What Coffee Inspires

Back in December, there was the guy who completed a mural using a million coffee beans. Last month, the artsy-crafty blogs were all talking about "coffee cup art" -- filling Dixie cups with various shades of coffee, arranging them in various ways and photographing the result from above. This morning, the coffee art buzz is about a Malaysian artist who used coffee in an unusual, artistic way:

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Yes, that's a portrait created entirely with coffee rings and spilled coffee. Pretty darn amazing, if you ask me. The artist, Red Hong, is an architect living and working in Shanghai (though she was working in Melbourne, Australia until recently). Coffee isn't the only unusual media she uses -- her blog includes a portrait of basketball player Yao Ming, painted entirely with a basketball dipped in paint and a quick "sketch" drawn in Korean chili paste on a white plate. The coffee portrait is of actor Jay Chou, and Hong shared a time lapse video of herself creating it -- fun to watch:

Since I don't have an artistic bone in my body, I tend to prefer a different kind of coffee art -- the art of blending and roasting coffees to bring out the best in the bean. Over the past few weeks, I've had the pleasure of drinking some fine Tanzanian Peaberry coffee from Paramount roasters, a smooth and sweet Timor Astabe from Dean's Beans and this morning, a very lovely Yirg from Wood Fire.

You'll notice that they have one thing in common -- they're all single origins. I've been pretty open about my preference for SO coffess, but I'm thinking it may be time to expand my palate. Y'all have a pretty good idea of my taste in coffee by now (smoky, nutty, earthy, smooth, silky, a little bit of snap). I tend to use my moka pot to brew, if that makes a difference. How about some recommendations for a nice blend for my first baby steps into letting other people mix up my coffees?

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