How To Be A Coffee Snob…Without Being A Pretentious Jerk

I love coffee.
My affair with this miracle drink began when I was about seven years old. My grandparents kept a pot of coffee brewed all day long and anytime I spent the weekend at their home, my brother and I would get to drink all the coffee we could handle.

More accurately, we would have a little coffee with our sugar and milk. I bet we poured equal portions of coffee and sugar in each cup. It was like drinking warm candy and I remember it fondly to this day.

I bet you remember your first introduction as well. We seem to develop an affection for coffee that is unlike any other caffeinated drink. Do you remember your first Coca-Cola? Probably not. How about your first glass of tea? Nope? Me either.

But eventually, we become so attached to our coffee that we start to become..well, a bit of a snob.

She's drinking coffee from a white cup...amateur.

She’s drinking coffee from a white cup…amateur.

More than ever before, our love of coffee is defining our personalities. Truckers turned coffee into a convenience store staple. Starbucks turned coffee into a status symbol for the yuppie suburban crowd. Hipsters turned coffee into its own culture, complete with a sneering disdain for anyone who can’t quote the source origin for their “obviously not fair trade” McCafe coffee beans.

I’m gonna stop right there. Do I really need to spend a thousand words confirming that coffee snobs really do exist? Of course not. You know what they look like. Do I need to devote half an article to explaining why it’s perfectly okay to hate them? That might be a lot of fun, but it really isn’t my point.

I’m here to tell you how to be a better type of coffee snob; the non-pretentious asshole kind.

Example- Pretentious asshole coffee snob.

Example- Pretentious asshole coffee snob.

I will start by telling you that I too consider myself a coffee snob, but I’m going to establish my “non coffee snob” credentials.

1. I don’t drink espresso.
2. When I go to a coffee shop, I order straight black. No “Grande, Quad, Nonfat, One-Pump, No-Whip, Mocha”. If you can translate that order, get the hell off my site. Seriously.
3. I don’t own a Keurig. I don’t use flavored creamers.
4. 90% of the time, I drink Folgers. From a travel mug. With a straw.

To be fair, it is a Starbucks mug..so there's that.

To be fair, it is a Starbucks mug..so there’s that.

Now that I’ve established that I am the least qualified coffee snob in history, let me tell you why we’re here. I’m going to show you how to become a first class coffee snob on a shoestring budget.

If you actually enjoy waiting in line for 15 minutes and spending $4 on a cup of coffee from Starbucks, I won’t stop you. But what if I told you that for less than .25 a cup and ten minutes of your time you could enjoy a fresh roasted, fresh brewed cup of premium Ethiopian Yirga cheffe coffee in your own home?

Let me introduce you to the world of home roasting.

Somehow, I can remember drinking coffee with my grandparents thirty years ago, but I can’t tell you what sparked my interest in home roasting. I must have read an article somewhere and thought “Wait, is that even a thing?!” If coffee shops spend thousands of dollars on equipment just to brew coffee, surely it takes at least that much to roast it, right?

Not so, my friends, not so.

Regardless of what sparked my interest, it was the cost factor that drove me to give home roasting a try. For all the high brow intellectual sophistication of coffee shops, coffee roasting basically comes down to high heat and movement. Both of which can be accomplished with nothing more complicated than a popcorn popper.

Observe.

Standard popcorn maker...

Standard popcorn maker…

Half a cup of green coffee beans....

Half a cup of green coffee beans….

Into the popcorn maker...

Into the popcorn maker…

and...voila! Fresh roasted coffee beans.

and…voila! Fresh roasted coffee beans.

Roasting your own gourmet coffee requires just a few simple items; a popcorn popper, a high temp thermometer, a jar with a lid and some green coffee beans. As you can see, I’m doing this outside. It does produce a small amount of smoke and chaff as the beans roast.

It’s that easy. In ten minutes you will be halfway to heaven.

Only halfway though. Now you have to be patient.

Your freshly roasted gourmet coffee will smell so good that you will be tempted to want to grind it immediately, but be strong! Once the beans are roasted, they will continue to break down, releasing the oils that create that wonderful coffee flavor. Let it set at least overnight and plan to enjoy your gourmet home roasted coffee in the morning.

You can find these popcorn makers anywhere. The Westbend Poppery 2 is a popular choice because it vents on the side which prevents chaff from falling onto the heat elements.

Green coffee beans can be purchased online or even at some local coffee shops.

sweetmarias.com has great tutorials in addition to selling supplies.

coffeegeek.com is a great online forum for all things coffee.

You can pick up a sample pack that includes several different beans from all over the globe. You will quickly discover your favorites. With the sheer variety of beans available and a wide range of roast temperatures to try, you’ll never get bored.

The world is full of coffee snobs who know how to drink a good cup of coffee. I encourage you to be the kind of coffee snob that can make a great cup of coffee.

