Maui Coffee Roasters

Yes I’m still working through the various coffee beans I bought from Maui. These beans are from Maui Coffee Roasters and in particular, this bag is special. They are roasted peaberry from Maui.

Making my latte, I’m greeted with an ashy, minerally flavor that lingers in the mouth with each sip. It reminds me of the dark espresso roasts from Starbucks that cook coffee beans almost to a point of bitterness and burnt chocolate flavor. I don’t get many fruity or floral flavors.

Wailuku Coffee Co

Another one of the coffee spoils from Hawaii. This one comes from Wailuku Coffee Co. It’s main store is this small cafe that opens up onto the pedestrian walkway where customers can relax and enjoy the breeze. It’s unfortunate that there were construction at the time which really detracted from the ambience.

Interestingly enough, during the flight back from Hawaii, I think the depressurization of the luggage compartment removed most if not all the air from the 5 coffee bags I brought back (yes I bought 5 bags of coffee, and this is the 3rd to be reviewed!!) Opening the bag up, I smell floral and earthy aromas. The beans are from a variety called Red Catuai. I’ve probably have had them in the past but roasters rarely call out the sub species/varietals of coffee.

Making my latte, I am greeted with a sweet, nutty, and chocolatey flavor. Each sip goes down very smooth with a after tatste similar to that of Kona. This after taste has a very mineralistic, volcanic nature to it perhaps unique to the Hawaiian islands.

The SCOTUS “Leak”

By now, if you haven’t heard about the SCOTUS leak of the draft documents of the majority opinion of a recent court case…. You really need to at least read/listen the news on a daily basis. The consensus from various news pundits say that the DRAFT MAJORITY OPINION as it stands now would OVERTURN Roe v Wade. If nothing changes to the current draft, this ruling is extremely consequential and devastating.

Three thoughts come to mind….
1) What happened to the separation of Church and State?
2) The ruling calls into question our freedoms…. so then where are these “freedoms” that the “Land of the Free” claims to have?
3) What is happening to this country?

Separation of Church and State: A draft opinion comes out and suddenly all the high profile religious leaders start saying things like “our prayers have been asnwered” or “praising god“. How is this not religiously motivated? Would you expect this kind of reaction from religious leaders if we were talking about banning guns used in dometic terrorist mass shootings? Clearly the religious leaders “thoughts and prayers” have been shit for mass shootings and I think I now know why… these “thoughts and prayers” were all focused on creating political miracles that allowed the Republicans to shit on the Constitution in order to retain the power and advantages they need. Technically… McConnell for cockblocking Obama’s nominee (Gorsuch) because it was an election year and then fast tracking Trump’s nominee (Barrett) also during an election year. Egads… What is happening to this country?

I also don’t understand religions. They have an inherent double standard that they seem to ignore. Many say they follow the bible… yet it seems like they only cherry pick the passages of the bible that suits them AND ignore other inconvenient passages. Is that really “FOLLOWING THE BIBLE” or is it more like “taking inspration from the bible”? During the pandemic, Sure you don’t want to wear a mask, get a vaccine shot, whatever… because your religion/bible/pastor says its a sin (or whatever stupid reason). The government made exceptions for your religious values. YET, you expect the government to also support your religious values and impede on a person’s choice to get an abortion or not? Egads… What is happening to this country?

Land of the Free? For a country that claims “to have various freedoms”, specifically which freedoms are talked about? Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion? Freedom of fair trials? Freedom to bear arms? The founders/writers of the Constitution clearly couldn’t list all the enumerated rights (Ninth Amendment) but these rights do exist ie… the Right to privacy, the Right to Vote. Do these unenumerated rights follow the basic human rights list? Perhaps? From the 30 basic human rights, one of the rights advocates “to marry and have a family.” It should also be assumed that the converse is also a right (to marry but not have a family) or any variation of marriage and family to also be held as a right. Or perhaps the unenumerated rights follow the “natural right.” Regardless of which unenumerated rights are being defined, what is absolutely clear is that religion is actively violating these rights because religion says it can. Furthermore, why must someone who is NOT religious comply with the religious words/beliefs that are being written into law across various states? For American’s who “scoff at the Middle East and the Sharia Law“, I find that these abortion laws are strangely Sharia-like.

What is happening to this country? Whenever I read/listen to the news, I ask this as well. I think there are two major issues. First it’s the Republicans. They are disregarding any semblance of bi-partisanship. They are seeking to just destroy whatever the Democrats propose instead of offering a counter proposal. Remember the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”? Many of their constituents were given healthcare probably for the first time through ACA and liked it. Yet Republicans denigrated Obamacare causing such a fury repealing the ACA would have negatively impacted their constituents. Another despicable Republican act is their opposition to the infrastructure bill. Yet, these Republicans are going back to their constituents claiming victory for something they voted against. The US Government should be reformed. Opposition to a bill should result in zero distributed funds. It’s all or nothing since that’s what Republicans are doing with the government.

Second, its the current duopoly party system. Both parties are heavily influenced by MONEY. The current system requires candidates to establish a large war chest in order to fund their campaigns. Funding campaigns requires meetings with rich individuals/corporations hoping to influence the candidate. Sure candidates can say they are not influenced by big money… but seriously…. Money buys influence. The government needs to transition away from dark money and lobbyists circling around the candidates and government officials. The government should abolish rules that support the two party system and seek ways where a 3rd/4th/multi party candidates can also succeed. Yes a parliamentary congressional system is possible requiring bipartisanship and coalition building. The current two party system are such broad based coalitions that effectively there are already multiple parties. But the government rules prevent 3rd party candidates from standing out.

