Monday, October 7, 2013

Coffeeneuring: Rd 1!

Courtesy the inestimable MG of Chasing Mailboxes, it is my pleasure to bring you round one of my coffee hunting exploits. The Rules can be found here.
Bit of a background; I live here:
My room is just to the left of the "F."
Now, while small rural towns are wonderful to bike in since everything is close together by default, it does present a challenge when trying to find coffee shops. To be clear, there are exactly two coffee shops in town, only one of which you can order an espresso at. That's why I was really happy that MG added the "Coffee Shop without Walls" as an option this year, but we'll get to that later.

Coffee Shop #1

85 W 1st St. 
Sioux Center

One great thing, one good thing, one bleh thing.
Collected poems by Wislawa Szymborska, 5 sp shifter by Suntour, Mocha
For an opener I went to Bulter's, which is about two blocks from the elevator heading up this post. Butler's has been around for about 8 years. It was one of the first Starbucks style coffee shops in town. It's been through a number of ownership changes over the years, though the name seems to have stuck. The shop itself is clean and pleasant with a nice fireplace that'll see heavy use in a few months. The mocha I ordered was bland, not creamy, and veering more bitter than you would expect from a drink that is 90% milk, foam and chocolate. To be fair I'm biased against this shop since my wife works for the other coffee shop in town, so keep that in mind. But I got a few quiet minutes of reading Szymborska in between some errands, so I'll take it.

2.5 miles

"Coffee Shop" #2
 Lat: 43.069483° Lon: -96.139549°
3.5 Miles

While I doubt the Coffee Shop without Walls rule was written just for my benefit, it sure feels like it. A Coffee Shop without Walls is simply "a place you ride your bike to proceed to make and/or drink coffee." Without this rule I'd be looking at 40 mile round trips to find seven shops. Now, I get to enjoy easy rides out to views like this:
The blurriness in this photo is a pretty accurate depiction of how I see the world this early in the morning. 
Early Sunday morning before it was light, before the kids and my wife were awake, I rolled a few miles out of town along the Sandy Hollow Trail. This is a nice little trail that runs out of town to a local campground. About halfway there is a picnic shelter, unremarkable except its wonderful views of a very turbulent sky. Also, that table makes low light shots easy.
The camera makes it look pretty light out. I really could barely see what I was doing.
The mug on the left is full of hot water, mug on right is a small french press, pre-loaded with beans I ground before leaving. We'll call this "Field Press" coffee. The process is a less controlled version of the French Press you all know.
Add Water...

Put on lid, use filter to press grounds into water, stir/shake.
Wait about 3-4 minutes

Enjoy view. Harvest is rolling along nicely.

Stir again, and press. Press using the just the weight of your hand/arm.


Drinker: Scruffy
Coffee: Underdeveloped, oily, not bad
Weather: Rainy, Windy
Morning: Sublime

Clodhopper def: 1) A large, heavy shoe. 2) A foolish, awkward or clumsy person.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I was DYING when reading your first paragraph... your room has an EXCELLENT view! Also, lovely post of your Coffee Shop Without Walls.