Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

God Bless Bustelo

img_0198Morning coffee! I’m not sure what I would do without it. I grew up in a predominately tea household and didn’t have my first cup of coffee until I was 27, married, had a daughter under 2 years old, was working two jobs, was a bicycle commuter and beginning racer. Now, coffee is the pillar of my morning ritual.

My diabetic diagnosis a couple of years ago required that I cut back on sugar. I have sacrificed it in my coffee. What an incredible sacrifice! A splash of carnation evaporated milk helps but for me it isn’t a complete cup of coffee. I miss that hint of sweetness.

When having coffee out, I generally add a teaspoon of sugar much like someone who adds a little salt to his/her food. I do taste first, and really good coffee may not need it. When working in community gardens and refereeing basketball games. I generally find the first Spanish restaurant I can and have a cup of cafe con leche.

I can’t abide the taste of artificial sweeteners. A recent study suggested that artificial sweeteners can aide and abet glucose intolerance. What’s the point then, calories?

My favorite fix is expresso albeit not from a machine that costs hundreds of dollars and perfectly steams milk. My Krups gives me a great cup of coffee. I used to microwave 4 ozs. of milk, throw it in a coffee mug with an aerator ball and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. That got tedious. More importantly, I use my microwave less every day. Honestly, I feel I should wear a lead lined apron when I use it.

I’ve used the expresso steamer to froth the milk. I never got that to work for me. I used to heat milk in a small pan. Having to wash the extra stuff wasn’t fun.

I haven’t bought a Keurig. The latest are cool because you can set it for Strong Brew. I have always been skeptical of brewing from a K-cup and expecting the same results over different amounts of water.  Also, I like the smell of coffee and probably hold the can higher than I should when I scoop so I can get a good whiff. SEE COMMENT BELOW.

My neighbor works for Nespresso, but is that coffee or a lifestyle?

My grandson knows about coffee. He loves opening the can, taking a big whiff and saying “coffee”? He fishes out the scoop and is better at getting most of the coffee into the strainer these days.

When I first started drinking coffee there was a coffee shop on White Plains Road near Lying Ave. I lived of the corner of Wallace and Lydig. This was before Starbucks. The shop sold all sorts of fresh roasted beans which they ground to your specifications. I would buy fresh coffee, hot bagels up the block, and the NY Times from the corner stand every Sunday before I went off to marshal or run a  race with the New York Road Runners Club.

I used to grind coffee at home. I still have a grinder somewhere. Shops that sell coffee beans may be non-existent in the Bronx these days. There certainly aren’t any within walking distance. As a kid, I bought coffee beans at the local A&P, dumped them into the red store grinder and carefully refolded and closed the bag when it was done. It was really cool the first time I did it by myself.

My Sagittarian nature won’t let me fix coffee the same way every day. I use a manual drip maker every few days or a French Press. When I have the time and patience, I use a Moka pot, or a Corning  or Pyrex percolator. My standard coffee maker died from overuse I guess. Every few days I use a cup and saucer and a silver spoon. Every so often, I use a serving pot and pour steaming cup while I answer my emails.

Lately, to better resolve my health issues, I  have a glass of water or two BEFORE my first cup of coffee. I laugh about the fights I’ve had with myself over this. Bottom line: Drink at least a glass of water when you get up. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

Retired now, I miss coffee in the office. Most coffee services were pretty bad.  Co-workers would drop by between 10 and 10:30 because they knew I would make coffee and take a break complete with some sort of  biscotti or crackers. My best meetings happened over coffee. Business associates came to realize a 10 am appointment with me at the Bronx Zoo meant coffee and a tour of the park. A couple eventually became fast friends and took to bringing cannoli or napoleons from Arthur Ave with them.

Hmm, there’s lots more so let’s call this the start of the Coffee Chronicles.








Filed under: CGCooks, Community Green, Food, ,

One Response

  1. czvasser says:

    Any Keurig fans out there? Whether you prefer a French press, Chemex, AeroPress or Bialetti espresso maker, it’s definitely time to ditch that Keurig, and here’s why. The K-cups Keurig machines use are bad for your health (hello, plastic #7) and bad for the planet too. The type of plastic used makes them difficult to recycle. Attempting to improve their reputation and sales, the company recently launched a “recyclable” plastic pod, but is this really the solution to creating millions of single-serve pieces of plastic every year? Be good to your body and Mother Earth. Just don’t.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Bissel Gardens
MillionTreesNYC - Make NYC Even Cooler

Flicker Photostream

Find Your Community Garden

Anyone can join a garden. With more than 600 gardens across the five boroughs, potential members and volunteers should choose carefully. To aid in your search, GreenThumb has provided a Garden Finder from GardenMaps.

Vegetable Growing Guides

Kim Beazer’s Nature’s Nurses

Nature's Nurses

Nature's Nurses

Black Urban Growers

Bronx River Alliance

Contact Us

Contact Form

Green Tips!

Bee proactive!

A few things you can do to help keep bees healthy:

  • plant different flowers that bloom throughout the season for the bees;

    • native plants and other perennials

    • bloom colors of yellow, white,  blue, and purple

  • watch for neonicotinoid-free note on plant tags- some tags will claim that insecticides were used for ‘your plant’s health’ (but NOT for the bees!)

  • leave the blossoms until they expire

  • plant plants with fragrant flowers with a long bloom season

  • consider early blooming plants for bees that have had little nourishment over the winter

Green Tips


Get Community Greens.

“Even though this planet is round, there are just too many spots where you can find yourself hanging onto the edge, unless there’s some space, some place to take a breather for a while.” –Gloria Naylor


The Future of Spofford

Community Greens Photos

Chuck Vasser on


ACUS Adult Open-Play Basketball

ACUS Adult Open-Play Basketball

Asian Community United Society 6506 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11204 Warren Chan


Life & Basketball

Fried Chicken & Philosophy


The Butterfly Project