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dps
04-25-2010, 03:58 PM
The Tao of Coffee

Two scholars spent the better part of an afternoon in the local Starbucks arguing the theories of Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere they decided to head for the coast to visit a popular local sage named Chung Lee who reputedly had the answers.

Upon arrival to his shack hidden amongst the dunes, they parked and started walking up a hill to where the old sage was sitting with his face towards the sea. After approaching him the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, "Where's the coffee?"

The two became puzzled. "Sir, one said, we were told you could help us with the greatest philosophical dilemma of our age. . . perhaps even give us some insight into the theories of which we are about to speak."

Chung Lee answered, "Yes, of course, but go now, next time you come bring me a cup of Starbucks coffee, then we will speak of your theories."

The following morning they returned bearing a large cup of Starbucks coffee. After greetings, they handed the old sage the cardboard tray and opened their individual portfolios, each anticipating a quick and decisive victory.

Chung Lee, while sipping his coffee quickly went over each theory, handed the papers back, looked out to sea and finished the coffee before beginning to speak.

"The two theories are mere disciplines, and although seemingly opposing views, upon deeper reflection are one and the same. The difference lies in your interpretation and in your desire to understand the mystery. But alas, the mystery cannot be contained in a theory, so you are beating your learned heads against a brick wall."

Going on he said. "Each is merely a doorway, and being so can never explain the goings on within the room. You need theory to find the doorway, but once opened this very same discipline becomes your stumbling block. Theory can never reveal truth, only the pathway to it.

The two looked at each other, excused themselves and walked back to the car.

"This is a wise man?" one asked. "He sends us for coffee, then he comes up with this gibberish?"

"Yes, it is strange," said the other. "Yet his reputation is such there has to be something we are missing. Let's give him a chance to prove himself."

The two go back to where the old man is sitting. "Sir, excuse us, but we don't understand. What are we missing?"

The old man held up the empty cup. "This cup will always contain the mystery, but as you smell of it, sip of it, and enjoy drinking it, you one day realize you don't really care how Starbucks made such a good cup of coffee, you are just glad they did. And thanks be to the mystery, as long as there are people like you seeking to understand it, I will never have to worry about getting my morning cup."

The old man smiled and returned his gaze to the sea.

http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php?/topic/4204-the-tao-of-coffee/

David

Janet Rosen
04-25-2010, 06:01 PM
But....but.... why would a wise person settle for Starbuck's????

dps
04-25-2010, 07:52 PM
But....but.... why would a wise person settle for Starbuck's????

Mmm..because its free?

David

Walker
04-25-2010, 08:24 PM
So we have to put up with product placement in our philosophy now??? :freaky:

Kevin Leavitt
04-25-2010, 08:25 PM
What do you recommend Janet?

Would Starbucks work in a real fight?

Nice find David, enjoyed it.

mathewjgano
04-25-2010, 10:13 PM
The old man held up the empty cup. "This cup will always contain the mystery, but as you smell of it, sip of it, and enjoy drinking it, you one day realize you don't really care how Starbucks made such a good cup of coffee, you are just glad they did. And thanks be to the mystery, as long as there are people like you seeking to understand it, I will never have to worry about getting my morning cup."

The old man smiled and returned his gaze to the sea.

http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php?/topic/4204-the-tao-of-coffee/

David
Past a certain point it's definately easy to lose the beauty of it all while being too busy chasing down the answers.
Of course, speaking as someone who loves his coffee like a thirsty man loves water, there's something to be said for learning the mystery so you don't have to rely on scholars to bring you your sweet sweet nectar. :hypno:
...and while I've enjoyed some great coffee at small shops, Starbucks is pretty fricken good! Wisdom be damned!

Janet Rosen
04-25-2010, 10:49 PM
What do you recommend Janet?

Would Starbucks work in a real fight?

Nice find David, enjoyed it.

Yes, the story was good.... Recommend your nearest local roaster or failing that Peet's. I find Starbucks to be a very weak tasting coffee. I would be happy to use Starbuck's in a fight by tossing a hot cup of it in somebody's face, since it is generally pretty hot and then I'd have an empty cup to fill w/ something better :-)

Kevin Leavitt
04-26-2010, 07:54 AM
lol...good one Janet!

Peet's. I've heard of it, but alas, it is not available here on the East Coast. We've only begun to understand coffee here I think.

I miss my German and Italian Coffee. Yes, Starbucks is a little weak and slightly over roasted, but it still beats the alternatives!

Shadowfax
04-26-2010, 08:55 AM
Actually it's all about the the caffeine. If your coffee lacks caffeine then your coffee is not effective. The question does remain though,just what is caffeine?

dps
04-26-2010, 09:07 AM
Actually it's all about the the caffeine. If your coffee lacks caffeine then your coffee is not effective. The question does remain though,just what is caffeine?

