt like someone handed me an extra gift along with my daily caffeine fix.  The barista created some kind of rabbit with big floppy ears, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I could tell that this guy really loved what he did . . . and he enjoyed making others in the coffee shop happy as well by surprising them with such unique art.  

Life is always fun when we celebrate it with some surprising art.  Today, enjoy your beverage, be it ornamented with a pretty flower or a lop-sided bunny rabbit.  Share the wealth and smile at the next person you see.  There are few things more beautiful and creative than your smile.  

Here is some cool stuff for making some sophisticated foam art at home!

Easy Latte Electric Handheld Milk Frother for Creamiest Coffee Foam with Double Spring/Stand AND Pinch 12 Oz Stainless Steel Frothing Pitcher Silver

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Ipow 20 Oz Measurements On Both Sides 18/8 Gauge Stainless Steel Steaming Frothing Pitcher for Espresso Machines, Milk Frothers & Latte Art

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Sealike 2015 New Coffee Stencils Latte Art Template Cappuccino Art Stencils Pack of 16 with Stylus

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And here is a TED talk on this subject for all of you TED lovers!

Everything About Your Sunny Personality

caffeine maintains my sunny personalityThis is fun!  I love this kind of thing, and I think you will enjoy it, too.  Watch the video below and “think” the answers to the prompts — whatever comes to your mind first.  Then listen to what your “thinks” reveal.  Do NOT overthink this.  If you do, it is not what the Cube Test is about.  And it is never fun when you overthink anything.

So, click on the video below and enjoy the process!

“This Cube Test Will Tell You Everything About Your Personality.”  This is a Japanese psychology game meant to reveal aspects of your personality you might not have known otherwise. Click on the video below:

If you feel like sharing, tell us what you learned about your personality in the comments section below.

Boots here, wishing you a Happy Hump Day.

how sweet coffee tastes

 

N.joy the Essentials Stainless Steel Milk Pitcher, Suitable for Coffee, Latte and Frothing Milk, Available in 12 Oz

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Electric Handheld Milk Frother mixer (19,000 RPM) – Stainless Steel Whisker- Ergonomic Wand- Easy to Use & Clean- Best Hand Held Foamer for Coffee, Latte, Cappuccino and More

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KitchenAid KCM0402ER Personal Coffee Maker – Empire Red

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Open Your Eyes to a Good Day

anytime is coffee timeAnytime is coffee time.  And anytime is a good time to open your eyes.  To look around.  To feel grateful and appreciative. To be inspired by the beauty that is all around.

Today is Thursday and it’s a day to kick up your heels and have some fun.  It’s a day to explore and to laugh out loud and to smile at every single person whom you encounter on your walk in the park.  A day to mention to someone something that they do well — something that might otherwise go unnoticed.  You answer the phone with a very pleasant tone.  You are always so good about replacing the ink cartridges.  I like the way you open the door for people to pass ahead of you.  Thank you for always emptying the dishwasher.  Little things that speak to the bigger Inside Things.  Anytime is a good time to express your appreciation to someone, anyone, everyone.

Have a GREAT & FANTASTIC day today!  Savor the moment.  Please, take 9:39 today to watch this amazing, unfolding TED talk by Louie Schwartzberg on Nature, Beauty, and Gratitude.  It is a life changer.  Truly.  Enjoy.  So beautiful.

Life is such a lively event.  Savor and appreciate, drink coffee, and get to it.

What’s stopping you?  xox Boots

These coffee mugs make me happy.  The art, the colors, the message . . .  all combined give me happiness.  What a message to start the morning with . . . and to carry with you on your way out the door to your next adventure of the day.   Enjoy the journey!

Karma, by Stephen Joseph KA140957 Happy Trails Fox Travel Mug, Multicolor

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Karma, by Stephen Joseph KA140929 Happy Trails Sugar Skull Travel Mug

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Karma, by Stephen Joseph KA140976 Happy Trails Owl Travel Mug, Multicolor

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Spoontiques Positive Affirmations Travel Mug, White

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Retro Percolator Coffee, Grandma Cussing in Polish, & All’s Well That Ends Well

old percolatorBoots the Badass Coffee Babe here to talk Percolator Coffee . . . Are you thinking that this brewing method is just too old-timey or outdated or un-hipster-esque?  Does the image of a percolator bring back your mother’s or grandmother’s Wednesday morning kaffee klatch?  Or a church supper?  Or a rousing Saturday night of Polish polka on a waxed dance floor? Or Uncle Dean’s summer mountain cabin?  Or old-timey conversating between the old folk sitting around a kitchen table?

