With the warmer spring weather, I tried something different when making my coffee one day: I decided to brew it using the sun’s heat. I was hoping for a different, milder taste and I was right!
The basic coffee-making equation doesn’t change: use your favorite coffee, use as much or as little of it as you prefer — but instead of putting it in the coffee machine, put it in a glass pitcher and add cold, filtered water. Then, cover the pitcher to stop insects or dust from getting into it and set it on the window sill or somewhere outside, in direct sunlight.
Monitor it periodically. Once it gets hot to the touch, the coffee’s done. You can leave it out a little longer if you want a stronger coffee, or leave it less if you don’t. I live in a temperate climate and in moderately warm spring weather (18-25° Celsius), my coffee was ready in 1½ – 2 hours. If you live in a warm climate, it should be ready even faster, maybe even in 30 minutes or so.
The taste of sun-brewed coffee is unique: it’s mild with no bitter aftertaste and there’s a distinct caramel flavor to it.
A few pieces of advice:
- Use alkaline water, it will make it taste even better
- Use a French Press, it’ll make it much easier to pour the coffee out of the pitcher once it’s ready
- Use regular filter-ground coffee even though you’re using a French Press… it doesn’t make sense at first, but know that the water temperature in the sun will only be about 40-50° Celsius as compared to 90-100° Celsius with boiling water. This means you’ll need a finer grind in order to get more flavor out of the coffee.
In this video, which is part of The Elegant Gentleman series, I talk about the following topics:
- The importance of a proper fit (also known as a cut) for your clothes, which only a good tailor can do. It matters because it not only makes you look good, but it allows for fluctuations in body weight and/or mass. A great suit will hide these changes in your body to a certain point, beyond which it will either start to show them or you’ll start feeling uncomfortable in the clothes, signaling that alterations or a new suit are in order. A poorly cut suit will generally not accommodate fluctuations in body weight, showing them right away, in unflattering ways. This ties into my second point, which is…
- The differences between bespoke (custom-made) suits and store-bought suits, one of those differences being a proper fit (discussed above). Bespoke suits fit better, naturally, since they’re made for your body from the start. Store-bought suits will feel like they’re off-the-rack 95% of the time and in my case, 100% of the time. Because my body is of an athletic build, whenever I go to the store to try on a suit, either the coat or the pants won’t fit me and in either case, any alterations that would have to be made are so significant that the suit would no longer look good.
- The importance of finding good materials cannot be overstated, since they are the stuff from which suits are made. They cannot be an afterthought. I suggest you go to fabric warehouses in your area (it may take some effort to find them) and pick out materials that you like. Educate yourself on the fibers used in the materials, then on the texture, the colors, the patterns and then you’ll be properly equipped to shop for fabrics. (Or you can find an honest and knowledgeable salesman who’s willing to explain that to you.)
- The price of a good suit isn’t set in stone and will vary widely, first based on where you live (larger, more famous cities bring up the price) and second based on what your tailor decides to charge. For example, where I live, in a small town in Southern Transilvania, I can get a good bespoke three-piece suit for about $175 – 250, and that includes the price of the fabrics, buttons and zippers, too. I hear that prices back in the US are somewhere in the area of $750 – 1,500 and there again they’ll vary based on the city and tailor shop.
- The one important characteristic that will make a suit much more expensive and rightfully so is whether it is sewn or glued together. You probably cringe when you hear “glued together” but it isn’t as bad as all that. This is also referred to as canvassed vs. fused. Suits have been glued together for decades. Basically, the outer and middle layers of the suit are pressed together with a hot iron and a special coating on the middle layer makes it stick to the outer layer. The lining is usually canvassed (or floating) on all suits. This allows the tailor to shape the suit much easier once it’s been cut, rather than sew it all together to give it its shape, which is laborious, requiring much more skill and time and therefore rendering the suit more expensive. There are actually three levels of quality: there is a fully floating canvassed jacket, a half canvassed jacket (where only the lapels and upper construction around the chest is fused) and a fully fused jacket. My suits are half canvassed, simply because my tailor doesn’t know and isn’t interested in working on fully floating canvassed jackets.
I hope this proves helpful to you! Enjoy!
Those of you who’ve only followed my website for a few years or less may not know it from the current content, but the very first set of articles I wrote online were about exercise and bodybuilding, back in 2001. Go ahead, browse through my archives to see what I mean.
Given that I’ve started bodybuilding once more in recent months, it’s only fitting I write about it again, this time to share my Wonder Smoothie recipe. It’s what I use to recover from my workouts and build muscle. The best part of this smoothie is that it uses raw food ingredients, so anyone can drink it, whether they’re raw foodists like me, or vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters.
