Selling Sunset Season 4

The Netflix’s reality TV show “Selling Sunset” is about selling real estate in Hollywood women who are simultaneously juggling their careers, relationships and of course love life. And what almost inevitably happens… drama.

This new season is no different…. Full of drama… Full of arguements… Full of excitment! In terms of filming, I get the feeling they are filming the show probably during summer and early fall of 2021. During this time, people were starting to go back out to eat at restaurants. You can see quite a lot of restaurant workers wearing masks in the show. Surprisingly though and maybe through editing, you don’t see many people wearing masks walking around.

What I find most interesting about this show is how they managed to connect one of the agents to Simu Liu. With the success of Marvel’s Shang-Chi, the show even had Simu Liu come on the show looking for a house. I guess a celebrity requires a celebrity real estate group to find a house in LA.

Steady State Roasting

November’s Trade Coffee comes from a roaster out in Carlsbad, CA called Steady State Roasting. The beans are Ethiopia’s Guji region. Frequent readers will recognize that I’ve actually received many roasted beans from this region in the past. The lattes I make are generally very delicious and always a solid choice.

However, this bag is slightly different. I find that the normal latte recipe gives a watered down espresso taste. This watered down taste takes away from the latte. Even the normal “coffee flavor” of the latte doesn’t have the normal strength typically tasted in the lattes. As a result, I’ve been decreasing the amount of water needed to brew inside the Aeropress to get rid of this watered down effect. So far, after a few tries, it’s made the latte very strong (typical) but suprisingly hasn’t really brought out more of the flavors. Puzzling….

319 Coffee Roasters

October’s Angels Cup comes from 319 Coffee‘s Spring Blend. I’m not sure why there’s a “spring blend” when it’s currently Oct/Nov and Fall/Winter. As a blend, the beans come from Ethiopia, Brazil and Columbia. Aside from the relatively non-descript packaging, the aromas are amazing. Everytime I open the bag, I smell fruits and nuts. Making my latte, I taste sweet honey and berries leading to a very caramelly nutty aftertaste that lingers at the back of the tongue.

OKLO Aurora Nuclear Reactor

I saw this video on YouTube about a new kind of nuclear reactor called Oklo’s Aurora (wiki). To be fair, I have heard of companies pursuing the niche space of making “clean/safe mini-nuclear reactors” in order to generate eletricity for 1000-10000 households. I even read that Bill Gates is also working towards a small reactor (link 1, link 2)!!

Listening to her talk about the technology and reading (link 1, link 2, link 3) a little more about it… this is much smaller than what Bill Gates is working towards. What is awesome about the reactors is the intent to use “spent nuclear fuel” to power the reactor and generate even more energy from the spent fuel. You’re literally using waste no one wants to touch in order to generate power shaving off the half-life of the fuel from potentially millions of years to something at least manageable. What I find also interesting are the concerns related to theft of spent fuel. I do suppose consequences are severe if the radioactive fuel was stolen and/or misused for evil deeds.

Goshen Coffee

September’s Angels Cup comes from Goshen Coffee. As part of Goshen Coffee’s subscription service, these beans are marketed as high quality, rare and unique. This bag comes from Burundi. Opening the bag, the aromas of berries, nuts and fruits were amazing. Making my latte though, the first sip was amazing. The latte was sweet and fruity with a slight jasmine tea after taste. I enjoyed drinking the latte so much that I made a second one immediately after I finished. This is one truly amazing bag of coffee.

Ghost Kitchens

With the pandemic, I think ghost kitchens have become popular operating model than before.

What are Ghost kitchens (link 2, link 3, link 4)? They are basically health inspected approved industrial or restaurant kitchens that serve food from a variety of different cuisines. They can operate independently as a “Delivery/Pick Up” model and in some cases, can also operate out of a well known restaurant. In the latter case, the only way a person would know there’s a ghost kitchen is by the address when you go pick up the food. If you’re an existing restauranteur, a possible benefit in operating a ghost kitchen from your restaurant would be to serve a different cuisine than the restaurant…. say the restaurnt focuses on Italian cuisine, the ghost kithcen could be serving up a specific niche comfort food like Mac n Cheese and Grilled Cheese.

