photo la

I guess its safe to call it “January Maddness” or something like that, here in the good ol’ US? With the NWRBC half-over, there’s still two more regionals left in the month, including the Western. It’s a busy time of year. Which is interesting, because every retail environment I’ve worked in has slowed down for the month of January. I guess that’s the best time to compensate with some events.

Los Angeles is buzzing with an event called Photo la. Last year, I had the privilege of working an entire bar shift with our roaster, Deaton Pigot. The venue was smaller and so was the crowd. This year, I spent some time with one of our sales reps, James Marcotte. We setup shop with a two group Synesso, a Robur-E, and a Trubrew pour over bar.

Now, it’s always exciting and fun for me to step outside of our coffee bar and to serve the public elsewhere. I’m not comfortable and I stay more on my toes. Yesterday was no different. Somehow, it seems that even in the paper cup, my espresso tastes better and my art is more on par with what I know I’m capable of. Beyond that, it’s more fun when you’ve got fresh faces… curious ones at that.

Of course, we were presented with some interesting challenges. It’s really impressive how much people really think they know about making coffee. It serves as a reminder of how little ground we’ve gained and how far we have to go in educating Los Angeles. The experience was also educating for us, in the means that we received a taste of what it is like to have a busy bar and use a pour-over brew bar. I hadn’t used a melitta setup since I was working at Kopplin’s… before we received our Clovers. I have to say, that for the first time, I really was frustrated by the sale of the company to Starbucks. All we needed was a pair of Clovers, and I would have known exactly what to do.

In the end, we built a rythm and had a good time. Operating a high volume coffee bar and maintaining quality is still the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced in coffee. I think this year, you are going to hear me talking about it more and more.

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