Caffeine is the Yang and cream is the Yin.

http://ny-image1.etsy.com/il_430xN.128451933.jpg

David

lbb
04-26-2010, 10:19 AM
So we have to put up with product placement in our philosophy now??? :freaky:

Dude, it's like the Olympics. You don't want to pay for it directly, it's gonna come with a corporate sponsor.

Janet Rosen
04-26-2010, 11:07 AM
Actually it's all about the the caffeine. If your coffee lacks caffeine then your coffee is not effective. The question does remain though,just what is caffeine?

There are those that say it is simply there, in the coffee, hiding in plain sight for anybody who wants to taste it. There are those who say one must exercise diligently, using equipment like grinders or filter paper or presses, in order to develop it.

John Smith
04-26-2010, 03:36 PM
Peete's is available at King's supermarkets on the East Coast and online.

Good coffee. Nice people.

Not that there aren't others, but there you are!

Shadowfax
04-26-2010, 03:46 PM
Peete's is available at King's supermarkets on the East Coast and online.

Good coffee. Nice people.

Not that there aren't others, but there you are!

There are many styles of coffee shops to choose from. It's good to visit many coffee shops and find the one that you feel the most comfortable in and that serves the kind of coffee you are looking for.

Rob Watson
04-26-2010, 04:16 PM
There are many styles of coffee shops to choose from. It's good to visit many coffee shops and find the one that you feel the most comfortable in and that serves the kind of coffee you are looking for.

Daily drinking is the key to unlocking the mysteries.

dps
04-26-2010, 04:30 PM
There are many styles of coffee shops to choose from. It's good to visit many coffee shops and find the one that you feel the most comfortable in and that serves the kind of coffee you are looking for.


How should one act when visiting a coffee dojo, what is the protocol.

David

Shadowfax
04-26-2010, 04:46 PM
How should one act when visiting a coffee dojo, what is the protocol.

David

Ideally one would discover the coffee shops menu, hours of operation and pricing before going. Often this can be accomplished by viewing the shops website, emailing or calling the shop ahead of time to ask these questions.When calling it is advisable not to call during actual peak hours of coffee making in progress, as it disrupts those who are there to drink. But many coffee shops are perfectly ok if you just dropping in to observe. Please try to arrive well in advance of the actual rush so that the regulars can show you where it is appropriate for you to sit and answer any questions you might have.

Keith Larman
04-26-2010, 05:29 PM
Anyone who knows anything knows that coffee is crap. I think there's a guy up in Seattle with a "Coffee is Crap" t-shirt. Or was that "Ki...". Oh, well, it matters not... Properly made tea is, of course, superb. Real martial artists enjoy a nice cup of darjeeling or sencha... And since I'm enjoying a lovely cop of English Breakfast Tea at this very moment, obviously I am a superb martial artists too. And wise!

Tut, tut, uncultured heathen...

mathewjgano
04-26-2010, 07:01 PM
Anyone who knows anything knows that coffee is crap. I think there's a guy up in Seattle with a "Coffee is Crap" t-shirt...

<Sticks fingers in ears> "lalalalalala..."

mathewjgano
04-26-2010, 07:06 PM
The question does remain though,just what is caffeine?

Whatever it is, it HTBT (has to be tasted).

RED
04-26-2010, 07:32 PM
Real Martial Artists do the Dew 0_0

Janet Rosen
04-26-2010, 07:40 PM
Properly made tea is, of course, superb. Real martial artists enjoy a nice cup of darjeeling or sencha... And since I'm enjoying a lovely cop of English Breakfast Tea at this very moment, obviously I am a superb martial artists too. And wise! .

Hey, this is the coffee site. I wish you tea people would just stay over at the alt.beverage place. Sheesh......

(actually written as I sip a cup of freshly brewed River Shannon blend, doh!)

Shadowfax
04-26-2010, 07:51 PM
hmmm... which would win in a taste test. Coffee or tea?

RED
04-26-2010, 10:16 PM
Hey, this is the coffee site. I wish you tea people would just stay over at the alt.beverage place. Sheesh......

(actually written as I sip a cup of freshly brewed River Shannon blend, doh!)

*draws a line in the sand*

phitruong
04-27-2010, 06:27 AM
Real martial artists enjoy a nice cup of darjeeling or sencha... And since I'm enjoying a lovely cop of English Breakfast Tea at this very moment, obviously I am a superb martial artists too. And wise!

