Sunday, September 24, 2006

homecupped or homecupping?

I cupped Ecco's Bolivia the other day, in my own home.
what a BEAUTIFUL coffee. hints of spicy chocolate for me...also, I must note, I do not have a great grinder by any I think I probably missed a bunch of cupping notes by doing it at home. It was still nice though, because i got to go at my own pace and really enjoy the process.

It is always amazing to me to cup the same coffees roasted by different roasters...more on that later.

I just think that the sharing of information, between baristas and roasters and among themselves is such an important part of making the specialty coffee industry really take off. We cannot afford to be competitive with each other. I have realized that through the last few years, this is the one thing that has kept me motivated. The sharing of knowlegde and ideas and keeping in touch with those who care about this thing we are trying to do. keep it comin'.

I took the wife to Astoria on her birthday and we just happened to park by the lone Stumptown serving establishment, I shit you not. Astoria Coffeehouse. A beautiful little joint with lots of food to choose from, a nice 2 group La Marzocco and just an overall nice atmosphere. Astoria is a creepy little town, let me tell ya. It really is. But it was beautiful. that plus the fact that the Goonies was shot there, how can you go wrong with the Goonies?

Tony and Jim (the owners) have a great eye for detail. I am going back and hopefully talk to them more about the scene in Astoria and how they will slowly change it I am sure. They closed at 6 and we got there about 45 minutes before they closed. More time later on. It was a beautiful drive out there, so just having the coffee at the end of that made it perfect.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tacy's Gift

Chris T. lives around the corner from the Belmont Stumptown. I love this guy. he is super neurotic and crazy about coffee, the process, the barista craft and the roasting. He is someone that would totally out-do me in the coffe geekdom catergory and I love him for that. He is totally obsessive about it, and these days, it's nice to find someone to really break stuff down with every once in a while. i wish I had more time to talk to him about coffee. Anyway, he came in and saw I was using a heavy tamper...asked to see my hand and said he would be right back that afternoon with something for me, something about a tamper he never uses.

So this tamper was custom made for him and Bronwen Serna. This is perfect. A little smaller than a regular reg barber and not so tiny as the super reg barber that Tooker uses a Ritual. The handle is thick and smooth and literally fits my hand like it was made for me. It's heavy too, which is why Chris doesn't use it. So it was a gift from him, which I appreciated and consider it a late wedding present. :)

It's the little things. Really, it is.

I'm getting used to working on the Mistrals. I am getting used to the preinfusion again on the machines and trying to get used to different nuances you get with the different quality of the water up here. The fruit notes are insane in the Hair Bender, where as at Ritual, you definitely got more of the nutty, cinammon and DRIED fruit notes at the end. You know, the longer I do this barista thing, the more I realize that one has to be adaptable, and willing to try different things without feeling like you are sellin' out or out of your element. It's all about transferring what you know, tweaking some stuff and always experimenting. All this, to get that beautiful shot of goodness.

and just wanna give a shout out to my homies on the east coast who got a little ditty on the NY Times. Word.

New Wave in NY.

It's about damn time people took notice.