My Coffee Addiction – 33 cups a day!

I never liked coffee. The only time I used to drink it was at Uni during the few weeks of swotvac, and used purely to keep me awake while cramming for the ludicrous number of Mech Eng exams we had. Even then it was only nasty cheap instant coffee which I used to wash down a No-Doze caffeine tablet. The rest of the year I didn’t touch the stuff.

When I left Uni to galavant around the world, I worked for 6 months in an awesome little coffee shop called Bean Bros in Kerrisdale, Vancouver. The owner Larry used to roast his own beans and it thrived despite a tiny vege store separating us from a Starbucks. (This was in 1996 when Starbucks was growing into the behemoth that it became). With so many varieties available, if I was ever to take up drinking the dark brew, this would be the perfect opportunity. So I began to start my day with a coffee. This then manifested into a several a day event where I began to appreciate the intricate differences between beans.

It got to the point where I would test samples of freshly roasted beans and give feedback. Once I told Larry that there was something wrong with his latest batch. Given the price of beans and my relative newbieness to coffee world, his immediate response was to ignore me. However after we taste tested several samples from the batch he acknowledged the bitterness and threw away several hundred dollars of beans, but not without glaring at me for being so chuffed at making the find!

When I left there with my newfound awesome barista skills to discover Europe (yes that’s right I was the first human to find Europe and claim it as my own sovereign territory!) I didn’t really drink that much. Mostly just a cup every day or two just to sit back and enjoy the novelty of sipping a coffee in a small cafe in Italy or France.

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Homemade Peri Peri Chicken Recipe


1 Large Family sized chicken (I think this one was about 3-4kgs (Two med size ones will do as well)
1 Cup of Peri Peri Sauce (See recipe)

1. Butterfly your chicken by cutting out it’s back bone. (Hopefully I’ll get around to describing this in a post on this but there’s plenty of youtube videos)

2. Spread it flat in a dish and make several 1cm deep cuts into the flesh across the meaty parts.

3. Slather it on both sides with the Peri Peri sauce. This is one of the few times I will say DO NOT use your hands to rub in the marinade, the potential for serious chilli injury is at defcon 5. Use a basting brush or glove up really well.

4. Barbeque it on a grill (ideally over coals) flipping it every once in a while till it’s cooked.

Serve with fresh salad, slices of lemon and of course beer or wine!

Butterflied, scored and slathered with Peri Peri.

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Homemade Peri Peri Sauce Marinade Recipe

My friend John and I were walking around the Valley and saw a bag of chillies in the Asian store. Now I’m always up for a bit of heat so I broke a tiny bit off the end of one of them to see what the taste was like. HOLY CRAP that was a bad idea. It hit the back of my throat and began to burn intensely and boy did it have legs! A couple of minutes later we were walking out with a half kilo of bright red burning goodness.

We took them home, donned some surgical gloves and then spent the next half hour deseeding those little puppies. Even with surgical gloves on, our fingers were still burning! The idea being that John would take all the seeds to the farm and scatter them so that in a year or two we’d be well on our way to a chilli forest. The chilli flesh was left with me to work some magic on. I was also supposed to come up with a recipe that we could feasibly turn into a viable food product if the chilli forest actually took off.

My immediate thought was a version of Peri Peri sauce to use as a condiment and to slather on a chook for some delicious Peri Peri Chicken.

I took the deseeded chillies and basically blended it all up with some spices oil and vinegar.
NOTE: I find it’s a smoother and tastier heat with plenty enough of chilli burn without the seeds. It’s fine to leave seeds in, it’s just that we wanted the them for planting.

500g Hot Red Chillies deseeded : (You can leave the seeds in for a hotter result plus it’s less work)
200ml oil
4 Lemons Juiced
1 Garlic Bulb peeled and chopped finely
1 Small onion finely chopped
1 Ts Garlic Powder
1 Ts Ground Cumin
2 Ts Salt.
500ml White Vinegar (To add as required)

1. Put put everything (chillies, lemon juice, garlic powder, cumin, fresh garlic, salt) except the oil and vinegar into a blender.
2. Blend it till it’s a smooth paste.
3. Add in half a cup of vinegar and the oil and blend till it’s a smooth puree.
4. Now keep adding a little bit of vinegar at a time until you get the consistency you require.

Use a spoon to check runniness. I also like to taste it at this point.
I like my sauce to be nice and thick so that it sticks to whatever I pour it on. Use the viscosity of ketchup/ tomato sauce as a guide.

1. Chillies and other ingredient in the blender.

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