The Pain Of The Brew

If you know me, then you know that talking to me in the morning is not the smartest or most productive thing to do. My mother tries, but I have found that my exhaustion is a much more powerful entity than her.

I am just not a nice or functional person in the morning.

So with that in mind, it is time for the next installment in my mug series: The Perkatory mug.

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I just got the mug this Christmas, but oh my, does it speak to me.

This past year, I have moved from an automatic brewer to an Aeropress for my morning cup of coffee, and it hasn’t been easy.  The Aeropress requires so much more care, patience, and mental presence for brewing, none of which I have in the morning, that I have unknowingly prolonged my morning perkatory.

In case you didn’t pick up on this, I am also not that smart in the morning.

That being said, the taste of my coffee is just so much better. The pain of the brew has proven to be worth it.

Oh, the sacrifices I make for quality.

And as if this mug wasn’t already perfect enough for my morning brew changes, it has also proven appropriate for my TV watching habits. I made the mistake of watching an episode of Supernatural this year, and now I am obsessed with the show. Of course, at the end of season seven, two of the main characters make a trip to where? Purgatory.

Coincidence, I think not.

Anyway, if you haven’t tried out the Aeropress or Supernatural, I suggest both.

I apologize ahead of time for any psychological scarring you may experience from introducing either into your life.

Love,

Your favorite Pookachino

When The Day Is Long

I think many of us can agree that some days just run on a little too long.

Today, is one of those days for me, but if you were having connectivity issues with your computer and therefore couldn’t get any work done, I think you would feel the same.

Which brings me to my next posting about some of my favorite mugs.

Although, I wouldn’t call this mug a favorite so much as I just feel like it is appropriate for shitty days.

So what mug is this? Well, of course, it’s my “I pooped today!” mug:

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Okay, so I would never buy this mug. Ever. I have a weird phobia that my friends think is funny, so they buy me poop related trinkets in an attempt to mess with me. They think that they are hilarious, but I think it’s just crappy of them…

Anyway, there was a stipulation when I was given this “gift”: I had to bring the mug to work. Long story short, I have found it to be an excellent conversation starter with my coworkers.

Just what this social anxiety-ridden introvert needs.

Let’s be honest: this sucker is usually filled with whiskey, not coffee, so if you see me walking around with this mug, it has been a rough day, and you may want to walk the other way.

And on that happy note,

The one and the only Pookachino

Coffee Is a Stitch…Or Cinch…Or Whatever

Psychology Today recently posted a blog about the reasons why we are so emotionally attached to our favorite mugs.

As a coffee addict, I, of course, have a wide selection of mugs that I use throughout the week, but some of them hold a much closer place to my heart than others. Over the next few blogs (which, if I’m honest, could span the rest of the year), I will be discussing these favorite mugs of mine and explaining what it is that makes them special and therefore makes my cup of coffee taste better.

So without further ado…

If the building was burning down and I could only grab one mug to take with me, I would grab my Stitch mug:

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If any of you have watched the movie Lilo and Stitch, then you know that Stitch is the trouble making Experiment 626 who loves coffee and a small family in Hawaii. I bought this mug on a trip to Disney World many years ago after sitting through the Stitch’s Great Escape ride which gives you the full experience of having Stitch in the room without there actually being a Stitch in the room.

It’s fun. It’s gross. It’s an adventure, for sure.

Anyway, so why am I such a big fan of Lilo and Stitch?

Well, I first became interested in the film because my sisters and I can totally do the Stitch voice (it’s a pretty amazing skill to have, if I do say so myself), but the three of us completely fell in love with the movie because of the story line. Despite the odds, Stitch, Lilo, and Lilo’s sister, Nani, were all able to overcome some very incredible circumstances and stick together as a family, no prince charming needed. My sisters and I have had our own struggles growing up, so the three of us were just really able to relate to the story line and bond over the movie.

Yes, we have bonded over a Disney movie. Get over it.

Anyway, another benefit of this mug is that it is larger than average. I need a lot of coffee to get going in the morning, and the size of this mug supports that need.

Long story short: It’s amazing and life-saving.

Until next time,

The one and the only Pookachino

But Really…Pookachino?

So someone advised me to write about how Pookachino came about, and since it is 9:30 on a Sunday night and there about a hundred other things I should be doing to get ready for the week instead, I decided now would be a good time to talk about it.

So without further ado…

Once upon a time, on a snowy evening in Colorado…

Okay, honestly, I don’t know if it was snowy or not, but we were in Colorado, as that is where I grew up, and it snows a lot there, so let’s just assume there was snow somewhere in this picture.

I like snow. It’s pretty.

Anyway, my older sister and I were walking up the stairs to our third floor apartment, when my sister said the magic word: Pooka.

