Are you back to entertaining? We’ve retracted.

It’s the fall season, the busy coffee picking season, the weeks before we finish processing some of this season’s harvest. It had been fun to celebrate by having a little coffee tasting, brunch gathering. Had been, pre-COVID.

In the late spring going into summer, there was a feeling of optimism as activities opened up, tourists returned, and people felt more comfortable going about and also traveling. Then came Delta and the general optimism made a U-turn. It seemed so sudden that we heard about impending ICU bed shortages, oxygen supply concerns (there are additional transport issues and process delays that the mainland states don’t have), and knowing that our COVID infections, hospitalizations, and death rates were all higher than ever before.

Back in August Governor Ige asked for a travel pause (both of tourists and of residents going to the mainland), and apparently a number of people have taken heed of his request. Plus, September is a slower, quieter time travel-wise anyway.

We only have 24 ICU beds on this island for a population of about 200,000. Our state has one of the nation’s lowest ICU bed per capita ratio (I think it’s second worst), but our rural island’s is lower than the state’s ratio. We have been requiring overflow ICU beds for a few weeks now (around 5-8 overflow). Not all of those are for COVID patients, but usually well over half are. And I’ve frequently been seeing that over half of those people were on ventilators.

From the beginning of this 9/8/21 West Hawaii Today article …

With little fanfare, Gov. David Ige on Sept. 1 signed an executive order that releases Hawaii’s health care workers and facilities from civil liability during the COVID-19 crisis.

West Hawaii Today, “Order provides staff, facilities protection from civil liability amid COVID crisis”

I’ve gone through shock, fear, anxiety, and anger, and by now it feels somewhat normalized, like our new state of affairs probably through October. So, no entertaining at this household. We’ve returned to a cautious, reserved way of living. It’s similar to this time last year, but it IS more open. Travel is possible. School is in session, in-person. Restaurants and businesses, that have survived, are still open. There aren’t general household item shortages.

When I started this post, I knew I wanted to share an article about scaling up manual brewing methods. But I know that we’re not scaling up right now, and all the above tumbled out. I leave you with a few articles about manual brewing methods.

A brief history of manual brewing methods

Drip (e.g., pour over) vs. immersion (e.g., French press) brewing

And, the article that motivated this post, the one I needed years ago, “A guide to brewing larger volumes of coffee at home.” We have been doing individual pour overs for years, but that doesn’t scale. And we weren’t as satisfied with the batch machine brewer we used to use. We wanted better quality. Using the Chemex, for a volume larger than an individual cup needed tweaks.

On the subject of coffee brewing, UH (Uncle Harold) opines, “IMHO, coffee tastes most flavorful and aromatic when freshly roasted ground coffee is mixed with boiled water. This kind of crude procedure is cumbersome when modern convenient devices are available.

Kona coffee has a unique character.  It has been produced by total love and dedication from early preparation, harvesting, and to roasting. Processes such as weed control, tree nourishment, and selective picking of ripe berries impact final quality. Marketing gimmicks do not produce good coffee.  This is UH’s basic premise.”

Enjoy your cuppa. Hopefully, you can home brew a few quality cuppas for your friends, too.

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