Hipster Pirate Recipe

This is how I make the drink known as the Hipster Pirate. Tybee Island, GA was frequented by pirates once upon a time (not this kind); an expensive and overly ethics-concerned coffee drink like a vegan mocha was considered just a bit of hipster ridiculousness by a lot of locals when I moved there. Therefore the signature drink at my Tybee cafe was named the Hipster Pirate. Also because hipsters like good coffee drinks and pirates like rum. :)

Ingredients

  • Splash of rum
  • Shot of espresso (or the result of your favorite alternate strong-coffee-brewing method — Aeropess, etc.)
  • Chocolate (syrup, powder, bar, your choice)
  • 6 – 13 oz. of your favorite non-dairy milk, depending on the size of your mug (regular milk works, too, but blech)

More on choosing ingredients in the instructions section.

Instructions

I tend to have an ingrained belief that all alcoholic coffee drinks belong in clear glass mugs on stem bases, because I grew up for a while in a restaurant that served irish coffees, but any cup* or mug will work.

Hipster Pirate in a glass mug

I only made this with layers to show Westi.  — Photo by Peter Westwood

One thing that is cool about coffee drinks in glass mugs is that if you pour it all just right, you can see the different components of the drink as layers/stripes. Then again, you want it all mixed together before you drink it, so who cares about the pretty stripes? I much prefer swirling throughout assembly so it’s all one consistent liquid.

You can be fancy and make a ritual out of assembling this drink, or you can just bung it all together in the cup in whatever order you want. It honestly won’t make much of a difference unless you are using a harder chocolate source (broken up chocolate bar, chocolate chips, thick syrup, etc), in which case go with this fancy assembly order or something similar to give the chocolate the maximum melting time.

Put the chocolate into the mug of your choice. I have tried a few different forms and have a favorite, so here’s how I think they stack up in terms of this drink.

  • Chopped up bar chocolate. This certainly looks cool. If you chop it pretty fine, it will melt relatively quickly if you stir quickly once the espresso is added, but you’ll probably have some little unmelted nibs at the end. I like this method more in theory and aesthetically than in practice. If using this method, I like to go with a high-quality dark chocolate that has a low sugar content, but whatever floats your boat will work just fine, as long as it is actual chocolate — if what you have is really a chocolate-flavored bark of hydrogenated oils, it will be super gross.
  • A chunk of a chocolate bar. I reserve this method for when I am desperately craving that sweet mocha goodness but I’ve gone to Coava and they will do a latte but not a mocha. Then I buy one of their small bars of some artisan-or-other chocolate and drop it into a latte and attempt the same stir-to-melt action that I use with chopped chocolate. It’s better than nothing, but it does not melt anywhere near enough to be satisfying, unless you like the idea of a wet chocolate bar bite at the end, analogous to eating the fruit after you’ve drained a glass of sangria.
  • Powdered drinking chocolate (like the ones from Theo Chocolates). Works okay, but you need to make sure you get the powder absorbed in the stirring with espresso or you’ll wind up with little powdered dots floating to the top after you add your milk-style liquid, making your fancy drink look like it came from a packet of swiss miss.
  • Chocolate syrup from the store. Works well, but try to be sure to get one that is made with straight up cocoa and sugar, no oils, or you might get an oily sheen/droplets on the surface of your drink, also unappealing.
  • Homemade chocolate syrup. 1:1 ratio of sugar and water to make a simple syrup over moderate heat, add cocoa powder while heating to suit your level of intensity. Keeps well for a really long time in the fridge. Gold standard in terms of meltability, cost, no unappealing visuals on top of drink or in cup afterward. Make a batch in advance sometime and bottle it up for use whenever.

Grind the coffee beans. Two elements inherent in this instruction: the bean and the grind.

