coffee

A Trivial Question About Your Coffee Cup

A coffee cup at Terra Vista. Detail of photo by B. D. Hilling, 2013.

Cari Romm explains, for Science of Us, a few details about why “It’s Okay to Never Wash Your Coffee Mug”:

As Heidi Mitchell wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal column, it’s fine to never wash your mug, as long as you’re not sharing it with anybody else. Better than fine, in fact: It may actually be the most sanitary option.

There are two caveats to that statement, infectious-disease expert Jeffrey Starke, a pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine, told Mitchell: One, it only applies if you’re not sharing the mug with anybody else. And two, “if you leave cream or sugar in your mug over the weekend, that can certainly cause mold to grow”―in which case, wash it out.

The bottom line, Romm suggests, is that “letting your mug live in its own filth may be a safer bet than the alternative: scrubbing it with the disgusting communal sponge in the office kitchen”.

And, yes, there is the bit about putting the sponge in the microwave, but this still begs a question.

Who says you absolutely must use a sponge?

____________________

Romm, Cari. “It’s Okay to Never Wash Your Coffee Mug”. Science of Us. 3 November 2016.

Coffee

A coffee cup at Terra Vista.  Detail of photo by B. D. Hilling, 2013.

And then there is coffee.

Adda Bjarnadóttir considers the obvious question, and, yes, those of us who count coffee among staples ought to check in every once in a while:

You can expect to get around 95 mg of caffeine from an average cup of coffee.

However, this amount varies between different coffee drinks, and can range from almost zero to over 500 mg.

(more…)

Just a Music Moment (The Microorganism)

Boiled in Lead, 'From the Ladle to the Grave' (Omnium Records, 1989).  Composite including detail of cover art.

In truth, I can’t believe it took me this long. You know, as if I really need an excuse for a plague song.

In April, when your barge sailed through, I fell in love with you; alas! my paramour, alack! a stranger to me ’til the test comes back. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism! Dive in the gene pool, down you swim, down to where the light grows thin. Flail, little fishies, flail if you can, but avoid the microorganism man. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism. Caffeine, sugar, and THC is all the doctors are gonna find in me when they do the autopsy, the microorganism won’t get me. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism. God is good, and God is great; God’s a big invertebrate. God made the river change its route, but He won’t pull the microorganism out. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism! The cowslips bloom, and the bluebells to; here’s advice I’ll give to you: Rattle your sword before you strike, and never kiss anyone you like. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism!

Boiled in Lead, “The Microorganism” (1989)

(more…)

A Coffee Conundrum

Chart of American coffee sales via Wonkblog, based on data from Euromonitor.

Living deep in the heart of the Starbucks Territory, we might suggest Roberto A. Ferdman’s entry for Wonkblog brings no surprise:

With upscale artisanal coffee brewers dotting city streets across the country, America might fancy itself a nation of high-end coffee drinkers.

But just the opposite is true: People in this country, on the whole, are actually drinking worse coffee today than they have in the past. And the reason appears to be that they value cheapness over quality — and convenience over everything. “A lot of people in America would take a sip of single origin high-end coffee and not appreciate the taste,” said Howard Telford, an industry analyst at market research firm Euromonitor.

We should at least take the moment to guard against misinterpretation. Ferdman notes―

Even as Starbucks continues to plant coffee shops around the country, other artisanal coffee businesses — chained or not — continue to grow in cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles (think Blue Bottle, Stumptown and the like).

―which, in turn, might offer some the impression that Starbucks’ coffee is good. It is not.

Think of it this way: There is a reason McDonald’s is trying to compete with Starbucks with their “McCafe” branding and advertising. Starbucks is the McDonald’s of coffee.

____________________

Ferdman, Roberto A. “It’s true: Americans like to drink bad coffee”. The Washington Post. 24 February 2015.

Your Daily Powerup

Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 24 February 2015.

What really should be seared into memory is also blurred by the fact that it is a fairly powerful experience for most people, and with an addictive drug at that.

Still, though: Good times, good times.

Oh, hey, a phrase that will mean nothing to anyone else … well, unless you happen to be one of about four people who were there.

“Hey, Ken! Can I have some more maple syrup, please?”

Cruelty in brown glass.

Never mind. Separate subject.

Ah, youth!

Then again, Matt Tarpley’s high-fuel remembrance of yestersometime―and, oh, my, is that Nimbus?―is about the only answer we can offer. The bit about maple syrup? Yeah, you kind of had to be there. It’ll have to wait for another time.

____________________

Tarpley, Matt. “Kick Start the Day”. Mary Death. 24 February 2015.