Life: WTF?


Well, Kopplin’s is now on myspace. Make sure to check it out. Add us as a friend. You can see many of my flickr pics of the shop there, as well as keep up on what is currently in our espresso grinders.

Big news friends! This blog is long over-due. Some of you know this, others this is new… but life for me is changing in a big way. Ever since I arrived in the cities life in coffee has been awesome. I’ve been given fresh opportunities every few weeks. Things keep progressing and growing. Kopplin’s has changed so much just since I’ve been around. The shop still looks the same, but the drinks are so much better! Our espresso tastes great, we’ve got more blends to offer, and in a week we’ll be dealing Clover style.

The biggest news is life changing though… Paradise has been looking for a production roaster for awhile now. I am falling more and more in love with coffee… and when I say coffee, I don’t mean being a barista. I mean, I am falling for the bean, the product, and the process. I said I would never get into roasting, and I still have apprehension and fear within me, but I am taking the job at Paradise. No, I am not leaving Kopplin’s. I am leaving school. As important as academics are to so many people’s futures, I believe in chasing what you dream about and what drives you. School means nothing to me. Not now at least. I am putting 10% of my heart into school and about 40% into coffee. The other 50% has been lost in trying to figure out what to do with this all… and a chunk of it’s been into this girl. Well, I’ve realized some things and it’s time to pursue what I love. I am diving whole-heartedly into coffee.

My week will look something like this… Monday I will head to the Roastery and catch up on the weekends orders. Tuesday as well will be spent roasting coffee. Wednesday morning will be done doing the same. Then Wednesday afternoon I will head to Kopplin’s to work the bar and close the place. Thursday and Friday mornings I will be at Kopplin’s rockin’ out drinks… and then I’ll be back at the shop to serve drinks one shift a weekend. So, I’ll be at work six days a week and have an entire day to do nothing… Which being in school hasn’t even really allowed.

Other random events involved will include training new baristas as the time comes, possible training for Paradise accounts, teaching classes in the evening at Kopplin’s, and training & competing when the time rolls around. Somewhere in there, I am hoping to work in a few origin trips as well… Which, would be amazing… So, here we go. I am launching what I would call a career. Doing what I love. I am very excited to be doing all this. I feel it is best for me. School is not out of the question for the future, but it won’t be at North Central… in fact, I’m thinking something in the area of food science…

Well, mid December classes end, I start moving into my new house… and then I take off to Portland for the holidays… When I get back, the true craziness begins!

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The Legend of the MAW…

I just witnessed a new move. This is one I haven’t seen in awhile, but it’s out there… The one enemy I find in this industry… well, one of a few, is the “MAW.” Otherwise known as a middle aged woman. You’ve seen them… Some of them can be incredibly cool… others are what drives this congromerate society we live in.

I just witnessed a “MAW Lunge.” This is where the creature jumps at something with a complete and total lack of patience, as if the world cannot stop to breathe, even if for a few seconds. This encounter started with the MAW running into the cafe, and before I could utter the words, “Good morning” she was blurting out her order as though it hurt, “Large, skinny, vanilla latte, with whip!” So, I cut the comradery short to make the latte… trying to meet her demands on time… I finished the drink and before I had a chance to set the whip cream canister down I became a victim to the lunge. You’ve seen it before… I made my move to set the drink down on the bar, declaring what it was… and before the drink was a few feet away from the counter, she made her move… damn near leaping over the bar in effort to grab the drink! Milliseconds had already been lost in my motion to set the drink down… life was wasting away for her right before her eyes… So, she felt the need to take aciton! Nearling taking my life in the process of recieving the drink. As she made contact with the latte, I could feel the determined creature begin to pull the drink away before I could begin to release my grasp on my finished work… Before I could even utter the words, “Have a good day!” it was though the MAW had disappeared faster than it had appeared.

