Rainy Day Love

rainy day love

Today we lay cuddled watching the rain hit the window in a rhythmic pattern that’s consistent with the beat of our hearts. I love days like these. The room is cold, sipping on a warm drink all tangled up with you. I love when you whisper those sweet words that get my blood flowing. I love when you move my hair out of my face so you can see my eyes. I love when you wrap your arms around me and start singing my favorite song soft in my ear. I lean my head back taking it all in.

The rain falls a little harder, it gets a little darker and we get a little closer and I’m pouring another warm Jack Daniels with cinnamon. You kiss my neck softly, my heart rate sores, I put my hand on your thigh, your breathing gets heavier and then our lips touch. You pull me up and twirl me around dancing to my favorite song, Burin’ It Down. You pull me in then sing along with me to the song as we sway back and forth.

We back up and I fall onto the bed. It felt like a forever slow motion fall, lost in your eyes and overwhelmed with emotion. You got real close to my face and bite my bottom lip and told me I was beautiful. My hair fell around him, were just doing our thing you know? I love when I feel your heart beat against mine. I love how you whisper in my ear. I love how we lay in the bed all day while it’s raining. I love when you stare at me with those big brown eyes. I love how we love on each other. I love how our soft skin touches with every small movement.

I love our rainy day love.

 

 

 

 

The Passions  

I love hard in every way you can think love can be expressed.I love sharing my inner most sacred thoughts from my past abusive relationship to my fears of raising children of my own. When I can express myself to you guys it does so much for me. It releases this pressure that builds from worrying if I’m going to be accepted or loose something for sharing. Building relationships is one of the most important things in my life and it should  be in yours too. 
My love for God has got to be why im still standing strong. I have had many set backs but with God and his promises and mercy I have over came. My worship of him is my up most passion. Just having that relationship with him as his daughter and knowing the blessings that come from that. The advice he gives me when I meditate to the embrace he gives when im not feeling my best. It’s so so so wonderful and I hope you guys find that. 

My husband, speechless…. hand picked by God, he has out done himself as a man, friend, mentor,lover and confidaunt. He see’s my fears in my eyes when Im smiling and laughing with friends or clients. I tend to cover my worries and fears instead of owning them and conquering them. My husband helps me do that.He holds a sacred place next to God in my heart. 

My writing…man it helps me get so much out. If I didn’t write I do not know what I would be like, how my attitude would be or anything. Writing is a passion that I can never let go to waist.

Then my family. They are what they are, beautiful, reliable, loveable and at times irritating but without them I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.

My passions are what molds me and keeps me alive. What are your passions?

Parker’s Cup: I have a Gift for YOU


So good news folks!! Purchase from Parker’s Cup now through 07/15/2016 you will get a sample of either organic coffee sugar scrub, organic coffee body butter or a tea sample included in your order. Let us know which one you would like in the notes section at check out. LIMITED TO ONE PER ORDER!!

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Tea or Tisane: Which is Which?

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People believe that tea and tisane are the exact same thing because they look the same and  prepared the same but they are definitely not the same. So I am here to educate you all on the differences in tea and tisane.

Tea

CsinensisCamellia Sinensis is part of the evergreen family. The leaves are glossy green with serrated edges. When allowed to flower (flowering is prevented during cultivation by harvesting the leaves, forcing the plant to constantly make more buds) the plant produces small white flowers with bright yellow stamens. The fruit that develops has a hard green shell and a single, round, brown seed. The seeds can be used to make tea oil.
Camellia Snensis comes in two primary varieties and a third, which is not typically used in tea cultivation. The Camellia sinensis sinensis plant strain is from China and is usually used to make green and white teas. Some black teas and oolong teas are also made using this variety. The Camellia sinensis assamica strain is native to the Assam region in India. This plant is usually used for black tea, as well as pu’erh tea in Yunnan province, China (in Yunnan, you can find ancient tea trees; these are Assamica variety, too). The third variety is Camellia sinensis cambodiensis (the “Java bush”). While it has been crossbred to achieve certain traits in other cultivars (ie: ‘cultivated variety’), the Java bush is not typically used in commercial tea production. There are roughly 1,500 cultivars derived from the two main varieties, but we’ll leave that for the tea growers.

Tisane

tisaneA confusing aspect of learning about tea is that many of the beverages which are called “tea” are actually not tea. Herbal teas, which tea experts term Tisanes (a French word for “herbal infusion”), are usually dried flowers, fruits or herbs steeped in boiling water (no actual tea leaves are included). Historically consumed for medicinal reasons or as a caffeine-free alternative, many tisanes (tih-ZANN) are beginning to find their own popularity outside the tea world. An interesting note: in Europe and some other countries, the use of the word “tea” is legally regulated to only apply to Camellia sinensis. Not so here in the United States…so don’t feel bad if you’ve been confused!

