Baby it’s cold outside… kinda.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to deal with, since moving to Los Angeles, has been the changing (or lack of changing) in the seasons. This year seems to be the worst. It’s my third year and the city of angels seems to be struggling to make up its mind on whether it’s still summer or not. Halloween, for me, usually means that cappuccinos start sounding delicious again. Coffee becomes less of a fuel for my friends, and it moves to being a thing to do. A way of bringing people together, and keeping you warm in nippy weather. Yet, the past few weeks have involved more shoveling ice than anything else. Rumors were floating about that the weekend was supposed to hit 90… I was concerned.

None the less, it’s working out. The nights, here, are finally leaning towards that cooler, chilled state. I have to wear long sleeves now… As long as I’m in LA, I may never need a coat again. In the last few days, I’ve steamed more chai and poured more hot chocolates than I can remember (Which, if you haven’t had our hot chocolate, you’re missing out). Making coffee feels right again.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m looking forward to the next couple of months. I am heading up to Portland in the early part of December and I haven’t been this excited for it in a long time. I need to feel the moisture in the air. I need the rain and the overcast. Beyond that I can’t wait to see Intelli’s new Northwest wholesale rep, Jared Linzmeier and his rad girlfriend, Deanna Moody.

It’s full-on competition season again, and I’m getting pumped. I spent some of my day today thinking about converting the flight case for my amplifier into a case with layers for all my ceramics… Dreaming of a way to create foam cut-outs for all my cups. I’ve got a great plastic box that holds everything and has worked for the last couple of years, but how much better would it be to not have dozens of sheets of tissue paper? Plus, casters… I’m going to get back to you on this one… I’ve got some other fun ideas tucked away. The only thing that’s not too exciting about competition for me this year is the lack of travel. Rumor is that the Western will be held in Los Angeles again, and then the USBC will be in Anaheim… At least my manager will be happy.

I’m also stoked about the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve stepped our home brew equipment way up from last year. We’ve got stellar pour-over methods, grinders, and more to offer our customers…. Plus, with the Hario hand crank grinders, there’s no excuse for people to not have a conical burr grinder! On my list of awesome, but offensive ideas, I want to create a shirt that says something like, “I never want to grind another pound of coffee for you ever again” on it… Then, maybe put a picture of the Hario grinder on the back… I know, a bit elitist, but a barista can dream. Besides, what’s elitist about wanting people to taste the best coffee possible in their home? I’m just hoping we can turn the crazy shopping season into a time of education and instruction for all those seeking to just give gifts.