Enjoy!

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Introducing My New Avatar

At The Big Dick Chronicles, I try to emphasize that Big Dick living is much more about your attitude towards life than about your anatomy, or hell, even your gender.

So when I come across someone who is living life to the fullest, I jump on the opportunity to offer them some recognition.

Do you know what’s cool? Going to the Sex Museum in Amsterdam and giving a big warm bear hug to a giant dildo.

No captioned needed. We'll just stand in silence for a moment.

No captioned needed. We’ll just stand in silence for a moment.

Do you know what is bad ass? Getting your picture taken with the giant dildo and then posting it on your blog.

But do you know what is truly Big Dick? Giving a total internet stranger permission to use that picture as their avatar.

Meet Linda, the amazing author of the Expat Eye on Latvia blog. I was referred to her site by my lovely friend, Anna, whom you met in my last post.

Linda writes an insightful and often hilarious blog about life in the northern European country of Latvia. I encourage you to check it out.

She is also a big fan of dick jokes.

Welcome Back

It’s been a quiet week here in Lake Wobegon…oh, sorry, wrong site. Let’s try that again.

It’s been a long spring here at the Big Dick Chronicles. My last post was Valentines Day. Life just got too busy and I didn’t have time. Work was almost overwhelming and it left me with no mental energy to be creative. I felt bad about that for about a week.

Then I remembered that the whole point of the Big Dick Chronicles is to make tough decisions. What would I do if I were in charge of this blog? I’d set it aside to focus on an unbelievably difficult workload.

Life is slowing down now and I can breathe again. Over and over again this spring, I’ve glanced at my computer and thought, “What about the blog?” Unfortunately, a lot of my work involves prioritizing; moving things to the top of the pile or sometimes letting them sit and wait their turn in line.

I feel like the blog is finally making it’s way to the top of the pile again. What I have to figure out is how to keep it there. The internet is a fickle place and it’s easy to lose your place in line. I wonder if I can keep you interested enough to pull this blog back to the top of your to do list.

A bit of housekeeping; The blog will be solely me, Adam, from now on. Brian is about to get married to the kinky librarian and they’ve taken up their own online adventures of a more visual nature. I’ll leave it to his discretion if he wants to drop in and plug their site.

Have a great day everyone.

Creating Your Own Genre Of Music Is Pretty Impressive

This is a bit of a departure from my typical post, so bear with me. Since the majority of my readers are women (thank you ladies, you are lovely) and Asian Pacific fetishists, this post may not be very interesting to most of you.

I want to introduce you to a band I’ve discovered; not necessarily because I think you’ll like their music, but because I think they deserve the recognition.

Real quick; name your two least favorite genres of music.

If you said rap and blue grass, congratulations; you’re white and you have all your teeth.

Now, let’s consider mixing these two genres together. One is bad, the other worse. What could go wrong?

For full disclosure, I’m not a fan of rap music. My appreciation for rap started and ended with Eazy-E’s “Still Talkin’ Shit” in the late 80’s. I couldn’t even bring myself to like Will Smith.

Will Smith..making rap music comfortable for white people.

Will Smith..making rap music comfortable for white people for decades.

And I’m not going to defend my dislike of rap music by trying to convince you that I have black friends, because I don’t. Seriously. No black friends. It’s a supply and demand issue. I live in the rural mid-west. There isn’t a black person within a 20 miles.

I grew up on 80’s country music so I am a bit predisposed to the blue grass, but not enough to spend money on it.

Okay, now that I’ve demonstrated that I am “Certified White”, you’ve got to meet this band. Introducing Gangstagrass.

Hi.

Hi.

These guys are amazing. They mix legitimate gangsta rap music with good ol’ fashion banjo, fiddle and steel guitar. Here is the bio from their “about” page:

Blending bluegrass and hip-hop seems like an unlikely recipe for success, but don’t tell that to Rench, the mastermind behind the highly successful rap’n’grass project Gangstagrass. When he was going to grade school, recess was a time of breakdancing on cardboard to RUN-DMC. But at home, the records on the stereo were Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

While the future is unwritten, it’s certain that Gangstagrass will go down in history as the pioneer of a sound that brought country and hip hop together and helped desegregate America’s music charts. “Right now, people treat rural and urban American music like they are matter and anti-matter,” Rench concludes. “I’m hoping a good dose of Gangstagrass will get people past the blue-state/red-state thing and make them comfortable with purple. I want to provide the soundtrack for a wave of cultural miscegenation that will let us all party together at last.”

The group produced the theme song for the tv show, Justified, (season 7 premieres Tuesday the 7th by the way) which is how I discovered them. The song would cue up and it just made my mouth water. What kind of sorcery is this? Rap music with a banjo in the background?

