A Collection of Delicious Things

Labor Day Weekend is upon us which means, more importantly, Oktoberfest is almost here. Accordingly, the 2nd annual Oktoberfest 10% off coupon is kicking in Today. Use the code “EINPROSIT” to enjoy a discount on all your Stein of Science or weapons grade coffee needs. The coupon will run through the end of the Oktoberfest, on October 3rd.

Speaking of weapons grade coffee, when I shared my plight of the loss of the Panama BBotE, my light roast & Americas entry all in one, a roaster at Ritual Coffee in San Francisco rose to the challenge and said he had just the thing. In particular, he wanted to best my favorite and challenge Caffe Vita‘s Guatemalan Mundo Nuvo with their Guatemalan Retiro de Quisaya.

The Retiro had a fascinating smell of bread dough in the air when I was preparing it and hooboy was it a long oily extraction. Cold and straight, to me, it had an interesting sweet-tart metallic flavor. My guaranteed oddball Test Subject declared “it’s a molasses cookie through and through”. The general consensus settled upon “citric and meat” with frequent comparisons to cherry or rhubarb pie. Vodka addition blended the flavor up a bit which, actually, was a bit of a disappointment as I was enjoying the evolving flavor on the tongue of the cold and straight.

The Retiro receives the very special distinction of My Lovely Assistant asking if I had anymore of the first test batch laying around, because she wanted some. My Lovely Assistant is an inveterate tea drinker and even the tastiest of BBotE has not cracked her until now. Ne’er has she asked for a BBotE before and that may be the highest recommendation I can give to the Retiro. She’s finds the addition of the Retiro to milk to be the best course of action. There’s a couple bottles of it available in the Prototypes & Clearance section if you want to take a stab at it.

On the topic of BBotE and milk, Test Subject Chu has created a recipe in pictures for you to make your own BBotE Ice Cream. I can’t help but note how often he states that you don’t need much BBotE to make some ice cream with zing. I feel that perhaps he may have experimented with high doses and worked his way back down…possibly off the ceiling.

For those of you have been waiting for more Death Wish and Guatemala Mundo Nuvo BBotE production, fresh pre-order slots for the early September runs are now up.

BBotE Jerky

BBotE Jerky - Caffeinated Meat. What more do you want in life, Conan?

The Pimpstress of Greater LA is currently off doing her Thing In The Desert, but before she left, she dropped a little something something in the mail for me. On Monday, an envelope with BBotE buffalo jerky arrived at more door. If you are out on the Playa and can find her, I know that she brought some with her to share. I recommend that you start thinking now about what you will barter with her to get a taste of it as it is delicious.

And as for my travel schedule, the next leg of the Scientific Drinking Tour 2011, takes me up to Oregon for the Portland Pirate Festival this Labor Day weekend. There will also be a trip out to Tillamook for delicious cheeses and the Air Museum because, well, it’s a zeppelin hangar and I need to Collect ‘Em All.

The Questions Keep Rolling

There have been enough/sufficient repetition of questions that another Q&A is in order. Without further ado, The Questions!

Question 1: Why do you only offer the special production stuff in 750ml bottles? Why can’t I get a Death Wish Jug of Madness?

Answer: 4L of Death Wish BBotE?!? I worry about you guys sometimes. Honestly, I can put anything in any kind of container I want. The reason I default to 750ml bottles is that it lets me divvy out a small run into enough bottles that more people will get a stab at picking one up. Making jugs of the special runs would tend to suck up most of that production without sharing. With that said, if you want a different size of something special, all you have to do is ask and be understanding that it may cause some delay.

Question 2: Are you going to sell/license BBotE to Starbucks/Stumptown/Dunkin Donut/etc.?

Answer 2: Not intending on it, no. I also kind of doubt it’s their thing. Coffee is a very high profit product for them that accompanies the sale of various pastries. BBotE, simply put, isn’t. The coffee input, scientific apparatus, and space/time commitment defeat that at all levels. I’ve also found BBotE production doesn’t scale well, so you can’t just have someone minding a giant vat in the back because geometry matters to the flavor. On that note, I’d just like to say that it’s really disturbing to have a lesson I learned in Criticality Safety apply to coffee.

Question 3: Are you ever going to tell any more Antarctica stories?

