Goat Cup Coffee: Kaldi & the Goat Gang

coffee arabicaOkay, coffee lovers!  Time to get out your pom-poms (or pompons for you grammarists) and pay homage!  This post is about the origins and discovery of our beloved coffee bean!

I absolutely love recounting this epic tale, as it is a testimony to fact being stranger than fiction and to the powers of observation and to sharing fun stuff with others.

Enjoy this bit of coffee lore.  And share it with your friends the next time you are driving by a field of frisky goats!  You are sure to impress them with this little-known fact about the most popular beverage on the planet!

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Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

And a quick PS for you introverted, infatuated-with-your-favorite-barista folk: Have you been wanting to strike up a conversation with that really cute barista?  Dazzle him/her with your trivia knowledge? Maybe get his/her number?  This cup would be the perfect way to get that convo started!  At the very least, you are going to have to demonstrate to him/ her how your unique cup stands upright while they are making your bar beverage.  Am I right?

On to the history lesson . . . Do you want to guess who gets credit for discovering coffee? Some Spanish explorer?  No.  Some Ethiopian King’s personal chef?  No.  Some extra-smart herbalist roaming the planet?  No.

Goats

It was GOATS.  Yes, goats who discovered the power of the coffee bean!  Of course, it took the observing eye of the good goatherd Kaldi to do the subsequent and necessary Hear ye!  Hear ye! about his goats’ discovery of the benefits of the coffee bean.  After all, the grazing capra aegagrus hircus needed a voice to spread the word.

According to the National Coffee Association , there once were some amazing and ancient coffee forests — yes, forests! — on the Ethiopian plateau.  It was here where our good buddy Kaldi was not only grazing his herd but paying attention as well.

Kaldi’s goats were gadding about like goats do and were eating berries from a particular tree — a coffee tree.  After eating the berries, Kaldi couldn’t help but notice that the goats had become so energetic, they refused to go to bed at bedtime.  All they wanted to do was romp and play throughout the night.

Imagine poor Kaldi.  All tuckered out from herding goats all day . . . and then having to factor in a marathon caffeine buzz to all of that jumping and hopping around that goats are so good at doing.  Kind of like giving a bunch of pre-schoolers a few bags of Oreos and some chocolate milk right before you expect them to go down for naptime.  Impossible.  And you have to remember that Kaldi was probably doing his own un-caffeinated thing at that time — probably some herbal concoction that had a zero caffeine boost.   Poor guy.

Aberrant behavior and frisky goats aside, Kaldi managed to make it through that frivolous first night, and he reported his observations to the abbot of a local monastery.  The abbot make a concoction with the berries . . .(I can just see him in some Curie-esque, Ethiopian, monastic laboratory with beakers bubbling over with the new brew.) . . . and, lo and behold, the good abbot found that the New Brew kept him remarkably alert through the long and rigorous hours of evening prayer.

The abbot, being a good sort of chap, shared Kaldi’s discovery with the other monks at the monastery, and the word spread more quickly than a wildfire during lightning season in a drought year.  Word then moved east to the Arabian peninsula and so the Coffee Movement was born.

Pretty darned cool, huh?

In honor of Kaldi and his rambunctious goats, I found this very fun cup for all of your coffee commuting needs.  Think of it as a hands-free commuter’s tribute to the Gang of Goats that surely must have suffered some post-caffeinated let down when they likely weren’t able to put 2 and 2 together in order to keep the Coffee High going.  I like to think that they did return to said-coffee-tree ,and they continued to munch away to their insomniac-state of delight.  Perhaps they ultimately passed their caffeine-spirited genes down to their boisterous prodigy.  You have to admit . . . goats sure can jump!

Let’s call this product the Kaldi Kommuter Kup for purposes of alliteration and to pay homage to Kaldi & the Goat Gang.  Nothing like being prepared and cool at the same time!  And . . . anyone who unwittingly comments on you sporting this rather absurd-but-super-cool-looking commuter cup will be sure to get an earful regarding the backstory of Kaldi & the Gang.  You can dazzle them with this little story that you now have tucked away in your Trivia Arsenal.

“GOAT Mug is a one-of-a-kind coffee mug that was inspired by the first coffee discovery. Its horn shape is a dedication to goats that discovered this elixir of life and it also lets you drink the very last sip. It comes with a set of 2 straps that allow you to carry your coffee, but at the same time reply to a couple of e-mails and carry around your newspaper.”

Click on the image below:

And click here to view the fun video.
About the Product
  • A special horn-shaped coffee mug holds 16 oz. (470 ml) of your favorite coffee drink
  • Comes with a set of 2 straps, long and short part, so carrying your coffee mug around is a blast
  • Holder can easily transform into a stand, which easily enables placing the mug onto a flat surface
  • It’s BPA free and 100% leak proof
  • GOAT mug is creating an exquisite experience from coffee drinking

Sporting your horn-shaped Kaldi Kommuter Kup will give you the same euphoric feeling as when you change from jeans to pajama bottoms.  Guaranteed!