It sounded like this:

 

I had to hunt them down, which led me to their website where you can hear the songs on their latest album. It may not be your thing, but I challenge you to at least check it out.

So here’s to you Gangstagrass. There is nothing more Big Dick than creating your own genre of music. You guys are awesome.

My Favorite Hangouts on the Web

I don’t spend a lot of time online. I’ve got my online world narrowed down to less than ten sites. Surfing the web has turned into channel surfing; six million websites with nothing on.

On one hand, I feel like it keeps me from wasting my life away in front of the computer screen. On the other, I know that I am probably missing out on some amazing learning opportunities.

Regardless, I find that I’m quite content to limit myself to the following:

1. Best Time Killer
The Chive
TheChive.com is the largest photo gathering website on the planet with over 500,000 photos and 3.5 million daily visitors. In my opinion, it is the single most entertaining place on the web. It’s about 60% scantily clad women, but the other 40% is a nice mixture of humor, interesting, laugh out loud and touching. The website does a lot to support the troops and charities for individuals in need, especially children. They also have a cool t-shirt store.

Bill Fucking Murray t-shirt..rarer than a unicorn, but I own one!

Bill Fucking Murray t-shirt..rarer than a unicorn, but I own one!

For no reason other than delayed gratification, I always save this one for the end of the day. My lovely wife enjoys browsing it with me. We spend a lot of time trying to guess which of the women have natural or enhanced breasts.

2. Most entertaining place to learn something
Cracked
Cracked.com is a surprisingly knowledgeable website. They put together a ton of Top 5 type articles covering everything from sex to history, serial killers to killer animals. They lean to the left politically, but they source their information and I’ve learned a considerable amount from this site. The authors are competent writers and they focus on smart humor.

3. Best Self/Marriage help forum
Married Man Sex Life forum
Marriedmansexlife.com is a blog/forum operated by Athol Kay. This is an absolute requirement for anyone struggling with Nice Guy issues. If you need help sorting through attraction issue with your spouse, or just general Red Pill/Alpha questions, get off of my blog and get over there.

If I’m on the computer, there is probably a tab open to this site. I am an infrequent poster on the site. I much more enjoy reading through the scenarios presented by the other members. I’m always amazed by the lives that the rest of the world leads.

Wow, that’s it. 90% of my internet time is spent on these three sites. I read a few blogs, a hunting website, and an MMA forum. I’m still not sure if that is a sign of extreme efficiency or laziness.

I’m posting this for two reasons. First, to give you some new ideas if you’ve never checked out these sites. But more importantly, to say thank you. There are over 8 million other places you could be right now, but you are choosing to spend a few moments in my tiny corner of the web. I hope it was worth the visit and I hope to see you again.

You’re At The Eagles Concert… Can You Please Put Down Your Phone and Enjoy the Show?

People often talk about how music shaped their lives. I don’t want to overplay that statement, but I will say that the music of The Eagles permeates nearly every era of my upbringing. The irony of that statement is the fact that I was introduced to them several years after they no longer existed. My ability to be a constant decade behind the times began early.

I remember being 6-7 years old, hearing my father say that Lying Eyes was one of his favorite songs. I remember it being one of the few times I ever heard him sing along with the radio. At ten years old, I was listening to Hotel California on vinyl. By my early teenage years, The Eagles Greatest Hits tape was one of my constants.

I often sat mesmerized by Joe Walsh on the guitar playing Life’s Been Good and Life in the Fast Lane. Somehow I managed to become the only person I know who knew all the words to Seven Bridges Road and Pretty Maids All In a Row. Keep in mind, this was in the early 90’s, over 10 years after they disbanded.

It wasn’t that I found some deep meaning to their lyrics; they were just freaking awesome musicians and my appreciation for how good they were never diminished.

So fast forward another 20 years. We get an opportunity to attend The Eagles concert in St. Louis on Thursday. We get another couple that we are good friends with to join us and off we go. It was a sold out crowd at the Scott Center, where the Blues hockey team plays. It was a great show in front of a packed crowd. Everything about it was perfect.

Except.

All of the damn phones glowing in the crowd throughout the entire show.

I am well aware that I am growing old before my time. This shows up most notably in the technology department. I just can’t bring myself to get all excited about the way technology has taken over ever waking minute of our lives.

I understand that a lot of people were taking pictures or videotaping. I’m cool with that. I’d want pictures, too. That that wasn’t what I saw. I saw the guy next to me constantly updating and checking facebook. The guy on the right of us was watching the Cardinals game.

You get a chance to watch The Eagles live in concert. You choose facebook. Damn you all to hell.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and awhile you could miss it”.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps those folks who couldn’t stay off their phones enjoyed it just as much as I did. Perhaps they never missed a beat. Maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it, but to me, there was nothing more satisfying than sitting back and immersing myself in the sounds of my childhood.