  • Given the option, I prefer to get something that comes from a direct trade source that is environmentally friendly, but that’s your call. Things I look at if I’m in a situation to be choosy about beans include agricultural methods, labor practices, bird policies, and impact of the farm or plantation on the local environment and/or ecoonomy.
  • I will also choose something locally-roasted if it’s available for a few reasons. The fancy coffee roasters have told me that you should use beans within a week of being roasted, 2 weeks at most (unless they’re in an unopened vacuum-sealed package), or it’s not worth it. Other people keep an open bag of beans for months and say they can’t tell the difference. Your call, but if you care about that stuff, local roasting definitely has an edge when it comes to getting coffee in the magic window of not-too-soon-after-roasting-and-not-so-old-the-taste-declines. Plus it supports a local business, often an independent proprietor, which tends to keep more money in your community.
  • I also (I know, I know, gasp and horror) prefer to get decaf if it’s water-processed. Caffeine is just really, really bad for you (side note: if you like literature, read Memoir from Antproof Case by Mark Helprin, it’s pretty great.) and even decaf still has way more caffeine than our bodies really want or need. Fancy coffee people will tell you that decaf is an abomination and utterly intolerable. I tell you that high blood pressure, anxiety, reduced motor control, withdrawal migraines, bone loss, insomnia, and other related health effects that could be prevented by ditching caffeine are the true intolerable abominations. And if you look into the water process, it’s almost like you get coffee soaked coffee — the decaf I’m talking about is not weak, it’s delicious.
  • Fancy coffee people will say that you should grind immediately before brewing or it’s not even worth it. Since I was running a cafe that did fancy coffee, I followed this advice so the coffee would get its best shot (heh) at making a good impression on the customer. However, if you don’t have a grinder and you buy pre-ground beans, who cares? I mean, it’s the flavor you’re used to, so it won’t taste like crap to you, right? That said, if you do have a grinder, grind the beans at the appropriate grain when you’re ready to brew, and only grind as much as you’ll need.

Brew a shot of espresso (or conduct your alternate strong-brewing technique as mentioned above to acquire an equivalent amount of liquid, about an ounce, but the bullet points below refer to brewing traditional espresso) directly into the cup holding your chocolate. That said, if you don’t have room to do this because you chose a giant cup that won’t fit under your portafilter, it’ll be fine, don’t sweat it.

  • The scalding espresso will start dissolving the chocolate immediately, turning into a coffee-cocoa liquid love child.
  • You won’t lose the crema the way you do when you brew into a demitasse/shot glass/small pitcher and then pour from that into the bigger mug.
  • Depending on what kid of chocolate you used, either give the mug a swirl to ensure a good mix, or stir it with a spoon if needed.

While the shot is brewing, steam your milk-type liquid. Don’t go too hot. I used to use soy as a default, but have since switched away to hemp or almond or coconut or hazelnut or some such, now going to soy only when it’s the only option. Try not to get crazy with the foam — microfoam is your friend. Fancy coffee people will want you to give your steaming pitcher a couple of taps on the counter and a swirl to settle before pouring the liquid into your mug. This is okay, because it gives you a second to pour a splash of rum into the coffee-cocoa love child mixture.

Pour a splash of rum into the coffee-cocoa love child mixture. Fancy liquor distributors might tell you all kinds of things about various producers and varieties, but forget ’em. Just get some basic plain white rum at the liquor store.

Pour in your steamed milk. The pouring will swirl together the ingredients already in the mug, so you shouldn’t need to stir it unless you are still trying to get solid chocolate to melt or something. Or unless you made layers because you think they are pretty, in which case admire the pretty and then stir it out of existence. Fancy coffee people make pictures likes leaves and hearts and other elaborate markings in the microfoam. I don’t bother, but if you want to learn it is not hard and there are lots of latte art instructional videos online.

Put your hands around the warm mug and feel cozy.

Drink your hipster pirate and feel warm and snuggly and like one big contented sigh. That is all.

*It’s worth noting that the hipster pirate can also be enoyed in a to-go cup, but I do recommend reusable travel mugs over disposables — those “compostable”  paper cups are mostly lined with corn-based plastic and will almost certainly not be composted unless you live somewhere with a commercial composting facility willing to accept them. I live in a composting mecca and even we can’t compost these damn cups.

Jitterbug Playlists, Take II

The speakers are finally hooked up throughout the Jitterbug, and PlayMySong is up and running. Woohoo! Haven’t put much music on the iPod attached to it yet, since in the meantime I was just streaming kexp or Pandora on a dock speaker, and it’s time to load it up. I’ll be adding a bunch of songs and albums this weekend (and thank you everyone for your suggestions last time around), but I was thinking it might be fun to feature some playlists from all my favorite WordPress people. So, say, someone could come in and listen to Ipstenu’s playlist while we troubleshot their broken blog, or Jaquith’s playlist while digging into some custom code. Even better, since people could potentially submit multiple playlists, someone might choose from Ipstenu’s Rock Out playlist, Ipstenu’s Relax-o-meter playlist, Jaquith’s Morning Mix, Jaquith’s In the Code Zone playlist, whatever.

