• A morning tasting coffee and chocolate

    I went to a coffee and chocolate tasting morning with my mom at the new ...

A morning tasting coffee and chocolate

I went to a coffee and chocolate tasting morning with my mom at the new Urban Grind Coffee Roasters in Parkhurst.

It was a morning hosted by the SA Culinary Club and sponsored by Russell Hobbs.

What a fascinating morning!

While coffee was being roasted in the industrial roasters, we learnt about how coffee is made, and the differences between various coffees (Ethiopian, Guatemalan, Rwandan and a blend). Each coffee was paired with different chocolates to teach us about how it affected the taste.

All the coffee we tasted was made as a filter coffee, and we had it without milk or sugar. It was incredible though to taste the difference in the blend once we paired that one with milk chocolate… that blend would have been used as a cappuccino coffee as the milk brought out the flavour of the bean! So interesting.

A few tips that I came away with:

  • Coffee shouldn’t be too fresh or too old. It’s ideal to use coffee beans 10-14 days after being roasted, and they should be stored in a bag with a one way valve on them.
  • One should really buy roasted coffee beans and grind them at home.
  • Don’t store coffee in the fridge. For one thing, the condensation adds back water content to the coffee, which will change the flavour. And most importantly, coffee absorbs smells, so it would start absorbing the garlic or cheese etc smells and change the flavour.
  • The most important thing that affects the taste of your coffee is the quality of water that you use (and not the machine). It’s ideal to use filtered water.
  • Coffee needs minerals to bring out the taste. When we tasted the Guatemala coffee with the Lindt Sea Salt chocolate, it was amazing what a difference that made… the chocolate lost the saltiness, and the coffee was smoother. In fact, it was the only time I’ve really enjoyed the salt chocolate!
  • Not all coffees or their roasts are the same. You should buy a roast specifically roasted for the type of coffee you’re going to make… so a filter roast for filter coffee, and a espresso roast for espressos.

Urban Grind Coffee Roasters is on 6th Street in Parkhurst, and will open in 2 weeks time. The owners were saying they were going to roast on premise (for small as well as commercial quantities), have a training area for anyone really to learn more about how to use coffee machines and learn about brewing (incl for restaurant and coffee shop staff). There’ll also be a coffee shop. I cannot wait for them to open properly, their coffee was amazing! I’ll definitely be going back to try them out.

If you’re interested in attending something like this, join the SA Coffee Club on their website. They mentioned that they’ll be hosting more mornings like this… it’s an awesome way to learn more about coffee and how to brew the perfect pot.

And of course, some photos :)

This place will be fabulous once it’s finished… not all the signage is up yet.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t asked to blog about this event.

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One week to go

You’d think that with a week to go to Two Oceans, I’d feel ready for it.

Well, I don’t.

I thought I was fine when I ran Om die Dam. I even thought I was fine while I hobbled around and rested for the rest of the weekend (apart from the seriously sore blister).

And then I ran 4km at RWFL on Tuesday evening, and felt a familiar twinge in my knee. So I took it easy.

However, I ran 4km last night again, and I was in serious pain again :( I’m sure it’s my glutes again… my glutes are not strong, and I’m not using them or my core when I’m running… which is putting strain on my knee.

So much for my 10km run on Saturday. I’m going to have to rest.

I’m also going to have to do loads of butt exercises again. When I saw this dreadful photo of me finishing Om die Dam 21, I knew that twisting of my leg had come back because I’ve been bad, and haven’t been doing the exercises the physio gave me.

 

 

LOL I look exhausted in this photo! It’s not the most flattering photo ever taken.

On that note, the physio found my photos of me running very helpful to diagnose the problem, so there’s a helpful tip for those planning on physio visits soon. I happened to have a few on my phone when I went.

So now I need to pray that I can get my leg sorted before next Saturday. I don’t have time to get to the physio again, we’re driving to CT next week.

This 21km race will be my fourth one. I shouldn’t be nervous about a half marathon anymore, should I? But I am.

There’s just so much hype about this race. It doesn’t help that I’m following Two Oceans on Twitter and Facebook, and that I’m constantly reminded about it with their statuses, as well as the hundreds of articles being shared by Runners World on Facebook and Twitter.

I think it’s also because it’s unknown to me. And everyone just talks about how crap the 21km route actually is because you don’t even see the ocean. And everyone talks about the congestion in the race which will be unlike any other race I’ve run.

In theory though, I should get through it. I’ve run the Dischem 21 with the most god awful hill at the end! And I’ve done that congestion before when I did the Argus cycle race… even though that was 15 years ago!!

Anyhoo, I need to get over this, and remember to pack Transact patches!!

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11/52 Reality

The theme for the week on MyFourHens Photography’s 52 Project: Reality

It was a cold and rainy day, and I wasn’t pushing anyone to do anything because today was recovery day.

