Saturday, February 3, 2007

Caffine: Fuel for the Tulsa Blogosphere

Tulsa is hardly a coffee capital like Seattle, but there's evidence on the local blogosphere that coffee is the beverage that keeps the local cyberposters pecking away at their keyboards.

The prolific Michael Bates of Batesline, for instance, makes frequent references to his Shade of Brown habit. We don't blame him—Shades is a cozy Brookside coffee shop and a local alternative to the ever-growing Starbucks chain, which now has a shop only a couple of blocks south of Shades on Peoria.

Another enthusiastic Tulsa coffee maven is Roemerman On Record's Steven Roemerman, who has several recent posts on his search for the perfect cuppa of Joe. Roemerman is serious about his Java, even posting news about his recent purchase of a home roaster. From what we gather, the roaster works pretty well and we suspect Roemerman is now enjoying great coffee in the comfort of his own home. (But in answer to his recent question about balding: The answer is no. Even great coffee won't cure male pattern baldness.)

We at AltTulsa are jealous—we have no roaster. But like our fellow Tulsa bloggers, we too have searched for years for a great cup of coffee. Our travels have taken us to roasters and coffee shops from Texas to North Carolina and Seattle itself, and from the espresso bars of Rome and Florence to the Spanish islands of the Mediterranean.

Speaking of which, that was where we discovered our first great cup of coffee. The restaurant was a Danish place called Nico's. (This was Spain, but the island attracted a lot Scandinavians seeking a balmier clime.) Quite innocently one night, we ordered apple pie and coffee. It was coffee we have never forgotten—a powerful aroma and an almost-but-not-quite burned flavor that captivated us immediately. We returned to Nico's every night thereafter, marveling at the rich, dark, full-flavored brew.

Alas, that was too many years ago. In the States, we've had good stuff, especially in Austin and at Macy's Coffee in Flagstaff. For a while, we even ordered some great roasts from Juneau, but the shipping from Alaska's capital city cost almost as much as the beans.

Our press pot gives us decent coffee most of the time, but we still long for cool summer nights at Nico's—and the coffee of the Danish Gods.


Ed W said...

I'm told that air-type popcorn poppers do a good job of roasting green coffee beans, but I have yet to try it. The other problem is finding high quality green coffee beans. A co-worker from Puerto Rico says that the plant grows wild there, and if you wait for the beans to ripen, you get an entirely different flavor.

It seems the more I learn, the less certainly I have.

Mike Ransom said...

I've got some Tulsa coffee house history up at my site (at the link above).