Feeling disgruntled and hopeless? To be honest, I feel the same too. But I still believe if we continue to vote on what matters to us in 2022.

2022 IS AN ELECTION YEAR!
VOTE! VOTE!! VOTE!!!

Tastes of Aloha / Volcano Coffee Company

Clearly one bag of Kona beans is not enough. I give you a 2nd bag of Kona. This time it’s from Volcano Coffee Company. Apparently this “coffee company” is part of a distribution company called “Tastes of Aloha” that provides gift boxes with products from local companies. Regardless, it’s advertised as Kona coffee so it’s worth trying and comparing against the Lion Coffee posted earlier.

Opening the bag, the smells and aromas are very similar to that of the Lion Coffee Kona. I smell this burnt chocolatey aroma that just overpowers everything else. Making my latte, I find the latte to be much smoother aftertaste relative to the Lion. I get much more of a chocolatey, nutty flavor followed by a smooth milk chocolate after taste. Although both are enjoyable, I find myself truly enjoying more of the lattes made with these beans.

Hawaii Coffee Company / Lion Coffee

I recently came back from a trip to Hawaii. A trip to Hawaii is NEVER complete without at least a bag of Kona coffee. I had to go into a supermarket to look for 100% Kona but in Hawaii, Kona is super abundant so I had a bunch to choose from. I ended up selecting this brightly colored bag of Kona beans from Lion Coffee. I will admit that I chose this bag only because of the LION mascot.

I don’t know what a 24K Gold Roast is… The label says it’s a medium roast but sometimes I feel like Hawaii medium roasts are more “dark roast” than the usual mediums from other roasters. I find that Kona coffees I’ve always tasted tend to be dark roasts. Opening the bag, it brings me back to the first time I had Kona coffee 5+ years ago. The burnt chocolate nutty aroma just permeates the kitchen.

Making my latte, I’m reminded as to why Kona coffee is delicious. It’s sweet, chocolatey, earthy, nutty, and yet has a strong dark chocolate aftertaste with every sip. It’s consistently smooth but also give me huge flavors. Kona coffee has to be one of the best things about Hawaii.

The Democratic Party Social Media Dilemma?

The Democrats have a media problem. They need to have a “Fox News/Tucker Carlson or OAN” equivalent in mainstream media. The goal of this new media organization is to counter, satirize, discuss and question the conservative agenda. Questions need to be asked to promote discussion and promote reality check.

Here are some questions to ask:
1) What was the real extent of Marina Butina’s infiltration of the Republican party?
2) Has the impartiality / non-political nature of SCOTUS been contaminated knowing that Justice Thomas’ wife has been privately supporting the lies of electrion irregularities even going so far as to encourage Mark Meadows to do “something”?
3) Why are Republicans openly hostile against COVID19 policies like mask wearing and vaccinations claiming these policies infringe on their freedoms yet brazenly implement laws like Texas’ SB8 that infringe on a woman’s freedom of choice and body?

OC Squash March 2022 Tournament

One of the consistent squash tournaments that takes place in SoCal is the OC Squash Tournament held at the OC Equinox in Irvine. It occurs roughly every March and October and generally draws at least 30-50 players of various levels (from 3.5 to 5.5). As one of the only few local tournaments within driving distance, it’s a good opportunity to estimate your current squash skill/levels and gain insights on where to improve next. It’s a double elimination match and is fairly well organized for such a large player base.

During the pandemic, the tournament was put on hiatus. This was the first squash event of the year and drew approximately 30 or so players of various levels. The tournament coordinator was able to fill out three brackets of 8 (4.0, 4.5, 5.0) and a round robin bracket. Not too shabby for the first squash event.

I participated in the 4.0 bracket this time around. Having played before in the 3.5, I figured the 4.0 might give me some issues/challenges. Interestingly, many of the previous 3.5 players were also playing in this bracket leading me to conclude this was probably a combination of two brackets. Seeing the bracket, I thought I had a fairly good chance to place at best 2nd place. Why? Mainly because T was also playing and at my current fitness level, I know I cannot win against her athleticsm.

Day 1:
Day 1 ends with me in the losers bracket with a 2-1 record. I won the first match relatively convincingly. Lost my match against T. And won the first losers bracket match convincingly too. My adjusted lob serves were still a little shaky but good enough to demoralize both opponent where I won. When they were unable to return the serve effectively, they don’t even have an opportunity to win the point. The match with T was excrutiating. I committed too many errors and generally wasn’t able to dictate the pace nor control the T.

Day 2
Being in the losers bracket, I need 2 wins to put me back into the winners bracket and an additional 2 wins (for a total of 4 wins) in order for me to win the division. Day 2 starts off with a no show so that’s an easy win. The 2nd win starts off a bit shaky as my serve wasn’t consistent enough in the 1st game of the 2nd match. It was actually being called out in the 1st game quite a few times. But with small adjustments, I managed to win both the 2nd and 3rd game on the backs of my serve and to fully frustrate the opponent in the 4th game to win the 2nd match. That’s win #2 and that puts me back head to head against T.

My 3rd match of the day was against T. She’s used to the timing of my lob serve and was able to return and stay competitive. Ultimately, I committed too many errors, was outplayed by T quite a few times, and general frustration/fatigue finally took over in the 3rd game.

I ended up placing 2nd place with an overall 4-2 record with both losses to T.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co

February’s Trade Coffee selection is this wonderful single origin Anodyne Coffee Roasting selection from Colombia. The bag smells amazing even after a month. I smell hints of fruit and this nutty aroma. Making my latte, I initially taste fruity and sweet flavors that melts into to a chocolate milk after taste. That chocolate after taste is very enjoyable.