Caffeine in a vacuum

Last weekend’s adventure involved friends introducing Betty and the HP to siphon coffee.

This is the closest Betty has come to hard drugs, and to be honest it was intensely appealing.

The siphon paraphernalia draws water from a bulb into a chamber, brews the coffee, and then sends it back into the bulb in a rather rarefied form, with depths and intricacies of flavour that espresso doesn’t quite capture.

The only place we’ve found in Auckland so far that serves siphons is Espresso Workshop, in Britomart – they’re brilliant.

Little adventures

Well, Betty is still alive, despite the radio silence. Just the other day, she and the husband person ventured out to Little & Friday and had some carrot cake.


Betty also had a Hakanoa ginger toddy, which was very full of life.


And after that, Betty cycled along to the ferry terminal to look at the view. The bicycle will have to be properly introduced in a separate post; for now, here are some of the sights.


Looking out at Bayswater. And the bell. It’s very ding-y.


A dinghy.


One can stop for sustenance on the way home. One didn’t, but it’s nice to know one could.


And one rides home through the mangroves. This is the Devonport-Takapuna green route, and it’s lovely to cycle.

Belated birthday

It was Betty’s birthday the other day, but as it was also a long workday, Betty left it until today to celebrate. Oddly, there didn’t seem to be any Christmas eve rush to get to the farmer’s market…


There was a rush on the fancy lettuce, though, of course, and no watercress to be found. But Betty got some kale on the way home, to make up for it. The market itself was pleasing – there were carolers and a jazz band, lentil and portobello pies, and delicious coffee (the last of the season: Betty is giving it up, Lent-style, over Christmas. It tends to play havoc with her blood sugar, and the summer break seems a good time to coddle the adrenals, so it’s peppermint tea from now on, at least until the pre-dawn teaching starts again).


And after the market, Betty and the husband person stopped at the beach. It had one of those oversized picture-frames mounted in front of the view. Is that a worldwide phenomenon?


Practically perfect in every way

Betty and the husband person ventured out this fine Saturday afternoon – a rare enough occurrence, since once Betty has tottered home from work on a Saturday she seldom feels like going out again until Sunday morning – and it was a lovely day: first Betty went to a dance class, in the faint hope of meeting an old friend there, but she wasn’t. After that, Betty and the husband person went for a long-awaited lunch at Cosset in Mount Albert.


Betty had an excellent soy mocha and a filo spiral filled with spinach, walnuts and caramelised onion, which was lovely; the husband person had homestyle beans and hash browns with avocado and grilled tomato. Take that, Pythagoras.


And after that, they had a very quick sortie through Ponsonby and watched the sun set from one of their favourite miniature beaches. Isn’t it sweet?



20110407-104107.jpg Betty’s new favourite cafe is Hum – in a near-derelict house at the hospital end of the Grafton bridge, shared by an artists’ collective, and with plans to include a deli and food in the future. Just now Hum serves excellent Kokako organic coffee, and keeps oat milk on hand as well as soy. Proceeds from the coffee go to restoring the house, which is beautiful and cosy, and in the meantime there is always a spot on one of the sofas whenever Betty wants to have a post-lecture mocha or shelter from the rain.

Betty especially likes the coloured lanterns that hang everywhere – along the verandah, in the fireplace, from the ceiling – and the genial, friendly staff.