Saturday, July 30, 2005

bust a Cap in yo ass!

Here at Ritual we tend to be a friendly crowd. But when it comes to being truly our coffee bad ass selves, sometimes we let it all hang out, no excuses, no apologies.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

July Ending Soon

Thanks to Steve from Blue Bottle we have been good about reducing the weight of the tamp (with his beloved scale) and really focusing on the fineness of the grind and how that changes EVERYTHING.
The Aussies grind it course and basically throw themselves on the tamp, you would have to, to really get the essential coffee oils out of the beans.
We have noticed a difference in flavor, the finer the grind, the more coffee you pack in the portafilter and the more cohesive the grinds become to one another which results in a richer cup of espresso, the "meatiness" of the shot increases and the sweet and nutty flavors really get pulled out of the Hairbender. I have become spoiled by Stumptown light roasted coffee, the french press, and the Hairbender. These have also made me truly be aware and really get into appreciating the small differences with other baristas, roasts and blends of espresso.

At Blue Bottle their shots have this fantastic citrus/licorice flavor to their shots. Jamie make s amean macchiato and it doesn't taste anything like the macchiattos at Ritual (and I don't want it to), but I seriously DIG that. I like the diversity of all the care, preparation and all the steps taken for these beautiful shots.
Just as the Redwood espresso from Barefoot Coffee Roasters was pulled nicely by Eton and the cedar spice sprung from the cup. Just a nice experience with tasting and evaluating espresso.

I have been trying to become more concious and more sensitive to these sorts of variances without becoming so obsessive that I forget that I LOVE what I do, this barista gig. There is always so much to learn, and a huge factor for my staying in this place so long is due to the learning I experience from peers and the respect I have for them. And also, that these same peers and comrades that I respect so much have no problem making ginormous asses of themselves on a daily, and very frequent basis.

pulled this beauty today and then

made this out of it...

My rosettas have improved a great deal the last 6 months, and I am sure it has to do with my increased patience with the entire process.

and also, looking over at this gorgeous thing really hit the spot at a couple of frustrating moments today. Can we have this guy in the store all the time?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

yeah daddy!

Ryan pulled this naked today and it was great. I am extremely proud of him actually because he has improved so much as a barista in the last few months we have been at Ritual. The passion is seriously addictive, or perhaps the obsessiveness with perfection is.
I read something Chris is trying on his own at Gimme! and maybe tomorrow morning when I open I will give it a try. something with a super fine grind and a result in a super viscous shot? We'll see.

Trish came down for a visit before her move up to Zoka in Seattle. It is always good to see such a friendly face. Hopefully Eugenia will make it up from Barefoot tomorrow to be a geek with me and Ryan. I thought I would somehow get over this whole espresso obsession thing eventually, and the more I learn and push myself the more I am getting into it. I know I have my career as a designer set in motion with going to school, but man am i lucky in that I found one more thing in my life that I am completely in love with (besides Mae of course). I could do this for a long long time and know that I would be happy. The baristas and roasters that i have met have been nothing short of amazing as peers and as mentors. The community is small but damn, it is so supportive.

oh and yeah, who wouldn't LOVE to work for these two winners?

"Smell my finger!"
"Smell it? Please bitch, I'm bitin' it off cuz I am so hardcore!"

Sunday, July 17, 2005


someone left a little gift for us. and it truly is a gift.

more substantial post coming very soon, and more pictures too.

good to the last drop.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I think I want to update this tomorrow.