The International Prints For Coffee Beans Swap

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I’m a coffee lover, that’s for sure. And even though Berlin is in any other way a great city we have a lack of really good locally roasted beans. There’s a lot of roasters in the area, but compared to the beans of e.g. Four Barrel, Ritual Coffee, Square Mile, Intelligentsia, and the like, they’re pretty boring. I like good beans, but I don’t like that I can’t get them here. So, I’m gonna have to do something about that. Just asking people to send me beans is not really fair, they should get something in return. Sure, I could give them money in return, but why not make it interesting? Why not swap coffee beans for photo prints?

So, without much further ado, I announce my personal International Photo Prints For Coffee Beans Swap. The idea is simple. You send me a bag of coffee beans from a local roaster, I send you a print of one of my photos. Your choice of course. Each bag you send warrants one print, so three bags make for three prints. The idea is not the more the better, I’m already more than thankful for just one bag of great beans, but if you want to send more than one bag, you should obviously get the appropriate reward.

How does it work? Go to your local roaster, buy a fresh pack of beans, send me an email with the photo you’d like as a print, and off we go. I don’t want to sound picky, but it’s also about supporting your local roaster, so please buy them there, and not in a supermarket. Beans in supermarkets usually are a lot older than the ones you can buy fresh. Any kind of origin is cool, but no weird mixes of beans and herbs please. The pure bean is what it’s all about.

The prints will be 18×18 cm for squares, and 15×20 cm for rectangular photos. That’s roughly 7×7 and 6×8 inches respectively, for you non-metrical peeps. They’ll be printed on Silk Fuji Crystal Archive paper. If you’re left wondering which ones to get, I put together a small photo set to get you going. Preferably, pick photos that don’t have people in them. If you really want one in particular, feel free to ask and I’ll see what I can do. Please send a bag only if you find a photo you’d like to have printed.

My postal address is as follows:

Mathias Meyer
Gabriel-Max-Str. 3
10245 Berlin
Germany

When you send me an email, let me know yours, so I can send off the prints.

How about that?

Food Bloggers in the Wild

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The wild being Berlin. Molly visited Berlin, and obviously we had to give her the grand tour of the eastern part of Berlin. There was currywurst, there was good coffee, and there was schnitzel. The Wednesday Chef was in there too every now and then. And boy, they’re both pretty awesome. Molly even approved of my mushroom risotto!

Yes!

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In other news, I’m spending this and next week taking care of Mari until J comes back home from work, because the kindergarten is closed for summer holiday. And I’m loving it. It’s nice to spend some quality time with my daughter, it really is. I get the feeling she enjoys that too.

But man, it’s still frickin hot. We had around 37 degrees Celsius over the weekend, and around 35 degrees today. Our apartment just never really cools down, staying close to 30 degrees even during the night. That is some heat wave bitch, I’m telling ya.

The Secret of Great Iced Coffee

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The heat wave in Berlin continues. We’ve been having temperatures around 37-38 degrees Celcius for the last couple of days. As long as we’re not walking around much and steer clear of public transport (usually > 40 degrees on subway and city train) it’s bearable.

We spent most of Sunday out on the balcony, regularly dipping little Mari into a tiny tub so she can cool off.

As for ourselves, I’m making two things: chilled tap water with lemon or lime in it, and iced coffee. Oh, iced coffee, you’re such a good treat on hot days like these. One kind of iced coffee I’ve grown very fond of quite quickly I discovered in London. Mr. Ferry ordered an iced filter coffee at Dose Espresso, and the barista used an AeroPress to make it. As it so happens, I have an AeroPress at home myself, so I started resorting to that trick immediately as soon as it got warm enough in Berlin. Of course I don’t want to deprive you of the joy of making it, and you should be able to get the same results with e.g. a single-drip filter.

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The trick is simple: Put a lot of ice into a glass, and then simply let the coffee drip directly onto the ice cubes. They’ll completely melt along the way, but in the end you’ll have a freshly brewed, iced filter coffee. Throw in some excellent beans like Square Mile or Four Barrel, and you’re good to go for a hot summer day.

With a french press you’ll probably need a lot more ice because you’re not dripping but pouring the pressed coffee on the ice cubes, but it’d probably work too. Dripping it directly has the nice advantages of immediately chilling the drops of coffee the instance they hit the ice.

Of course you can do it the traditional way and put freshly brewed coffee into the fridge to let it cool down, but I really like the freshness of the coffee. Chilled coffee tends to taste a bit stale after a couple of hours, and hopefully it didn’t also take on some of the aroma of other foods in your fridge.

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The other kind of iced coffee I like is a simple iced flat white. Use a double shot of espresso, pour it on a bunch of ice cubes, add cold milk. Easy! Of course you can stretch it to be an iced latte, but I prefer the shortness of the flat white.

Our Weekend II

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Just got some freshly developed film back from the lab, and there’s really no reason why I shouldn’t write some more about last weekend, right? I stuffed some Kodak Portra 160NC (expired in 2001, courtesy of Four Corner Store) in my Pentacon Six, because it’s simply a nice camera for a summer weekend like that. Fun fact: the glue lid on the 220 film roll tasted very fruity, almost like cherries.

We hung out in J’s parents’ garden a lot, in the shade of a nice pear tree which unfortunately, doesn’t bear any fruit this year. But the cherry tree sure made up for that. I really couldn’t stop eating cherries that weekend. Mari spend a lot of time in her tiny pool, but I really can’t blame her for that. It was nice to even just dip in my feet.

Germany was playing in the world cup on Saturday, but I really didn’t feel like hanging out inside, watching tv. So I grabbed Mari and camera, and we headed out exploring the tiny town J used to live in. Sure, I do know the place already, but still, you discover something new every time. Plus, the town was practically empty, and even walking around, I didn’t miss a single goal. It was freaking hot, but I much prefer being outside, even in heat like that.

On Sunday J and I took a little bike ride around the lakes and woods in the area, just the two of us, leaving Mari napping at her parents. Of course she slept until we got back, but what’s a baby to do?

Even though it was pretty hot again on Sunday, the bike ride was nice and relaxing. It rained a tiny bit, but that didn’t really bother us. We stopped at the Havel river for a short dip in the water (mostly feet though), and to lie around on the water for a bit. With a baby, you almost forget to cherish and appreciate these moments with just the two of you. It’s almost taken for granted that there’s always a kid around or in the next room. So even though they’re still short moments, I very much enjoy them, just being with J.

Our Weekend

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Was so relaxed, incredibly hot, and full of cherries. J and Mari took the train out to her parents’ on Friday, I followed on Saturday and Sunday, taking care of Mr. T in between, poor guy can’t be left alone and needs some feeding.

Anyway, was so nice to just hang out, take some photos, and watch Mari enjoy cooling down in her new, tiny pool. I ate a lot of cherries, as J’s parents’ tree was incredibly heavy with these delicious, irresistible and sometimes stomach-ache causing fruit. There was heaps of other food, there was taking the bikes out for a Sunday ride and there was some football world cup too.

I was pretty happy we got away from the city for this weekend, as temperatures were around 36 degrees C. I do enjoy a hot summer in the city, but sometimes it’s just nice to get out.

But enough about our weekend, how was yours?