Your challenge: Put together a playlist of about 90 minutes (20-30 songs depending on their length) that has a common thread to the songs, be it genre, tempo, cheering-up-factor, memories from your senior year, whatever. Basically, make a perfect mix tape. Give it a name. You can make as many of these as you want!

Put it/them in a comment on this post, or if you are shy, you can send it to me using the contact form on this site (or email me). Playlists MUST be about 90 minutes in length. Lists of albums or too few/too many songs will not be considered a playlist. I would love to have playlists we could put on from all the people I see at WordCamps, people who backed the Jitterbug, and people who are contributing to the WordPress project. My personal musical tastes bear some weight here, so know that I am unlikely to put death metal, contemporary country, or Christian rock in the rotation. (Punk, Americana/old school country, or gospel would be okay, though!)

Playlists, playlists, playlists!

And yes, once everything is all loaded up, you would be able to activate your playlist from where you live using the app. :)

A Tale of Two Brothers: Plans, Construction, and Dev Styles

When we first moved into the Jitterbug building, my two brothers came to help fix it up. I wanted to get rid of the bar that had been in place before, and build a little bakery counter that would be a comfortable height for me to work behind (I’m short) and use some old windows I’d bought off craigslist to showcase the baked goods.

Brother #1’s Approach:

We can definitely build it. First I need you to figure out exactly what size you want it to be, where the windows should go, and draw me up a plan — a basic blueprint to work from. Then we can look it over and figure out what exactly we’ll need and then we can put it together.

Brother #2’s Approach:

Counter about this high, stretching across this space, and using as many of those windows as we can fit in, with a shelf inside and some kind of back covering to keep dirt away? Yeah, I can do that. I’ll do it right after I finish this other thing.

Jane: But, Brother #2, don’t you need a plan, a blueprint?

Nah, I know what you want. If it’s not exactly what you were thinking as we go along, we’ll just check in along the way and we can always redo a bit if I don’t do it how you pictured it. It’s not rocket science, you’ll be happy with the end result one way or another.

Guess which brother was in charge of building the counter? Brother #2. Brother #1 worked on it as well, and so did I, but Brother #2 was ready to jump in and rough it out to move things along quickly. He had no compunction about ripping something out if it didn’t work the way we intended, and embodied the idea of prototyping into iterative improvement/development so completely that I couldn’t help compare this experience to working on WordPress.

There are two schools of thought among WordPress core developers, it seems — the coding equivalents of Brother #1 and Brother #2.  Brother #1 in core terms would be asking for wireframes before writing a line of code, and for everything to be completely figured out in advance. Brother #2 would be more of a jump in and get something started kind of dev, who prototypes using his best judgment and solicits feedback on design aspects as the build itself comes together and can be experienced as a prototype.

When I started working on WordPress, it was mostly Brother #2s. If I said an idea in skype or IRC, someone had it roughly coded to look at before the rest of us were even done talking. Lately, it has felt like we’ve shifted more toward Brother #1s. Statements like, “We need wireframes,” or “You have to decide exactly how you want it to work,” come at me in IRC and Skype, making me a bottleneck and a gatekeeper to development. Yuck!

I don’t want to make any more wireframes. Period. 10+ years is too much. I don’t mind doing up a sketch now and then and putting it on Trac, but I’d like to see more of a return to Brother #2 style development. (There are definitely some in core who do work this way currently.) Just start prototyping. Better UX decisions will almost always come from playing with a prototype vs just imagining with pen and paper (or computer and mouse/wacom). That’s not to say there isn’t a place for specs — when there are a lot of developers working on something, a spec is really useful for keeping people on the same page. But that spec could be as simple as a written description of the feature or change that’s archived and updated as the project evolves.

