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The Caffeine Chronicles: A Cuppa Joltin’ Joe

27 Mar


Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio was known for his frugality. One story has it that after ordering a double-scoop ice cream cone and just before taking a lick (maybe it was after the lick) being told it was $5, DiMaggio was outraged and handed the already scooped ice cream cone back to the surprised server.

So when I noticed the posters for the  Arizona brand, Joltin’ Joe Sparkling Espresso, his picture with a USA cap on his head, not a N.Y. Yankee cap (there is no mention of the Yankees in any of the DiMaggio memorabilia on the can), outside my local bodega, I thought I should explore this new, to me, caffeinated beverage. Since Opening Day was less than a week away and seeing that the 15.5 ounce can was listed at a mere $1.99, I thought it a fitting tribute to Joltin’ Joe that I indulge.

joltin joe (5)

After shaking it a bit to combine the ingredients and then pulling the tab to open it, I hadn’t realized that the beverage was “sparkling.”

Look, there are bubbles.

Look, there are bubbles.

I thought a bodega special: a small packaged slice of Sara Lee pound cake, might offset the harsh saccharine sweetness of the caffeine infused beverage.

I was wrong.

Joltin' Joe

One sip of Joltin’ Joe was all I could stomach. I did, however, finish the Sara Lee pound cake with no difficulty.

The Caffeine Chronicles: Twin Donut (Plus)

6 Feb

Twin Donut


Early on, when I first started this site, I wrote a paean titled La Pavoni Love Call to an old espresso maker I had that was called La Pavoni. That espresso maker sputtered out its last brew soon after I wrote the piece and was replaced by another La Pavoni, this one very efficient, but just not as vocal.  Since then I’ve neglected my espresso and coffee love on this site until recently when I posted Rooftop Iced Coffee. I hope now to include coffee into the Fried Neck Bones…and Some Home Fries repertoire under this newly formed category, The Caffeine Chronicles beginning here with a photo salute to one of the few remaining Twin Donut spots in New York.

Does "Plus" mean that fresh made soups and oatmeal are available along with coffee and donuts? I didn't ask.

Does “Plus” mean that fresh made soups and oatmeal are available along with coffee and donuts? I didn’t ask.

Now that's a counter where a person can really enjoy coffee and a donut.

Now that’s a counter where a person can really enjoy coffee and a doughnut.

Twin Donut

I’m not sure that the coffee at Twin Donut was the “world’s best.”

Twin Donut

But any caffeine deficiencies were easily overcome by the addition of the vanilla marble doughnut that accompanied the coffee.


Twin Donut Plus
5099 Broadway
New York



Rooftop Iced Coffee

25 Jan

Rooftop iced coffee

I heard something on the radio the other day during the hysteria surrounding the frigid snap that recently gripped the northeast. A man was telling the story of how he was working in single digit weather and bought a hot cup of coffee. He had to place the coffee down and go off to handle a chore. He was gone just a few minutes, but when he had returned to his coffee, it had turned to ice.

Now I know it’s been cold out there, but, really, a hot cup of coffee instantly turning to ice? It made me think of the polar opposite; when the temperatures hit three (Fahrenheit) digits and the tall tales about frying eggs on the sidewalk begin to circulate.  The last time that happened, in the summer of 2011, I thought I would test the theory. I dropped an egg on the sweltering rooftop where I live to see how quickly it would fry. The result of that experiment was documented here on Fried Neckbones…and Some Home Fries with the post: Rooftop Fried Eggs.

Since I tried the fried egg theory here, I thought I could do the same with coffee. I started, of course, with a hot cup of coffee.

Rooftop Iced Coffee

I checked the temperature.

Rooftop Fried Egss

Granted, New York  was not in the single digits. I would take the balmy 12 degrees into account.

I brought the hot coffee up to the roof and then got out of the cold.

Rooftop ice coffee

After a half hour I checked on it. The coffee wasn’t frozen. In fact, it was actually lukewarm.

I returned in an hour. The coffee was very cold now, but still no ice.

Rooftop iced coffee

After one more hour, I returned to the roof. And what did I find?

Ice coffee

Iced coffee

And really, what’s more refreshing than a cup of black iced coffee on a 12 degree day?

Now that's refreshing!

So what did we learn from this little exercise? That hot coffee freezes in twelve degree weather in roughly two to three hours? Or more importantly, that the author of this experiment has much too much time on his hands?

La Pavoni Love Call

12 Nov

La Pavoni Love Call

Espresso, expresso, call it what you will.

It beckons me each afternoon,

until I’ve had my fill

One shot, two,

No more or I’ll quake, but

without the bittersweet brew,

I would surely ache.


Grind it long or short,

careful, not too fine.

I would not want my La Pavoni to

ever cry or whine.

Stamp it down, fit it in tight,

twist it on until it’s just right.

With your thumb, you press the button.

Hear the  hum and feel the warm flush.

But wait, it’s not time, there’s no rush.


Listen for the gurgle, and then the hiss.

In just a few moments, you’ll find bliss.

Soon you’ll hear her low earthy call.

Now’s the time for you to really stand tall.

Pull the handle down hard and fast.

No need to be gentle, La Pavoni is built

to last.


Hear her sing and watch the nectar


Sometimes fast.

Sometimes slow.

See the crema on top, so frothy and rich.

What is that stuff anyway?

How does it come out that way?


Sugar? No that’s for tea.

I like my espresso pure.

But that’s just me.


In the tradition of Don Fanucci,

I suck it down with zest.

You know who I mean,

the Godfather guy,

the one with the white vest.

Don Fanucci: Espresso Lover

And then it’s over,

my cup drained and done.

La Pavoni sighs,

her song sung.

And all that is left,

is a faint pungent flavor

on the tip of my tongue.


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