My world news on Afghanistan comes from my favorite street coffee man on the corner.
My street coffee for the past several years has come from an Afghan family, who immigrated to the United States and started their street coffee-cart business on Lexington Avenue, close to my office.
To make ends meet and pay off some family debts, Abdul, the eldest of the family, decided to go back to Afghanistan as an interpreter and intelligence adviser for the United States Army.
In his place, his cousin, Shaker Wasiq, now has his street coffee cart.
It is my good fortune that my firsthand news on Afghanistan comes free with my coffee from his cousin, who talks to Abdul by cellphone from time to time.
The beautiful packaging from @vervecoffee just makes it feel that much more special.
Despite your theoretical efforts you will stay skinny
There are times to be ruthless
For example when axing expensive labor
There are problems that can only be solved when alive
In the middle of the acquisition meeting
I thought of Frank O’Hara walking New York streets
My lunch poems were composed over Chinese takeout
While we decided whom to fire
There are standard gestures in this world
Like my buying you a DRINK
Despite the obvious fact
That infinite people are infinitely poor
The farmer-obsessed coffee movement that has arisen over the past decade is sometimes called the “third wave,” to distinguish it from the European-inspired, espresso-oriented second wave, which produced Starbucks. (In this model, the first wave would be the enthusiasm of a century ago, which created national brands like Folgers and Maxwell House.)
“Third wave” is an imprecise term, and in some ways a misleading one, since it reduces hundreds of years of coffee history to a few decades of American whims. The architects of coffee’s third wave credit Starbucks with helping build what’s known as the specialty-coffee industry, but few of them have any kind words for Starbucks’ standard, dark-roasted-coffee offerings.
Source: Kelefa Sanneh, Letter from El Salvador, “Sacred Grounds,” The New Yorker, November 21, 2011. [Behind paywall]
For thousands of years, coffee has been one of the two or three most popular beverages on earth. But it’s only recently that scientists are figuring out that the drink has notable health benefits.
A cup or three of coffee “has been popular for a long, long time,” Dr. Gregory G. Freund says, “and there’s probably good reasons for that.”
Throughout the region that was once the Ottoman empire, people make coffee pretty much the same way: using coffee beans ground into a fine powder, then boiled in a little brass pot. But ordering “Turkish” coffee today doesn’t go over well in some Balkan or eastern Mediterranean countries that have some lingering anti-Turkish feelings. For instance:
Ordering Turkish coffee today doesn’t go over well in some Balkan or eastern Mediterranean countries that were once part of the Ottoman Empire — even if their preparation of the coffee is remarkably similar.
In Armenia, where the Ottomans led a genocide against more than a million people between 1915 and 1923, it’s Armenian coffee.
In Sarajevo, Bosnia, I once ordered a “Turkish coffee” only to be corrected by the irritated waiter: “You mean a Bosanska kafa” — a Bosnian coffee.
In Cyprus, which the Turks invaded in 1974, it’s a kypriakos kafes — Cypriot coffee. (Except in the northern third of the island, which Turkey has occupied since 1974.)
In Greece, where I live and which has a tortured history with Turkey, you order an elliniko — a Greek coffee.
Handpresso: an espresso machine for your car, per NYTimes blog post:
As if we needed another driving distraction, a French company has developed a portable espresso maker for the car.
Handpresso, as it’s called, is a rather ominous looking two-pound cylindrical device with a pressure gauge on its side of the sort you see in Looney Toons cartoons. The gauge’s needle strains to the max, indicating a full 16 bars of pressure inside the cylinder. That’s a number that ought to impress espresso buffs.
The machine attaches to a car’s 12-volt car power source, and its ruggedness suggests that it meets some obscure set of NATO field specs; its thick, fabric wrapped cord recalls my mother’s Eisenhower-era waffle iron.
Here, an introductory video.
A tale of two Americas: the one that runs on
burnt drip coffee Dunkin, and the one that appreciates the nuances and subtle flavors of espresso-based coffee drinks (the Best Coast, that is).
More: Split country, via Boston Globe.
You can’t put a limit on my caffellattes.