I did a lot of wireframes in the beginning with WP. In 2.7 we had the Crazyhorse wireframes, which Liz and I did to communicate something totally different to developers I’d never worked with before. In 2.8 with widgets, I did them because we were radically changing the UI, but even more because the underlying widgets code was so sucky that experimentation would have taken forever in a live situation and I didn’t want to put Andrew through that.

Since then, I’ve avoided doing many wireframes. I like it when the dev takes the first stab. Not only does it remove me as a bottleneck, it puts more UI/UX ideas into play before things get finalized. If I do wireframes, then the devs are basically just builders. Which some like, I know, but many want to do product design thinking as well. And really, even for devs that don’t want input into design, having a conversation with a whiteboard or doing a rough sketch is just about always enough for a dev to rough it in as a 1st pass/prototype.

Think about how fast we could go. In this example, we’re talking about doing an update to the way Gallery tab works.

Brother #1 Style: I (and/or some other UI people and devs with a UI bent) review what we have, look at what else is out there right now, get some community feedback, throw around some interaction model ideas, core group debates, pick one, wireframe/write spec, start the build.

Brother #2 Style: “Hey, let’s make the Gallery tab better! Here are the 3 things we want to solve in this iteration. Core people: if you have an idea of how to improve 1-3 of these things, we want you!” Core people discuss their ideas, those deemed of interest make a rough prototype, I/core team/Matt/whoever reviews proposals (in prototype and/or mockup form depending on skillsets), picks one to use as base, makes list (for reference) of what to change in next round to better address the goals, someone starts development.

In the Brother #2 scenario, there’s no initial ux bottleneck, more people have a chance to propose ideas, proposals are focused on solving specific issues (vs being everything cool we can think of), and the real development begins with something to look at/refer to already in place. In Brother #1 scenario, it could be up to several weeks before anything gets coded… the same amount of time it would take to do several rounds of prototypes in the Brother #2 scenario!

I forgot to mention: my counter came out awesome. Not exactly as I’d first imagined it, true, but it served all my goals, was attractive — I’d never even thought of using beadboard until Brother #2 told me to start putting it on the front panel — and I was really happy with the end result:

Jitterbug counter

The counter whose construction was led by Brother #2.

So: no more wireframes for me. Brother #2s, I’m at your disposal for ux feedback!

Jbug Update 5/25

I posted this update to Kickstarter just now, but thought I’d archive it here. You never know with third-party systems how long they’ll be around, right?

It’s been a week since the last update and Memorial Day weekend is upon us. We’re not open yet! Bummer, but what can you do. Inspectors who said they would come around 4-5 days ago didn’t, and at this point everything that happens has dependencies that tie back to interval approvals from the inspectors. Based on where we are now, it looks like the first week of June (I’ll give that an 80% confidence rating). That means it’s time to schedule the grand opening party for a couple of weeks later! It will be on June 20, so anyone who was planning to come out for it should mark their calendars. And now, the update.

Since last week:

 

  • Door handles/locks have been installed, and the fire inspector signed off on them.
  • Electrician came yesterday and said that since the 2-door cooler and the kegerator I ordered use so little power (I went for Energy Star models, of course), it should be no problem to have them on the same circuit. Yay!
  • Register stand from Tinkering Monkey has shipped.
  • Bought a coffee brewer from a guy who upgraded to a faster machine. Found him through the guy who set up the espresso machine, and though it was an hour’s drive each way to pick it up, it saved us around $400.
  • Fire marshal signed off on the handrails and the concrete pad at the bottom of the ramp.
  • The painter is putting up additional steel around the hood per fire marshal instruction yesterday. The fire caulk is actually yellow. Should hopefully be finished today.
  • Painter finished painting yesterday. I totally called it.
  • Ordered a drop-in water-filling and ice chest station. ($700)
  • Sold the chest freezers. Gave a really cheap deal to the person who came to look at just one of them. That got them out of the back room and it meant supporting a cool local business at the same time. It’s a mobile farm food truck!
  • Ordered the cabinet for the water/ice/sink setup, but it will probably not be here for another 5-10 days. Will probably open without it and install on arrival if health inspector will allow.
  • Ordered rolling cart for bus tubs/trash station, and a bunch of bus tubs.
  • Shelves installed in back room. Ordered food storage containers to sit on them.
  • Replaced exit sign batteries, only to find that one more has gone out. Back to Batteries Plus!
  • Cleared out more stuff, washed more stuff, ordered more little stuff (like heat resistant spoonulas!)
  • Obtained permit from City Hall to have outlets reconnected.