I can’t think about percolators without hearkening back to my very early childhood and my morning-grumpy, bootlegging, Polish grandmother.  It was at this tender age that I learned the life lesson that caffeine serves as an Adult Lifeline and Morning Saviour.  And another thing that I learned: Don’t mess with Grandma’s coffee and no one will get hurt.

percolator topIgnorance is bliss, or so they say.  What I considered to be an innocent Borrowing turned out to be an act of Brazen Temerity: I borrowed (translate: nearly lost) the glass plug that fits into the percolator lid for my playtime pleasure.  I was setting up an opulent mud-pie party for my dollies and, after scavenging the kitchen cupboards and drawers for Items of Elegance, I came across the glass perking plug — which was to become the most perfect and elegant crystal teacup.  I didn’t give it another thought until the next morning . . .

. . . when my caffeine deprived grandmother went on a cussing rampage while she looked for the necessary glass plug.  Looking back, she probably dropped the equivalent of a few muttered F-bombs, but as for me being the Guilty Party who had absconded with such an Integral Element of her Morning Ritual?  Well, I was quaking in my Buster Browns, I am telling you.

If you have never heard someone cussing enthusiastically in Polish, you will not understand how terrifying and mesmerizing this was to my innocent, yet guilty, little soul.  To put it plainly, Grandma wanted her coffee and she wanted it bad.  And I knew that my intrepid borrowing had led to this moment of extremely-motivating personal terror.

Grandma searched the dish drainer, the kitchen junk drawer, and garden bucket of peelings.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the error in my judgment, the epiphany of which sent me on a reconnaissance mission to Recover the Crystal Grail.  I found said Grail out in the sand box and, surreptitiously so, replaced it in the dish drainer that my grandmother had already checked 3 or 4 times.  It was gritty and dirty and it bore all the signs of having been abused by someone who was not yet of an age that could fully appreciate the Sanctity of the Crystal Grail.

Sigh.  I get it now.  Mr. Shakespeare had it right: “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”  My anguish could have been greatly minimized had I simply fessed up to Grandma and asked her to help me find it. I don’t know.  I still feel mildly twitchy when I think back on this event.  William Shakespeare wrote: “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good an ill together.”  In other words, All’s Well That Ends Well — as his play is so aptly entitled.

Mr. Shakespeare knew his stuff.  Being a sensitive kid and a quick learner of Human Nature in the Morning, I was never to borrow The Crystal Grail again.  All I can say is thank God for Saint Rita, the Patron Saint of Desperate Causes, for I was able to recover the Precious Plug.  My grandmother received her morning dose of caffeine, and all was, once again, right with the world.  Like Helen, in Mr. Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, life sometimes does end with a nice, neat ribbon tied ’round the Event. And like Bill tries to tell us: Don’t worry.  Be happy.  It’s all good.  You’re gonna be fine.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Things are going to turn out fine in the end.  And don’t mess with an Uncaffeinated Grandma.

So, if you are like me and you like happy endings and you like to have more than one gizmo for making coffee in your kitchen, why not add one more?  A percolator is fun, retro, and old school.  It has all of these cool parts that fit together kind of like Tinker Toys, and you will experience the beauty of making coffee with Essential Parts of a Greater Whole.

And people who perk say that perk coffee is the best.  After seeing my grandmother’s Tizzy Fit unfold, I am a believer.  So why not try it?  The percolator pot isn’t expensive to buy, and you will always be ready for whatever coffee emergency that may occur.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING A PERCOLATOR?

Why use a percolator . . . when you already have a French press or an automatic drip machine or a pour-over cone or an espresso machine?   Here are some reasons why it might be a good idea to have a coffee percolator in your coffee arsenal:

  • You live in an area where you have frequent power outages.
  • You live off the grid.
  • You’ve run out of fine-grind coffee for your espresso machine and your grinder only does a coarse-grind.
  • You feel like doing something to honor Throwback Thursday.
  • Your grandparents are coming to visit and this is the only coffee they like to drink.
  • You like to try new things.
  • You are going camping and you want something that is super simple and unbreakable to bring along for your coffee brewing.
  • You like the look of a percolator on the campfire grate.
  • You feel inspired to belt out cowboy songs when you hear the percolator bubbling.
  • You feel a sense of magic when you see the coffee perking into the glass top plug.
  • You think of your grandmother and wish that you had learned how to cuss in Polish from her when you had the chance.

IS PERCOLATION A DINOSAUR BREW METHOD?

