Aug 10 2016

Switching sides

Adel Gabot

tea-cup

7:17AM

Surprise! I’ve given up on my favorite beverage—coffee—and taken to drinking tea these days.

Yeah, hard to believe, right?

Me, who’s experimented endlessly with different coffee makers of varying shapes and costs, and have tried endless varieties and blends of coffee beans from all over the world for years and years, eventually settling on an Aeropress and my beloved Barako and sticking with it for over a decade now.

Me, the die-hard coffee fanatic.

I used to have five to six cups of the stuff every single day: two for breakfast, one mid-morning sometimes, definitely one after lunch, one in the mid-afternoon, and a final cup at the end of the day. After all these years, I don’t think caffeine has effect on me at all anymore; I fall asleep just as easily as if I didn’t drink it at all, anytime.

I don’t know how this tea thing started. I just found myself occasionally drinking a cup, just to be different, and found myself liking it more and more. Pretty soon, I found that I now preferred it to coffee, all things being equal. I liked Earl Gray in particular, but can settle for a simple, generic cup of plain, brisk Lipton as well.

I’ve given up on my Starbucks fix and instead opt for a cuppa tea more often now, and my baristas are starting to wonder about me. Since when?

I like it for the sheer simplicity of preparing it. Just boil some water, put some in a cup, then dunk a teabag in for three minutes. If you want to get fancy about it, add some milk and a bit of sugar, but I prefer it plain.

I like the taste of tea, and the clean experience, both in preparing it and actually drinking it. As opposed to the coffee thing: boil some water, drop some beans in the grinder, put the fresh grounds in the Aeropress, do the routine of pouring the hot water in it and then pressing it into a mug, then throwing the used grounds out and cleaning the whole thing up. (Besides, I like the fact that it’s much cheaper, too!)

Last month, I bought a couple of big boxes of Lipton teabags, and I’m quickly working my way through the first one. I use three or four teabags everyday, but I’m thinking of just brewing a big batch that I can drink from the whole day while I work.

Oh, I still drink coffee. A cup in the morning with breakfast. Old habits die hard. But that’s it. From here on in until breakfast the next day, it’s tea, baby. All the way.

At least that’s how it is now. So please excuse me while I have my one single coffee of the day with my breakfast.

Now back to regular programming.


Mar 8 2016

A measly four…

Adel Gabot

free-meal-at-ihop

9:34AM

Just came from iHOP’s National Pancake Day where they have this all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancake promo you can avail of, and all I could eat was… four goddamn pancakes.

Four. That’s just a regular pancake order. I could’ve just eaten there on any regular day, and paid less.

I’m losing my touch. Time was, I could’ve eaten twice that, and wouldn’t even be half full. Today, I was struggling with the third pancake, and I only got a fourth so I wouldn’t look pathetic.

At least I got to try all three of their available syrups. There was old-fashioned, blueberry and butter pecan. (I know they used to have four flavors, but for the life of me I can’t remember the fourth.) Of them, I think I liked the blueberry best.

Oh well. At least a good deal of what I spent goes to a good cause.


Mar 4 2016

Special trip

Adel Gabot

aeropress_filters_1024x1024

3:26PM

I had to make my annual special trip to Greenhills this morning to get another batch of Aeropress micro-filters.

I had run out of filters again, and I have to buy some every year. So I had to make a specific run to Virra Mall, where a computer repair shop on the third floor sells Aeropresses and supplies right over the counter. Yeah, I think it’s weird they do that too, but what can can you do? I’m just grateful they sell ’em.

I think it’s the only place you can get Aeropress stuff in the country without going online and ordering them and waiting for a month for delivery. I could buy a couple of packs of filters, or even three or four, but I’m stingy that way. Besides, who knows where I’ll be in a year or two. You never really know.

Each packet is composed of 350 individual filters, and considering I use one filter every single morning for my breakfast when I squeeze out an espresso on my Aeropress, that turns out to, almost precisely, a year’s supply. (This is not, mind you, counting the other cups of brew I have during my day that I purchase, usually from Starbucks, and contributing to my java count.) Considering a packet costs P350, it comes out to a peso a filter exactly. And I run out of filters almost exactly in a year.

It’s become a routine in the mornings, really. When I wake up, I use the electric pot to boil water for a fresh cup, and while it’s heating up I prepare the Aeropress: put a filter in the contraption, put a scoop of coffee grind in it, put it on top of an empty mug, pour boiling water in it, carefully stir it for precisely eight seconds, then press myself a cup of coffee. Then I take the Aeropress apart, throw out the used filter and grinds, rinse it all under the faucet and put it away for the next morning. Then I take the brewed coffee, plop a teaspoon of brown sugar in it, and enjoy it with my breakfast. I do this every morning.

aeropress1024

The Aeropress is a wonderful invention; nice, simple and uncomplicated, not like other fancy brewers that require a small fortune to purchase and a doctorate to work. And it makes a kickass espresso. Just like a French press, but simpler, and without the big mess. Makes coffee that’s strong and black, without fuss or French horns.

I discovered a perfect, potent Barako grind that goes perfect with the Aeropress and I’ve stuck with it ever since. It’s been 10 years, and I’m still buying it. And this is my second Aeropress.

No one in my immediate family seems to care about coffee as much as I do (not even when I was married), so I find it a solitary practice making my daily espresso. Dad just makes an instant cup of coffee from a 3-in-1 packet every morning, and doesn’t seem to care one way or the other. As long as he has his Sudoku puzzle that comes with the paper, he’s fine.

But for me, it’s sort of a religious practice.

Us caffeine addicts are wackos.

coffee–mug