Machines, Beans and Cups... again
Posted July 3, 2002 12:20pm
Uh oh. I'm way behind on posting stuff to this here page. Let's get caught up, shall we?
First up, I was recently pointed to a vendor (thanks Brad Owen!) that sells some of the most rare (for North America) cups at great prices. I've been on a hunt for Illy cups normally only sold in Italy or other parts of Europe, and Zoxx was my hookup. I placed an order for the No Water, No Coffee cup set which I think is one of the best looking regular 6 cup sets to come along in some time. I also ordered some of the very nifty Matteo Thun designed cups, Koziol Aroma handleless cups.
Okay, so I was happy enough to find this cup vendor, one who readily has information and shipping options for us lowly Canadians (as well as the all seeing Americans :)). But my real joy came from the quick responses and personal emails I got when the order was placed and especially when it shipped, with the nice "handwritten" note from Hans Brooymans, one of the guys running Zoxx.
That's service. I heartily recommend them, and guess where I'm going to be shopping for many of my cups from now on. If only he could get a couple of the Spirit cups... :)
Next up - yes, my Illy cup collecting continues, as does my selling. See, I managed to procure a few boxes of some sets, and that's why I'm selling some of them on eBay - I'm selling my "seconds" (and in some cases, thirds). Interestingly enough, I have 3 boxes of the Aliens cups, but I'm not selling those - I have a feeling they will go through the roof in a few years because of their uniqueness.
But my procurement of cups continues. Thanks to the VERY fine folks at Machines N' Beans I'm the proud owner of a People and Places with no Names cup (the one you see on the front of this website currently), number 0243. These are not sold in the US or Canada, but Machines N' Beans managed to get a couple of them, and sold one to me. They also managed to get 3 boxes of the Pistoletto Illy cups, and sold me one of those (again, not available in the US, but Zoxx, mentioned above, does stock them).
Jean thinks my Illy cup collecting is nuts. Maybe so, but they are cool. I'm off to Ikea later today to blow some dough on a new display cabinet. I'm nuts, but I'm cool with that.
Beans, Machines, and Stuff
Some cool new equipment is in the wings. Stuff that was supposed to be available "for sale" as of the SCAA conference didn't pan out, but it's coming online now.
Gaggia is now shipping the new Carezza in full force. This looks like a promising machine - for $200, you get what is essentially the Gaggia Coffee machine, but in a plastic body. Save $120 and go for this updated model, if you were considering the Baby, you may want to wait... the new "Evolution" model from Gaggia is coming. From what I've been told (and this is FAR from confirmed), it is a Gaggia Baby in a new skin, for maybe under $250 retail. That price and a 3 way solenoid valve? Sign me up!
Bodum is finally getting ready to bring their miniSantos (I still prefer the name eSantos Jr. :)) to market. Originally slated for the end of June, the delivery date is now July 10, and may be put off because of some major longshoremans' strike somewhere on the planet. When it does arrive, you'll be able to find it at Amazon (affiliate link), by calling Bodum USA at 800-23-BODUM, or at other places that stock the full Bodum line.
I really like this brewer. It is not without some minor problems (very minor, like the rubber gasket sometimes unseats, and the plastic does scratch), but at $80 for an automatic vac pot, I think it's a good buy. The volume it produces is perfect for me - 750mls of brewed coffee is enough for two big mugs, or three medium sized ones.
In beans, I'm still plowing through all my green samples picked up at the SCAA show. Most recently I tried four bean types from Royal Coffee, a brokerage house. The Harrar Horse was especially good this year. Note, you cannot buy from Royal direct as a consumer, but these guys are serious coffee merchants, very ethical-oriented as well, and well respected in the biz. They do need a new website though. :)
Recently, Brother Rich Lyons, a fellow from the Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church in Marshall, Texas and an old email buddy had to give up drinking coffee on doctor's orders. Rich had a stash of the old, infamous Kopi Luwak supply that Tom Owen from Sweet Marias managed to procure almost two years ago. Rich graciously mailed me his remaining stash, maybe 5lbs worth of the, uh, precious, uh, civet cat-produced coffee. This is fairly priceless. And a conversation starter, for sure.
Well I roasted up some yesterday, and as I type, I'm drinking rodent-poop coffee. Yes I am. And it's well, tasty.
Actually, it's a bit "baggy" now (term for coffee that's been hanging around in a burlap bag for a long time) but mellow, and straight up itís a good coffee. Thanks Rich! And sorry to hear about the bad medical news, it's a shame.
I'll probably pony up a lb or so in some whacked out promotion on the CoffeeGeek site, and much kudos go to Rich for graciously giving me this supply of a unique bean.