Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Public Service Announcement for Fellow Addicts

It dawned on me this morning that even though my little micro-bio over there makes a point of mentioning my crippling addiction to bean-based liquid caffeine delivery systems, I hardly blather on about it at all here on the meat of the page. Makes sense, I guess. A blog post about "I like coffee" would be about as noteworthy as one called "I prefer breathing air."

However, with temps and humidity so high here in the nation's beer belly that even the thought of exertion makes my toenails sweat, I thought I'd share a survival tactic for those of you who -- like me -- develop detox shakes without that life-giving beany nectar. Normally, I don't let the heat kill my habit. I'll drink a steamy cup'o'crack while wearing a parka in a sauna. But when I go straight from my scalding morning barrel of coffee to a Dagobah-esque bike commute to a cubicle, I'm often stricken with the dreaded PCFS: Post-Coffee Flop Sweat.

I don't know how to beat the flop sweat (for me, it appears to be a genetic curse), but I can replace that scalding barrel with something just as deliciously addictive sans the steam: Cold press. I got hooked on the stuff at the chain coffee store with the moose-based logo and figured there was some strange device in the back room (tended by mysterious, cloaked Druids) that squeezed out this astonishing creation. But no! All you need is one of these:

Obligatory disclaimer: Buy one from Amazon, and (theoretically) I'm supposed to get paid. But you don't have to get one from Amazon -- any ol' French press from any ol' place will do. This just happens to be the one I have.

The only magic that turns a French press into a cold press is time and a fridge. Put some scoops of your favorite bean in the bottom (ground a bit on the coarse side so as not to clog up the filter), fill with cold water, stir, put the top on (without pressing) and stick the works in the fridge for about 12 hours (I set mine up after dinner so it's brewed for the AM wakeup). Roll out of bed, rub the sleepy bits from your eyes, depress the pressing part of de press, and ta-dah! Cold press coffee.

Maybe true coffee snobs knew all this before, but it was a revelation to me -- and my cubicle neighbors appreciate the reduced flop sweat, too. Obligatory passing reference to bike stuff: It makes a darn refreshing mid-ride energy drink, too, as long as you're willing to overlook that pesky dehydration thing (note, however, that I am NOT a doctor, NOR do I play one on TV, so I take no responsibility if you're found unconscious on the side of the road like a shriveled raisin, still clutching your water bottle of cold press...)


Anonymous said...

It certainly has been moist... no.. humid... no, that's not the word either...
Sultry! That's the word!

Actually, the correct phrase is: "frickin' miserable". The morning 5 mile commute is an exercise in physical restraint, knowing that if I push hard on the pedals, I'll be sweating like I ran a marathon. The ride home is an exercise in thermal regulation. Get some exercise without generating more body heat than the body can shed. Haven't passed out yet, so I guess it's working. Naturally, the clothes are wet enough by the time I get home that you'd think I had fallen into the Illinois River (and smell like it too). Having spent 10 summers in St. Louis before moving to Peoria, I've got a lot of experience with this sort of weather. Combined with three years in southwest Arizona, I have a lot of experience with deadly heat, hence my fondness for night bike rides!

Good luck surviving the sauna! I hear it's going to last at least through Saturday.

Perspiring in Peoria,
anonymous Steve

Steve Fuller said...

Mmmmm. Cold press. Love it, but haven't made any lately.