Spring 2015 Interview – Karen (Bean Thinking)

Bean Thinking

Q1. What is your name?

Karen

Q2. What is the name of your blog or organisation?

Bean Thinking

Q3. Where are you located in the world?

London

Q4. What currently is your favourite drink and why?

At home I love drinking coffee that has been freshly roasted by some of the UK’s great coffee roasters.

In cafes I will drink a Long Black or (if it is on offer) something from a brew bar (eg. V60). I think black coffee highlights the flavour of the bean so much more than anything with milk in it.

Q5. Do you change your drinking habits during Spring?

No, I’m very much a creature of habit.

Q6. Is there a coffee or tea you think others should try?

Not exactly, though there is a tasting method that I think others should try. We’re all quite good at appreciating the aroma and the mouthfeel of different beverages but how about the appearance, or the sound? What I mean is that we should look a little more deeply into our drinks.

Take tea for example, a relatively clear tea (like mint or the ‘Sweet Dreams’ blend from Tea Palace) will show dancing bands of light at the bottom of the cup when you first pour it in. In coffee on the other hand you can see shadows (which you do not see in water). Both are interesting optical effects, that to me enhance the taste experience of the drink.

Then there are the white mists that swirl on the top of both (hot) tea and coffee. These are layers of levitating water droplets, but what causes their levitation? We do not yet know.

So I’d recommend ‘tasting’ the tea or coffee with all of your senses and your reasoning mind.

Q7. If cost wasn’t a factor, where would you like to be right now enjoying a drink?

I’m not sure that it is cost that is the limiting factor so much as it is time and habits.

Marcus Aurelius wrote “Let it be clear to you that the peace of green fields can always be yours, in this, that or any other spot; and that nothing is any different here from what it would be either up in the hills, or down by the sea, or wherever else you will. You will find the same thought in Plato, where he speaks of living within the city walls ‘as though milking his flocks in a mountain sheepfold’.”

I take this to mean that we should always try take the time to enjoy our tea (or coffee) and break our habits of checking our email/twitter/facebook on our smart phones. Then the ‘peace of green fields’ could be with us even if we are in a central London cafe.

Q8. What do you think should be done to stop people from drinking too much alcohol?

An odd question because of the phrase “too much”. Perhaps we could all ask ourselves why we drink what we drink? Is it to enjoy the taste and experience that a drink gives us? In which case we would stop at one or two glasses of wine/beer because our ability to appreciate the drink decreases with increased alcohol consumption (in my case embarrassingly quickly).

On the other hand, those who drink to much alcohol because they are using at as a coping mechanism for whatever reason will not be aided (immediately) by thinking about why they are drinking the alcohol. That probably needs more space than a box for ‘two sentences’ (even if I have already exceeded that a few times).

Q9. Where can people find out more about you?

http://www.beanthinking.org
https://twitter.com/thinking_bean

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