Friday, January 23, 2009

Okay, I can admit when I call the game too soon...

The last band, Just For Kicks, got the place moving for real!! I even had to go downstairs and bust a couple of heads - good times! ~ H

What is this entity in America's youth called "Hardcore"

What is this new hardcore scene, and why is it so prevalent in Griffin? When I was a teenager, we used to go down to Barnesville to The Depot and watch bands like Blue Druids - even then hardcore held the majority position, musically, around here. Back then, we would get in there and let the music pump us up until we were all good and worked up - the air heavy with perspiration and pheromones. The conflagration of bodies in front of the stage would start to churn and slowly come into a common consciousness that began to rotate (usually counterclockwise, for some reason). Gaining both speed and intensity, it became a vortex not dissimilar from the process of properly texturing latte milk. There was an understood respect for one another in the pit - depending on the band, you might've found yourself like a kid suddenly thrown into the deep end of the pool without your water wings - watch out for the younger kids and don't mow down the girls. Then there were the peripherals - the guys that would stand in the corners of the room, face upturned, arms out, palms up, in some kind of grotesque effigy, soaking up the energy that splashed out of the vortex - then, without warning, the peripheral would break loose in that high-kneed run right through the middle of the pit, a maelstrom of elbows and fists. Those in the know would be on the look-out for these types that were especially nasty and would apply a good stiff arm to them as they tried to come by, effectively ending the transitory tirade.

I'm going downstairs to see what the vibe is - be right back.

Okay, that was not what I expected. There was some type of action at the front, but not much. Maybe it's just being in a new, unfamiliar venue, but there was not the vigor that I had hoped down there. I remember going to my very first hardcore show, aged fifteen, and the music and the kinetics pulled me into the maw of unbridled teen expression as if against my will. I was a classic rock kid - I didn't even know it was a hardcore show that night. Nevertheless, I found myself drawn into the vortex even though it wasn't "my kind of music". We all shuffled and milled around to the unnaturally quick beat like the infected of some viral pandemic movie and at the end of the night, we all left as friends and felt, somehow cleansed through our physical exertion and emotionally vulnerability.

This crowd has not these things, from my vantage point. Anger aplenty, but the soul-wrenching vulnerability of honest teenage angst seems to be vacuously absent. I'm not putting these kids down, I just sense a lack of genuine commitment to what's happening down there. Maybe I'm caught in the, "we did it better in my day" fantasy. Maybe I'm not. Maybe the scene isn't delivering what it used to and maybe that disconnect deprives the kids of the release they are here looking for at seven dollars a pop. Maybe they just need a heavy dose of Blue Druids and Hot Water Music. Maybe it's something else altogether.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ok you caught me, I am listening to Celine and making a new Myspace for the Storm Cellar. Man who knew a month ago when I was asked to do sales and marketing for a small independent coffee roaster and maybe books some bands for shows in a dirty basement that this life changing transition from scared and immature to more scared and satisfied human would begin. This time im scared of forgetting a bands name or missing an important fact on a website. Much better. Less stress. More Coffee.

Zuki needs a coil pack. I don't know what that is but if any of you out there have one let me get it.

So in coffee news Brazil has kicked in the door and made a big impression on us all the way from roast to cup and everywhere in between. If enough of you ask for it maybe we can convince she who holds the money to get us some. I hear she likes Aretha. Mention that in your plea.

One day away from the Reg Barber coffee tamper. If there are no twitters or bloggies or myspace/facebook or phone calls or anyone around at all tomorrow know that we have made it to the bottom of a cave and are coveting the tamper calling it precious.

In Iceland News:

from Alda over at

IWR: You have said that Icelandic democracy is dead. Can you explain?

NPN: Iceland is no longer a democracy. The Icelandic democracy that was established in 1944 has been reduced to nothing. Iceland today is a state of political party leaders. Its government is not a representative government. It is subject to the dictatorship of a handful of political leaders on a daily basis. The separation of the three branches of government is disregarded, Althingi [Iceland’s parliament] has been turned into a processing and handling institution for the executive power [the cabinet] and even the appointment of judges is subject to the whims of those in power.* This has become evident in the wake of the economic collapse.

The fight for democracy is so strong some places and against it in others. Democracy is todays whipping boy.

During this post I Listened to Celine, Whitney (body guard) and Josh Groban. I was in a triumpht mood.

love Jacob Danger.

Oh and new Storm Cellar Myspace at

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why Tea?

I get asked a ton of questions about tea and tisanes, but the one that stands out to me is, of course, from Jacob.

"Why would you drink tea when you could have coffee?"

Well, most "Tea People" I know would start with the health benefits. There are so many that my hands got tired before I started writing this today just thinking about it. But being the honest Tea Lady I am - I will share a secret. Coffee is great for you too! Especially men. Now I did say too, which means in addition to tea. Hunt & I have great fun bringing health reports to each other's attention. It goes something like this:

H - "Turns out coffee is also good for the colon"
M - "Well, teas antioxidants are unprecedented"
H - "Coffee is full of them as well"
M - "Yeah, but I have Matcha and Green Tea Pomegranate, so beat that..."