Is it a generational thing?  Are percolators going the way of cursive handwriting and mental math?  I don’t think so.  There are many people who still use this method of brewing.  And I know a few people who are pretty proud to make coffee with such a cool, retro looking pot.

HOW THE HECK DO YOU USE A PERCOLATOR?

This is a great question.  And I’m not going to lie.  It was TOUGH to find a decent video about percolating coffee to share with you.  I came across this particular one with Quaker Anne and said Eureka!  She walks you through the steps and convinces you that percolating is the way to go.  I especially like the way she talks about her special coffee treat of adding pure maple syrup and cream to her coffee as she is relaxing at the end of the video.  It looks like this gal knows how to savor and enjoy life’s little pleasures. Check it out.  It goes for almost ten minutes, but it is kind of restful and meditative to watch.

Quaker Kitchen: Stovetop Percolator Coffee (9:56)

As Quaker Anne so wisely says: “That which is worth having is worth waiting for.   I am thinking that QA is one smart cookie.

And here is a recipe/summary of QA’s How-To video:

  1. Use excellent coffee of a coarse grind . . . Grind is Essential
  2. Use good water . . . Good Water is Essential
  3. Use the right proportions of water to grounds . . . Proportion is Essential: (I don’t agree with Quaker Ann . . . As a rule, I use 2 T. per 8 oz water for brewing any coffee with any method.)
  4. Spread coffee evenly around basket and place lid on basket put in coffee pot and put all of the Percolator Guts into the pot..
  5. Assemble all of the pieces . . . oh, and make sure that the glass bubble is secure.  You don’t want it to go percolating off the top of your pot.  Messy clean-up.
  6. Put pot on stove and turn heat up to a medium heat and wait for the coffee to start percolating.  People who perk love this sound.  And who wouldn’t?  Coffee is on the way!
  7. When coffee begins to perk . . . turn temp down so coffee gently perks.  You don’t want a raging inferno perking into the glass bubble.  Think Gentle.
  8. Set a timer for approximately 8 minutes.
  9. Do not over perk.  Turn heat off right away.
  10. Let the percolator sit for about one minute to let all water drain through the basket.
  11. IMPORTANT: Pour the percolated coffee into a thermos or an insulated carafe.  There will be no microwaving coffee on Boots’ watch!  Keep it properly hot and you won’t have to reheat it!

And I like QA’s idea to use real maple syrup as a sweetener.  Have you tried it yet?  It is as special a treat as she describes.

Shopping tips: Buy a stainless steel or a granite ware percolator.  Stay away from aluminum.

Have fun with this!  I love trying new ways to make coffee, don’t you?  Plus, it’s nice to have a dependable way to make coffee the next time a lofty windstorm pushes some giant Douglas firs down across the power lines.  At least you’ll have your percolator to fortify your day with some Joe!

Life is a lively event.  Percolate some coffee, pull up a chair, and get to it.

What’s stopping you?

Happy Shopping for Cups, Percolators, & Carafes below!

For starters, how about these Retro cups for your freshly-percolated coffee?  I love these cups!  Makes me think of all of those Kaffee Klatches that my grandma shared with her other Polish-speaking friends.  I couldn’t understand a word, but I enjoyed their stories, nonetheless.
Momugs Unique Retro Hit Color Ceramic Coffee Cup with Spoon and Saucer Set, 10 oz mug, Orange

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Or these?  Fun!
Diner Coffee Mugs Red Set of 6

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Copco Brushed 4 to 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Percolator

http://amzn.to/1tE2MOM

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator

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And for those times when the percolator glass knobs go missing!
2 pack Fitz-All Replacement Percolator Top, Small (2)

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And every kitchen should have at least one carafe:
304 Stainless Steel Double Walled Vacuum Insulated Carafe with Press Button Top, Quality Thermal Carafe, Water Pitcher with Lid, coffee Pots, Serving Pitchers Coffee Thermos, 2-liter,Silver

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Panesor 2 Liter(68 Ounce) Coffee Carafe Thermal, Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Carafe, Hot and Cold 24 hours

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Happy Perking!

xox  Boots

A Love & Happiness Saturday morning to you!

saturday. love and happinessLove and happiness . . . this picture makes me feel good inside.  It makes me think of a rundown little honky tonk in a tiny town . . . one of those towns with crooked streets and more taverns than there were bakeries, grocery stores, and churches combined.  It was the place where my sister, Ranger, and I used to go dancing every Friday night.  Friday night dancing . . . we wouldn’t have missed it for all the Joe in Latin America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific combined — the music was just that good.

