After seeing the raves about Aeropress, I bought one. I'd just weaned myself off coffee and now I feel addicted again, but it's made me appreciate good coffee and I'm getting a big buzz off it.

Now, I'm not writing this to promote addiction. I prefer coffee as a recreational drug.

I was looking for a review to share when I was promoting Aeropress to a coffee f(r)iend, when I found that Choice magazine weren't as impressed with the radical interpretation of plunger coffee. (Radical because the plunger works more like a hypodermic.)

Choice wrote:
A panel of five CHOICE staff sampled the resulting espresso, rating it poor overall. For comparison purposes, we prepared the same coffee in a plunger, which the panel rated OK overall.Four of the five said the Aeropress espresso was watery, while our lab expert Peter Horvath even had to make a "proper" coffee later to get rid of the acidic and unpleasant aftertaste.

At first I thought the magazine had missed that Aeropress produces an espresso-type coffee rather than a plunger-type, but they go on to acknowledge that "technically" the device fits the definition of an espresso.

So I wondered if they hadn't read the instructions, which focus on using water "80°C for dark roasts, 85°C for light" to avoid a bitter flavour. Then again, that quote in the previous sentence comes from Choice.

Now it occurs to me that maybe they did follow the Aeropress instructions, because they lead a first-time user to make a double shot espresso. So it's stronger than usual. This seems a strange decision to me but I've read that inventor Alan Adler drinks his brew this way, so maybe that explains it.

I've been experimenting with Aeropress and plunger coffee, giving both devices the same amount of the same ground beans and the same amount of the same temperature water. My results are that the plunger coffee tastes more bitter but that'd be because it steeps for longer, I guess.

I like my Aeropress but maybe the novelty will wear off.

Torchlight at night

Couple of pics from recent nights. I've been enjoying painting with light via time-lapse photography.

Cyclonic Whiz

Recorded a short video to share my favourite piece of playground technology with Playgroundology.

I think it's called a Cyclonic Whiz and it appeals to me because it's aimed at older kids, as you can see from the height you need to be to use it. As well as letting you spin around, it rewards users for their upper body strength by increasing the centrifugal motion.

March into the archives

This is a mix of seven videos recorded between November 2006 and April 2008. That coincided with many happy hours listening to the landscape, as I took a self-funded sabbatical with the birth of my daughter in June 2007. A year later I started working with the Murrumbidgee CMA.

I've been reflecting on that time a bit recently, as you can hear in this video I produced for ABC Open.