Tut, tut, uncultured heathen...

and you called yourself cultured tea drinker? get back in the line! it's King's Tea 403 Green or 509 Dark if you preferred oolong. tasted bitter at first sip, but sweeten your whole throat after. that's bitter-sweet.

of course i can't tell the different between good coffee and bad coffee. they all tasted like burned beans to me. that's why i usually have coffee with my cream and sugar. :D

Keith Larman
04-27-2010, 09:58 AM
Ha, how dare the!

I'll have you know it is Fortnum and Mason directly from India!

This afternoon I'll be having a lovely lightly roasted rolled oolong I get from a local Chinese tea shop. She calls it her "Jade" oolong. Lovely stuff. Properly brewed (not the "shove 87 teabags in a cup and pour liquid magma temperature water on it like they do at <ug> Starbucks) it is a fantastic tea and the second brewing is even better.

Marc Abrams
04-27-2010, 10:19 AM
Every morning I turn on my expresso machine (Pasquini Semi-Auto
Espresso Machine). I boil water and pre-pour the water in the mugs (losing necessary heat is a sin!). I take three handfuls of Bayview Farms French roast Kona beans and put them in the grinder. I pour milk into the steaming cup. The mug and the machine reach their proper temperatures (machine reaches appropriate pressure as well). I grind the beans (proper grind based upon temperature and humidity). I make the expresso - 8 shots! I steam the milk and add dry and wet frothed milk. I sit down and enjoy the Tao of Coffee with the Tao of the New York Times. I just love starting my morning right!

Marc Abrams

Patrick Hutchinson
04-27-2010, 10:53 AM
"losing necessary heat is a sin!"

As my mum (and her mum before her) always told me:
"pot to the kettle, not kettle to the pot."
Tea drinkers of course; same principle.

Keith Larman
04-27-2010, 10:55 AM
"losing necessary heat is a sin!"

As my mum (and her mum before her) always told me:
"pot to the kettle, not kettle to the pot."
Tea drinkers of course; same principle.

Yes, but remember that different teas need different temperature water. Too often things like Oolong are ruined by water that is too hot.

Oh, good lord, I am a pretentious fellow, aren't I...

Walker
04-27-2010, 10:58 AM
"The Javacrucians... have selected the less-controversial caffeine as its sacrament. It also has the simplest theology in history, teaching that one thing only is necessary for salvation, the American Coffee Ceremony -- a variation on the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This is performed at dawn, and you must face east, toward the rising sun, as you raise the cup to your lips. When you take the first sip, you must cry out with intense fervor, "GOD, I needed that!" If this is performed religiously every morning, Javacrucians say, you will face all life's challenges with a clear mind and a tranquil spirit."
http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/rel4hell.htm
Some people claim that the correct phrase is "Thank God! I needed that."

And for those that can remember and understand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7YfmWFLbAc

And another broadcast liturgy that I couldn't find, "Coffee beans and human beings were meant to be the best of friends."

Marc Abrams
04-27-2010, 11:54 AM
Yes, but remember that different teas need different temperature water. Too often things like Oolong are ruined by water that is too hot.

Oh, good lord, I am a pretentious fellow, aren't I...

80C is what I use for my Macha before I start teaching in the afternoon. My making the macha before I teach is my transition activity that settles the mind while providing me with a nice green tea boost :cool: !

Temperature and steeping time with teas are essential components to great cup!

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
04-27-2010, 12:07 PM
80C is what I use for my Macha before I start teaching in the afternoon. My making the macha before I teach is my transition activity that settles the mind while providing me with a nice green tea boost :cool: !

Temperature and steeping time with teas are essential components to great cup!

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Well, Marc, I'm going to have to show my wife this thread so I can prove to her that there are other people who are just as obsessive.

dps
04-27-2010, 12:20 PM
The power of coffee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAUauMs6Q34

David

Marc Abrams
04-27-2010, 12:49 PM
Well, Marc, I'm going to have to show my wife this thread so I can prove to her that there are other people who are just as obsessive.

Ain't it great being wacko about all of the right things..... wine, coffee, tea, good food...... :) !

Regards,

marc abrams

C. David Henderson
04-27-2010, 02:38 PM
Iced,
Fresh,
Cold
Water
Extract;
Summer mornings --
Ah.

Janet Rosen
04-27-2010, 02:52 PM
Well, Marc, I'm going to have to show my wife this thread so I can prove to her that there are other people who are just as obsessive.

Add in another.... I am a longtime customer of Upton Tea, an importer in Mass w/ a huge catalogue and possibly the best customer service of any company of any size.

Possibly the coolest thing is that everything can be bought in sample packs, good for maybe 2 pots of tea, for $1 - $2, so for $15 you can try a whole lot of different things (great for gifts too). NO, I am not a paid shill, I just think they rock.

