I love this post in the New York Times by Christoph Niemann about his absolute love affair with coffee.  Partly because the images are so cute, and partly because I, too, have an intense love affair with the amazing beverage.

Yes, I am a coffee fiend.

I love the stuff.

I think it all started back when I was working at this Gas Chromatograph company called Dionex back in the summer after my first year in University.  My job was to take the results of the gas analyzations and turn them into slides to be used for presentations.  It wasn’t incredibly complicated, but there was a bit of graphic design work that I could do.  I got to use computers, have a cubicle, drink machine coffee from a paper cup, and look forward to casual friday when I could exchange my daily “slacks ‘n tie” uniform with the kick-back “slacks ‘n no tie” outfit.

I think I owned 2 ties, so being able to not wear the same tie more than twice in one week was very exciting.

The whole atmosphere of “cubicle life” was exciting to me.  I loved the office gossip.  The different personalities.  The politics.  It was all really fascinating to a 19 year old kid interested in psychology and art.

I remember one day I got invited out to lunch with a group of 4 other cube-mates.  We went to this great Vietnamese restaurant down the road.  At least, I think it was great.. it was the first time I had ever eaten Vietnamese, so to me it was delicious.

One of my co-workers ordered something I had never seen before.. a Vietnamese coffee.Vietnamese Coffee Brewing

If you’ve only had drip or machine coffee before, the ritual of a Vietnamese coffee is quite enticing.  It’s a glass with a finger or so of condensed milk.  The coffee is in a little metal cup that sits on top of the glass. When the waiter put it down, he poured the hot water into the metal cup, and over the next few minutes the coffee slowly dripped into the glass, mixing with the condensed milk in a way that I can only describe as looking like liquid silk.  It was a beautiful carmel color.. soft, moving, gorgeous.

When my co-worker offered me a taste (I think I was staring), I sipped it and immediately ordered one for myself.

It was delicious.

Of course, it was also the strongest coffee I had ever had, and I spent the rest of the afternoon talking a mile a minute.  I probably wore out the ball bearings in my office chair, just spinning and spinning and spinning..

To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever had that same buzz from a cup of coffee than what I had that first time.

Anyway, this article by Christoph reminded me of an art project I did back in University.  I wanted to do something obsessive, so I purchased about 50 white t-shirts from a t-shirt warehouse just south of Santa Barbara.  It was the kind of place where you can get 5 shirts for 10 bucks.. so not too expensive!  Every morning for a month or so I would wake up, grab a fabric pen and a shirt, and draw myself a new cartoon about how much I love coffee.  I would then wear the shirt to school.  The next morning, I would do another.  And the morning after, another.  You get the picture.

I ended up with over 30 unique coffee-related t-shirts.. and I still have them sitting in a box somewhere.

Maybe I’ll start scanning them and displaying them on the web site.

Or maybe I’ll make my wife happy and sell them on ebay & get rid of the box. 🙂

Btw.. I do have “some” coffee merchandise for sale on Zazzle.com.. if you’ve got a few bucks to spare. 🙂

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2 Responses to Coffee!

  1. Tim says:

    After a lunch meeting at Slanted Door, my wife took me back there for my birthday and ordered me the Vietnamese coffee and oh-man were my taste buds tingling! What a great coffee…thus far my favourite!

  2. Brad says:

    oh man, Vietnamese coffee is so tasty:) so is a good cold brewed iced coffe, and kona coffe or a nice jBlum.

    I have been rocking my frenchpress mug lately http://www.liquidplanet.com/Planetary-Design-Double-Shot-Travel-French-Press-Mug-p-192.html .

    My kid likes to smell the fresh grind

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