Now that I’m through bitching, I’ve got to pay tribute to what an amazing band this was. Back in the day, these guys had to have balls the size of grapefruits. In an eight year span from 1972-1980, they put out six albums and then promptly disbanded. Despite completely disappearing as a group, their albums sold an average of 1.5 million copies a year from 1980 until their reunion in 1994. Almost 20 years after coming back together as a band, they are still selling out packed stadiums and performing an amazing show.

What an amazing group of musicians they had to be to pull that off. To be able to put together that much timeless music in such a short span and develop such a devoted following amazes me.

This was an event that I will never forget. Not only was the show amazing, but I got to share the evening with good friends and my beautiful wife. I got to wear my Bill Fucking Murray shirt and eat exceptional bbq.

Oh, and I hit a deer at three in the morning, just a few miles from home. We were all fine.

How To Make Kick Ass BBQ

The ability to cook with fire is a huge Big Dick quality for a man to have. It takes us back to our primitive roots; you cannot contain a small “ug, ug” caveman style grunt when you catch a whiff of wood smoke coming off a grill.

Smoking meat is a completely different beast than grilling. Grilling is hot and fast. It’s all about keeping your fire under control and perfect timing to keep the meat from overcooking. Smoking meat is about low and slow. It’s about patience and being willing to dedicate 12-16 hours to a process that yields a melt in your mouth tenderness out of some of the toughest cuts of meat known to man.

This weekend, we had some good friends over for dinner. My friend actually judges and enters in bbq competitions, so he knows his stuff. I have the privilege of being to one to introduce him to the world of smoking, but he has really excelled at it and devoted a lot of time to it.

I fired up the smoker at 1:00 in the morning. I started with two chimney starters full of lump charcoal. My whole packer brisket and pork shoulder were trimmed and rubbed and ready to cook. I make my own rub from paprika, sea salt, pepper, garlic salt, celery salt, onion powder, and allspice.

I use almost exclusively seasoned oak, that I harvest from our woods, cut into 4-6″ chunks.

The heated lump charcoal goes on top of a bed of briquettes with the air flow on the smoker closed completely. After half an hour or so, the smoker settles in at 225 degrees.

Ok, now, here is the secret to great bbq: Do nothing.

Once the lid closes on the meat, I don’t open it again until I take it off the smoker. No peeking, no spritzing, no wrapping in foil. Just leave it the hell alone.

Check your temperature, feed wood chunks often enough to maintain a very light, pale smoke from the stack. Other than that, go drink beer.

After six hours, I pull the meat and finish it in the oven at 235 until the brisket hits an internal temperature of 190 and the pork hits just shy of 200. The brisket will take about 12-14 hours total and the pork will take 14-16 hours.

Once the meat is done, DO NOT cut into it. My God, you will be tempted. The smell at this point is overwhelming. Stay strong. Wrap the meat in foil and stick it in a cooler for at least two hours before you cut into it. This is necessary to keep the meat from drying out. If you cut into it immediately, the internal juice will come pouring to the surface. This is great for the moment, but the meat will quickly dry out. By the time you are ready to eat it, you will wonder what the hell happened. It seemed so perfect when you sliced it.

Let it set for a couple of hours. It will still be too hot to handle, but the juice will be settled back into the meat.

When the meat was done, I sent this picture to my buddy with the warning that his wife might be tempted to leave him.

Brisket and pork shoulder smoked to perfection.

Brisket and pork shoulder smoked to perfection.

When they arrived, I reiterated that, while I was not in the habit of seducing other mens wives, she may not be able to control the attraction she might feel after sampling my meat. We would just do the best we could to contain the situation.

It is so much fun to have friends that you can exchange such unadulterated bullshit with. We all laughed and headed in for a wonderful evening.

My buddy busted my chops about the bbq. He even asked for ketchup when we sat down to eat. I thanked his wife for her self restraint in keeping her hands off me in front of the kids.

Brisket slice

A perfect smoke ring and amazing flavor.

It turns out I was safe; she gets turned on by burnt ends and I hadn’t cooked any. Burnt ends are the candy of the meat world. You take the back side of the brisket and chop it into small cubes. Then you cook them again with sauce on top for a couple more hours.

Almost as good as alcohol as a panty dropper.

Almost as good as alcohol as a panty dropper.

On one hand, I wish every guy knew how to smoke meat. It’s fun to have friends to engage with and have those “mine’s bigger than yours” conversations with. On the other hand, I enjoy the exclusivity of being very good at this. There is great satisfaction in being excellent.

Go buy a smoker. Learn to use it. Impress your friends and seduce their wives.

Just kidding on that last line. I’m only trying to seduce one woman, my lovely wife. And for the record, she loves my meat.