Catching Up… Finally.

It has been far too long and my thoughts have been too far scattered to really ‘post.’ So much has gone on. I left for Seattle and Portland with full intentions of posting regularly and taking many pictures, basically covering my angle of the weekend the best I could. Well, upon arrival in Seattle and looking into the schedule ahead of me, it quickly became apparent that my posting would either be failed or half-hearted. Ladies and gentlemen, I chose not to give you anything half-hearted… and so, I gave you a video of Mr. Glanville getting killed and that’s been about it.

So, Seattle. Man, what a killa time. It’s always great to reconnect, and a lot of that happened over the weekend. Millrock, for me, was a learning experience. It had been a while since I jumped into any kind of real ‘ring’ and being back in competition was a great feeling. I, now, am really looking forward to the Western Regional and the steps to take to get there. I flopped my finals in Millrock, but it was a reminder… a reminder that I get the shakes, that I love to pour drinks when the pressure is on, and that I do crack now and then.

Parties were great. Thank you to Duane and Co. for hosting all of us in their basement. No party has ever been more Stumptown. From vintage machines to metal. These kids showed us all a great time.

My first days back at the café were rough. I’m telling you PCD (Post-Competition Depression) exists! It was odd reconnecting to everyday bar-life. Not to mention, being around so many friends (Coffee and non) in the Northwest made LA seem trivial. From the surface and surroundings to even the relationships I have (which, are simply yet to gain the depth and history of my life-long friends up north). Luckily, I didn’t have too much time to sit and think about all this. My first shift back involved us closing early for a staff meeting. Mr. D. Zell happened to be around for the meeting, along with Paul Rekstad, head of wholesale of Intelligentsia. Post the meeting, Devin Pedde and I found ourselves with these two at a joint called the Blue Goose. I can’t really tell you what happened there, but let’s just say karaoke goes well with Intelligentlemen.

Day two of being back was no easier. Everyone was in town! Marcus Boni, DZ, and the man, himself, Geoff Watts! Geoff was here to kick off a celebration in honor of the Hacienda Esmeralda Especial! Geoff delivered a riveting speech telling the tale of the coffee and the geisha varietal. Along with the coffee for people to taste we offered cheese and wine (paired with said celebrated coffee). The best part is we did this all free to the public. Now, say what you will about this, but it was amazing. To see the look on someone’s face who is able to experience such a unique coffee… it was Inspiring. I mean, we get so spoiled. I remember Jay or Nick saying something about this on their last podcast. Referencing how good it can be simply to have a bad cup now and then, just to remember how good we have it. Anyway, since the event, we’ve seen a rise in interest in all our individual coffees. I’m stoked to see interest people are taking in our different coffees.

So, what’s coming to Intelli.la? Gift boxes. Come order one!

Vaca-Coffeefest- Days 1-2

Well, I’m at my family’s house right now in Vancouver, WA… just north of Portland. The past few days have been crazy and it’s only just beginning. A good friend of mine, Michael Howe, flew in on the 3rd. We spent some time at a wine tasting and the next day he tested for a job as a fire fighter in Orange County and passed. The next day we drank, and then yesterday we traveled from Los Angeles back to Portland.

The flight was quick. Upon arrival, I was greeted by my father, who immediately took me away to the Apple Store in Pioneer Square downtown. We picked up a new iMac for the fam and headed north.

Due to some texting from Phuong Tran and Ashley Raue we headed straight to Lava Java. I enjoyed a couple espressos and we talked and geeked out for a couple hours. Just as I was ready to head home, one of LJ’s two competitors for the coming weekend, Brigetta Labore, was ready to make a run through of her presentation. I was supposed to time her shots, but I am terrible… I have a better eye for watching a performance than I do shots… Anyway, she looked great and all other competitors should be warned.

The rest of my night took me and some great friend to Kell’s and then onto The Horse Brass Pub, where the best things in Portland can happen. All in all, a long, but great day.

Today has been equally grand from eye exams to haircuts. Next is some pouring practice at Lava Java (Thanks Phoung)! Oh, ran into both Brent Fortune and Jana Oppenheimer today. I took it as an early sign of a great weekend to come! I’m stoked. Tomorrow has me heading up to Seattle with hopefully a stop into Olympia. Should be grand! Peep my flickr for the pathetic action thus far!

Cheers!