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This is the second post on the coffee topic. The previous post is here.
My manual coffee grinder broke. Specifically, the plastic inside the upper portion of the grinder broke off and went into the burr grinding mechanism. So in addition to ground coffee, I also got ground plastic. Bummer.
Never thought this part would be the first to break and nobody sells that spare part. I needed a new grinder.
Looking around the internet, turned out good quality manual grinder cost almost as much as low-end electric grinder. Some electric grinder even costed less than good manual grinder.
Electric grinder is much more convenient, obviously, but I had some concerns. It is noisy, takes up counter space, a bit boring, and may lead to me drinking much more coffee. I will get back to these later in the post.
I found a few models that look interesting within the price range that I was willing to part with. But I have no experience with electric grinder (except for using an espresso coffee grinder once at a friend's place), so I looked for local store options to see first hand what I was buying.
The store that sells Baratza never picked up the phone in the few days I called. Their website did not say anything, but I wonder if it closed down. Another store sells Hario. I called and they ran out the small model that I liked, but the other model is in stock and the store is not too far. I found other stores, but they carry expensive stuffs in the price range that I am not ready to part with.
I enjoyed my Hario manual grinder and I still like the brand, so I went to the store. The Hario electric grinder looked alright and the staff explained how to maintain it to keep it running well. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the smeg electric grinder on the other side of the table. I inquired the staff about it in comparison with the Hario.
It's more expensive than the big Hario, but seems worth the extra cost.
I splurged for the smeg.
One week in, so far my concerns had been mitigated.
The noise is not so loud as I had feared and it has a pleasant pitch. (The smeg's housing is made of metal.) It looks nice, so I don't mind it taking some counter space in the corner. Obviously, pushing a button is not the same ritual as manual grinding, but the process is not so boring as I thought. Probably due smeg's good look and good user experience in operating the machine.
And to date, despite the convenience, I have not drunk more coffee than before.
Here's to a nice cup of coffee! By the way, I wrote this while enjoying a nice cup of early morning coffee. :–)
Check out the smeg website.
I found this professional guide to immersion brewing. No, I do not do it like him at home; too cumbersome, but this YouTube video confirms some of my assumptions / techniques.
I am thankful that I still can be thankful
The gale seems scary all the time and the waves are very tall at times but the boat is afloat and all hands are on board
For this I am thankful
The cloud is dark and foreboding but out in the horizon peeking a silver lining because the sun is still shining
For this I am thankful
Lately, my 10K time had been nowhere near my best times of 58:27 and 59:20 and my recovery period had been less than comfortable. The outsoles of both the Adidas PureBoost and Asics SortieMagic are wearing out, so maybe it's time to get new shoes.
Unfortunately, the Asics boutique did not have SortieMagic in stock anymore, so I had to find another model. I checked out a few stores and ended up with a pair of Brooks Ricochet.
Not as thin as I prefer, but really nice ride for slow runs. I like them.
I tried running fast with them and only got 59:59 and subsequent tries were slower. I retried harder and eventually I was able to get 58:50. Yeay! Unlike the fast-feeling SortieMagic, I had to consciously make the extra push to get a good pace from the Ricochet.
Recovery period was good.
Lesson learned: When recovery period is painful and long, it is probably time to get new shoes.
And the day before yesterday, I was hoping to do another sub-60 minute 10K. I felt great physically and the early morning weather was nice. I checked the stopwatch periodically and gave it a push in the last 2K. I did not intend to make a new best time, so I was very surprised to see the time.
So to-date, my best times are 57:50, 58:27, and 58:50. I think that is enough fast running for a while.
This morning, I got up early and went for a 10K run around the park. I decided to wear my slow shoes (Adidas PureBoost), instead of my fast shoes (Asics SortieMagic), because I did not feel like running fast.
First few kilometres went well but I somehow went a faster than I planned. By seventh km, I felt tired already and was unsure if I could finish 10K.
I thought, “Maybe a fast 8K is enough for this morning?”
But as I completed 8K, I glanced at my old faithful Casio digital watch and was surprised that I was around 50 seconds ahead of my normal 8K time mark. By now I told myself, “I ran too fast. If I run at a slower pace and focus on keeping running, I may be able to finish the next 2K.”
So I paid close attention to my breathing and focused my run one step at a time. I tried to relax a bit, but kept myself going. Eventually, I forgot about my tiredness and finished the next 2K.
As I stopped the stop watch, I was even more surprised than 2K ago. I slowed down much less than I planned. I finished the run at 59 minutes 20 seconds – my fastest time.
Amazed and elated.
A couple of mornings later, I put on my fast shoes and tried to replicate the achievement. It was an epic fail. I focused too much on the time target that I failed to sustain a good rhythm and was exhausted at 40:27.
I am not into races at all; in fact, to date I have never enrolled in one. I just wanted to know “what if ..”, so curiosity drove me to try again.
Seven days after my 59:20 run, I went out in late afternoon with my SortieMagic. This time I focused on the journey: my breathing and my rhythm. Fixing the technique took care of the time.
I do not see any reason to go faster than 58:27, so this is my current personal best and maybe for the foreseeable future.