Friday, October 24, 2014

Coffeneuring Challenge, Day #2

Today's coffeeneuring experience was a little bit different. While it's nice to visit coffee shops in different neighborhoods, I was also craving a little adventure. So I loaded up my bike with two panniers that contained my Pocket Rocket stove and fuel, my Aeropress coffee press (best cost/quality ratio), pre-ground Conduit coffee (El Salvador's El Bobollon that had been delivered to me via bicycle), some pre-steamed coconut milk, as well as some dried quinoa mushroom risotto left over from backpacking so that I could prepare and eat lunch, too.

the rear seat is for kid #1, front is for the babe

Just as I was getting my panniers stuffed with all my gear, my friend Elias posted on FB that he was out on his baby tandem (see photo) at a park north of Ballard and contemplating where to go next. I commented that I would be in Discovery park within the hour and could share my coffee with him (and his baby). One component that was particularly refreshing, other than the fact that I was going to brew coffee en plein air, was that it was going to be a low-tech outing. My phone is a flip phone and, while texting is possible, it is not convenient; I also have an iphone, but it has no service connection and is used solely with wi-fi, meaning that I wouldn't be able to contact Elias on exactly when and where I was or would be once I had left my house.

I rode down Fremont Ave, crossed the bridge and took the Ship Canal Trail through Fisherman's Terminal and out to Magnolia and up to Discovery Park. It probably took me longer than I thought it would, as riding with a couple of panniers uphill for a while is a slow-moving affair, but once I got up to the Officer's Quarters by the parade grounds, I spotted a tall guy on a long bike with a baby. We set up at the flagpole, an area that had steps, was dry and had a fantastic view out to the Olympic Mountains that were a treat to see on a cloudy day. After the water boiled, I first poured some into the baby bottle so Elias could make goat milk for Luca, then some for my risotto and, finally, when the water had cooled to an appropriate temperature, into the aeropress for some brewing.
the mighty Aeropress, brilliant in its simplicity

The coffee was delicious, though strong on its own so I added the coconut milk which was a fantastic complement. I have no idea why more coffee shops don't offer it as a dairy alternative (the two I know of are Chaco Canyon and Flying Apron – feel free to comment if you know of others). The risotto was a little, uh, old, but still plenty edible and provided me with some calories and warmth on this cool day. I also brought a cookie I had purchased from PCC – Chocolate Chick (as in chickpea). It was interesting. Then, I got my turn holding Luca, who probably kept me warm more than the other way around, due to his baby fat. He's cute, too, another fantastic Elias–Hitomi production and babies are so sweet with innocence and goodness. When he began to squirm, it was back to dad who bundled him up in the bike (car) seat for their journey home.
coffee: Conduit's El Salvador, El Bobollon
cost: insignificant
distance from home: 5 miles

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