Friday, July 25, 2014

A Friday night unlikely to inspire a pop song UPDATED

Bus to the train to the other train to the shuttle. Lags almost each step of the way. It's almost as if I don't really live in greater New York, is what I start to think on such occasions. Princeton's a suburb, but one where you need to sign up years (!) in advance to be able to get a parking spot at the train station, and where overnight parking is permit-only regardless. It's certainly suburban, but what exactly is it a suburb of? Philadelphia radio works here better than NY radio, which maybe tells us something.

So yes, slightly tired, even though none of this was today, even though I just had a jumbo cappuccino* at the (fabulous) Viennese coffee shop in town. Commenters who believe my linking to a story about French anti-Semitism makes me a fascist (!!!) can expect snippier and shorter responses than the usual graphomaniacal graciousness to which they've grown accustomed. (And, uh, no further responses. Tapped out when it comes to that sort of thing.) Great ambitions for the evening include remembering where I parked, driving home, walking my supermodel dog, and... that's probably it.

*Caffeine, wonder drug. I tend to forget, because the coffee I make at home, no matter the method, no matter the beans, never seems to have much of it. Meanwhile, thanks to the hugeness of this outside-coffee, I finally figured out this thing I've been trying to write, finally. And no, I'm not referring to this somewhat phoned-in blog post.

UPDATE

So the evening ended up more exciting than planned - I ran into some astrophysicists and ended up seeing Saturn through a telescope. And before that, parking someone I don't normally park led me to pass by the... Japanese language school of Princeton. I had no idea such a thing existed, but now know its fees (not bad!), when the intro class meets, and when I'd need to have signed up by. Technically Dutch is first on the new-languages priorities list, but there's the small matter of it not being taught anywhere outside the countries where it's spoken. (I exaggerate, but slightly.) Also of being able to get by in Belgium in English or French, whereas if I ever do make it back to Japan...

6 comments:

Nicholas said...

"Caffeine, wonder drug. I tend to forget, because the coffee I make at home, no matter the method, no matter the beans, never seems to have much of it."

Yes. I've been having this problem for the last year, and have no idea why.

Phoebe said...

I wonder if anyone has an answer? All I can think of is, turnover must be greater at a cafe, and maybe the beans lose caffeine if they're old. Or maybe (here's the conspiracy theory) they sell decaf for home use to encourage trips to the coffee shop.

Otherwise? Given that I find this to be true even if it's drip coffee I'm getting out, it can't be an espresso vs. drip issue. May have to experiment tomorrow morning using twice as many beans as normal to see if that helps, but I doubt it, since the coffee tastes strong enough the usual way.

Andrew Stevens said...

Pretty sure it's the amount of beans. Starbucks for example uses about twice the amount of beans than is typically recommended and it wouldn't surprise me if others do as well. Drip coffee has more caffeine, by the by.

If you're regularly drinking coffee from those shops, you've probably also acquired a high tolerance. You might find the caffeine would work better if you took smaller, more frequent doses rather than, say, one very large serving in the morning.

Phoebe said...

An extra-beans pot of coffee is now brewing. We shall see.

"Drip coffee has more caffeine, by the by."

A refrain I've heard many times, alas, but I think it's comparing a shot of espresso with a cup of drip. Espresso drinks out often contain at least two shots. Comparing volume to volume, espresso still probably wins this one.

"If you're regularly drinking coffee from those shops, you've probably also acquired a high tolerance."

But that's the thing - I'm not. What I'm regularly doing is having the weak coffee I make at home. So on the relatively rare (couple times a week, if that?) occasions I get coffee out, it's intense.

Andrew Stevens said...

"A refrain I've heard many times, alas, but I think it's comparing a shot of espresso with a cup of drip."

There are a lot of confounding factors there. I'm not denying what you're experiencing at all. But if you take the exact same beans, grind them the exact same way (i.e. to the same fineness), use water of the exact same temperature, and make the exact same amount of coffee from it, you will extract more caffeine per ounce with drip since the water saturates the beans for longer. (Coffee ends up getting less per ounce than espresso usually because more coffee is brewed from the same amount of beans and the later brewed stuff dilutes the earlier brewed stuff.)

abrahamandsarah said...

They teach Dutch at Penn: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/german/languages/dutch