Something fun, something new…

Here’s a fun little shot of Nessy… Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFor those who may be interested. This Friday, Sept. 29, we will be featuring some Stumptown Hairbender at the Sheep. Come try some amazingness. It’s still one of the best espressos I have ever tasted, so come grab an espresso or two…In other news, I definitly will be heading back to Portland and Seattle for the coffee happenings in October. I will throw some more information up on that as it unfolds… More news to come later…


On the list of things done lately… Beyond learn…

On the list of things done lately… Beyond learning what it’s like to work 35+ hours a week and be in 17 credits worth of classes… I managed to finally bust out my flat espressocraft tamper. Peter at Blacksheep has been rocking the convex model. Not bad. I’ve never had two identical tampers before in both versions… so went to play.

The convex tamper which we’ve been using initially altered my tamp a bit. I had to kinda over-pack a bit more… Even then, there was a lot of “fruit” shining through the espresso.

Then I busted out my flat tamper. Which made me feel a little closer to home… I pretty much was able to use the same method I use in competition… which is yet to fail me… The espresso you ask? Thick, carmel like coffees just rocking my world… The flavors were more intricate and full bodied. Of course, we were rocking Paradise’s Classico. We’re still playing with our methods in this madness, but for now I am sold on the flat bottom tamper.

In other news… I called Stumptown last week. The idea was we wanted to carry Hairbender as a second espresso to introduce our coffee nut customers to something else. Something wonderful… but being on this side of the Rockies, I was gracefully rejected… Thanks Matt… Anyway, the significance to this is that it was the first time I realized how far from home I am. Honestly, I don’t like it, but whatever. I keep focused on the positives, like how I am educating a whole new region of baristas, and forget the negatives, like how much being in a Starbucks/Carribou dominated area sucks.

The other positive side to the story is I was informed on some packaging options Stumptown is looking into that could allow them to work with a cafe in my region… I have two opinions on this. A) “Sweet, world domination and a piece of home my way” and B) “Please just don’t sell out and change too far from the sweet punk rock paper bags!”

That’s all for now folks, but with the stuff that’s been going on in life, I am sure there will be more to tell soon!

Am I still alive?

So, here’s the deal. I love coffee. There is no denying that. I enjoy every element of preparing cofffee, presenting it, and watching the expressions on my customers faces… But here in the twin cities… more specifically, South St. Paul, where my shop is… I am finding the customers to be the toughest bunch I have ever dealt with. They just don’t understand or seem to appreciate hardly anything going on in the cup. Part of me wonders if this is just life outside of the NW, but part of me also wonders if it’s just the area. It frustrates the life out of me.

I’ve noticed the area seems to be pretty conservative, and people in the area seem to have a lot on their mind. Like, they are just trying to get by. There’s little room for patience, and everything seems to be rushed. The stress is rubbing off onto me. I don’t like it. I miss SE Portland and the chill people we dealt with there. Yet, this is a new area and I am still trying to push through and give it all a chance.

What makes this experience worth it is the look on someone face when they get it. They see the rosetta and they are impressed and awed by the new artwork before them. Then they taste the coffee, and the notice there is no burnt or bitter taste. Everything is pleasing to the palate. At that moment, something clicks inside them and you can see they fall for what is in their hand. Those few moments have kept me going…

The end for now…

PS. I hate panini’s… Many of us need them to keep our high end coffee business alive, but I hate them… fuck panini’s.

The Ghost Blog… now.

Well, here it is, the first posting on my new blog. A space for my rants and raves about coffee… Yeah! I’ve learned a lot in the last year, been involved with some highly knowledgeable peoples… and now have moved to a whole new location. Working in a new shop, using new coffee, and even a new machine… Lots of mixed feels. This is where those feelings will be coming out as I learn more about coffee, technique, and life!