Archive for March, 2016

Andy’s quest for the perfect cup of coffee! Part 2: Are you a Coffee snob?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

A few years ago, after discussing good coffee with “Angus” at the local Coffee Shop, he described Lindsey & I, as “coffee snobs”, and this was the reason he open a local Coffee Shop, to roast, and produce coffee for local “coffee snobs” on a daily basis, Angus also declared himself as a “coffee snob”, and opened to shop because there was no other coffee shop locally, which did the same. Sadly Angus sold on the business, because his return on investment was too low.

Today my order of coffee beans has arrived from

A large and well packed box of coffee beans, delivered by FedEx.

I’ve ordered Has Bean Exclusive: Guachipelin Natural, this is what is in the box of coffee

And Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Gedeb Washed Kurume

I’ll get the grinder ready, and warm up the Chemex!

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Andy’s quest for the perfect cup of coffee! Part 1: How do you like your coffee?

Friday, March 18th, 2016

I like strong black coffee, and at University I was too lazy to boil the kettle, and I just used to add cold water to coffee granules, (that was 26 years ago!) I do not prepare coffee that way anymore, and no longer use coffee granules either! I also prefer warm coffee, or cold coffee, not piping hot. For a while I used to drink quadruple espresso, I also prefer a small amount of good tasting coffee, rather than a large cup of coffee.

Here’s one I made earlier


I’ve got the following coffee makers, which I’ve tried

  1. Braun filter coffee maker
  2. Braun espresso machine
  3. French press cafetiere e.g. Bodum.
  4. Stovetop espresso maker (my Dad would often comment, he didn’t want any of that sludge you boil-up on the stove!).
  5. Aerobie Aeropress (purchased in Panama, which was cheaper than purchasing it in the UK!).

These all have their advantages and disadvantages, e.g. they are quick and convenient, and I cannot praise the Aerobie Aeropress, enough – for mobile, espresso coffee when you away from home!

But the drawback I’ve found with them ALL, is the coffee taste, and some bitterness which can be tasted in the resulting coffee.

Let me introduce you to the CHEMEX coffee maker, invented in 1949 by a Chemist, and using a conical flash and filter papers, the modern CHEMEX coffer maker is made from non-porous, borosilicate glass and fastened with a wood collar and tie. It uses a special scientifically designed filter paper, the results are fantastic, Clear, pure, flavourful and without bitterness or sediment every time, you can make your coffee as strong as you like without bitterness. However, this is not a quick method of making a perfect cup of coffee, and has almost a ritual, a bit like perfect tea making or the “Japanese Tea ritual.” – if you one are a coffee drinker – that just pours water over coffee granules out of a kettle, and you like your coffee that way, I don’t think a CHEMEX is for you!

The CHEMEX uses the pour over, slow drip method to deliver a flavourful and without bitterness cup of coffee.

the box the CHEMEX arrives in!

CHEMEX filters, specific for the 3 cup CHEMEX

The 3 cup CHEMEX (it creates approx 450 ml of coffee)

here’s a short video, 45 seconds our of 4 minutes of the complete process

some instructions, with photos of how I do it with a CHEMEX.

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Dead SATA Hard Disk Drives – this one definitely has crashed heads!

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

This is what they look like inside, if you’ve ever wondered!

I’ve had a stack of many SCSI, IDE, SATA, SAS disks on the shelves for many years, ranging in sizes from 40MB, 9GB, 36GB, 72GB, 146GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB, time to test them all. Out of 50 SATA drives, 6 had failed just because they had been sitting on the shelf doing nothing.

I’ll strip them down, and use the spinning platters, as bird scarcers for my allotment, to keep the pigeons at bay! It takes me 30 seconds to strip them down and remote the platters, and then I’ll shuffle the platters, and string them on my allotment, that’s stops my data being recovered!

This SATA hard drive, the heads have crashed into the platters, and started to score them, see here

This is what a hard drive should look like

Here’s a single platter

A stack of platters for my allotment

here’s a short video of the inside of a hard drive, with the cover removed, with crashed heads.

here’s a short video of the inside of a broken hard drive, with the cover removed.

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Frith’s Gift!

Friday, March 11th, 2016



“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies.


“And whenever they catch you, they will kill you.


“But first, they must catch you…


“…digger, listener, runner.


“Prince with the swift warren.


“Be cunning and full of tricks…


“…and your people will never be destroyed. ”

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Andy’s quest for Vanilla Pumpkin Seeds as a tasty snack! Well done @grazedotcom – sorry @MunchySeeds !

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Many years ago, I used to be able to obtain vanilla pumpkin seeds, and I would purchase packets and tubs from Munchy Seeds

from my local Health Food shop, I’ve tried normal pumpkin seeds, but in my opinion not as tasty, and not as attractive. I contacted Munchy Seeds and they told me they had discontinued vanilla pumpkin seeds, because they were not popular, so my quest continued….Lindsey found that the successful company GRAZE, snacks by mail company, have started to stock Vanilla Pumpkin Seeds, I’ve personally found that their snacks by mail expensive, but they’ve recently started to diversify, and sell the GRAZE products in Waitrose, Tescos, ASDA, Sainsbury’s etcs , and now have an Online Shop to sell direct!

And they sell Vanilla Pumpkin Seeds,

so it would look like Munchy Seed’s loss, is GRAZE’s gain!

Here is our first box….of 3 x Vanilla Pumpkin Seeds, and Jam Doughnut

And they are all very yummy!

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