What’s coming this week:

  • Electrician comes on Tuesday to make the outlets in the dining room live (laptop juice, yay). ($330)
  • Install fire extinguishers.
  • Finish fire caulking, replace last exit sign battery.
  • Have fire inspector come back to do live safety inspection.
  • Hook up ipad/square reader/cash drawer/receipt printer when Tinkering Monkey stand arrives.
  • Sell or donate remaining old coolers in bar area.
  • Get signoff from building inspector on the handrails and concrete pad at bottom of ramp.
  • Paint touchups.
  • Weekend effort to sell stuff, donations following week for anything still here.
  • Buy or build tables and chairs/benches. Leaning toward build.
  • Order a blender.
  • Finish off counter.
  • Scrape old decorative paint from windows.
  • Re-do passthrough countertop bc painter painted over my special countertop surface, argh.
  • Order trash/recycling/compost containers for bus station.
  • Get art for walls.
  • Order last round of pans.
  • Order eco-friendly to-go supplies.
  • Order a bunch of miscellaneous other stuff.
  • Meet exterminator today.
  • Health inspector visit today to check progress.
  • Better Hometown Coordinator form City Hall visit today for same reason.
  • Order food and drinks for opening.
  • Place ad for employees, interview, hire.

It’s supposed to rain this weekend, but I’m thinking I’ll see if I can round up any of the locals who’ve offered to help to do a mini-work weekend. If I can get a couple of people with pickups, we could get lumber for tables and haul some stuff away for donations and/or trash. If I can get a couple of people with tools (and comfort using them) we can build two farm tables and seating benches to go with them. And a few people to help clean stuff, sell stuff, and generally get things ready. :)

Here’s hoping that this time next week we are inspection-ready, or have already passed.

Until next time!

 

Things I Bought Today

  • $225 worth of stainless steel shelving units
  • $500 worth of fire suppression service
  • $4 worth of electrical blocking plates
  • A $50 fire extinguisher
  • $15 worth of air filters
  • $7 worth of glass scraping tools
  • Not-yet-known fees for electrical work

Giant Jitterbug To-Do List

Over the next week or two there’s a bunch of stuff to do. Off the top of my head, here’s a chunk of it.

To meet fire/live safety and building codes:

  • Add additional piece of stainless steel between hood and wall/ceiling
  • Fire caulk between steel and hood
  • Service fire suppression system 5/8
  • Repair fire suppression microswitch (electrician) 5/8
  • Purchase additional fire extinguisher for kitchen 5/8
  • Move dining room fire extinguisher to opposite corner
  • Relocate exit sign (electrician) 5/8
  • Get signoff on new handrails, replacement breakers
  • Get hood cleaned 5/7
  • Replace all door handles/locks
  • Replace battery in other exit sign
  • Test all bulbs in exit/outside lights
  • Add fire retardant layer to counter paint
  • Ditch outdoor cords with exposed plugs
  • Pour 5′ square concrete “landing zone” at end of ramp

To meet health code:

  • Have entire kitchen pressure-washed 5/7
  • Clean coils of all coolers/freezers 5/7
  • Get rid of unsuitable equipment (some just not commercially rated, some not performing to code)
  • Buy behind-counter ice/sink/water equipment
  • Scrub all pre-existing equipment with degreaser and then bleach
  • Re-caulk floor moulding
  • Steam clean/scrub grout in bathrooms, storage room
  • Scrub all rooms/walls/surfaces
  • Seal/paint counter cabinet with fancy/toxic non-porous chemicals (adiós, enviromentally-friendly milk paint) (Coats: 1 2 3)
  • Find a compromise between health dept request for a locking door on food storage room and the fact that such a thing breaks fire code due to location (wish we’d known that before putting in the locking door as told) Put a bell on it! 5/8
  • Replace dining room tables
  • Replace pots, pans, utensils that are too worn or non-degreasable
  • Massive caulking spree
  • Paint all walls and ceilings
  • Replace plastic shelving with stainless steel 5/8
  • Purchase food storage containers
  • Replace coffee machine (drip, not espresso)
  • Additional covered trash cans in bathrooms specifically for “feminine hygiene waste” because the state of Georgia thinks menstrual blood and any paper or plastic products associated with such are hazardous waste, while urine and fecal matter are a-okay

