Victoria Summer 2011 About Victoria - Kicking it old school with Yoka · 10.07.11 by colin newell
I am a big advocate for buying your coffee whole bean – recently roasted and ideally direct from the roaster.
That way you know what you are getting, you are supporting local business and getting a product that is fresh and ideal for immediate consumption.
Photo left – Yoka keeps it old school at #5- 1046 Mason Street in the historic North Park neighborhood – High Cook near Wellburns Grocery
Here is the thing about coffee. It is a food product and like many others, has a freshness sweet spot. And to put this into perspective, whole bean or ground coffee is not like a bowl of rice or lentils or flour that can sit in a fairly air tight container indefinitely.
It is more like a bowl of fruit or a head of lettuce. And we all know that these food items are fairly fragile and only consumable for X number of days.
So how long is freshly roasted coffee good for? Opinions vary but it generally accepted that whole bean coffee is most ideal between 3 and 11 days off the roast day. Some folks extend this a bit but here is the thing. The moment coffee is roasted, it starts to give off carbon dioxide and this degassing process protects the coffee from the inevitable incursion of oxygen (the oxidizer) which stales coffee. Coffees degas at different rates but it is a given that whole bean coffee has the best and freshest flavor to offer between 3 and 7 days off roast. Between 7 to 12 days, the beans are running out of CO2 to release – and after that, the oxygen makes swift work of robbing the coffee of its great taste.
Yoka and her partner Tristan have been running a coffee roaster and shop since 1983 in Vancouver and recently moved their operation to Victoria for a change of pace. In addition to a wide selection of darker roast old origin coffees, they offer whole Belgian chocolate and local honey. There is a seating area for sipping on of their brews and they have a single group Rancilio for an espresso, latte or cappuccino.
Yoka runs a neat operation in that it is somewhat old school – fresh roast coffee in glass bins, old style weighing scales and a roaster in the main room. They event won a Hallmark heritage nod on the update and redesigns to the building on Mason.
Their roast profiles tend to roll towards the darker of the spectrum and get this, they have 3 different roast profiles on the Swiss Water organic decaf – the best decaf in the World… that is produced in Burnaby of all places.
Yoka’s shop is open Tuesday to Saturday 9AM til late in the afternoon – come on by and make sure you tell them that Colin sent you!
Victoria Spring 2011 - What Spring · 14.05.11 by colin newell
I am not alone in making this declaration:
Here in Victoria B.C. (YYJ for you twitter types), the weather has been utterly kicking my ass. And I am pretty sure that unless you live in a cave and you are used to sleeping with bats under dripping stalagmites, then you too are suffering the effects of the Victoria Winter of 2011 that will never fucking end.
The Sun has come out for about 7 days (not in a row or even in any sequence) over the last 4 months. We have not had 2 days of clear skies. We have had week after week or gray. Light gray. Dark gray. Green gray and several shades of blue gray.
Seasonally effected? I have had the luxury of cranking my lab light up to a cataract inducing 50,000 LUX or so… and even a touch more if I need it. And if you don’t know the significance of these numbers… Google it. Not quite Super Nova levels but pretty damn bright. I pity people that work in near windowless offices or spaces that have heavily filtered light. We go to Hawaii once a year for an infusion of Sunny goodness and it usually lasts a couple of months – well that sweet nugget of goodness ran out months ago – and it has been entirely miserable since January.
So, trying something different. Popping Omega-3 Fish oil and 1000 unit Vitamin D tabs twice a day – and thankfully I have a buddy who is a family doctor who said “OK” to this – because it does say on the bottle – “Medical supervision…” Thanks Doc.
So. How are the rest of you coping with the shitty Victoria weather?
Growing it for Cancer research - Movember - Pledge please! · 1.11.10 by colin newell
Fine facial hair and immaculate grooming doesn’t grow on trees. It grows on my face if I neglect it long enough.