Virtually any flower, fruit or herb that can be steeped in water and ingested can become a tisane. Just take a trip to your local health food store and you’ll find dozens of “medicinal herbal teas” boasting a variety of benefits from relaxation to rejuvenation. In this lesson, we’ll just focus on a few of the more noteworthy tisanes: some old classics and some new favorites.

Herbal “teas”
The arguably most famous herbal tea finds its roots in ancient Egypt. The first recorded mention of Chamomile being enjoyed was in a document known as the Ebers Papyrus, dating back to 1550 BC. Used to honor the gods, embalm the dead and cure the sick, chamomile has endured a lasting fame. This light, sweet, apple-like and floral beverage is still revered for its uncanny calming effect.

Peppermint has been used as a caffeine-free home remedy aiding digestion and soothing the stomach for millennia, dating back to the Greeks. During these times, tables were rubbed with Peppermint to make dining more pleasant. However, not all herbal teas of that time were so pleasant. Some were, in fact, deadly. Philosophers will kindly remind us that Socrates, the father of modern thought, was sentenced to death by drinking a brew known as Hemlock. Hemlock remains unavailable in many cafes, due to its unfortunate side effects.

Fruit “teas”
Fruit teas or tisanes are caffeine free blends containing a range of fruits, spices and herbs. The most common ingredient in fruit teas is Hibiscus, a crimson flower that yields a deep red color to the cup and a powerful tart sweetness. Hibiscus is naturally high in Vitamin C. Tea blenders use dried fruits, fruit peel, fruit oils, blossoms and spices to achieve just the right blend of visual appeal and flavor profile.

Rooibos
A newcomer to the tisane scene here in the States, Rooibos has skyrocketed in popularity. Also known as “Red Bush Tea” or simply “Red Tea,” rooibos was introduced as a substitute for black tea. During World War II, virtually all supplies of Japanese and Chinese teas suddenly became unavailable. The tea-addicted Western culture scoured the world for an alternative, finally discovering caffeine-free rooibos, which grows only in South Africa. Rooibos has a rich, slightly sweet flavor that is excellent alone and blends extremely well with a variety of flavors.

Yerba Mate
Finally, the newest drink to the herbal market is called Yerba Mate. This South American botanical from the holly family is consumed throughout much of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and the Far East. Yerba Mate, or simply “Mate”, has been lauded as a cultural phenomenon that both energizes and remedies the body. Mate is one of thew few plants on earth (along with coffee, cocoa and tea) that contain caffeine. While the herby taste tends to be a bit unusual to newcomers (as well as drinking it from the traditional, hollowed-out gourd), after a few sips, most folks embrace it like it one of their own. Originally stranded in the obscurity of the niche cultural market, mate has now been introduced to the US as a substitute for coffee and is attracting wider attention.

Herbal blends – mixtures of these herbs mentioned and many more – are also growing in popularity. The wide diversity of tisanes available makes the combination possibilities virtually unlimited.

No longer a drink merely for the pregnant, caffeine-sensitive or those trying to catch some z’s, Herbals have found a new place in the market. Tisanes are beginning to infuse culture with a wide range of tastes and astounding array of benefits. They have now parted ways with bigger brothers Coffee and Tea and their independence should be recognized.

All about the GREEN COFFEE BEAN

Making Green Bean Extract Beverages at Home

Purchase your beans today at Parker’s Cup 

In the Brave New World of green coffee beverages, a topic that did not really exist just 5 years ago, it’s hard to find good information, techniques and recipes. Plus a lot of what exists has been posted by people who prepare green bean extract for health reasons and seem to believe that if it doesn’t taste bad, it must not be good for you.

Recent articles cite stunning research results showing that the “silver skin” of the coffee bean (the paper-like outer coating of the bean, sometimes called the chaff) can contain antioxidants 500 times more powerful than Vitamin C1 [2]. These compounds become more active with the application of moderate heat, reaching a high level by simply boiling green beans in water. Other research shows that green coffee beans have a high concentration of Chlorogenic Acid or CGA which can accelerate fat metabolism and aid in losing excess weight [3].

This makes the idea of making green bean beverages very attractive from a health-promoting standpoint. But can this be easy, fun and delicious? We think so! Here is a practical guide to help you on your way.