Answer: As my Lovely Assistant can attest, you are hard pressed to get me to not tell them but free time is the great limiting factor. I’d actually been contemplating a very vital Antarctica topic while I was in Reno: toilets. It’s also is likely to fulfill one of the legs of the Tripod of Humor (puns, groinings, poop jokes) so it is a tale that demands to be told. Another day.

Question 4: Why don’t you have the HDPE watertight lids for the normal Steins of Science instead of just the rugged style?

Answer: Because I’m a slacker? A better excuse is that the HDPE lids are a lot of work to make, each one is unique to the Stein of Science it’s made for (not to mention that the fit tolerance is rather tight), and the demand hasn’t been all that high. I did the original spec work last year for the rugged 665ml which has slightly different dimensions than the normal FMJs, but different enough that I can’t use the HDPE lid designed for one on the other. And then, well, I kinda moved on to other projects. Someday though…

A Post-WorldCon 2011 Giggleworthy Testimonial

In the process of firing everything back up in the aftermath of WorldCon 2011 in Reno. More importantly, I have expanded production capacity to a stunning 9L/day starting tomorrow. If this doesn’t sound impressive, well, thhhhpppbbbt. I’m impressed and it’s also necessary to get a head of the backlog in light of the quantity and size of some orders. The first post-Reno shipments start going out tomorrow, so brace yourself.

On to story time…

Before heading to the Carolina shore for some beach shenanigans with friends, Test Subject Zublin decided it would be wise to procure a supply of BBotE for experimentation and, possibly more importantly, letting hijinx ensue. I did admonish her that, no matter how fun it might seem, it is not nice to dose the unsuspecting, even if they are your friends. Armed with BBotE and the handy serving/cocktail instructions, she set out for the coast. One week later, I received this which made me laugh even when I re-read it and that is the sure sign that it should be shared:

The problem with the vodka/coffee combo is that you want more than 100 ml.


And you think it’s fine because the vodka is a depressant and should counteract the coffee and anyway you have ALL THESE STAIRS TO RUN UP AND DOWN and hey want to light off some bottle rockets because I love bottle rockets bottle rockets are amazing. Let’s light off three at once and see if they fight!




I’m not normally a fireworks person but on this particular day we had bottle rockets and roman candles and sparklers, and once you set off one and realize that certain things (namely yourself and the ocean) are not on fire, you want to set them ALL OFF.


Especially when under the influence of a truly stunning amount of caffeine. One of the friends who drank it with me on vacation just sent me this with “That’s YOU. That’s what YOU sound like.”

It appears that a good time was had by all. I have a hard time imagining that in this modern day and age the proceedings weren’t captured on video somewhere. Perhaps it will appear online some day when long forgotten videos are downloaded from phones.

The Deal With Refills

Since I’ve had a few questions about it recently,  I though I’d lay it out again with an addition that I realized I’d never actually mentioned before but is important as some folks are getting close to MAXIMUM HONOR.

So, your BBotE can be refilled. Keep a hold of the shipper that I send the bottle to you in. When you finish you bottle, rinse it out and send it back to me. While I may ship BBotE to you either priority of express mail,your empty doesn’t have to return to with any particular speed. Once I get it back, I will email you with a 10% off discount code for your refill order. In the best case scenario, you actually have two bottles going in rotation so that you are never tragically left without BBotE.

NOTE: “refill” means putting new BBotE in your old bottle for you until the bottle is full once more. Hence, re-fill.

Up Close And Personal With DEATH WISH

Up Close And Personal With DEATH WISH

If you look at the label, you can see several blank lines so I can note the different varieties & batches you go through as you get refills. When you hit the last line, the next refill is free and you should retire that bottle as it has achieved MAXIMUM HONOR.

Honestly, silly declarations of kung fu cafffeination aside, I would like to promote the reuse of the bottles. I remember the wonderfully battered big Coke bottles I used to buy at the liquor store when I was little and always thought that nice eternal aspect of glass was great. The only complication I see in my plan is that so many people have told me that they adore the bottles that I’ve used that they’re keeping them for something else. That’s recycling too even if it’s not quite what I intended.

Very Exciting Times For BBotE

NOTE: People in Ireland who’ve been haranguing me about the expense of shipping BBotE, be sure to read all the way through.