I glanced back at her, confused and most likely irritated, as I was a grumpy and moody teenager at this time. I asked her why she was calling me Pooka, but she didn’t say anything, just shrugged it off with nothing more than a wicked smile spread across her face.

The intention was clear. She was calling me Pooka because she knew it would annoy me.

Well, despite my protestations (Do you know how annoying it is when you have the stomach flu and everyone is calling you Puke-a?), the name stuck, and before I knew it, my entire family was referring to me as Pooka.

Eventually, I realized that fighting it was only making things worse, so I decided to accept my fate and embrace my new title.

Once I had my change of heart, after either a Starbucks run or a pit stop at the gas station for sour straws and soda, my sisters, my dad, and I were all joking around in the car, hopped up on sugar, when we got on the topic of coffee shop names. At this point in my life, we all knew I was going to study business, and the hope was that I would open my own coffee shop for us to imbibe our caffeine addictions all day long.

Anyway, it really came down to simple math: Pooka + Cappuccino = Pookachino.

I realize now that I didn’t spell Pookachino correctly.

Oh, well. My forte is math and drinking coffee. Not spelling.

And that is the story of Pookachino.

🙂

Lumberjack Coffee with a Shot of Whiskey

I got some happy news this week: BuzzMill Coffee is opening up a second location.

When it is up and running, I suspect I’ll be visiting this second location often as it is closer to my home and more easily accessible, even on my morning commute to work.

And BuzzMill has a quirkiness that I just love and adore.

Taking its inspiration from lumberjacks and mountain men, the Fort, BuzzMill’s first location, could actually stand as a functional old western fort. It’s design, inside and out, brings one word to mind: Wood. Oh, and don’t let me forget about the boxing bear that hangs in the corner over the bar, protecting all the beer and infused liquors.

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Can you see the bear in the corner?

Did I say infused liquors? Hell, yes. There is a wall display that features several large, glass beverage dispensers, filled with your choice of liquor. Like gin? Well, try the Pomegranate Rosemary Gin. Like rum? Well, how about the Cherry Lime Rum? I’m more of a whiskey drinker, so I always eye the Walnut Whiskey. I haven’t tried it yet through as word is society frowns upon drinking hard liquor at 10 am (unless you’re in an airport).

One day. One day, I shall taste my elixir.

Anyway, so with all of this talk about alcohol, how is the coffee? It’s great! I usually order a pour-over (major caffeine kick), but their lattes are delicious as well. I took home a bag of their roasted coffee last year, and it was a quality supply of beans (much better than whatever the hell my mother gave me a few weeks ago). I would definitely buy my beans from them again.

If you’re like me and need food with your coffee, don’t worry. They’ve got us covered. Of course, they do have pastries (RIP Red Rabbit Coop Bakery), but in the outdoor seating area of the Fort is also a small kiosk selling BBQ. I haven’t made it out when they are offering brunch, but the pictures of their brunch items on Instagram are drool inducing. Word is that there will be food trucks at the new location.

Spicy chocolate doughnut from Red Rabbit Coop Bakery which went out of business. :(
Spicy chocolate doughnut from Red Rabbit Coop Bakery which went out of business. 😦

And students, have no fear. While the large outdoor patio encourages talking, laughter, and general rowdiness, the indoor shop has a study area, where no talking and phones are allowed.

If this place doesn’t really sound like your style, too much burly manliness and whatnot, it honestly isn’t that bad, as their selling of Queerasic World t-shirts can testify. There is something for everyone, of all shapes and sizes, behind those log walls, so don’t hesitate to check it all out.

I am so excited for this new location to open, but in the meantime, I think I head over to the Fort this week and try out the new Pumpkin Whiskey.

You should too.

Have a spooktacular Halloween, everyone!

The one and the only Pookachino

UPDATE: The second location on South Congress will no longer open due to conflict with the land owner. Darn.

Just Say No To Nitro

Once fall hits, two things start to happen in my life:

  1. I start spending a lot of money on gifts and less on coffee.
  2. My free weekends to hang at coffee shops are filled with other events such as the Texas Book Festival, my mother’s birthday, holiday shopping, holiday parties, and traveling.

In other words, I really haven’t had the chance lately to enjoy the world of coffee.

The last time I was in a coffee shop for more than just a quick stop for drip coffee was a few weeks ago to meet a friend for his birthday at Stouthaus. I thought I would try something new, so I grabbed a pint of Cuvee’s Black and Blue cold brew nitro.

To be quite honest, I was in agony with every sip.

I’m a dark beer drinker, and I love bars that offer nitro stouts, so when I first saw coffee shops offering the nitro cold brew, I was intrigued. I didn’t try it right away mainly because I am never in the mood for something cold, and if on the rare occasion I am in the mood for something cold, I usually want alcohol, not a pick-me-up.

