Monday, February 27, 2006

Western Regional

So I have been spending most of my time training with coffee, talking about coffee, thinking about coffee for the last 2 months. I am obsessive. I have NO idea how M puts up with me. I really don't. the reason it has been more obsessive than usual is because I am competing at the Western Regional Barista Championship in Petaluma California.

I competed last year and placed second. I was happy, but I love doing this. I work my ass off for Ritual 4-5 days a week, pulling shot after shot after shot of the amazing Hair Bender for Mission hipsters...if you know San Francisco at all, you know I should win the gold just for that.

So this is the time for a dedicated and obsessive compuslive barista to show his stuff, and to share that passion with some judges and some friends and audience members. Some of the rules are strange, the whole experience is a Christopher Guest Mockumentary waiting to happen, but it is also a great way to meet other espresso obsessed people. People who are not obsessed with the image of the barista, but obsessed with the CRAFT of the barista itself. There are not many of us out there, so in these competitions, we get to meet people as geeky as ourselves.

Ryan and I are competing, and i really believe he is my biggest threat. He has turned out to be a fantastic, effecient, talented barista. In the 9 months we have been at Ritual we have learned more than i ever thought possible...and the trick to learning more and more is to never think you have learned enough, and to remain humble.

I remember when Ryan mocked my obsession with the elusive rosetta at PBC, haha, those days are over!

Ryan educating me on espresso while I clean up the lab at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Roastery.

so it's on, this Saturday starting at 9:30 am sharp...please, like that is even close to being early. wusses.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Ryan and I had the pleasure of going up tot PDX and cupping some coffees and spending some time with Joel from Stumptown Coffee Roasters and just talk about...well, coffee.

It has been a great trip so far. I feel burnt out on espresso and coffee, but in a couple of days I have learned more than i thought possible. This is the beauty of the coffee thing, you are ALWAYS learning.

more later....