Things have been somewhat quiet here lately as I do my best to keep up with the DEADLY RADIATIONS and an unprecedented level of Black Blood of the Earth demand, courtesy of a surprisingly large response from people around the world in the wake of Thrillist, SF & LA Weekly, Bon Appettit, and werd.com. Pretty much since returning from the previous leg of the SCIENTIFIC DRINKING TOUR 2011, I’ve been running at maximum production capacity. On a positive note, this shows me that hey, you all like BBotE as much as I and the Pimps & Pimpstresses do. On the negative, it is scramble to keep a head of you people and the ever-shifting variety of highest demand. In the last year I have never, ever, ever guessed correctly what the next order is going to be so there’s been lags in shipping BBotE longer than the 72hrs I try to work to. C’est le guerre.

First and most importantly, Guatemala Mundo Nuvo is coming back for a limited engagement. After nearly a year of waiting, the lovely folks at Caffe Vita have gotten this year’s harvest of Mundo Nuvo and they heeded my endless whining and pleading to give me mass quantities. Last year a couple dozen people got to try it and, from them, I got a regular drumbeat of “When you gonna get more of that Mundo stuff?” Well, they finished roasting it and its headed my way. I’m putting the Mundo Nuvo pre-order up now, but production of it won’t start until after Worldcon so shipments will start going out the week of the 22nd.

Oh yes, Worldcon 2011 is the next stop on the SCIENTIFIC DRINKING TOUR 2011. So, Reno, NV or convention attendees, this is your chance to let me know what you’d like me to bring with. At the very least, I’m always quite happy to have beers with interesting people. If you spot this odd little man with long red hair and Stein of Science, feel free to say hi and buy me a beer to fill that stein. Hey, it’s worth a shot…oh, and doing shots with me is also acceptable.

Speaking of sci-fi, I had the pleasure of getting to sit down, enjoy several beers and discuss Things of Import (like beer) with author Charles Stross last Saturday as he came through San Francisco for a signing. It remains an enduring wonderment to me when I get asked a professional/expert opinion. Over the years, I’ve gotten quite used to viewing myself as the scientific jack of all trades, the blue collar physicist, so it’s always a surprise when I’m treated as an authority on anything.

If you aren’t already familiar with Mr. Stross’ works and didn’t have a friendly Antarctic astrophysicist to introduce you to them, let me fill that role for you. I recommend starting with the same gateway drug I did, “The Atrocity Archives“, and fall down the rabbit hole from there. Charlie’s brainstorming and open questions to the Internet on his blog never fail to give me something to chew on. They’re interesting enough that I regularly break Internet Rule #2, “Life Is Too Short To Read The Comments”, which is funny in light of the fact that his newest novel is titled “Rule 34” (AKA, and I quote the author, Charlie’s Big Gay Scottish Police Procedural OF THE FUTURE). Never say I didn’t do anything for you.

Next, I am happy to inaugurate the Somewhat Intermittent BBotE Pimp of Dublin. Yes, Dublin, as in Ireland. Your Pimp, Brady, is a student in an American student in Dublin who was kind enough to bestow the rather expensive gift of internationally shipped BBotE on a friend last year. As he travels back and forth across the pond, hence “Somewhat Intermittent Pimp” he will schlepp BBotE for Dubliners who are up for it. The 750ml bottles are likely to end up a bit more expensive than the usual $45 due to the luggage fees, but I’ll leave it up to him to figure out and tell us all what the deal will be, but it will no doubt be a hell of a lot cheaper than international shipping would otherwise be. If you want to drop him a line he can be reached at manningb [at] tcd [dot] ie.

Lastly, the pre-order for the late August Death Wish 750ml BBotE runs are also up too. The last of the mid-August ones should be going out this Saturday, so brace yourself if you’ve been waiting impatiently.

Waaaay Better Than A Tupperware Party

The Pimpstress of Greater Los Angeles had a brilliant idea last night that makes me sad to be 400 miles away from her. I remember when I dosed any brave souls that were willing with BBotE at her wedding last year. Fire and puppetry were already on the docket, but I feel the BBotE contributed to the awesome as well. Meditating upon this wisdom caused her to ask, “Why not do this intentionally to willing victims?” And thus the idea of the BBotE Tasting Party (emphasis on Party, I suspect) was born.