My own preferences run to the bold leafed Chinese black teas (like "tippy golden needles"), green jasmines & gunpowders, and some of their morning and afternoon blends. Yes, water temperature varies and each package includes how much tea per cup, how hot the water, & how long to brew (although I tend to prefer shorter brew times).

dps
04-27-2010, 02:58 PM
Lapsang souchong.

David

David Board
04-27-2010, 04:45 PM
According to the First Scroll of Wen the Eternally Surprised, Wen stepped out of the cave where he had received enlightenment and into the dawning light of the first day of the rest of his life. He stared at the rising sun for some time, because he had never seen it before.

He prodded with a sandal the dozing form of Clodpool the Apprentice, and said: "I have seen. Now I understand."
[...]
"Dear stupid Clodpool, I have learned everything," said Wen. "In the cup of the hand there is no past, no future. There is only now. There is no time but the present. We have a great deal to do."

Clodpool hesitated. There was something new about his master. There was a glow in his eyes and, when he moved, there were strange silvery-blue lights in the air, like reflections from liquid mirrors.

"She has told me everything," Wen went on. "I know that time was made for men, not the other way around. I have learned how to shape it and bend it. I know how to make a moment last forever, because it already has. And I can teach these skills even to you, Clodpool. I have heard the heartbeat of the universe. I know the answers to many questions. Ask me."

The apprentice gave him a bleary look. It was too early in the morning for it to be early in the morning. That was the only thing that he currently knew for sure."Er...what does master want for breakfast?" he said.

Wen looked down from their camp, and across the snowfields and purple mountains to the golden daylight creating the world, and mused upon certain aspects of humanity.

"Ah," he said. "One of the difficult ones."
http://www.harpercollins.com/features/pratchettBooks/excerpt.aspx?isbn=9780061031328

And always remember rule one.

Kevin Leavitt
04-27-2010, 10:02 PM
Every morning I turn on my expresso machine (Pasquini Semi-Auto
Espresso Machine). I boil water and pre-pour the water in the mugs (losing necessary heat is a sin!). I take three handfuls of Bayview Farms French roast Kona beans and put them in the grinder. I pour milk into the steaming cup. The mug and the machine reach their proper temperatures (machine reaches appropriate pressure as well). I grind the beans (proper grind based upon temperature and humidity). I make the expresso - 8 shots! I steam the milk and add dry and wet frothed milk. I sit down and enjoy the Tao of Coffee with the Tao of the New York Times. I just love starting my morning right!

Marc Abrams

Hey you never made me one of those when I visited your house. Next year when I get back!

I am taking my MSR dragonfly Stove, my Italian expresso maker and a couple of cans of my favorite grind from Italy with me to Afghanistan so I can make my own while I am over there. Might have to end up using Goats milk, but hey, it watching the sun come up in the morning over the mountains and smelling the coffee brewing is good no matter what you have and where you are!

C. David Henderson
04-27-2010, 10:13 PM
Whole beans, a bandana and rock, a camp stove and pot of water -- Ah.

Take care of yourself, Kevin. Take care.

dps
04-27-2010, 10:25 PM
Boil the goat's milk first and keep your head down.

David

Janet Rosen
04-27-2010, 11:55 PM
What he said :-)

Marc Abrams
04-28-2010, 07:51 AM
Hey you never made me one of those when I visited your house. Next year when I get back!

I am taking my MSR dragonfly Stove, my Italian expresso maker and a couple of cans of my favorite grind from Italy with me to Afghanistan so I can make my own while I am over there. Might have to end up using Goats milk, but hey, it watching the sun come up in the morning over the mountains and smelling the coffee brewing is good no matter what you have and where you are!

Kevin:

You were over in the evening silly! Next time, I will give you the full monty of coffee regardless of the time of day. Over there, you will get to enjoy some Turkish coffee! Good stuff! Let me know if you run short while you are over there. I will send you a care package!

Marc Abrams

GMaroda
04-29-2010, 01:40 PM
This whole thread is a misunderstanding. It's not the Tao of Coffee, it's the Tea of Coffee!

Tea. Coffee.

Yin. Yang.

Now where's my oolong?

Kevin Leavitt
04-29-2010, 04:12 PM
Kevin:

You were over in the evening silly! Next time, I will give you the full monty of coffee regardless of the time of day. Over there, you will get to enjoy some Turkish coffee! Good stuff! Let me know if you run short while you are over there. I will send you a care package!

Marc Abrams

Hey thanks Marc, but the only thing I want now is a nice cup of Expresso from you! lol!

Yea I love Turkish Coffee.

Evening...doesn't matter to me, I drink that stuff 24/7!