Understanding Green Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are actually seeds, and like many seeds, they are highly complex biologically. Coffee is so complex that over 40 substances are responsible for the basic taste of coffee, and there are 120+ perceptible flavor elements.

Moreover, coffee is what is called a “polyphasic” substance. It changes constantly in every stage from “new crop” green to “rested” green, through roasting and resting after roasting, and even during the 15 minutes it sits in your cup after brewing. A listing and description of the number of active processes taking place can fill a small encyclopedia.

So first, be aware that in raw green coffee beans there are many substances that are objectionable or undesirable, or even unhealthy. Please do not attempt to soak green beans in room temperature water and drink the broth. Heat needs to be applied to create changes in the substance of the green beans for them to become properly palatable.

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Green Coffee beans 

Why Green Coffee Bean Extract / Beverage?

We make no health claims here for green beans; there are plenty of studies available on the Web that promote these beliefs if you would like to research them further. Most of the claimed benefits come from antioxidants and other substances that are reduced in potency if subjected to temperatures above ~300°F. Coffee is roasted anywhere from 350 °F to 600°, whereas when you boil green beans the temperature never rises above 212°F, a good temperature just high enough to develop the antioxidants and convert the unpleasant substances to palatable ones. Dark-roasted coffee contains relatively small amounts of these substances, whereas lighter roasts contain more… and green beans have the most.

Consider the Caffeine

If you read about the Swiss Water Process® for making decaffeinated coffee, you learn that caffeine is an extremely water-soluble substance, able to leech out into water until it is almost gone from the beans (97% removal of the caffeine is possible – sometimes expressed as being 99.9% caffeine-free by weight.) That’s a lot of caffeine coming out into the water!

We can respect this fact when making green bean beverages with the best taste. We want to boil the beans long enough to get the healthy elements and flavor out of the beans, but not cause too much of the caffeine to come out. Caffeine is very bitter, and if you steep the beans too long you wind up with a caffeine soup that will send you flying, making it hard to get enough of the “good stuff” without getting the jitters.

Selecting Your Green Beans

Everybody wants their food to be as clean and free of contaminants as possible. Coffee is very clean, generally testing free of any measurable contaminants, but many people are concerned about molds, as much has been written about it. The short story is that very few tests find significant mold, and the amounts found are on the average far lower than many fruits and vegetables we consume daily.

That being said, you will probably nevertheless feel better if you use green beans with a known origin, that have been water-washed and peeled by a milling machine, and not subjected to fermentation to get the beans ready to remove the fruit skins.

The best beans for this process are high-altitude beans (they are lower in caffeine and denser) that have a clean, consistent appearance and aroma that is pleasant and like a vegetable or bean (our favorite coffee beans actually smell and look a lot like peas). Every crop and variety is a little different, but they should not have an unpleasant aroma. Two high altitude bean recommendations are Costa Tarrazu and Papua New Guinea. Some high altitude beans will have the designation SHB, which stands for Strictly Hard Bean.

Don’t worry about the thin paper-like coating on the beans. Called the chaff or silver-skin, many researchers feel this is the healthiest part of the bean! So don’t try to scrub it off.

Costa Rica Dota Estate, Green Unroasted Coffee Beans
Costa Rica Dota Estate, Green Unroasted Coffee Beans – This high altitude estate coffee is grown at 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) above sea level. 

Simple Steps for Boiling Beans

Use a clean saucepan, a 1.5 or 2 qt. is a good size.

3 water to 1 green beans

For a first batch, you may want to start with one cup (by volume) of green beans. For reference, this will probably be about 6 ounces of beans, but this recipe goes by volume, not weight.

If you want to rinse the green beans because they are too “dusty” with chaff or because you just want to wash them, rinse them very quickly in a colander but don’t scrub them, you will remove the nutrient-packed silver skin.

The ratio to use is 1:3 parts beans to water, so fill the cup with beans and pour into the saucepan, then fill the cup 3 times with water and pour that in. Down the line if you want to make larger batches, just double the beans and water, 2 cups beans to 6 cups water, etc.

simmering stirring

Put the pan on high heat until the water is at a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and set a timer for 12 minutes. Stir the beans occasionally so they are making good contact with the water and are not just sitting at the bottom.

straining

After the 12 minutes is up, take the pan off the heat, and pour the liquid through a kitchen strainer into a glass vessel or whatever you want to store the beverage concentrate in. Let it cool for a bit and put it in the fridge for later, or else use it immediately by pouring it over ice.

jar of concentrate

NOTE OF CAUTION: You may find some references that tell you to let the beans steep after boiling for as long as an hour. The only reason to do this is if you want to create “rocket fuel” – a drink super-high in bitter caffeine that is basically unpalatable and probably not healthy at all. We really strongly suggest you limit your steeping enthusiasm to 12 minutes for best results.