I escaped with my life. For that I am greatful… but I walk with caution. You never know when another of these attacks may occure…

So, if that wasn’t enough…

I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but somehow my life in coffee keeps getting better. We’ve got the Roburs… and a Synesso, which isn’t bad when you start playing with group temps… The steaming still leaves a lot to be desired… but who knows, maybe soon I’ll find a way to manipulate the steam wands… Our espresso is tasting incredible…

As I’ve mentioned before, all our coffee is made “by the cup.” Currently, we malitta all our standard coffees… We also offer the option of french press, but most people choose the malitta. Well, many of you have seen this new machine that’s just hitting the market. That is the Clover. It’s a sweet automatic, temperature stable machine that allows you to brew one cup of coffee at a time. The key is you can adjust the temperature very easily for each cup. You can also set it to brew anywhere from 8-16 ounces. The idea is it creates the perfect cup of coffee… one cup at a time. It’s incredible. Coming from Portland it’s nothing too new for me. Stumptown’s had a Clover in their Annex shop for almost a year. It does produce excellent coffee…

Anyway, yesterday we put in the order for two. That’s right folks… not just one clover… No, we are buying two for Kopplin’s. This wasn’t even my call. I didn’t even fight for this… I don’t disagree… but it wasn’t my ambition to purchase two so quickly… It’s all been Andrew and his dreams. I am very lucky to have such a passionate boss who is this into delivering the highest quality coffee… I’ve heard the machines should arrive sometime in mid December… We are going to have to figure some electrical things out, but once we get that taken care of we will be rocking THE BEST coffee in the cities… and even the greatest of coffee geeks won’t be able to deny it… Assuming we aren’t retarded with it.

This leaves one last step to take… a new space… more to come in the future…

They’re in…


The espresso is already so much better. Currently rocking Paradise Roaster’s Classico Espresso in the full griner and using the remants of out El Salvador SO in the other… Tomorrow we get a larger order to play and train with and we’ll be moving to Paradise Roaster’s Espresso Havana. It’ll be the first time I taste the stuff in a decent grinder! Stop on by~

Roburs and Photos!


So, just got off the phone with the lovely Jana Oppenheimer… Can I just let everyone know how much I love this woman! She is absolutely one bad-ass chick. She has taken excellent care of me over the last year or so, starting with competition and that ordeal and now by helping me get two Roburs! Thank you Jana!

As you can see from the picture… Andrew had some fun with Halloween this year. Don’t let the corporate world get ahold of this… We may have to burn the costume!

I also decided to add some more photos of Kopplin’s and what’s going on there… So, feel free to click the blog title and enjoy!

New Flickr

Well, Scott Lucey suggested I get Flickr to post some of the many pictures from my trip and the competition. So, I did. So, go ahead and click on the entry title and check out the stuff…

Beyond Flickr a lot of great things have been happening. This weekend, my boss, Andrew Kopplin took off to North Carolina. Not for the best reasons, but he was able to go… this is the first weekend he’s taken off since he opened the shop. Our staff is now 10 deep and we’ve got 4 capable baristas. I’m currently in the works of retraining Andrew. We also have hired another dude named Andrew (Milstead) who is already Zoka trained. Actually, it was Nathan, whom Phuong trained, who trained Andrew. Small world.

We also just made the decision to purchase 2 (not just 1, but 2!) Roburs from ESI. So, in a few weeks we’ll be double armed and very dangerous. The Synesso hasn’t been my favorite machine, but I am slowly falling for her. The last week I’ve been playing with the machine temperature and messing with steam wand pressure. I’m finally rocking the kind of milk our espresso deserves. The espresso is tasting less like a fuit basket and featuring more chocolate flavors. Right now, the stuff is just awesome.

Life has all around been swell. School is school. It’s midterm season… I just registered for my next semester and I am taking a majorly light load. I plan on hitting three regionals before the USBC so I didn’t want to over-due anything. I am taking an audio engineering class which should be cool. There’s a new girl. Well, not too new, but I can say there is only one… Now, all I need to do is lock in a sig drink and get my shit together for the midwest regionals…