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60-Second Stir-Fry: Liz Clayton

Friday, June 28, 2013

WNYC

Since Liz Clayton is a coffee blogger with the likes of Serious Eats and Sprudge, I'm inclined to title this a French roast instead of a stir fry. No matter how I describe it, though, the end result was the same: Clayton squirmed under the heat of our lightning round of questions.

Serves her right, after Sprudge tweaked me for my easy pun in a past blog post about cold-brewed coffee.

"Yeah, I remember your post," Clayton said in the studio, hours before I found the Sprudge article. Now I know why.

Like most Stir-Fry subjects, Clayton would prefer to stay mum and not name any favorites in her line of work. But, just as hot water extracts essential oils from roasted, ground coffee beans, my questions drew truth out of Clayton.

Favorite coffee shop? "Oh, I cannot do that!" she yelped.  

I've heard that before. I shifted gears slightly. 

One of your favorite coffee shops?

"The Joe Pro Coffee Shop on 23rd Street between Seventh and Sixth Avenues!" she confessed. Clayton likes them for offering "a different coffee every time" and for being "a very nerdy place."

That, in modern parlance, makes it a very desirable coffee source.  

Remember, listeners, the 1970s, when being a nerd meant being challenged to a fight every day after school? Getting pushed in the hallway between classes? Not finding anyone to sit with in the cafeteria lunchroom? If "nerd" now means you're such an outlier, you're setting trends, what are regular, old-school social misfits called? 

NPR's "Science Friday," heard Fridays at 2:00 on AM 820, was all over this three years ago. (Clearly, I'm not nerdy enough to out-trend the geeks of Sci Fri). Host Ira Flatow held a contest among his listeners and got suggestions that include "Peabody," "benghee" and, um, "Flatow."

Meanwhile, Liz Clayton is such a coffee nerd, she's spent up to $10 on a cup of the really, really good stuff. And if you want to follow Clayton into coffee nerd-dom, follow her current, personal method of brewing a cuppa at home, the Clever Dripper. Or be a Flatow, and just fire up your mom's 15-year-old Mr. Coffee machine.

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Liz Clayton

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