Ant Cule Reviews... Being Alive

An Extremely Subjective View of Being A Human

Category: Drink

Ant Cule Reviews… Discovering All The Things An Aeropress Can Do

Have you ever thought you know a piece of equipment, only to discover its boundaries are far wider than they appeared? That’s exactly what happened to me with the Aeropress.

For those who haven’t read my review on coffee, I suggest you do, just to get a flavour of how much I love the taste of that sweet brown muck. I now own four different methods of getting my sweet coffee fix. The Aeropress, the coffee pod machine, the caffetierre and the Moka express. I have no preferred way of getting my coffee. It all tastes good. Or at least, I had no preferred way. Until now.

It began with me in the kitchen, making a cup of coffee with my Aeropress. For Christmas, my girlfriend and my sister got me coffee bean subscriptions from here. Each of these bean packets comes with a little card- board flap which describes the best way to get maximum flavour from these particular beans. I saw these beans were best made using the Aeropress, so I made them in the usual way, as recommended on the packet of the Aeropress. That is to say, put in the grounds, put in some water, let it sit, stir it, let it sit, press it. And that made a very tasty cup. But something about the instructions as written in the card- board flap gave me pause for thought.

They showed the coffee brewing in the Aeropress… upside-down.

My stomach danced. They couldn’t mean it, could they? And yet it made so much sense. It’s long been a bugbear of mine that as you let the water and coffee grounds mingle in the Aeropress, it starts pouring through into the cup below… but to brew it upside-down… It couldn’t work… Could it?

The very next day I tried. And I took photos. And it worked! My boundaries had been extended! I found a new way to use this remarkable piece of technology to extract yet more delicious flavour from the coffee without prematurely sending it into the cup. And ordinarily that would be where it all ended.

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But then I discovered this. And I have not. Stopped. Experimenting. And the results have been delicious. Like, seriously, some of the best coffee I have ever made.

Overall I highly recommend grabbing something you thought you knew the limits of, and discovering what else it can do. The Internet is a great resource, be- cause other people have done the trial and error for you and you just get the sweet sweet caffeine infused nectar.

Ant Cule Reviews… Drinking Water

Water. Water of life. Jesus gives us the water of life.

That’s what the hymn told me, way back in prep school. But I feel like I didn’t quite appreciate the key message of this hymn. Water OF LIFE. (jesusgivesusthe) WATER OF LIFE. WATER = LIFE.

Water is life.

That’s what they were trying to tell me. It wasn’t about who gives us the water. It was about how important water is. It’s crucial to survival. Every so often I’ll have a period of time that reminds me just how much water is necessary even to just sit around. So think about when you’re rushing from place to place. Your body is clever, so if you’re focussing on something else it won’t bother you with how thirsty you are until you get a raging headache and feel like you’re going to keel over.

And man oh man, drinking water is so good. It’s like the clear liquid we all need to survive. It’s like the most refreshing feeling imaginable. Okay, imagine a dry patch of sand (this is your mouth) and now imagine pouring some water on it (drinking some water) THAT’S HOW GOOD IT IS TO DRINK WATER! Or imagine a clear liquid that anyone can drink and it alleviates their thirst – THAT IS WATER!!! Imagine a universal drink with life-giving properties THAT’S WATER!!!!!! And by universal I mean, literally, universal for all life forms that we know of so far – WATER!!!!! The great liquid!!!! The wonderful stuff!!!! Imagine a drink you can bathe in- WATER!!!! A drink you can dab onto your wrists when you’re too hot- WATER!!!! A drink you can boil pasta or vegetables in- WATER!!!!!

DRINK MORE WATER!!!

Overall I highly recommend drinking water every day, for refreshment from the versatile clear drinking liquid. Water.

(this post has been brought to you by Water – “Mmm, that’s a good clear liquid.”)

Ant Cule Reviews… Watering The Plants

Do you know what? Plants are just like you or me. They need water to live. They need water, and sunlight, and someone to listen to their problems. Just like you and me.

In our flat, we have cultivated quite a collection of houseplants. We have a humble rubber plant. A sultry spider plant. Several coy peace lilies. Along with a great number of uppity cacti.

A cactus in his natural garb.

I love these plants. I see them as part of the family. But are they? Or are they trying to oust me as the king of the household? What are they plotting? Plants can communicate you know. They send messages out in frequencies we humans can’t hear. They use their roots to pass messages like naughty children passing notes in a classroom. They whisper, they plot, they howl with derision every time I enter a room.