Check out Carmella below!

like changing from jeans to pajama bottoms

like changing from jeans to pajama bottoms

 

 

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Brew Joe on the Go with Hey Joe Coffee GoJoe 2.0

may your cup runneth overGreetings, Good Woodsy Folk.  Before we begin to explore a new and flavorful Outdoor Brewing Method later this week (I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with body), check out this incredibly clever, high-tech, ultra-convenient way to brew Joe on the go.

Normally, I prefer the simple route when it comes to gear out on the trail — the take-your-time, ain’t-life-great, tried-and-true brewing methods — but I can think of more than a few times when I was hiking through remote places at the height of fire season, and I would have appreciated the convenience of this battery-powered, self-brewing gizmo!

Yes, sometimes practical convenience and deprivation-driven misery wins out over backwoods aesthetics.  And perhaps this gizmo doesn’t deliver the same robust quality of coffee as a cup of campfire Joe, but I am thinking it would be a great back-up option in desperate times.

Like the time I dutifully agreed to go whitewater rafting with a group of people who were bizarrely extreme . . . not extreme in the ways of defying the mighty rapids but in the demands regarding what time we wake up each morning.  According to the dictatorial mandates of Fearless Rafting Leader, the day was already wasted if the group got a start on the river any later than 6:30 am.  It was a rough trip for me, one that was defined by sleep deprivation and negative-vibrational fallout from all of the other bitchy, caffeine-deprived rafters.

I am telling you . .  I would have loved — and I mean loved! — to have had this ingenious cup for that trip.  I could have been blithely floating through the canyon with my delightful cup of coffee — just a push of the button — all the while thumbing my nose gaily and happily at Fearless Leader who actually enjoyed the drama of watching the unwashed and the un-caffeinated fight for their turn with the camp stove each morning.

Life-scarring rafting memories aside, this GoJoe would be ideal for when you are out in extreme conditions: climbing, skiing, boating, river rafting, fire-lookouting, and hiking out in the wilderness where water is scarce, a fire isn’t an option, fuel is scarce, and time is being dictated by a Fearless Leader. Nothing like kickstarting your morning and wilderness experience by simply pushing a button for a cup of Joe!

Check it out!  Watch the video and tell me what you think!

Happy Trails, Good People!

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Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

Click on the Hey Joe Coffee GoJoe 2.0 image below:

 


About the Product

  • Fill with water at any time. When your ready, press the button for fresh brewed coffee anywhere
  • With updated, more powerful, battery to last longer and brew hotter!
  • Turn heads everywhere you go with the cool design and smell of fresh coffee

And remember . . .

a day without coffee.jpg

Cowboy Coffee Gear Store

Cowboy Coffee. This post is all about Cowboy Coffee, dutch ovens, and grub box gear. Click on the images and you will find some great pots and paraphernalia for your next camping adventure. Have fun daydreaming about the campfire as you peruse the pots and gear.  So many fun things to consider adding to your grub box! Life is good!

Happy trails, you outdoorsy souls! xox Boots



On the Trail: How to Make the BEST Cowboy Coffee

cowboy-coffeeCowboy Coffee.  This post is all about Cowboy Coffee: how-to directions, brewing tips, proportions, and a few stories, too.  Click on the images and you will find some great pots and paraphernalia for your next camping adventure.  Have fun daydreaming about the campfire as you peruse the pots and gear!  And be sure to visit the Coffee Store on the Home page!  So many fun things to consider adding to your grub box!

Happy trails, hearty souls! xox Boots


Cowboy Coffee.  What exactly is it?  Cowboy Coffee carries with it an image of durable simplicity and unsophisticated invention . . . rugged cowboys, wearing a week’s worth of trail dirt, sipping away at a steaming cup of brew — all the while the cattle are obediently lowing in the near distance, awaiting the call to git along, little dogies.

This hearty brew is an understated science and, as a result, not considered to be a viable, let alone superior, brewing method when out on the trail.  Some people think that Cowboy Coffee is just boiled coffee that likely tastes bitter as a result of being boiled too long over an open flame.

But I am telling you that Cowboy Coffee is more than just throwing grounds into a pot full of water and boiling the bejeezus out of the concoction.  It is an elegant and interactive art form.  And once you have tried a sip of this hearty beverage while taking in the great outdoors, you might be tempted to go back home and get rid of that fancified French press or Italian stovetop espresso maker.

Why is Cowboy Coffee so good?  It tastes just how coffee is meant to taste: robust, hearty, hot, and sturdy.  There are many recipes and opinions on how to make the best Cowboy Coffee, and I am going to share with you the method we used when I was working on a ranch in a remote roadless area of the world.