Functional

  • Purchase coffee and tea service items (steaming pitchers, demitasse cups, loose tea brewers, etc)
  • Storage shelves 5/8
  • Build or buy new tables/benches/chairs
  • Get 2-3 comfy chairs for couch area
  • Order bus tubs/cart, and trash/recycling/composting receptacles for self-clearing
  • Order outdoor composter
  • Fill iPod with music
  • Get adapter for iPod to hook into existing speakers (or get better wireless ones)
  • Order stand, cash drawer and receipt printer to go with iPad/Square reader (and roll eyes that total cost is about 5-10x a regular cash register from Office Depot)
  • Order baking pans, utensils, pans, knives
  • Order new worktable and shelves/cabinet for dishes/pots/etc
  • Set up vendor accounts, place first orders
  • Order to-go supplies
  • Submit bus bench design
  • Make new sign
  • Get a desk and filing cabinet for back room

Aesthetic

  • Replace chairs
  • Coffee table
  • Move cabinet by couches
  • Art for walls
  • Pick paint colors for areas other than front counter
  • Paint everything
  • Decorate

WordPress Consultant Time for Jitterbug Contributions?

Pete Mall did an awesome thing:

Then George Mamdashvili (mamaduka) said:

Should I?

If I add extra contributor rewards for the $100 level for an hour of ‘pick my brain’/consulting from any of the participating WordPress types, that would be kind of cool, because then I could tally up how much $ came in via those guys, and I could give them the appropriate cumulative reward (vs a contributor getting the care package, shirt, mug, etc and the generous consultant not being recognized). Anyone who wanted to limit the number of people who could redeem the offer could specify how many to limit it to and be listed individually – if there are only a couple, then might as well list everyone individually for easier tracking.

So does this sound like a good idea? Anyone else want to contribute by way of donating an hour of consulting time?

P.S. You can back the Jitterbug on Kickstarter.

Friday Jitterbug Progress Report – 2/24

Welcome te the first weekly Jitterbug Progress Report! I’m putting aside-type updates on the buyjaneabakery.com blog, and I’ll start doing updates for the kickstarter backers, but since this is the permanent archive of all things Jane, thought I’d do weekly summaries here. Here’s what’s up:

  • Opened the Jitterbug fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com on Wednesday afternoon. So far it’s up to $1,995. (Plus $1,475 from the pre-kickstarter paypal contributions) Thank you to everyone who’s pitched in so far!
  • The refurbished espresso machine I’d hoped to buy from Espresso Southeast was no longer available. Looking at alternate machines, but the luddite in me is wondering if I could buy 10 Presso machines instead and do hand-pressed espresso to order. Insert hand-pressed/WordPress/espresso puns here. If I put a W sticker on it, it would be a WordPresso. (Seriously, though, that would be freakin’ cool, yeah?)
  • Called the Presso distributor and have a machine on its way to me to try with the Perc coffee.
  • Met with Philip from Perc to discuss the coffee/espresso setup in the space. Looks like we’ll need some minor construction, possibly some plumbing and electrical work. Unless, of course, I go with the Presso plan, in which case it might just be some construction.
  • Confirmed participation as a booth for the Tybee Island Wine Festival April 14. Probable menu of giveaways: Greek pasta salad, mini mint chip cookies, key lime cupcakes, cardamom peach coffee cake, honey peach iced green tea.
  • Planning on soft launch April 15 with limited hours, grand opening in May.
  • Bank account set up.
  • Looked into eco-friendly to-go packaging, composting, water-saving measures, etc.
  • Considered trying to get kosher-certified at the suggestion of Adam from my co-working space. Turns out it’s not just an inspection and more expensive cheese, it’s complete religious oversight of the place. Not for me, sorry.
  • Business license meetings today.

Coming Up:

  • Clean up logo for Wine Fest marketing.
  • Design stickers and tees.
  • Make construction, painting, furnishing plans.
  • Test kitchen.
  • Contact some local people about publicizing the kickstarter campaign.
  • Send in supplier account applications.
  • Revise budget.