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Adventures in Coffee… April Hasbean

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An Indian coffee last month – the Bibi Plantation Washed Catucal Peaberry. I think this is my first Indian coffee (I really need to go through all my coffee posts and review to check – or keep a notebook full of all the coffee I’ve tried!). However in the In My Mug video they are also surprised to have an Indian coffee, but it is a growing market. This coffee was grown at about 800m above sea level, which is the lowest grown coffee they have featured. I’m finding it interesting to learn more about the bean that come though my letterbox.

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The description said to expect bold flavours of leather and tobacco and followed by a nutty-ness. I agree about the bold flavours and I wasn’t sold to begin with as it was quite bitter, but had a lightness to it as well. It felt like there wasn’t much coffee or oils taken through the water, even in the french press. It was an intense espresso, which was great as a shot to down, but not as a drink to sip and enjoy slowly as the after taste was quite strong for me. Another flavour mentioned in the video was a burnt toffee apple taste, but I don’t know if I got that – maybe more when I added milk.

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I wasn’t sure I liked this coffee. I wasn’t impressed with it as a espresso or french press, but as a pour over (with milk) it was amazingly mellow. It came up with this amazing creme and almost bubbled up as I poured over the water. I loved watching it brew.  It just seemed to work this way and took off the bitter edge I found in the espresso. In the video it is considered to make a fantastic cappuccino with milk, and that goes hand in hand with what I was thinking.

I’m also finding it interesting to find out about brewing techniques and the results of the different brews. I didn’t think there would be such a difference across techniques, but the more coffees I’m trying the more subtle differences I am noticing, but this one had some big differences. I want to expand my own brewing equipment to include a chemex and aeropress.

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I really want to get an In My Mug subscription and do an intense 12 weeks of coffee with the videos as they are released – fingers crossed for 2015, but in the meantime check out the video from last year.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EVgjYbW1Ng

Project Lifestyle Purple Cover

Project Lifestyle May Review

Project Lifestyle Purple Cover

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Nutrition

Started well, but then got side tracked during my week off. If I’m stressed I eat and I’m stressing about money all the time at the moment. The mantra I’m using at the moment is ‘you can’t exercise out a bad diet’ – okay maybe not a mantra, but honesty with myself. It’s not to make me feel guilty, but rather to be realistic about why I am not losing weight.

Fitness

I did my first triathlon of the year so overall I’m counting it as a success. However I have been slacking since. I think I need to look at my goals and decide what I want to improve over the summer. I want to make the most of being about to be outside in the evenings, so lake swimming and anything out doors is in, but I also want to get stronger and leaner, so really want to get back in the gym and lifting weights again. My running events have been impacted a lot due to the sprained ankle and lack of training. I have picked up the lake swimming though and that’s been good.

Mental Health

I started a mindfulness course and am really enjoying it and taking away techniques and actually using them. There are two annoying people on the course, but otherwise it is a good group who really wants to be there. I also wanted to start Headspace again, but only did that towards the end of the month. It feels good though. I feel calmer and have started using Moodscope again to monitor myself.

Social

This month was supposed to be about me and making time for the things I enjoy. I think I actually spent more time with people than on my own – no wonder I’ve felt out of sorts for the last week of the month. I did have some quality time drinking tea with my first delivery of Bluebird Tea, and also some reading after a trip to the library for a couple of books I’ve been wanting to read. I’ve been enjoying the time I’ve been spending with running club and swimming club, but there is a part of me that really needs my down time and this has suffered recently so I need to prioritise this going forward to make sure I don’t feel like I do currently too often.

Career

This has really been a low priority this month. I have a one to one planned with my manager early in June to go through my objectives for the year ahead. My main aim is to keep doing as well as possible in my current role and develop the skills I need to move into the next level with the aim of doing that in 2015. I also had a week off this last month so it has mainly been the normal day job, rather than being able to look at areas I can improve on change.

