RALPH BARRERA + COLD BREWED ICED TEA
I am a Senior Staff Photographer for the local rag, The Austin American-Statesman, and have been there for going on 36 years. Hard to believe but I have survived this long and hope to continue for a while longer. Being a photojournalist has provided me an incredible insight into the world and our community that I wouldn’t trade for anything. If you ask me have I seen it, I probably have, and more than once. But the main thing is it provides me an avenue to meet and engage with new people everyday. I cover everything from news and politics to sports and music, to food and fashion. It changes every day and that’s what keeps me coming back.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GO TO COFFEE DRINK?
I love everything about coffee; the smell of fresh ground beans, the deep fragrant aroma that tingles my nose and even the slight swirl of a touch of cream rounding the top. My only problem is I don’t drink coffee. Never have, and probably never will. I have never acquired a taste for the dark elixir despite my best efforts and those of baristas everywhere. It’s weird I know, but I’ll smell it all day long.
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATED WITH COFFEE?
I grew up poor and maybe this is where it started. My parents use to boil a small saucer of water, scoop a teaspoon of instant Sanka, stir, maybe add some cream and that was their morning cup of Jo. Of course I tried it and it was awful. They graduated to a percolator with the grounds added to the top, but for me not much better.
DO YOU MAKE COFFEE AT HOME? IF SO, HOW DO YOU PREPARE IT?
My wife use to drink a pot of coffee every morning. French Black. I would love to make it for her. Grind the fresh beans in a small electric grinder, place it in a filter, add water, hit the alarm set button and every morning like clockwork she’d have a piping hot fresh pot of coffee. The aroma would penetrate the entire house. I could never understand how she could drink that either. No sugar, no cream. When we started to have kids she abandoned coffee all together, so we both drink hot tea occasionally and ice tea all the time.
WHAT WAS THE CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING YOUR PLAYLIST?
I love to mountain bike and I need an eclectic playlist to help me through the ups and downs and bumps and bruises of riding 10-15 miles at a time. I have about three hours of music that I keep adding to for a ride and if I’m not in the mood for a particular song, I just forward to the next, sometimes even repeating the last song if it’s a good one. My list is just a snapshot. I’m not much into entire LP’s. I like a variety of mostly fast-paced music.
COLD BREWED ICED TEA
MACHINE HEAD COFFEE RECIPE
Add 4 tablespoons of English Breakfast to 64 ounces of room tempature water.
Place jar in refridgerator for 18-24 hours.
Strain and serve over ice
Cold brewed tea retains more antioxidants than hot brewed teas. Studies also show that cold brewed teas contain about half (or two thirds) the amount of caffeine.
Cold water extracts flavors more slowly and naturally so the result is sweeter and cleaner than hot tea.