And yet I pour water into their greedy soil as if I were a mindless drone, good for nothing more than giving our plant overlords a good soaking once in a while. Well, let me tell you something plants, I am the king here. I have the keys to the flat. I hold the watering can! And I shall let you live only for as long as you give me great relaxation by being so beautiful and purifying the very air I breath. But if I hear one whispered word of your attempt to overthrow me, then that’s it! No more water!

Overall, I highly recommend watering the plants, as it helps placate the plant-kings, and staves off the inevitable revolution.

Ant Cule Reviews… Sitting in a Coffee Shop

Hi there, Ant here, just apologising for the lateness of this. Normally I post Monday – Wednesday – Friday, as you well know. However, I was out all day yesterday so couldn’t publish it. I promise, though, that I wrote this yesterday, whilst sitting in a coffee shop. Thanks bye!

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I’m sitting in the corner of a well known coffee chain, watching and listening to what’s going on. There are wooden, or at least wood-effect, seats at matching tables. The tables are small and round.

A man with a goatee and a bald man with a stubble-beard shake hands. I don’t know if they’ve just concluded a business deal or a meeting, or if they’re just good friends. The man with the goatee has walked out, and the bald man with the beard is now wearing headphones.

A man and a woman sit at a table by the toilet door reading something off their phones and noting it on paper. A marriage of the modern and the timeless, bound by two silent parties across a table strewn with white paper cups. He is wearing a baseball cap indoors. I don’t mind that.

Two Asian men sit at right angles to them, chatting and relaxed. Any silences between them are comfortable and well-worn. I can’t hear what they’re saying over the jazz coming from the speaker in the corner.

I know I shouldn’t come to this coffee-chain, and I know I should support independent coffee shops, but I have a soft spot for this place. It was where I first defined myself as a coffee drinker. In my teenage years, I got impossibly sweet and milky coffee from here. Gradually I grew to like the underlying taste of the coffee more and more. This place was my gateway into actually enjoying coffee for the taste and experience of coffee. I don’t think that’s to be knocked. I know they don’t pay their taxes, and I know that they should. But I’m a sucker for a nostalgia trip.

There’s an ever-changing cast of characters rotating on and off the empty tables around me. There’s an endless stream of people wandering in and out of the toilets. Certainly not all life is here. In fact, only a very thin sliver of life is here. Yet, I can’t help but feel like wherever some life is present, then in some way all life is present. All life is held in some life. In the specific things they do, and the specific ways they hold themselves, and interact with where they are, and with each other. Connected by the space we share, and separated by social spheres we inhabit.

Overall, I recommend just sitting and watching people in a coffee shop to feel that stomach churning excitement that all of these people will never again be in the same space at the same time, and that that’s what makes life so magical.

Ant Cule Reviews… Drinking Hot Coffee

It’s Monday guys. Just in case you hadn’t noticed. But I bet most of you had! I know I did. And how did I come to realise it was Monday?

Because I drank a glorious cup of HOT COFFEE!

And suddenly, my day-telling prowess increased by around about three-fold. No longer did I have a head weighed down by work-a-day worries; I had a head SPINNING with WONDERFUL COFFEE FEEL! I also was able to function like a normal human being (finally AM I RIGHT?!) – to answer emails, to pace around frantically, to wonder if there is a god, to rub my temples seriously, to gawp at a frog, JUST LIKE ANY MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RACE!! All because of a simple hot cup of coffee!

The drinking process I prefer is thus:

  • Make the coffee.
  • Sniff the coffee.
  • Drink the coffee.

Let’s unpack that a bit.

Make the coffee. You can do this however you prefer. I prefer to use coffee beans and smash them into a fine powder and then douse them in scalding hot water. I find this makes for a great mug o’ the brown stuff.

Sniff the coffee. 90% of coffee is consumed in the smell. The rest is just a thin brown gruel. It’s a widely accepted fact that coffee smells great and kick starts your brain like a great jolt of electricity kick starts your nether regions.

Drink the coffee. Gulp down the bitter nectar with a grimace.

Not convinced?

Okay. So let’s go back to that Monday feeling shall we?

How we all look on a Monday morning. Every. Single. One of us.

That’s how we all look on a Monday. Every single one of us souls. Without exception. But with the simple addition of one cup o’ steaming joe, we can all feel like this:

Me, after a glorious cup of coffee. And you, also. And everyone.

So join me in raising a steaming hot cup of coffee a little too high in the air and declaring “We love this stuff, it makes us feel like normal folks!”

Overall, I highly recommend drinking hot coffee on a Monday, or indeed any day of the week. For a similar feeling, boil up some grit and tar and gulp that down! All hail coffee!