Overall

Overall May has been a good month. I felt connected to what I was doing and had some time to reflect on where I am and why I am there. I’m still struggling with certain aspects of the lifestyle I want to create and it impacts on other areas when I’m not in the right frame of mind. However with the focus on mindfulness this month I feel like I am taking steps towards bringing all together within myself. I want to learn from this and go into June with a renewed sense of what I want to create for myself. I want to get clear on what I am doing to hinder myself as we are our own worst enemies. When I stop being aware of what I’m eating, I overeat. I also have the tendency to be obsessive in my mind when it comes to food, so I need to strike a balance between planning and going with the moment. I had a really good month in terms of triathlon and I am so proud of that achievement for myself. It was hard and I did it. I was anxious beforehand, but that disappeared when I started (it came back during the run, but that is okay) and I got in the moment and worked hard, while enjoying myself. In a way it was a super busy month, even with taking a week off. I would like to make sure I have time to myself and to rest going forward. I feel my mental health has taken the greatest leap this month. I feel surer of myself and where I am heading and also being okay with what has not been happening and who I haven’t been in contact with. The worry about other people seems to be there less and that is nice. I find this then means there is less worry about other things that were causing me anxiety. I think understanding myself is very important and noticing the difference this month has been informative.

My monthly excel document can be found here :)

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Adventures in Coffee… Starbucks Tribute Blend

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This was an emergency buy as I ran out of coffee at work and this was the easiest thing to get. I went for the Tribute blend rather than my normal bold and have really enjoyed it as an everyday coffee. It is very drinkable and can be made strong in a French press without overpowering the drink.

I went for it because it was described as dark cherry and spice. That description drew me in and I’m glad it did. It is a blend of coffee from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea and Columbia. It is also described as complex, but I have found it smooth and straight forward. Maybe I prefer complex coffees over simple single blends. I wonder if that I why I struggle with a couple of the Hasbean single beans I have had so far as there is nothing to enhance or weaken a specific attribute other than the brew method.

I have avoided Starbucks for a while in order to try different coffees, but as a standby source I am happy with the coffee they provide and the price they provide it for.

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Sorting Out My Thoughts

I’ve lost motivation and determination.

I’m so tired.

I just want to get my eating under control – to be normal.

I think I am doing too much and starting to not enjoy it.

I took Tuesday night off swimming because I didn’t want to go. I felt guilty until I realised the reason I didn’t want to go was not because of the swimming, but because I needed some down time on my own. I’d just spent the whole weekend with people and then straight back to work. I needed some time in my own home and in my own head.

I’ve enjoyed being busy and meeting lots of people who are becoming friends. But I need to schedule in time for me, especially after prolonged periods with other people. It makes me tired and I feel rude for being not happy, when all I want to do is put on my resting bitch face and not move from the sofa for a good few hours.

I’ve also been slacking off the exercise since my triathlon. Although I’m coming to the realisation that – Exercise doesn’t need to be structured to be good for me. My swimming coaching gets me out of the house and active for an hour. I can enjoy a cycle ride without having to head for the steepest hills. I can go for a walk and enjoy looking at the sights, getting lost exploring, or enraptured by a podcast.

Also I cannot exercise out a bad diet. I need to get this sorted and exercise will compliment that. It will also make exercise more enjoyable.

It’s been too easy to binge recently, so I need to make some changes. I’m not sure what they are yet, but in my review of May I’ll look back over the last 5 months and see what worked and what didn’t and try to move forward from there. I’m going to keep it simple though and focus on calories and less junk food. I also need to prioritise sleep.

I also feel like I’m slacking on this blog. I kind of binge write posts and schedule them all in. Then nothing for a while then go and do the same again. I wonder if I should start doing every day or every other day, even when I don’t think I have something to say.

I just feel all the over the place and all I want to do is curl up under my duvet and not do anything. Otherwise I feel really neutral. Not happy or sad, but okay. Just tired – even after just having a whole week off work!

I don’t want this to be a winge post, but I needed to get the thoughts out of my head and into some sort of order in order to understand and take action of what I trying to tell myself.

Wandering Around Tyntesfield

On Tuesday I went to Tyntesfield. The weather wasn’t quite as nice as the day before, but it was a lovely day out seeing a nice estate and house. The history around the UK is amazing and recommend anyone to visit these places and more if they get the chance. I’m going to let the photos tell the story again as I think it’s better to know only a little about a place before visiting and different people pick up on different parts of the history.

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