Now this ranch was the real deal.  No roads anywhere within 50 miles, cold running water only, tent cabins, and outhouses.  And the horses were right there — snorting and neighing and grinding away at the salt lick, outside my cabin door.

The cookhouse was a high-ceiling log structure with long grub tables — each table could easily seat 20+ guests and wranglers, depending on the width of each backside.  The sheer length of these tables was remarkable, with each table top having been cut from single-length logs that spoke of the timeless nature of the forest.  There was an enormous fire-pit and chimney at one end of the cookhouse where the coffee was set to bile.  The chimney had a good draw and provided a fire that you could cozy up to in the early-morning and post-dusk hours.

There were always at least 3 ginormous pots of coffee going at any one time.  There was no system of what pot was brewed first, second, and so on.  You just poured from whatever pot beckoned to you.  These cowboy pots were gallery-quality beauties, smudged and smoked from countless fires.  And heavy.  These pots required a double-fisted pour when they were full.  And the stories that these pots must have heard over the years . . . I can only imagine.

Here is how we made Cowboy Coffee at the ranch:

  1. Start your fire and get a good blaze going.  You are going to want to feed the fire into Boil-Mode flame.
  2. Fill your pot with cold water somewhere about 3/4 of the way to the top.  Do not fill it to the tippy-top.  Your coffee is guaranteed to boil over if you do.  And who wants to waste coffee when you are out on the trail?
  3. Scoop your coffee on top of the cold water.  A general rule of thumb is 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water.  (It really requires that much.)
  4. Be patient.  And watch.  The goal is to let the water come to a boil and swallow the grounds that are on top.
  5. This is the fun part.  Keep watching.  Watching the fire with one eye and the coffee with the other.  My idea of fun anyway.  Once the grounds are seized by the tsunami and they are engulfed, you should see no fresh grounds lingering on top.  Just brew that looks like grounds might be swimming around in it.
  6. Pull the pot from the main flame — just far enough to stop the boil but close enough to keep the coffee nice and hot.  This is trickier than you might think.  You don’t want to re-boil the coffee.  But you do want to keep it piping hot.  It’s a science, remember?
  7. Pour a cup of cold water over the coffee.  Don’t dump the cold water — pour it.  This gesture, be it fact or fiction, serves to settle the grounds to the bottom of the pot.  If you are a doubter or a skeptic, just do it and believe.
  8. Let it all settle for a bit and then pour your first cup of coffee.  It is going to be amazing!

One note about the importance of proportion: It pays to measure.  Proportion does matter in the science of coffee — if you want good coffee.  Just because you are on the trail doesn’t mean that you can be all willy-nilly about measuring.  Before you go on your trip, do some preemptive measuring.  Figure out how much water you will be pouring into the pot and do your math.

Here are some proportion examples for those of you who feel math-curious.  If you are serving a lot of coffee to a large group using a 20-cup ( 160 oz) pot . . . 160 oz / 8 oz = 20 cups x 2 T. = 40 Tablespoons . . . which = 2.5 cups of grounds.  Now before you say Whoa Nellie! think about it.  That is a LOT of coffee to be serving and your attention to proportion will be appreciated.  Another example: If you are using a 64 oz pot and shooting for an 8-cup experience, that will be 64 oz/8 oz = 8 cups x 2 T. = 16 T. . . . which = 1 cup of grounds.

It is true that some old-timers keep adding water to the pot and reboiling the grounds . . . freshening it up a little with some new grounds.  I remember Al, the Cowboy Coffee aficionado, who lived in the school bus across the road.  I would pick up his pot to pour myself a cup and, judging by the weight, assume it to be full of coffee.

But . .  . when only a trickle of brown-black oil dribbled out, I knew it was time to clean the pot for Al.  I would take the pot back home, dump the grounds in the garden, scrub and shine it up for him, and leave it by the fire pit stationed outside the back-emergency bus door.  I understood Al’s theory of skimping on labor, but sometimes you just gots to start with fresh!

And the advice about adding eggshells to the pot?  Many people swear by this.  They claim that adding the eggshells keeps the grounds on the bottom of the pot, keeps the actual coffee grounds-free, and takes the bitterness away.  How?  The eggshell is an alkaline and the coffee is an acid.  The acidity in the coffee is supposed to be reduced by the alkalinity of the eggshells — thus making it taste smoother.

Fact or fiction?  I don’t know.  But it is an awfully fun fact to be able to share when sitting around the campfire.  I have done both and have been happy with my coffee both ways.  But some old-timers?  They swear by the eggshells trick.  Why not try it?  It is fun to experiment and try new things!

Check out these GREAT coffee pots and camp cups that are perfect for the trail.  Pack your coffee tin (or baggie) inside the (clean!) pot as you travel to minimize bulk.  Depending on the size of pot you buy, you can even put your cup in there.

Have fun making Café  à la Cowboy.  By doing so, you are keeping the spirit of the trail alive.