This is a typical if not silly version of how to get bogged down in the details. Of course the truth is they are both good for you. Check out and search "benefits of tea and coffee" if you want to read for yourself. Be forewarned they are not as nice about the things we add to our coffee and tea (ie milk, sugar, half 'n half, honey - I can hear Kelly laughing at the computer, head tilted back..."that's why I drink Soy, hahahahaha"). But there are other reasons to love tea. Let me explain...

First is the Forgiveness Issue - Remember forgiving someone is a gift you give yourself.

Being American, I can see why we stopped drinking tea...we were miffed at the British. The taxes were too high...the representation was too low (wait, this is sounding like today - let me be more specific). I am talking about the Boston Tea Party - a bunch of angry Yanks dumping tea into the Boston harbor in protest. It became a patriotism issue. If you drank tea, you sided with the Red Coats. Well, I feel that we have decidedly gotten our revenge over that mean ol' King George - we are a super-power people. So, drinking tea is an act of unity and forgiveness. Don't you feel better about it already.

Next, no other beverage warms or sooths you quite like your favorite cup of tea (I recommend a Margaret's Soother or Lemon Sunset.) When the weather is 27 degrees outside, there is something about a Lemon tea that sooths a throat that has been battered by cold air.

Another is experimentation. Now while we all know that this can go too far, a little experimentation is healthy and vital to sanity in my opinion. Tea is generally used as a beverage at a meal (for us Southerns, that means weak tea, heavy sugar and lots of ice). But tea can transport you to another country or time and place. I've never been to India - I really want to go. But I have tasted some of the finest Assams, Darjeelings, and Chai Spice that India has to offer right in the comfort of the hippie booth or the man cave if I'm feeling sassy. However, tea can also be an ingredient in almost anything. Scones, cakes, cookies, glazes, casseroles, hookah tobacco...if you don't believe me, just ask I'll get you the recipe.

Next, there is the global angle. Safehouse cares deeply( to the point of obsession) about some subjects - direct trade farming (dealing as directly with the farmers as we can) and the global drug trade (stopping it, of course, not funding it)! We realize that the greatest impact we can have on the other side of the hemisphere or world is to pay a good price for a great product. If the families that have grown these teas (and coffees) for generations are paid a sustainable wage then they will not be as tempted to burn their crops and plant poppies or coca trees. But I guess that is a statement for coffee and tea.

Finally, there is simply nothing better than sharing a pot of tea with a friend. Forgetting the laundry or the party that you have to plan and just being with a friend and telling stories, catching up (okay, I totally realize this is a girly moment- indulge me - I am after all the only female of the Safehouse baristas). At that moment, smiling, laughing, passing the honey...time stands still and relationship takes priority over the rat race. That is why I drink and love tea. Don't get me wrong - I love a Hot Chocolate Mocha or a mug of Happy Monk as much as the rest of you, but once you experience great teas (not the garbage in the grocery aisle), it is hard to keep the passion inside.

So my question to Jacob is, why not?

Monday, January 19, 2009

If you head over to you can see a really fancy picture of our new reg barber tamper that the Safehouse family saved our tips for. It's ok if you don't really know what it's for. I will explain it here.

In making espresso in an espresso machine it is very important that the ground coffee is packed at an exact pounds per square inch. If it is too loose the coffee will under extract and taste weak and watery. If the coffee is too tight, your coffee will be over extracted and bitter. This is the end of the tutorial.

Anyway this tamper is the most important and acclaimed tamper on the market and helps the barista create the finest espresso possible. At $122 for a stick with a metal plate you may be thinking we are crazy but just wait until you taste the difference.

Iceland is still hungry more on that in the days to come when we see what the government does about the demand for resignations and such.

Very cool barista-y guy came in the shoppe today to talk coffee... he ended up running the bar... we are terrible hosts. This distraction also caused a break down in the space/time continuum resulting in forgetting to send a box of goody treats to

Was just informed that the post office was closed today... SCORE!

Any last but not least the twitter bug is suffocating the whole Safehouse family in mind warping pleasure and you should all get one and follow us and we will follow you.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

If you head over to you will find a great article on Dr. Bronners. Kelly is also one of the kindest blog writers I know. Its almost frightening but her blog is always insightful and prone to making you want to live a little more wisely.

In other news its 19 dollars to go see a movie at night with a companion. What planet are we living on where that is acceptable. Its like we are tithing to these actors for letting us look at them. I now declare that I will wait to get all movies until it is 5 bucks somewhere. We should start a website for the movement.

Ok so, some of you may or may not know that Iceland is on the verge of revolution. Long story short, the Icelandic Krona is worth as much as their steel industry** and people are creating what seems to be, from reading what I can find about it, a civil uprising against the banking system and government. This is all untold in our media mostly because we seemed to be more involved in Britney Spears' troubled existence and American Idol rather than whats really important, which I believe is the human living condition. From what I gather it is getting harder and harder for the Icelanding community to buy food. This is not a knew thing seeing as mostly everything in Iceland is imported and a 4 million dollar trade deficit is the norm. Sure these people will survive and prosper. They are a fully function country with some of the brightest minds in the world far from a third world country, but one of the pushes by their government is to join the European Union and adopt the Euro bringing it ever closer to American soil. If this doesn't frighten you it should.