That’s right, you may not think raw food and bodybuilding go together but they do. Since I’ve started bodybuilding again, I’ve been amazed with my progress and ability to put on lean muscle in just a few months, while on a 60-80% raw food diet (and some cooked vegan food). I’m going to share my special list of superfoods and ingredients with you below, and I hope my Wonder Smoothie will benefit you as much as it has benefitted me.
Muscle Building and Workout Recovery Smoothie:
- Chlorella: 1 tsp
- Spirulina: 1 tsp
- Mesquite: 1 tsp
- Gynostemma: 1/2 tsp
- Baobab: 1/2 tsp
- Suma Root: 1/2 tsp
- Triphala: 1/2 tsp
- Rose Hip: 1/2 tsp
- Methylsulfonylmethane: 1/2 tsp
- Coconut Butter: 1 tsp
- Hemp Seeds: 1-2 tbsp
- Sesame Seeds: 2-3 tbsp
- Alkaline Water: as needed
- Raw Honey: as needed
- Raw Protein: 11/2-2 scoops
The instructions are simple: blend the sesame and hemp seeds with water and honey first to get the raw milk. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and blend the whole thing again to a typical smoothie texture.
And here’s what I look like these days…
Enjoy and get big!
During the past few weeks, I worked on an extended video (about 50 minutes long) on shoe care, where I explained how I take care of my shoes. In order to offer as much advice as possible, I selected three pairs of shoes: a summer pair, a pair of winter boots and a pair of old shoes that had been abused in the garden and the yard. The point was (and is) to show the viewers how to take care of all sorts of shoes, whether they be warm weather, cold weather or just plain old shoes. As an added bonus, you’ll also learn how to get a spit shine (also known as a mirror shine or a bull shine). Here is the video, enjoy!
This video is part of my “Elegant Gentleman” series, to which you’re encouraged to subscribe, here or on YouTube and on Facebook.
Almost three years after publishing my original wet shaving video, the views and comments keep accumulating: over 280,000 views and 700 comments at the time of this post. I thought it a good idea to gather the top ten questions — the stuff that gets asked over and over, and the things that I should have made clearer in the original video — and make a follow-up video. That’s just what I’ve done here, but wait, there’s more…
In addition to answering the top ten questions, I also made another wet shaving video, this time making sure to include all of the pertinent advice that came to mind.
Thank you for the views and the likes, thank you for the comments, and I’m truly glad that I could help you learn how to shave! That’s a big responsibility, because it’s something us men have to do pretty much every day for the rest of our lives once we reach adulthood, so if I’ve contributed in any way, as many of you have told me I’ve done, I consider that a wonderful achievement.
These videos are part of my new series, The Elegant Gentleman: a man’s guide to clothing, manners and the finer things in life. If you have any other shaving questions, please let me know in the comments below (or right on the video page at YouTube) and I’ll see if I can answer them.
I’d like to present a new project of mine, something that I’ve been thinking about and planning for a while. It’s called “The Elegant Gentleman”, and it’s going to be a journey on which I’ll hope you’ll join me, where we will explore clothes, manners and the finer things in life, in the search for a noble, enlightened existence as gentle-men, in this modern world of ours where stress and busy-ness seem to dominate the lives of those around us.
Naturally, we won’t have an enlightened existence without the inner search for higher ideals. A preoccupation with “the finer things” alone will leave you empty in the end. But the practice and appreciation of character traits that ennoble us, and the search for meaning and happiness in the world around us, will make us enlightened. And I’ll tell you a little secret: when the search begins within and reaches outside, those “finer things” will begin to have a meaning that enriches our lives and helps us stay on a higher plane of living.
This all sounds somewhat esoteric, and on some level, it is. That’s why there are so few true gentlemen in the world. So won’t you join me as we seek membership in this exclusive club? The journey will be the initiation ceremony. The dues will be the experiences we will each have. And the reward will be a life better lived, a life worth living, a life full of wonderful memories for us and for those around us.
I’ll be creating and posting videos to my YouTube channel. Here’s the first one of the series:
And I’ll be posting frequently on my Facebook Page, and writing articles here on my site, where I’ve added a new category, called… you guessed it, “The Elegant Gentleman“. There’s even a website by the same name.
See you soon! Cheers!
The Fisker Karma is an interesting and appealing car that’s fully electric, with its battery charged by a gasoline engine, so you’re never out of power.
The more I learn about it, the more I like it. Things such as its sexy, uncompromising design, the fact that it’s made out of renewable and recycled materials, the shapes, colors and textures of its interior, its solar roof, its low, muscular stance, its long wheel base with big wheels, all make it very special.
It’s made by Fisker Automotive, it is the vision of one man, it was first designed, then engineered, and I highly encourage you to find out more about it.
I’ve posted an image gallery and a few videos below. Enjoy!
One more thing: I’ve created a new page on Facebook called “The Elegant Gentleman“, where I talk about clothing, manners and the finer things in life. Head on over and give it a like to be kept up to date with my posts there. Thanks!