DON'T LEAN ON THINGS AT LA BREA - The results of the last time I played with actual Black Blood of the Earth before the Pimpstress of Greater LA's wedding

Have a chance to sample the various varieties, within limits of reasonable consumption, enjoy BBotE cocktails, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were still people playing with fire. So, she asks me to ask you, “Who wants to be notified when new shipments come in and about the Tasting Party and such?”

If you do, drop her a line here: bbote-la-[email protected]monkey.net

EDIT: She says this probably won’t happen until after Burning Man. Just FYI.

Central American EXPLOSION

The week before I last, I lamented the passing of one my favorite varieties of BBotE, my light roast of choice and representative of the coffees of the Americas…Panama. Don’t get picky on me and point out that the Kona comes from Hawaii and that’s part of America(TM): The Country. I will get all frustrated geologist on yer buttocks and start discussing tectonic plates, volcanic modes, and source magmas.

Into this void, of both light roast and Americas in the BBotE lineup some strong contenders have stepped up:

  1. The heavenly Colombia is back again, albeit in continued frustratingly small quantity. I will eventually convince this roaster that all her other efforts pale beside this one.
  2. A roaster in San Francisco, Test Subject Stevus, heard my plight and we got to discussing the the joys and challenges of working with light roasts, plus the wonderful fruity flavors of the Americas. When I told him that my very favorite BBotE I’ve ever made was a Guatemalan, he snapped his fingers and said he knew what to do. So, in the near future I will be getting a light roast of his favorite Guatemalan. More news as it develops.
  3. Hot on the heels of that conversation, I was contacted by the folks at Caffe Vita to let me know that their Guatemala Mundo Nuvo was about to be available again. Of all the short run BBotEs I’ve made, this is the one for which I’ve received the most pleading to make more. TEN MONTHS of waiting for more will soon come to an end. If you’re lucky, I might even share it rather than wallow in the Mundo Nuvo like Scrooge McDuck in his Money Bin.

This Is How Marie Curie Died

…unlike her husband who said hello to the bottom of a cart wheel.

No, instead I share a cautionary tale where I speak of poor lab hygiene and the danger of long hair. But first, a definition:

Yes, but it is a twisted existence, abhorrent to the Nature & Man

South Pole Zen Koan: Can you be a Polie without alcohol?

Satori (n): sudden enlightenment and a state of consciousness attained by intuitive illumination representing the spiritual goal of Zen Buddhism

I while back I conducted an absinthe taste test challenge. For the safety of shipment, my absinthes were stored in nalgene bottles. I transported them in my smallest backpack, brought them home, and then promptly forgot about them for several weeks.

As I write that, I realize that I just described a scenario that has been repeated so many times in the accident histories and cautionary tales its not funny.

While cleaning up later on, I came upon my backpack and opened it up. At first, I was elated to see my precious bottles of evil green liquid. I then felt stickiness. I immediately checked the lids of the two bottles and found that one had some give. Dammit. I then reached into the bag to feel for any wetness and found a sticky spot. Double dammit.

Six hours pass.

I got home after dropping my girlfriend off. I start undressing so I can throw these clothes in the load of laundry I am about to run. There is tremendous pain from the tugging of hair. A tangle has caught on one of the buttons on my shirt. As always, I run my fingers through my hair to clear the tangle. It doesn’t work though, this is a serious snarl and it is sticky.

I look at my hair to inspect this oddity.

Then I stick it in my mouth.

I would like to say that I did it to moisten the sticky substance so that I could clear the tangle. Even the scientific inquiry of wanting to determine the material by taste, while a bad idea, would be reasonable. I wish I could say these things, but honestly it was action without thought.

King of Spirits is a revoltingly herbal flavored absinthe, worse than chartreuse can ever hope to acheive.  It got in my hair when my copper tresses dangled into the bag, as I realized sputtering and spitting my hair back out.

I am not sure I should be allowed to play with hazardous materials. I have also come to the realization that achieving the zen like state where one acts without thought, satori, does not preclude stupid action. It is a wonder samurai didn’t wander around with underwear on top of their heads. Of course, as they were the people with the pointy and sharp things it probably wouldn’t have done to point that out.