Archive for March, 2007

Atlanta Pictures

I managed to fix my technical problems and I got the pics uploaded.

Atlanta II

For some mysterious technological reason I am unable to upload photos today. So imagin a thick and densly packed tangle of wires and tubes and stainless steel sheet metal. Imagine a close up of a circular micro screen and a neoprene covered boiler tank. That is the inside of the Franke superautomatic expresso machine, and it is brilliantly more simple than the Astoria superautos. The engineering was simple and elegant, the footprint was sleek and slender. The shots were, well, lets just say that I was polite enough not to spit in the sink. But that was not entirelly the fault of the machine, but mainly the blend.

After a grulling day of espresso extractor deconstruction, I was picked up by my mystery host, who took me to visit Octane, and to meet Tony, the owner. Tony was tall and slender with a cropped salt and pepper beard, and he prepared us each a shot of a mystery blend with supple agillity that apeared natural and unforced. For whatever reason, he was not even sure himself which blend it was. We all agreed upon CCC Tuscoano, which I am not sure about, but I know it was not Afficionado. Octane has a very nice atmosphere with exposed brick walls, Georgia Tech students, and “Indy alt” staff. They had no brew extractor, but offered French press which they stored in Lexus thurmoses. It was delicious.

My host and I began disscussing our coffee passions, cafe business models, and roaster business models before heading out ot his office for a quick tour. More disscussion of business ensued, ending with a quick milk texturing tip he offered me. His office just happend to be equiped with a LaMarzocco FB80. Now imagine his beautifully formed rosetta and tulip, and my electrostatic wonky rosetta. At least the milk texture came out the way I wanted it, even if the pattern did not.

I got a good look at Atlanta, as he did not seem to know his way around very well, and after a quick pass of the federal penitentiary and some housing projects, we finally found an open restaurant. A huge “Earl Burger” kicked the wiener’s ass that I had last night, though I don’t remember the name of this place.

It will be back to the grind stone tomorrow as we tackle traditional machines. Hopefully my pictures will make it up next time.

Atlanta trip

I will be in Atlanta for the next two days to train on LaMarzoccos and Frankes.  I have come down in a rental car from North Carolina with my co-worker, John, and we had a filling dinner at a restaurant called The Vortex.  My chili dog was the biggest wiener I have ever seen.


Tomorrow we take our first class with the knowledgeable folks from ESI, who have been kind enough to travel here to the East coast, despite the ongoing East vs. West rivalry.

 On our drive down, while passing through South Carolina, it became clear that the further South you go, the more stuff people are willing to store in the front yard and out of doors.  These miscellaneous items include but are not limited too: old cars, old tractors, various and sundry bits of farm equipment, sheet metal, scrap metal, metal shavings, rusty metal, furniture, clothing, piles of shoes, bare peach trees (alive or dead, I cannot say).   They also seem to take great pride in their agricultural produce.


Tomorrow I’ll be visiting a cafe in town as well as a secret host in an undisclosed location.  Pictures to follow.