blurb.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 by thatcoffeeguy

I was talking with a customer the other day about the daunting number of variables at our hands as baristas.  It helped me come to a conclusion:

Coffee is terrifying, isn’t it?

As baristas we usually screw up the coffee more than anyone else before us; that’s if we’re paying attention and at least a little lucky. Temperature, dose, dwell time, pressure, bloom, tamp, extraction time, agitation, coffee rest, grind. The variables are daunting.

Should you dose 18 grams? 18.5? 19 grams? Should the temperature be 200.5f? 201? How much should the shot yield? How long should it take? 25 seconds? 28 seconds? Pre-infusion? And what about tomorrow when the coffee is older, the air pressure is different and the door opens?

As professional baristas, the variables that face us from day to day are some of the most critical and finicky of any at any point in the chain.

It isn’t our responsibility to add to the coffee. It’s our responsibility not to screw it up. To pay attention. To learn. To educate. To adapt. To showcase everyone else’s hard work while making ours look effortless.

If that isn’t terrifying to you as a barista you need to reset your focus.

-bry

Manual Brewing

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2010 by thatcoffeeguy

Recently Mike and I were interviewed for an article in Fresh Cup Magazine.  Ironically, it’s an article that I would have found interesting as a reader and yet, I was asked to weigh in.

It’s an interesting read, well, interesting I suppose:

Here you go.

Unfortunately, I am misquoted naming a water kettle’s price tag at an apparent $250, when it is most certainly about half that cost.  Oh well…

Was happy to see that my quote was the “emphasis” closing quote, though.

-bry

Excitement…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 by thatcoffeeguy

This should certainly be a longer post considering the weight of everything in it…

Yemen Anesi is on the cupping table. I LOVE a good Yemen coffee.

It’s a long weekend and I’m going to actually relax a little bit…

Oh… and we bought another location. You know. The usual.

More in the coming days about the Anesi and also about some exciting new coffees going into our lineup and how you can get a hold of some.

Lately

Posted in Coffee Cupping on May 25, 2010 by thatcoffeeguy
Spectacled Bear

Spectacled Bear

Sorry for the late reply from the other post, but I haven’t had anything blow me away recently.  There have been some interesting coffees, but interesting and mind-blowing are very different things when you get the chance to drink as much coffee as I (fortunately) do.

I tasted a Kenya Thicka French Mission Bourbon that was really surprising.  It did everything I thought it was going to: fruity-citrus-bomb from it “being Kenyan,” but also a rounded, smoothed out mouthfeel from it “being Bourbon.”  Quite the interesting cup and tomorrow I’m going to play with it as a single origin espresso shot.

Perhaps the most interesting coffee that has come across the table as of late is a Columbian that I have started calling “The Bear.”  It has to do with a mission that the import company (Cafe Imports) is undergoing to help save the Spectacled Bear (no, not a Speckled Bear, Spectacled) in Columbia.  It’s a pretty cool mission, pretty cool coffee, and, well, it’s a really cool bear.

The coffee itself is really fruited, but balanced.  I haven’t tasted it enough to comment on it a whole lot yet, and the samples I have had have all been very young, but the coffee isn’t as deep and chocolaty as I thought it would be.  It has a really nice cran-cherry jamminess to it and a pleasantly brisk acidity.  If frisky could be used to describe a coffee, it would be appropriate here.  Think about it…

-bry

Updates…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 by thatcoffeeguy

It’s been over a month since my last update… So I guess that means I fail at my attempt to blog more regularly. I will be posting the findings on some Kenyan coffees that we have gotten in over the past month and I am finishing up some other drafts I have been meaning to post. More tomorrow…

Final Burundi Stats

Posted in Coffee Cupping on April 14, 2010 by thatcoffeeguy

Tasted the Burundi offerings for what I believe will be the last time, simply because we have a whole bunch of new offerings that we roasted yesterday that I need to get into, rather than continuing on with coffee that we may or may not carry.

The best summary I can come up with for these Burundi coffees is that they carry the typical profile of an African coffee, but are much cleaner and less dynamic.  It isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I know I don’t always want over-the-top crazy fruit flavors, but I don’t always want the floral and citrus attributes of a Central American coffee.  These Burundi samples filled that void for me.  Both coffees were very similiar.  I’m not sure I would have picked out much difference at all if I hadn’t known up front that they were different lots.

Coffee drying on "raised beds" in Kayanza, Burundi. (Click for enlarged image)

Final stats for Burundi Kayanza Yandaro Bourbon:
4/12
Aroma: 7.0
Flavor: 7.0
Acidity: 6.9
Body: 7.0
Finish: 7.0
Total 84.9
4/13 (Lighter)
Aroma: 7.0
Flavor: 6.8
Acidity: 6.9
Body: 7.1
Finish: 6.8
Total: 84.7
4/13 (Darker)
Aroma: 6.8
Flavor: 6.9
Acidity: 6.7
Body: 7.3
Finish: 6.9
Total: 84.6

Final Stats for Burundi Kirimiro Mwurire Bourbon:
4/12
Aroma: 7.1
Flavor: 6.9
Acidity: 7
Body: 7.1
Finish: 7.0
Total: 85.1
4/13 (Lighter)
Aroma: 7.1
Flavor: 6.9
Acidity: 7.2
Body: 7.0
Finish: 6.7
Total: 84.9
4/13 (Darker)
Aroma: 6.9
Flavor: 6.9
Acidity: 6.8
Body: 7.2
Finish: 7.0
Total: 84.8

So like I said, nothing over the top outrageous, but some really nice, balanced and overall clean coffees.  We call these coffees “coffee coffees.”

Today I’ll be tasting some of the new Panama offerings that came in and I’ll be reporting on them later in the week.

-bry

Just like Columbus

Posted in Coffee Cupping on April 12, 2010 by thatcoffeeguy

I really fell of the deep end, so to speak, with coffee when I discovered that, for the most part, coffee in my area at the time sucked. It was stale, poorly roasted, and the greens were old and of low quality to start with.

So I started roasting my own.

Now we are trying to break down all of the different components to go into our chocolate blend, and well… crap.

Here’s to roasting cocoa nibs and to Alchemist John who is more or less going to have to hold our hands as we cross the ‘roasting cocoa nibs to perfection’ road.

http://chocolatealchemy.com/

-bry

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