Mystique and curiosities can be found in a strip mall as often as in an exotic village—if you’re really curious.

Discoveries are just as great when adventuring and traveling around the world as they are adventuring in our own neighborhood. I love collecting curiosities and discovering the mystique in the mundane.  Admittedly, sometimes curiosities and the mystique are found sitting on my ass and collecting and curating things sent electronically by adventuring friends and members of the Tribe of the Curious. Thanks for that!

While traveling in the Florida Keys earlier this year, I stumbled desperately into Baby’s Coffee. The eyelashed eye on the concrete building caught my eyeball as my eyelids were struggling to stay open due to a lack of caffeine. Baby’s Coffee not only did the caffeine trick, I have been ordering it and shipping it home ever since. It’s amazing. Legend has it that the roasting facility for Baby’s (yes, they custom roast their own amazing beans) started in the 1920s by a Cuban family who often catered to Ernest Hemingway and other local “conchs”. Today it is owned by former New Yorkers, Gary and Olga, and the tradition of amazing coffee continues.

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Enjoy these unusual liquid curiosities. Buy your gullet a gift.

1. No one can put this baby in a corner but you can easily pass it zipping by Duval Street on your way to your cheeseburger in paradise. Baby, I need your lovin‘.

2. What’s the difference between whisky and whiskey? Don’t they both describe a mash of fermented grains? Aha, yes, but there’s a hitch. Whiskey with an E comes from countries with an E in their name (UnitEd StatEs and IrEland). Countries without an E (Scotland, Canada, Japan, Kazakhstan?) stake their claim to whisky. If you order this whisky advent calendar today, in order to catch up to Christmas you may have to drink enough days each day that you just don’t care.

3. This was sent by a Swiss friend and member of the Tribe of the Curious. I’m used to little tea particulates floating in my cup, but this fish would wake me up before the caffeine kicked in. Beautiful and won’t float upside-down before you finish. Still best not to flush.  小金魚AD-5

4. I love Harry Potter…and butterscotch…and beer. Although I’m sure it tastes better when consumed in Diagon Alley, butter beer might be a worthy chaser.

5. I call this “poop coffee”. Only the best Kopi luka or civet coffee cherries are consumed by the catlike Indonesian civet. Civets are known for their discerning ways when it comes to coffee cherry consumption so when they poop them out, people collect these these specially processed “beans” and brew what they claim is a very smooth, less acidic and very expensive coffee.

6. Who was it that said that gin is the mean spirit? Maybe because it comes from junipers, perhaps the worst plant in captivity. But if this bathtub gin is supposed to be consumed in the bathtub, that sounds nice, right?

7. Although there are certainly some choice tea baggers missing from this collection, I love these iconic tea party bags4-Tea-Party

 

What curiosities are hiding in your plain sight?