BROADENING MY COFFEENEURING HORIZONS: Part One (of Seven)

This is my fourth year of Coffeeneuring.  The previous three were great, but they were spent primarily within the safe geographical confines of MY Town while drinking nothing but straight-up black coffee.  BORING!

Well, NOT NO MO’ as the kids say these days.  This season, I will be traveling to seven different towns and exploring them by bicycle, which, as everybody knows, is the best way to explore a town or city.  Then I will visit local coffee shops in each town.  That will be the easy part of the plan to expand my Coffeeneuring horizons.  Much more difficult will be the second part of the plan, which involves forcing myself to drink seven different types of coffee drinks.  I’m very afraid.

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I’ve chosen the City of Eagan, Minnesota to kick off the 2018 Coffeeneuring season.  Eagan is one of the largest of the Minneapolis-St.Paul suburbs, both in terms of population and square inches.  In fact, its total area has to be somewhere in the tens of millions of square inches.  The city has a fine network of bike trails and several very nice parks.  I parked my car in one of them.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park is a gem of a natural area with its forests, lakes, native prairie grasses, wetlands, ecologically-minded buildings, and hiking & biking trails.  I biked in and around the park for about an hour.

 

If you can take your eyes away from my bike for a moment, you might notice the sign that announces your arrival to LEBANON HILLS REGIONAL PARK.

 

A pretty lake–at least in my opinion. The fall colors are way behind schedule this year.

 

The paved trail became a wooden boardwalk over this wetland area.

 

Now that’s some tall grass.

 

At about 11:00 a.m., the temperature had risen all the way up to 38-degrees (F) and the effects of the pot of coffee I drank earlier in the morning were wearing off.  So I used my phone for something other than taking pictures and I Googled the nearest coffee shop.  “Aha, Dunn Brothers Coffee it is,” I said to myself.

 

After some highway riding, it wasn’t long before I was able to get onto another bike path. It also wasn’t long before I was assaulted by campaign signs.

 

I found my way to Dunn Brothers Coffee.

 

When I first started drinking coffee–way back in my freshman year of college–I used to add that white, powdery, artificial creamer stuff.  That’s how my boss/coffee-mentor taught me.  Once, and ONLY once, I added sugar.  YUCK!  After a few months of drinking coffee with white, powdery, artificial creamer, I discovered the joy of pure, unadulterated black coffee.  I have not consumed coffee in any other form in the ensuing 42 years.  (Except for espresso, which is basically just a small shot of stronger black coffee.)

You’d think I would be curious about trying another version of that wonderful caffeinated beverage, but that’s just not the case.  None of those coffee shop specialty drinks ever appealed to me.  The ingredients sounded unappetizing, if not outright disgusting.

But my entire coffee-drinking world is about to change today.  My horizons are going to broadened.  At Dunn Brothers Coffee, I dove right into the deep end with a coffee that contained some truly ungodly ingredients.  I ordered their signature Pumpkin Pie Latte which, according to the menu, contains “real pumpkin, real spices, and real maple syrup, all complementing our classic latte.”  Not satisfied that they were ruining a cup of coffee quite enough, the menu continued, “This year, we’ve added our new house-made cinnamon whipped cream for an extra dash of the season!”

I’ve heard people speak of this Pumpkin Pie Latte in ridiculously reverent tones in the past.  I didn’t believe a drink like that could really exist.  I didn’t believe a drink like that SHOULD even exist.  Now I know that is does exist, because here it is right in front of me.  I guess I better get on with this Coffeeneuring experiment.

 

It’s just not right to put whipped cream in any type of coffee drink.

 

I wiped off my face with my sleeve and re-started the taste test.

 

 

I’m very sorry you had to watch that video with your head cocked sideways.  I don’t know what went wrong, nor could I figure out how to correct it after uploading it onto YouTube.  I’m also sorry for being so predictable.  You could see the big coffee-spitting scene coming from a mile away, couldn’t you?  And you knew I was going to do that no matter how it tasted, didn’t you?  You were right.

The fact is, the Pumpkin Pie Latte wasn’t all that bad while it was piping hot–certainly better than an actual slice of pumpkin pie–but when it cooled off it was awful.  And it cooled off quickly out there on the patio.

 

Therefore, about half of the drink went down the drain . . . literally.

 

Don’t worry, though.  I won’t be abandoning this Coffeeneuring experiment.  I will be back next week with a new city, a new coffee shop, and a new coffee beverage.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

10 response to "BROADENING MY COFFEENEURING HORIZONS: Part One (of Seven)"

  1. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: October 13, 2018

    G2 will be laughing. “Serve you right” I can hear him say, “I’m left at home stuck in my box! I wanted to come too”.

    Seriously, I can’t imagine what a Pumpkin Pie Latte would taste like and I don’t want to. Coffee should be, well, coffee, without a vegetable in sight.

    Best of luck with your fluid experiment.

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 14, 2018

      Right you are, Tony. Vegetables have no business being in a cup of coffee. The same is true with maple syrup, whipped cream, and any kind of spice. I don’t know what possessed me to purchase that concoction.

      Speaking of G-2, don’t be surprised to see him at some point this Coffeeneuring season.

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: October 14, 2018

    Glad that this challenge means seven posts – seven fun-filled reads for us all!
    Btw can you drink coffee and make a video while standing on your head?

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 14, 2018

      I probably could do the head-standing, coffee-drinking video, but I think I’d have to use a straw, which sounds like an awful way to consume a hot drink. But I’d do it for YOU if you were to insist. (Please don’t insist.)

      I sure wish you’d send some of that warm Bavarian weather over to Minnesota.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: October 14, 2018

    Looking at Dunn Bros coffee website, they DO have regular coffee coffee — seem to be rather ‘proud’ of that too, but far less than Pumpkin Pie Latte.
    Best coffee ever was in Whitefish, MT — guy had a coffee shop in an itty bitty trailer at the train station.
    Java Joe’s I believe it was.
    That stuff you purchased certainly qualifies as caffeine abuse!

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 14, 2018

      Yes, I am aware of Dunn Brother’s regular coffee. They have a shop in MY Town and that’s where I buy my coffee beans for daily consumption. I only chose that extreme version of coffee to broaden my horizons. Next time I will most certainly go for something different, yet more traditional.

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: October 14, 2018

        Well, I wondered about just regular coffee because Ive never been to a Starbucks or Dunns or any such place — Casey’s General Store coffee bar is confusing enough to me. 🙂
        That why I looked for regular coffee at Dunn’s and found it buried among all the exotics.
        Good to know, but I still dont like the price.

  4. By: Bill Stone Posted: October 14, 2018

    Ah, Greg. Watching your coffee antics almost caused me to choke on my extra strong black English breakfast tea.

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 15, 2018

      “Extra strong black English breakfast tea.” Hey, I wonder if I can find some of that stuff around here. I could go for a ride in my fox hunting outfit and tweed jacket.

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: October 15, 2018

        Hey! Having seen your tattered, torn, and worn-out winter cycling garb, I’d say a fox hunting outfit and tweed jacket would be a big upgrade for you! Can we get a reflectie in that outfit? Pip, pip, and cheerio, old chap! 😉

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