At the end of every night, the band would be casing up their instruments and the music man, Dan the Band Man, used to plug “Love and Happiness” into the speakers to quell our demand for “More!  More!”  His intent, I am guessing, was meant to settle us foot stompers down from a rousing rendition of “Congo Square” or “Love Shack.”

Well, after a night of dancing in this establishment, I can tell you that a Saturday-morning-after-Friday-night-dancing cup of Joe was just what I needed.  This place was a hoot and a half, and I am feeling a story coming on.  Yep.  I can just feel it.

For your Saturday fun and enjoyment, here is some music for you to enjoy.  I am dedicating these two tunes to Dan the Band Man and to Orville Johnson, who can play the best cover of “Congo Square” I have ever danced to — wishing them happy music and good coffee.

Love this version of Al Green’s Love and Happiness!

. . . and I have to add Sonny Landreth into this mix . . . so awesome!  All you have to do is listen to the first riffs of this song, and you know you are going to love it!

 

Life is a lively event.  Listen to music, drink coffee, and get to it.

xox Love,

Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

Make your own sunshine. Drink some coffee. Be happy. What’s stopping you?

 

make your own sunshineWhat a great way to start a Friday morning — enjoying a cuppa Joe and listening to the fire crackling in the cookstove while the coffee boiler sweetens the air with caffeine molecules.  My kind of morning.

There is nothing like a rainy morning with a fire in the stove and a pot of coffee steaming its richness into the toasty cabin air.  The only thing that could make it more idyllic is a few loaves of bread baking in the oven.  These unassuming, humble pleasures.  They truly are what make for a full present moment.

I love the sound of rain on a tin roof.  The smell of wet wool sweaters.  Heck, I even like the smell of wet dog.  There is something just so comforting about being tucked inside on an unseasonably-cool, late spring morning.  The kind of morning that gives me the inspiration to pause and to appreciate life at its simplest.

cabin window rainAfter this crazy-wet week of wind, rain, and bluster, I made hay and created my own sunshine.  I painted and read and wrote and washed windows on the inside of the cabin.  I made a really good dinner that required more than one pot, and I folded some laundry.   I mucked out the barn, and I replaced the salt lick with a brand-spankin’ new one.  Yes, some days, it just feels good to attend to the quiet things.

enjoyIf it is raining where you are today — or if you feel a little dreary on the inside — create your own sunshine.  Do something out of the ordinary.  Take one step closer to completing that project you have been dreaming about.  Turn off your computer and call a friend.  Pour yourself another cup of coffee and curl up with your journal.  Go for a walk with a giant umbrella.  Rescue a few stranded worms.  Stomp happily and deliberately through a puddle.  When was the last time you intentionally got your pretty boots dirty?  What’s stopping you?

cute cup winking. fridayWhat’s stopping you?  The question that sounds so innocent and easy and, actually, involves a lot more than a one-word answer.  Today, I am pulling on my favorite pair of Wellys and I am going to go hunt some puddles.  Nothing stopping me today!

I couldn’t resist adding these fun and fanciful Wellys for your Friday (below).  Be it raining or shining, these boots are just the ones to have at the ready for some puddle-stomping fun.  And if you do encounter a puddle, do some serious damage!  What’s stopping you?

And are you missing the sound of the rain?   Do you now live in the desert and hearing raindrops?  Click on the video below.  Listen to the rain and relax.  Even better . . . go boot shopping while you listen.  [Yes, I am aiding and abetting.]  Rain boot shopping!  There are so many great styles that combine cuteness with function.  I finally broke down and bought a pair (the pink polka dot pair below) for going into town.  I feel pretty darned fancy and fun when I wear them, too!

Click on the images or the links below and do some daydreaming about what it would feel like to just let loose and have some spontaneous fun.  I am thinking that these boots are the perfect inspiration.  So cute!

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Oh, and attention all Seattle-ites!

Check out these nifty rain-boot socks!  I never cease to be amazed at how clever people are when it comes to thinking things up!

Fashion, function, and FUN!


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Happy muddy, puddle-stompin’ trails!  xox

Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

Journey to Your “When I’m Gone” Place

IMG_3119Love this!  Take a moment today to dream about where your “When I’m Gone” place is . . . and then go there, if only in your mind.  It might be Paris or it could be that high mountain lake where you go camping every year.  Take some time today.  It only takes a moment.  Shut the door, put your feet up on the desk, close your eyes, and just imagine.  Breathe.  Dream. Open your eyes.  Life is good, isn’t it?

“He who travels has stories to tell.” – Irish saying

Tell your story.

maps III