This idea has me thinking… For any ghost kitchen to be profitable, the kitchen would need to cater to a wide variety of tastes while obviously minimizing the food cost. So what is the minimum number of “different tastes” a ghost kitchen would need to maintain? If you look at some ghost kitchens (Colony, Kitchen United), the menus are extensive and cover quite a lot of cuisines.

The kitchen would need to cater to Asian, Middle Eastern, American, European, Latin, other tasts. Even within the Asian category, there’s distinction between Indian, Malaysian, Chinese and Japanese foods. Even Latin American cuisines, there’s distinctions between the Mexican, Guatemalan, Peruvian and even Brazilian foods. For European, the variation between the northern and southern countries are pretty astounding. Looking at German food and Italian food, the cuisine from each country is different. And even if we just talk about one cuisine… like American, there’s no such thing as “American food.” Americans eat a wide variety of food ranging from BBQ meats to pizza to fried foods like fried chicken. They are all uniquely different food. This is applicable across Indian cuisine, Chinese cuisine, etc…. there are different foods made from different parts of the country but are still part of the cuisine. Can you see the problem already? A ghost kitchen wouldn’t be able to cover all these distinct cuisines let alone the distintive dishes for each cuisine.

But, assuming it’s possible, a ghost kitchen will have to sacrifice less popular cuisines in favor of more popular ones. The kitchen will need to be able to make pizza, burgers and fried dishes (fried chicken especially). The kitchen will also need to make asian rice and noodle dishes and optionally be able to make popular asian entrees like indian curry, thai curry, broccoli beef or soy ginger chicken. The kitchen should also be able to make burritos, nachos and tacos. For more traditionalist dishes, italian pasta with various sauces Finally, middle eastern dishes like gyros, shawarmas and kebabs to round out the kitchen. If each listed food has at minimum 3-5 variations, the ghost kitchen has to be able to manage at least 20-30 different types of cooking styles.

But… I think these ghost kitchens will start a greater food revolution and food evolution. The close proximity of the various cuisines could lead to Indian Curry Poutine!? Broccoli Beef burrito?! Gyro pizza?!

Mulvadi Corporation

Last month, I received a bag of Kona Coffee. The Kona coffee gifter also left another bag of Kona Coffee beans to enjoy one the first bag is finished. This week, I opened up and started sampling Mulvadi’s Kona Coffee. Similar to September’s Kona coffee, the latte had a much stronger ashen flavor profile from start to finish. The only other flavor I can descern was a dark chocolate after taste moments after swallowing each sip. Between the two beans, I prefer the Honolulu Coffee more.

Ritual Coffee

Trade Coffee sent Ritual Coffee for September’s coffee. The beans come from a single farm in Honduras. Ritual Coffee have always roasted consistently good beans that lead to great lattes. I was excited to see this familiar red bag after opening the packaging. Ritual was the original coffee subscription that started me down the path of wanting to try different roasters.

Making my latte, I taste a sweet nutty flavor that lingers at the back of my tongue after each sip.

Angels Cup Specialty Box

Angels Cup (one of my monthly coffee subscriptions) had a deal where a single roaster would investigate the different coffee processing methods and the subsequent flavor profiles from each method. Cafe Kreyol sent over four small bags of coffee beans that were processed differently: Washed (A), Red Honey (B), Natural (C), Aged Natural (D). I used the beans in order of A through D. After tasting the lattes from the bags, there are definitely flavor differences between the four different processing methods.

I really enjoyed the flavors in this order C > D> A> B. I tasted the most flavors from the Natural (C) processing where as Red Honey (B) was a totally subdued flavor profile. I initially enjoyed Washed (A) but after having Natural (C) and Aged Natural (D) and then going back to have Washed (A), the flavor strength of Washed didn’t compare to Natural/Aged Natural. I began to see why some of the coffee producing regions of Ethiopia mainly use Natural processing as there’s just so much flavor packed in each sip.