Smack Downs and more…

I feel like I’ve been pretty quiet the last week or so. It’s probably because we’ve been locked in the Intelli.LA training lab for past couple weeks. Official training has been carrying on for a bit now and we’re taking so much in. This week brought us time with K.C. O’Keefe and lessons on green coffee, farms, exporting/importing, and the whole shah-bang!

Anyway, somewhere in this mess of training, we managed to pick up our new barista… Mr. Stephen Morrissey. Stephen will be with us about a month for sure… and from there he’ll probably keep on wandering. In the mean time, it’s been great to hang out with him… and man, this kid can cook! The past three nights we’ve all had dinner sitting around the big table in the dining room of the bungalow… a first for this house since I’ve been here. The food has been incredible!

Somewhere in the middle of training, we all need to find a source of comic relief. So, we have introduced the Intelli LA Full Bar Smack Down… The game is simple… we set up a mach bar that resembles what the coffee bar on Sunset will look like. Then someone places orders and the two people on bar race to produce all the orders as fast as they can with as much professionalism as they can. I caught up with Kyle Glanville right before the Smack Down to ask him a few questions about his past USBC experience and how it relates to the Intelli LA Full Bar Smack Down…

The day was long and the competition was hard… There were four teams in todays event. Team Sha-Boom featured Stephen Morrissey and, ex-Vivace barista, Deanna Mustard. The second team, Team Management, featured Kyle Glanville and, Intelligentsia Silverlake manager, Colin Mahony. My good friend Devin Pedde rocked the bar with, ex-Victrola barista, Jules Manoogian… and finally, yours truly was paired up with former Klatch roaster, Nick Griffith… making us Team Shiite Happens… To You.

The battle was rough… Team Sha-Boom rocked the house and finished in a sheer 7:45. Team Management caved under the intense pressure. A cappuccino was spilled early on and set Management back. They recovered will, but still finished in just under 10 minutes. Team Salsa hit us all hard with a great soundtrack featuring Amy Grant. They rocked it steady, but simply took too long finishing around 8:30. Finally, Shiite stepped up to the plate and we did what we could… We hit it hard, but still finished at 7:47, simply 2 seconds behind Team Sha-Boom…

Devin Pedde grabbed the camera and managed to catch up with me right after we finished our round…

Judges K.C. O’Keefe and Stephen Rogers took sometime too calibrate in the back and finally emerged with the scores. Fourth place went to Team Management. Third place went to Team Salsa. Finally, second place went to Team Sha-Boom. Team Shiite Happens… To You won by having a sense of professionalism and keeping things fairly clean. However, Team Sha-Boom was definitely the cleanest, and apparently, the best latte art came from Team Management…

Next week we’ll be offering another Smack Down… Hopefully, we’ll have more video… I’m paired up with Colin for next week, so we’ll see what happens… Team names will be determined shortly…


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