The reality of having a pre-teen in the house… being told to stop watching YouTube on a laptop, so switching to gaming and Whatsapp’ing on the couch

 

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Running Om die Dam

I ran the Om Die Dam half marathon today in Haartebeespoort.

Sam and I finished the race in 2:24:05 according to my watch (the official time is slower because they started the time when the gun went off and not when we passed the starter mat).

I missed my personal best time by 30 seconds!! However, considering I wasn’t planning a PB race today, I’m not cut up about it… I was hoping to do 2h30 or even slower because it’s my last long run before Two Oceans and I didn’t want to kill myself.

Just checked on Strava, and this race was a personal best! Whoop! I beat my previous PB at the Soweto Half by 2 minutes! Wow! I’m actually over the moon. I wasn’t trying for a PB at all.

I’m blogging about it before my body forgets the pain it’s in. LOL! These are my thoughts after spending most of the rest of the day sleeping and hobbling.

Every muscle aches at the moment, and I have the most awesome blisters on my feet… in fact Sam took a photo of the one blister because it was red and in the shape of a heart.

What I learnt this race:

  • I’m glad we read the info on the website about the time we should aim to arrive at the venue… we aimed to get there at 4:30am
  • I cannot imagine running further. I actually had tears watching and cheering on the guy that won the 50km race (he finished 15 minutes after we finished the 21). I cannot fathom running 50km. My body is absolutely finished. Every muscle aches.
  • Waking up at 3am is for the birds, and was far too early for me to have my compulsory breakfast
  • Future Life shake in strawberry is actually not that bad, and travels well. I didn’t have the normal bubbles in my tummy for the first 10km, so it clearly worked.
  • The last 2kms seemed endless. I had completely lost my mojo by then. I better get over this before the Two Oceans!
  • I’m stronger on hills than I’ve ever been before.
  • I’m going to miss my friend Sam when I run the Two Oceans in 2 weeks time. We run races so well together, I push her on the hills and she pushes me on the flats. It’s going to be a long and quiet race.
  • Loved running in the new RWFL kit, it’s so much nicer than the old yellow kit… pity it’s going to change to the orange Team Vitality kit.
  • The slip slops I packed in my bag were the BEST idea ever after the race! I really needed to get my shoes off.
  • I must remember to pack plasters for the next race though, in case I get more blisters, I had to find a medical tent today.

What I thought of the race:

  • The traffic was a disaster. In fact, this may be the reason I won’t do it again. Loads of people were late for the race as a result. We left home at 3:30am, and only parked in Haarties at 5:30!!
  • The route was hard. The first 5km were uphill, and then it was flat for ages. I’m not sure now whether I prefer a hilly or flat route, because you can recover on a downhill on a hilly route. There’s no resting on a flat route.
  • The route markings were fabulous, better than the other races I’ve done.
  • Every water point was well manned and stocked. There was one water point that didn’t have bins for the used water bags… I pity those people having to clean up. I took a lot more water than I usually take because it was so damn hot.
  • The milk tart tartlets handed out at the 15km water point were amazing… I really needed something solid in my tummy for energy.
  • LOVE the medal design!

The start of the race with the usual congestion

 

This was after 12km, and the only stretch of the race on a major road, but I did like the view of the hills.

 

Sam and I at the finish :) Look at those big smiles!

 

 

The RWFL Rand Park crew that finished the 21km :)

 

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A rack for my medals

I don’t have many running medals yet, but I am planning on getting a few more But, I did need a medal hanger. Yip I needed one! I’ve been following Pamela’s Medal Hanger business since she started it (as a fellow blogger), and I’ve been eyeing out her running designs since I started collecting race […]

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Freelensing cosmos

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to Delta Park on Sunday afternoon to take some photos of the cosmos that I knew was flowering there. I got there at the perfect time, when the sun was just peeping over the tops of the trees. The light was beautiful. I’m having a blast playing […]

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10/52 Nature

The theme for the week on MyFourHens Photography’s 52 Project: Nature There were so many options for this week’s theme. I didn’t want to make this about the kids and human nature. It was a toss up between flowers in my garden, flowers in my mom’s garden, the veld, a tree… and I thought I needed […]

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The dry lips struggle

One of the side effects of Roaccutane is dry lips and boy, that’s something I’ve been struggling with since I started my treatment. I’ve now bought a wide range of lip products, which I’ve got available all over my house, the car, my desk at the office and in my handbag and camera bags. Most […]

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Prepping for Two Oceans

Yes, you read that right, I’m running the Two Oceans half marathon in a few weeks time. Me… the person who started running just over a year ago. Craziness. If my body allows me to do it. I’ve just checked, and I haven’t updated my blog with my running progress since the beginning of the year! […]

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Connor and the trip to the dairy

Connor went on a school trip to Douglasdale Dairy today. Now that’s an awesome school trip! They learnt about milk production… which he says is “a very complicated process” and they got to drink fresh FULL-CREAM milk, which is apparently much tastier from the dairy than from the shops. But his highlights, other than the […]

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