You can then discard the beans, or store them in the fridge and make another extract later on, up to a few days afterward. Then discard them.

Delicious Green Bean Drinks

green-tea-recipes

The basically vegetable taste of the extract pairs well with sharp and acidic fruit flavors. Our favorites are cranberry and/or citrus fruits. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

  • Cranberry-Lime Refresher: 4oz GBE, 4oz lemon-lime soda (such as Sierra Mist) or lime-flavored seltzer, 2 tbsp cranberry syrup
  • Green Coffee Fresca: 4oz GBE, 4oz lemon-lime soda or lime-flavored seltzer, 2 tbsp grapefruit syrup
  • Blueberry GBE Lemonade: 4oz GBE, 4oz filtered water, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp blueberry pancake syrup, sweetener to taste (such as agave syrup)
  • Green Tea EXTREME: 3oz GBE, 3oz filtered water, 1 green teabag OR 1tsp green tea leaves. Brew the tea in the water/GBE mixture for a concentrated antioxidant shot! This is good with a bit of honey, too.
  • Green Coffee Mojito: 4oz GBE, 3oz crushed ice, juice of 1/2 lime, 5 fresh mint leaves, sweetener to taste (such as cane sugar syrup)–be sure to muddle (roughly stir) the ice with the mint leaves, as bruising the leaves will release their minty deliciousness into your beverage

You can also enjoy the green bean extract as a stock for cooking rice, as a soup ingredient, or other creative uses.

The extract will stay fresh 2-3 days in the fridge if it stays continuously cold, or you can freeze it for weeks of storage.

We hope this guide makes the process of selecting beans and making beverages from them easy and fun.

References

GBE Tips and Ideas, lenscoffee.com/how-to-make-your-own-green-coffee-bean-beverages, May, 2015, Len Brault

1 (Antioxidant effects of coffee by-products 500 times greater than vitamin C, Science News Daily, 5/7/15, University of Granada)

2 (Assessment of Total (Free and Bound) Phenolic Compounds in Spent Coffee Extracts, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 4/18/2015, Carmen Monente, Iziar A. Ludwig, Angel Irigoyen, María-Paz De Peña, and Concepción Cid)

3 (The Use of Green Coffee Extract as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials, 8/31/11, Igho Onakpoya, Rohini Terry, and Edzard Ernst)

Parker’s Cup: New Products and Rewards!!

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Parker’s Cup has an AWESOME Rewards Program where you can earn stars for your purchases!

Happy 4th of July to you from Parker’s Cup! We are taking 25% off your total purchase all day until mid night!

 

 

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We added new jars to the line up! You can order these jars with your tea or coffee. We give you the option to purchase them individually and in threes at parkerscup.com

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Our new  Organic coffee sugar scrub and Organic Coffee butter will debut early July so look for it in the store! Also, if you buy anything from Parker’s Cup  you will receive a sample of each product in your order!

cup of beans

Our new  Samatra Organic Green Coffee beans will be in NEXT WEEK for the taking! Preparation and health benefits will be located at parkerscup.com

 

 

 

 

Starbucks Stories: Privacy Violation

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This will be a short story…

I was working at “The Beast” on Post Oak and Westhimer doing a night shift when I decided to go to the restroom and I was handling my personal business when I looked up through the crack of the bathroom stall door and my shift supervisor was looking through. I didn’t know what to say or do but I tried to finish my business and then she said, “if you stand up it would be easier”. I kept my eyes off the door, blocked her voice out of head,  opened the door to a gross smile and washed my hands.

I was embarrassed because my manager was a girl, and I have no issues with lesbians, I had an issue with being watched and I had to go back on the floor and work like nothing happened. My shift and I where cool but the relationship grew apart due to the “secret” we had and I didn’t know how to operate around HER anymore without knowing that she saw me at a private and vulnerable state. I felt trapped in my own thoughts about the whole thing.

Should I talk to her about it? Should I ignore it? Should I tell the store manager? I ultimately didn’t because I knew she would ruin my chances of becoming a shift supervisor like her. This particular shift had so much pull in the store you could blink wrong and get thrown to the streets without question. The management team back in 2011-12 at this location was so tight and influential they had baristas writing fake incident reports just to build a “case” to get people fired, demoted or put on finals.

So yes I was scared and I wasn’t going to say anything about “Peeping Sally”  I need my job, I wanted to move up and I wanted to be accepted. So I kept quite.