On a brighter note the coffee industry is thriving and people lives in desolate places are being made better daily by the realization of good coffee equals great lives for people all over the world. Now I just need to get an Icelanding fish store opened and make it as trendy as possible. Thats a tough road.

I love you all,
Jacob Orr

** Iceland has no steel Industry. Aluminium is on the rise though!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dear readers,
The very best of the best of the Tea Treasury is bagged and labled and in a nice old box with a handpainted logo in the lid. Well on its way to Neil's where hopefully he will drink it and love it and order more when it is all drank.

Fingers crossed

Also a great read over at about what to do if you have kids in iceland and a great picture of the most very important places to wash before entering a community swimming pool. Something the Icelandic community is much better at than we here in America are.

By the way tasted the new harvest of India Monsooned Malabar and its exemplary of the Malabar region. Come get it!

The shoppe is a tad bit cold and with a press of a few buttons I managed to make the thermostat imply that it was going to be warmer but well just have to see. Pizza is here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Okay, here's an amusing one. Jacob came in to take over for me while I went across the street to Traffic Court. About three months ago, I got pulled over three times within a week for the same light being out. Well, I have an import, so the headlight lamp had to be ordered, and I didn't have time to put it in before the blue lights flashed me in rapid succession. The first ticket I had to pay (70 bucks!), but the second two had mercy and told me if I bring them (the officers) the receipts of having the light fixed, that they would break the tickets down to warnings. After wrestling with the lights for what felt like days, I got it done, and went to the police department on Poplar to be exonerated for my blatant disregard for both the law and the safety of others. The first one was taken care of immediately, but the other officer wasn't in and I was told to show him the proof at traffic court. It seemed more than a little inconvenient, but being the upstanding citizen that I am, I waited and went this morning to save myself another 70 bucks. So I go in and there is a gigantic police officer facilitation passage through a metal detector to get into the court room. I knew instantly that I had made a potentially costly judgment in error. If you know me at all then you probably know that I usually have an unusual amount and variety of things on my person at any given time. On approach, I already have an apologetic look on my face as the officer says, "Please empty any loose items into the container, sir." Most of us probably leave certain items in our pockets when we go through such checkpoints, knowing that they will not set off a metal detector, but a mischievous desire to cause a bit of reciprocal inconvenience crawled over my ears and tugged at the outside corners of my eyebrows. "Oh, wow," I said,`"I should have thought about that before I came," and proceeded to both produce and commentate on the entirety of the possessions in my pockets. They were as follows:
three pens from three different pockets - one of them, my favorite
two lighters, again from two different pockets
a contract from the shop that had given me no end of consternation
the ticket itself and accompanying receipts
two packs of smokes - yes, different pockets
a money clip with mess of lunch receipts
a cigar cutter (it's enclosed, I don't think you could really cut someone with it)
one cherry chapstick (I like the way it smells)
assorted change in two different pockets
sunglasses (only one pair today)
three single keys form three different pockets
and a guitar capo

A line had formed behind me as I relished the moments, then the officer grinned at me and said, "Come on, Mr. Bionic Man - get through the door." I think he enjoyed a minute to be not-so-serious.

I was instructed to go to a table in the back, right corner and sign in, so I did, and was met with the vague disdain reserved for the lawless and the fornicators. I explained the whole situation and was told to report to a small office across the room marked, "Attorney." Whoa, I don't need a lawyer!, I just need to see Officer Headlight, so I can be on my merry. "Oh, Officer Headlight is no longer with the department, so you'll have to come back next week and file as not guilty.

I'll let you know how it works out next week, but it looks like the joke is actually on me for now. ~ Hunt
Right now, I can't believe that all of the coffee I roasted yesterday was sold after I left the shop. I'm still trying to adjust to the new standard of what is a normal day of production here at the new store, and so far, I have only underestimated the totals. I love getting here at 5:30am. The city is still asleep and I get to see it wake up and come to life - better than that, I get to help it wake up. There's something about the air before the sun comes up as well. It seems cleaner somehow. Well, customers coming in ~ Hunt

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The First day of the rest of our day?

Ok so who knows if this will ever work out. Im writing this now and have no idea if anyone is on the other side of a computer about to read it.

Very cool however:

"Dear Jacob,

that's astonishingly kind of you.

I like black teas in the morning, like experimenting with all teas but don't much like earl greys.

You can send them to (edited for privacy). And I've copied this to my assistant Lorraine... 

all the very best


This was in response to a very delicate and wordy email I sent to a scary Neil Gaiman FAQ line and actually got a reply from the man himself. Very excited I must admit. If you don't know who Neil is or what he does visit him at for the best blog on the interweb.

Your friendly neighborhood coffee and tea joint may very well be on its way ,in a small wooden box, to one of the finest literary minds in the world.

Wish us luck