Maybe my expectations were a little too high because of my preference for nitro stouts, but nitro just does not have the effect on coffee that it does on beer. The flavors of a stout are usually enhanced by the creamy texture that the nitro creates, but that is not what happens with a cold brew coffee. I actually wouldn’t call the texture of a nitro cold brew creamy, just less watery, and the flavor is just, well, blah.

Unfortunately for me, the agony of the nitro cold brew continued long after my consumption of it. I didn’t think about this at the time, but the serving size of a cold brew is typically larger than that of the average cup of coffee. While the caffeine content of a cold brew can depend on brew times and dilution ratios, when you drink a pint of the stuff, you are still consuming quite a big dose of the stuff.

In other words, I was sick to my stomach for several days after the fact, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never drink the cold brew coffee again.

Oops.

Anyway, not even my morning cup of coffee has been meeting my quality standards. Because I’ve spent so much lately for the holidays (And on my car. Poor Simba the Civic.), when my mom didn’t like her new coffee beans (purchased bulk from the grocery store) and offered to give them to me, I gladly accepted them. For the past week or so, I’ve been drinking over-roasted and stale coffee beans.

I can’t wait to be through with them, but once my supply is low, I am marching right over to Houndstooth to get some of their delicious offerings.

Excuse me while I clean up my drool.

Hopefully, this coffee rut won’t last for long. I’m headed to Denver again for the holidays, so I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll stop at Sweet Bloom on one of the days that I am there. Also, Mozart’s will soon have their light show up, so of course, I’ll stop by for a latte and a slice of cheesecake.

In the meantime, if you are curious and would like to see more of my day-today coffee escapades, follow me on Instagram. Because no matter how busy I am, I’m always posting pictures of my coffee.

As always,

The one and the only Pookachino

Oh, Colorado!

So for those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Colorado, the Centennial State, so every now and then, I fly to Denver to visit my family.

While I grew up there, my coffee tastes were, well, sad. I drank mostly Folgers coffee in the morning and Triple Grande Nonfat Raspberry Lattes from Starbucks when I had a few extra bucks in my pocket. Thankfully, my tastes have improved since then and so has the coffee in town.

My adventures into this cool new coffee scene started last year.

Before I even made it to my sister’s house, she was adamant that I visit a place called Two Rivers Coffee in the suburb of Arvada and that I had to try the lavender latte. She’s not usually so demanding, but when you find good coffee…

10488228_10152265895801074_9142906801299752932_nAnyway, my sister was right. It was a great place! It had a very clean decor, open seating area, and interesting coffee menu. The barista was super nice and seemed like he really enjoyed working there. The latte was the perfect balance of espresso, milk, and lavender syrup. When I researched the place later on, I found out that all of the syrups are made in house. Double brownie points there.

I was unable to visit them this year, but word is they moved into a bigger location with space for a roastery. Good news for all.

The second place I visited was Purple Door Coffee.

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It was kind of an accident that I even made it there. I was alone, in a part of Denver with which I was unfamiliar, and I had about two other coffee shops that I intended to visit first. After unknowingly driving past the other two places, I decided that I had to find Purple Door no matter what (I was hungry and in dire need of coffee).

And I was not disappointed.

The shop is located in Denver’s Five Points district right next to the Light Rail (literally right next to it). It has a fun decor, modern but with antique accents of the early 1900s. Classic yet cozy with a small patio and bar seating overlooking the RTD. The menu has grown since my first visit, but I have never been disappointed with my espresso drinks. My sister grabbed an Espresso Cherry soda, and it was delicious, refreshing, and not overly sweet. Plus, they sell homemade pop tarts (hello, childhood).

That’s not even the best part about Purple Door Coffee. After my first visit, I found out that the shop is actually a nonprofit that is dedicated to helping teens and young adults leave homelessness. The organization hires these teenagers for a year long program that teaches jobs skills and provides other support as they learn how to be self-sufficient and find purpose. My heart melts every time I think of this place. Such a great mission.

The two other coffee shops that I was able to visit during this year’s trip were the Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge and Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters.

The Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge is the perfect addition to Olde Town Arvada. My cappuccino was great and my egg sandwich delicious. I can’t comment on the bourbon as I was there at ten in the morning, but the vibe was on point. The exposed light bulbs and wood features created a very western yet modern atmosphere. If we weren’t headed for consignment shopping, I would have loved to hang out there all day. It is located right on the Light Rail as well, so if you drink too much, you don’t have to drive home. 😉

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And what about Sweet Bloom?

Guys, that is some damn good coffee. No food, but damn good coffee. And just in case you missed it: Damn good coffee. (Excuse me while I inhale the wonderful scent of my freshly roasted Kenyan beans from Sweet Bloom like an addict with a bag of blue meth.)

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Unfortunately, I didn’t visit even half of the places I intended to visit while I was in town, but I already have my next trip planned. I just hope that Denver (and maybe Ft. Collins?) can continue to impress.

The one and the only Pookachino