Tag tea

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Coffeeneuring Challenge 2014

Mary of Chasing Mailboxes launched another fun “Coffeeneuring Challenge” this year (see her blog for all of the details and rules, and in the fine tradition of randonneuring, there’s lots of rules!)

This was my first time participating, and it was great to share stories with other coffeeneurs (via Facebook) and ride with my fellow randos in search of good caffeinated beverages! I hope to participate again next year.

Coffeeneuring Ride #1: Scarlet City Espresso Bar (10/19)
Rode with Ann, Bryan, Denise and The Bearded One to Scarlet City in Emeryville for (my personal favorite) vegan cappuccinos, coffee and pastries, then a bike ride to Berkeley for beers at Pyramid!

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Coffeeneuring Ride #2: Quick cuppa with TBO before I had to produce a video shoot today at Kilovolt Coffee in Emeryville! (10/25)

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Coffeeneuring Ride #3: Fred’s Vintage Ride (and early birthday celebration) to Pt. Richmond! (10/26)
We got a late start but caught up with Jason and Paloma on the road. Then it was time for brunch at Little Louie’s and some exploring of the new (to us) Bay Trail section near the historic Red Oak Victory WW2 ship!

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Coffeeneuring Ride #4 & #5: Post-Del Puerto Canyon 200k and Arbor Cafe (11/1 & 11/2)
Ann, Denise, Pudu and I all rode the DPC 200k. The finish was at a Starbucks in Pleasanton, and Ann, Jason and myself did a 2-mile out-and-back after our brevet so we get our ‪#‎coffeenneuring‬ ride in. Poor Pudu had crashed during his ride, so he valiantly rallied to do this final “recovery” ride afterwards to get his C5! While still nursing his wounds, he treated me to a cappuccino the following morning at Oakland’s Arbor Cafe before setting out to do his official C6 ride with Ann and Denise!

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Coffeeneuring Ride #6: Denise & I rode 87 miles (an out-and-back permanent from Benicia to Winters with some bonus miles thrown in when we got temporarily lost), then did a short 2.5 post-ride jaunt to one of our favorite bakeries: Arizmendi. Had a slice of fresh sourdough pizza with hot tea! Highlight of the day: when we got off-course, we stumbled upon a roadside table with Fuyu persimmons for sale (4 for a $1!) — I would have bought more but alas, didn’t have any cash — so Denise was kind enough to buy me two. (11/8)

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Coffeeneuring Ride #7: Challenge Complete! (11/9)
One of my favorite things to do on Sunday is go for a lazy bike ride to a delicious dim sum place. Jason met TBO & I in Berkeley for a feast at the Imperial Tea Court; it’s a high-end tea shop with a tranquil outdoor patio and zen garden. Then for dessert, we headed to Guerilla for more caffeine (cappucino + coffee) and chocolate-cherry-toffee-chip cookies!

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I’m going to submit my results on this special “BREWSA” card I designed! :)

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kerala

green

“All of the villagers stare at us as we pass by, some stoically, some with a smile.”

Kerala

“The houseboat is a wide canoe-like structure with the domed roof made out of woven jute, bamboo and rattan and palm leaves. There are three crew members: a wizened old captain with a gentle smile; a friendly cook named Apu and the engine operator. The engine operator and captain communicate with one another by ringing a bell.”

“I watched the cook make several curries in his tiny kitchen. Using a gas range that had two burners and blackened woks, he made one curry with coconut, another with okra. Everything was sauteed with coconut oil and seasoned with mustard seeds and tumeric. Apu also toasted papadum and fired up kingfish steaks that had been rubbed in a chili paste. He had made sambar and rice ahead of time. His knives looked dull, but he was able to cut all of his vegetables by using a careful slicing motion and drew the blade towards him. The engine operator would rinse the cutting boards in the river. Other tools were cleaned in bowls of water on the deck. Apu and the engine operator chatted while he cooked, and they both laughed at my interest in his preparations. “Are you hungry? Are you hungry?” he asked several times.”

“Kerala’s backwaters are my favorite part of the trip thus far. Small villages are interwoven within an intricate series of canals. The landscape is lush with palm trees that remind me of tall, frizzled lollipops or feather dusters, and the air is warm and thick and moist but still not too humid this time of year. Fishermen go out early every morning to catch a native fish akin to porgy and use long canoes to traverse the waterways. On our boat cruise, several paddled up to us and hitched a ride by clinging to the side. We even had some bring us fresh coconuts that were hacked open right on the spot.”

“Women wash their laundry on the steps that lead to the river. They slap and whip their clothing on the stones, then scrub them clean in the water.”

Munnar

“The mountains were covered for miles with tea and coffee plants. The small uniformly-cropped tea bushes snaked in maze-like patterns upwards along the rolling terrain, and from a distance the endless rows of bushes resembled green sea coral that blanketed the countryside.”

Journal Entries From My Trip to India in 2004