Archive for April, 2007

Another Job Change


OK, OK, I swear this will be the last change of jobs for me, hopefully for ever. After four jobs in the last four years, my wife and I have decided to get her back up to her large, touchy-feely, Italian family in Philadelphia. For years it has been a source of stress for me to even consider trying to relocate and find a house, a job for both of us, a good school for Anna, a swim club (for those nostalgic moments created), and the stuff that needs to happen at the right time and in the right way to make a big move like that happen. Well they all happened.

After spending the summer training for my new job here in the Triangle, I will be off to Philly to open the not-yet-existing Counter Culture Coffee training center. I was offered a roasting apprenticeship by CCC in 1994, before they ever opened their doors, but the planets just would not line up at the time. Had I taken it, Daryn Berlin would probably be selling insurance right now. Good thing I didn’t, because he is going back and forth right now building the nest for me in Pennsylvania.

The good folks at Stockton Graham & Co. gave me their blessing to make the shift form one roaster to the other, and I thank them for that. Hopefully everyone will be happy with way it all turns out. I will always be grateful to them for giving me my first full time professional coffee position that did not involve working behind the counter all day.

I will be staying at my parents house through out the summer while my wife and daughter proceed without me for the time being. That is sure to be fun time. Really. No I mean it.

See you at the Rocky Ballboa statue.

Astoria, for the home

I picked up this new used machine in good working condition. It is really quite a good HX machine, but I could do without a vibe pump. A rotary pump is $200, and that is without a motor to go with it. It will be a while before I can make that kind of upgrade, but it looks like a grinder with a little more precision will be a priority for great shots.

The steam is great on this machine. It has adequate pressure to texture 12-16 oz. of milk in one shot, and pull your shot at the same time. I’m pretty happy with it.

To Clear the Air

Your list of life-long achievements will not be complete until you have seen this deliciously short and sweet YouTube video. I do, however, wish to clear the air and firmly establish my view on Decaffeinated Coffee. I do not look down upon decaf or decaf drinkers. There have been many occasions when a well prepared cup of properly decaffeinated coffee has provided me with a much needed boost in my morale and spirits at the end of a long day. I understand that decaf drinkers just want a cup coffee that tastes good.

My only point of contention is when the combination of coffee with no caffeine, milk with no fat, and sweetener with no sugar is poured into a large cup of warm nothingness. Would it not be infinitely more desirable to drink a very small cup of rich whole milk, real cane sugar, and pristine coffee? Just keep it all in sensible quantities. Let us put aside the fact that diabetics will want to use artificial sweeteners and some people with sensitive constitutions will want to stay away from caffeine.

I do remember making similar statements to the “why bother” comment to customers on occasion, but it was not strictly in relation to decaf. I would have been referring only to the aforementioned type of beverage, which I normally call The Hollow Log. I like to make fun banter with customers and I do not wish to be taken out of context.

It is a fun video, and well made too. Thanks to Nick for bringing it to my attention (I think he scours the video sites for this kind of thing). I do wish now that I had posted a nicer picture of myself, so I will leave with this photo. This is how I would like to be remembered.

Mad Props (is that how you say that) to the Coffee and Crema

This amazing kiosk called the Coffee and Crema in the mall in Greenville, South Carolina is serving up the sweet and sour. But you may already have heard about it here. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning. All those small mom’n pops think they can just buy into the coffee biz and make easy money. It is an industry that they figure they don’t even have to know anything about to get started. Places like this mall shop will out-shine them all.