Non-static coffee grinding!

I give Super Holly Hansson my flaws, such as being super messy. And I give her my loves, like writing, comic books, and her writing fuel: coffee. I buy whole bean coffee and grind it with a burr-grinder (don’t use a spice grinder, it may be cheap but it grinds chunky). But then the ground coffee is full of static and sticks to the container and makes a mess. Until now. All it takes is a teeny-tiny bit of water in the beans before grinding, as in this video.

Or this video (I saw this one first).

Maybe I will have Holly’s boyfriend (Cal Critbert, super-smart Batman type) show her this trick. She’ll kiss him. Holly LOVES coffee.


Crystal Gonzalez draws Super Holly LOVING coffee!!!

At the PLCAF Small Press Comics Expo today, I bought a comic from Crystal Gonzalez: In The Dark. I had to find out what Super Holly would look like drawn by her. Her style is crazy, loopy, scary, funny, the characters want to leap off the page and stick to your face while screaming. So I had her draw Holly having coffee.

A few tiny glitches. Super Holly has one e-bracelet, not two. (Kinda like Leela on Futurama.) The hip purse is attached to her belt. And her nose should be more eagle-beaky. BUT LOOK AT HOLLY’S INTENSELY CRAZY-SCARY-HAPPY FACE!!! AND THAT ELECTROSHOCK-CAFFEINATED HAIR! AND THAT EARTHQUAKING CUP!!! I LOVE THIS!!!!! (And I sometimes feel this way about coffee.)

Thank you, Crystal. I started reading your comic about the guy tossed into hell and trying to stay alive. It has coffee references. How fitting.

COFFEE! Smooth French press cold brewing!

I am a writer. I love coffee. Why? My cousin Ben once looked down at me (he is six-foot-six) and asked, “Dave! Do you drink?” Very little, I answered. “Do you smoke?” No. “Do you do drugs?” No. “You’re a writer! Writers are supposed to have addictions!” I drink coffee, I answered.

A friend of mine, “Mondo” Brian, recently asked me about an old cold brew coffee kit I bought years ago. I told him I used it a couple of times, then stopped. Cold brew, as in you let the coffee grounds steep in cool water for about 12 hours, instead of hot water for 4 minutes. This leads to lots less acid in the final coffee, making for a smooth culpa coffee. As in SSSSSSSSMMMOOOOOOOTTTTTHHHHH!!!! YUM!

Mondo found a recipe online to make cold brew in a French press. I love using my French press. I used it to cold brew, and modified the online recipe slightly so I get the maximum amount of coffee. Here it is.


Tools: A coffee grinder. A 32 ounce French press (standard size).

Ingredients: 1 and 1/3 cups coffee beans, medium to dark roast (I like medium). About 4 cups cold water (I filter my drinking water).

  1. Grind the beans in a fairly coarse grind. I use a burr grinder.
  2. Add the ground coffee to the French press.
  3. Pour in most of the water, nearly to the top. Stir a little to mix; I find my grounds tend to float.
  4. After several minutes, moosh the floating grounds (my grounds have a tremendous will to not drown) into the water.
  5. Add enough water to fill up the French press without spilling. You will have used a little bit less than 4 cups of H2O.
  6. Cover the French press (I use a little square of aluminum foil.
  7. Wait 12 hours.
  8. A little foam is likely to have formed at the top. Skim it off with a spoon; that makes for easier pressing. (NOTE: Especially do this if you are doing the 4 minute hot method, you are less likely to spill and get nasty burns).
  9. Put in the plunger and press.
  10. Pour the coffee into a container that can hold at least 4 cups.
  11. Prepare and pour (or sip) some of that SSSSMMMMMMOOTH coffee down your throat.

The coffee will be very smooth, and concentrated. You should add a little water if you like your coffee black. I generally add milk and sweetener, and maybe a little bit of water.

P.S. Super Holly Hansson shares my love of coffee. I put some of my flaws in her, and some of my likes. I made her favorite hangout The Geek Guy’s Comics and Coffee Corner. Although in real life, comic books and coffee and the occasional small child might not mix well.

Coffee Con instead of Comic Con.

I could not make it to Comic Con this year (sniff!). But I did go to Coffee Con. A little convention about my favorite drink, my only drug, my brain lubricator for writing stories: coffee! I slurped lotsa coffee samples. Mostly hot with no cream or sugar. Still yummy.

mr espressoI took a selfie near the Mr. Espresso booth (oakwood roasted coffee in Oakland since 1978). I am not good at selfies. It took a few tries. I wonder if you really wanna see my face fill the photo with very little else. I’ll try again sometime. I still wonder why the front camera on a phone shows a mirror image (writing is reversed) while the photo turns out non-mirror (I can read the writing). Peerless Coffee (roasted in the SF Bay area since 1924) invited me to pose with them. They know a coffee lover when they see one.peerless coffee tea black medicineBlack Medicine! Coolest name for coffee EVER! I had them take several photos to get this one right. I bought a bottle and drank it today at brunch. Yummy! Very smooth! Comes in a cool metal bottle! You can buy it straight or as a latte. Yum. No, it does not cure disease. But it makes me happy. I shoulda taken a pic at the Torani booth. I love adding flavored sweetness to my coffee. I had a sample of their salted carmel syrup in some coffee. MMMMMMMM!!! And then another, and another, and another! Salted carmel flavor beats vanilla (which I still love). A nice lady at the booth noticed me loving the samples, and I got a bottle of salted carmel syrup in sugarless. I put some in the Black Medicine I bought. Very good, although I admit that regular would taste even better. The lady talked to me about sweeteners, Torani is working on making sugarless taste better. She also recommended that it I wanted more salted carmel syrup, I should check Cost Plus, Safeway might not have the variety. I’ll find out when my supply gets low. coffee mad scientistThere was a mad scientist type of display put on by Flywheel Coffee Roasters. Yes, this is a coffee making machine. I wonder if superpowers are involved in the brewing process. If I can drink their coffee at their San Francisco shop, I will have to visit and listen for cries of “Yes, master, yes, ha ha ha ha ha!” while the coffee is brewed. I need art of Holly enjoying an iced coffee. She loves coffee as much as I do. Maybe Holly should have an adventure at a coffee shop sometime. I am planning scenes of Holly being depressed and drinking ten iced mochas. (Remember Q of STNG ordering ten chocolate sundaes, saying he was in a really bad mood?)

Me at GDC last week

Dave-at-gdc-2014I went to see cool stuff, and to check on cool companies, who knows, make I’ll get a tech writing gig down the road. At the Intel booth, a couple of ladies put a cute cap on me and gave me a dolly and took my photo. They were fast and efficient and a little giggly.

Some companies did cross compilers for mobile, which I was very interested in, having documented that before. A nice guy at the Opera booth told me about Comic Book Resources after I handed him my business card with Holly on it. Yeah, at a gaming conference, that is appropriate. Hmm, what would Holly do in a video game? Box her way through super bullies to get to her beloved comics and coffee shop, maybe holding and not spilling a delicious iced mocha with her left hand while punching and jabbing with her right?

I am going to MacWorld/iWorld this week. It is smaller than it used to be, but it is still fun.