Tuesday, April 17, 2012

May You Never Thirst, Part 1: Dark, Sweet, and Hot!

This is the beginning of a whole new series.  The last series was mainly about food; this series is mainly about drinks.  If you're a Pagan mead brewer, or just a regular person who makes mead, please email me: chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com.

By the way, if you're a photographer, and you're worried about your photos being used without your permission on the Internet, then don't put the fucking picture on the Net or at the very least, water mark the bitch!

By Mistress Marmot
Espresso, percolators, French presses, K-cups, instant and good ol’ plain drip coffee. Nothing wakes you up like a cup o’ joe. And whether you make it yourself or have a local coffee shop employee to make it for you, it provides a sense of comfort akin to Mom’s chicken soup or warm chocolate chip cookies.

I’m a career barista (as in, yes, I do this for a living) at a major well-known coffee shop chain. I started working with coffee after I developed a severe daily habit for expensive lattes and the sort. Working 80 hours a week means that coffee is with you most of your day. Eventually the people at my local shop offered me a job and as it turned out, the benefits were better than what I was getting as a bank teller. Seven years later I’m still schlepping caffeine and still enjoying it. The term barista is Italian in essence, it basically means “bar person” in reference to the Italian custom of having coffee bars. So, your local coffee shop girl is your all day bartender! I could talk all day about the training, finer points and skill set of a barista, but let’s just cover the basics of brewing a great coffee at home.

 I've got quite a few tips for you in order to perfect your coffee at home. The 4 major aspects of a good cup of coffee are freshness, water, grind and temperature. If you can buy your beans whole and grind at home or grind at the point of purchase, I HIGHLY recommend it. While pre-ground freshness techniques have improved in recent years, grinding as close to the time of brewing is best. And, this will blow your mind: DO NOT PUT YOUR COFFEE IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER. “Why?! My grandma always did!” You might exclaim. Your grandma also thinks that black people belong at the back of the bus, that doesn't mean she’s right. Not only will your coffee absorb odors and pick up unsavory tastes from your fridge, but anytime you open your cold coffee in a warmer room, you invite condensation to accumulate within your coffee container. That moisture settles into the ground coffee and undoes the roasting process. Ideally, put your freshly ground coffee in an airtight container or large Ziploc bag and store in a cupboard. While your prime freshness window is one week from time of grind, you probably won’t notice a severe decline in taste for at least a month. You want your coffee fresh and dry for the next step of brewing.

As much of a pain in the ass as it seems, use filtered or pre-boiled water whenever possible. Slight minerals that you might be accustomed to in your drinking water can have an adverse affect on the natural oils in your coffee. If you are not using a commercial coffee maker, invest in a candy thermometer and make sure that your water is approximately 180-200 degrees before you introduce it to the coffee. What your preferred brewing method is will also determine how fine of a grind you should have for your coffee. Here is a rough breakdown of how fine or course you should have your beans ground based on your coffee maker.
French Presses and percolators need as coarse of a grind as is possible.
A flat bottom metal or paper filter (typical basket style) needs a medium grind. This has the highest surface ratio and therefore it is better if the water passes through the coffee a little bit faster.
Cone-shaped filters will take a slightly finer grind than a flat bottom. This is so that the water sits in the cone longer since there is less surface area.
Espresso machines require a fine grind so that the machine is able to compress the coffee into pucks for the extraction process. Espresso is a concentrated shot that is force brewed quickly.
The finest grind (which may not always be available in some grocery stores) is for Turkish pots. It is extremely fine, almost a powder.

Now that you know how to make a tasty cup, now you can enforce getting it perfectly made everyday! Many BDSM relationships have little customs, rituals or schedules that provide much-needed structure for some submissives. Every person takes their coffee a specific way and nothing says dedication like knowing just how much cream and sugar should go in Master or Mistress’ mug in the morning. And nothing says fun like learning from the mistakes during the process!

Even spilling on the floor is fine, as long as a bare-ass pointed up in the air being hit with a serving spoon while they clean it up provides enjoyment for the whole gang. Along with that, coffee can be used in sleep deprivation scenes or in coffee enemas. Plus, used grounds can be made into facial masks as part of a beauty regime with pampering. Many stores sell fun accessories like serving trays as well. Imagine having your slave prance into your bedroom, the perfect cup of steaming coffee delicately balanced on it. What a way to start your morning, right?
Personally, my favorite aspect of coffee is the serving! I spend all day serving it to the public as my job, and I’ll be damned if I will go home just to do it all again. Nothing says comfort like coming home to some Nina Simone songs, kicking off my shoes, stretching out and having a scantily clad boy bring ME a hot cup of java.

These folks love coffee too:
Erotic Sensations: http://eroticsensations.us/
Tonia Brown: www.thebackseatwriter.com