Tag Archives: Local Products

Back to Brewed

I’ve been using Keurig for several years, but it’s time to switch back to grinding beans and brewing drip coffee. The reasons for this switch:

  • Since retiring from the day job, I want 3 or more cups of coffee in the morning rather than two, so I could drink a full pot.
  • I’m bored with the flavor I can get from commercial K-cups. They cost more and give you less flavor than buying good beans.
  • Disposable K-cups create a lot of non-recyclable trash that I should feel guilty about.
  • I want to explore our local coffee roasters and try different beans.
  • I’ve been grinding beans and filling a refillable K-cup,  but my old Keurig machine doesn’t always like how I filled it. It would be less work to use a traditional drip brewer.

I made another search for my old coffee brewer and found it was still in working order. It’s an old Starbucks-branded coffeemaker with a thermal carafe. It has a permanent gold filter basket so I don’t have to bother with paper filters.

I wish I lived in walking distance of a coffeehouse other than Starbucks (there are three of them within a 30 minute walk of my house). I am not hostile to Starbucks, in fact I love them as I use them often for restroom stops during my walks. I just hate waiting in line for coffee. The only independent coffee shop in walking distance makes only espresso, and I find their Americano to be astringent and not very pleasant.

But I am now free to buy beans at local roasters such as Compass Coffee in downtown Vancouver, or pick them up on my excursions at places such as Long Beach Coffee Roasters.

Local Kitty Hooch

I decided it was time to get the cat her own kitty perch rather than have her continue to hog the desk chairs. But I was reluctant to shell out good money for something the cat would reject. My friends all recommended Kitty Hooch, a local company that makes cat climbers, cat pagodas, and cat toys. Their secret is their primo grade of catnip. All of the cat furniture has a secret catnip compartment, so the cat is guaranteed to be attracted to its new hooch. Kitty Hooch had a store at the Jantzen Beach mall, but the just closed it. Instead, they now sell live at Portland Saturday Market and at craft fairs, plus on the internet. Kitty Hooch web site.

Their catnip is organically grown locally. It is far more potent than the usual catnip found in pet stores because it is fresh and local. They sell loose catnip as well as premium catnip toys, catnip beds and furniture. I inspected the basic Kitty Hooch Mini Hammock at the Portland Saturday Market. The carpeting was very soft, but the construction seemed solid. At 19 inches high, it looked about the right height as a desk chair, so my aging cat wouldn’t have trouble getting to the top. The proprietress loaded it up with catnip and I carried it back to my car. All of their furniture is modular and can easily come apart to replace sections or for moving.

Now for the real test – would the cat like it? Our cat enjoys catnip, so I suspected she wouldn’t ignore the new Mini-Hammock. Sure enough, I put it next to me desk and within seconds she was loving up to it, rolling around the base and getting high. When she had settled into a torpor, I picked her up and put her in the top hammock. She settled in contentedly. The shape is perfect for snuggling the cats. Cats like to feel semi-enclosed. Success so far!

Kitty Hooch Mini Hammock