And I have never been big on whiskers – hard enough keeping them follicles brewing on my head. But for the benefit of taking one for the team – and taking steps to promote Men’s Health – I have joined the UVic Systems Movember Team.
Photo right: A picture of my rugged mug from last year before an asteroid from the Van Allen belt rendered me hideous…
Cool. Finally an excuse to give up daily grooming and give prostate cancer a solid wallop in the nether regions.
So. If you are a fan of the Coffeecrew blog and want to keep the love coming… dig deep and toss a couple of sheckles in the direction of my chin dreads.
Please, please… pretty please?
Please donate to My Movember Team
The boys and I will be glad you did!
Fall fun Food and Follies in Victoria B.C. 2010 # 4 Lip Dub UVic · 23.10.10 by colin newell
B.C. housing rant - renting owning searching buying chapter 1 · 9.09.10 by colin newell
With less traffic than a Pyongyang thoroughfare, the folks marketing condominiums at the former Olympic Village in Vancouver’s False Creek hope things turn around and turn around soon.
Millennium sales have been slower than growth of the Gordon Campbell fan club. Hundreds of high-end, poorly made (it seems) condominium units are unoccupied and some commercial and retail space sits quietly vacant.
To date, few condo units have been sold, and hundreds remain with no interest.
Apparently buyers of at least 13 units want to take Millennium to B.C. Supreme Court to win the right to get the heck out of their contracts.
Purchasers’ complain of shoddy construction, el-cheapo appliances and blocked views from their units – who price starts at around 400G and tops out at 2 million or more.
Truth be told, these units were made for Olympic athletes during the games and were not necessarily built for long term “speed”… or endurance for that matter.
B.C. taxpayers (you and I) could be on the hook for over 1 billion dollars for these overpriced boxes… one more bag of bad news item for the Gordon Campbell Liberals to rest on their sloping shoulders.
Poor quality construction notwithstanding, it is also a reflection of the hyper-inflated and soon to burst real estate bubble in B.C.
Thinking of buying? Hold your horses because prices are on the downward slide and they have a long way to go.
Correction? Could be.
A big one? We will see.
Victoria housing rant - renting owning searching buying chapter 2 · 31.08.10 by colin newell
I have been living with my wife of infinite patience in a really nice “suite” in the Oak Bay, Rockland, Fernwood area.
Digs are kind of nice… 1250 sq. feet. 2 BR. 2 Bath. Laundry on each floor. Mail delivery to the door. Has been called “mind numbing luxury” by someone we know who lives in Hollywood. So that says something. Something to do with the spectacular ocean and 220 degree mountain views. I guess.
Our tower is 16 stories tall and is the highest point in Victoria.
We are just wrapping up a complete window renovation. Single pane to double pane.
The work has been going on for 6 weeks. Has been invasive as heck.
But I am kind of resigned to the noise, the dust and the arrival of gangs of hunky young tool-belted dudes at 7:30AM in the morning. Often without notice… proper legal notice.
If you are a renter, you get 24 hours advance notice of an invasion. In the case of the 80 some tenants in my building… not so much. Not so regular.
It is a BIG project. I will give them that. And the building needs the upgrade. That’s life.
The only thing that really bugs me is the degree of contempt that the owners of the building hold for the tenants.
And I thought it was just me… being cynical and all…
The lack of notice. The 7AM to 7PM schedule. The unannounced arrivals of young dudes.
The dudes don’t bother my wife so much. So there is some upside and balance.
There were a lot of little things that the landlord could have done to ease the pain – like setting aside a quiet area for the many elderly residents. But no.
Maybe NOT working on Saturdays. But no. Giving legal notice with some consistency… but no.
So. We are calling them on it. In a big way. Might report on that as it progresses.
Point of all of this. In my 4 plus decades of life in Planet Earth, I have probably spent 20 of them renting… generally quite successfully. But I almost always get the impression that landlords don’t like their tenants much… always out to screw them.
Just me. Have had some good experiences mind you.
Anyway. Photo gallery of some of the action here labeled Window reno – enjoy.