Tuesday, May 30, 2006

   from Nick

Records are made to be...

Old and busted* = $49.75
New hotness = $50.25

(* is an allusion to a movie line from 'Men In Black 2,' and in no way is meant to demean the prior, awesome-jawsome record... just thought I'd put that out there)
   from Nick

Prayer request

With no need for specifics, I'm asking everyone to pray for Jeff Babcock (big cheese at Zoka Coffee) and his wife, Brenda... they need prayer and need it bad. Right now. No, I'm not kidding.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

   from Nick

Podcast 42 - La Marzocco



With what's likely the shortest of all of the pf podcasts, a quick tour of the La Marzocco factory in Florence (Firenze), Italy, with Lorenzo Carboni.

19 minutes and 24 seconds

AAC format, 7.7 MB, MP3 format, 7.2 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.

NOTE: We will be offering ONLY the AAC/iTunes file format on this trip (and will offer the MP3's after it's over).

Monday, May 22, 2006

   from Nick

Podcast 41 - The World Champion



An intimate and inspiring chat with the newly crowned 2006 WBC Champion, Klaus Thomsen, Estate Coffee, Denmark

35 minutes and 9 seconds

AAC format, 13.8 MB, MP3 format, 12.6 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.

NOTE: We will be offering ONLY the AAC/iTunes file format on this trip (and will offer the MP3's after it's over).
   from Nick

Podcast 40 - Crack a forty!



2006 World Barista Championship Finals in Bern, Switzerland.

Order of competitors
Anne Lunell (Sweden)
James Hoffmann (UK)
Sammy Piccolo (Canada)
Ingibjorg Siguroardottir (Iceland)
Klaus Thomsen (Denmark)
Matt Riddle (USA)

1 hour 47 minutes and 24 seconds

AAC format, 41.5 MB, MP3 format, 40.8 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.

NOTE: We will be offering ONLY the AAC/iTunes file format on this trip (and will offer the MP3's after it's over).

Sunday, May 21, 2006

   from Nick

2006 World Barista Championship Results!

2006 WBC Champion: Klaus Thomsen 809.5
2nd: Sammy Piccolo 746.0
3rd: Matt Riddle 727.0
4th Anne Lunell 676.5
5th James Hoffmann 669.0
6th Ingibjorg Jona Siguroardottir 658.5

(fyi, first round top six order: sammy, klaus, imma, anne, james, matt)

unspeakably awesome job from all!

Friday, May 19, 2006

   from Nick

Podcast 39 - SCAE 2006 - The Mercanta-Something



Marcanta The Coffee Hunter's 10th Anniversary party.

Highlights:
Matt Riddle competes tomorrow
Barista Magazine's cover-girl
Portafilter Podcast ends... The Geoff Watts Show begins
Kintaro Maruyama (Maruyama Group, Japan)
Marcanta-peoples (Flory and Stephen)
John Willison (London School of Coffee, UK)
Jeremy Torz (UK)
Gloria Montenegro talks about how much coffee sucks in France... and she's from France!
And a special NZ co-host to close out the show. Sorry about the misspelled names!

1 hour 28 minutes and 44 seconds

AAC format, 34.2 MB, MP3 format, 31.8 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.
   from Nick

Podcast 38 - SCAE 2006 - Hanging out with Ellie



Walking the SCAE with Ellie Matuszak, Director of Training and Knowledge, Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago, IL.
Highlights:
Why is your name Instaurator?
Walking the SCAE World of Coffee show floor
Kent Bakke (La Marzocco) speaks no english
Uncle Junior from The Sopranos
Reg Barber (coffeetamper.com) shows Ellie some love
Justin Metcalf about coffee in Australia
Sammy Piccolo (Caffe Artigiano, Canada) and James Hoffman (La Spaziale, UK) right before they compete.

57 minutes and 11 seconds

AAC format, 22.2 MB, MP3 format, 20.5 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

   from Nick

Airborne

Stream of consciousness post, travelling over the Atlantic Ocean (yes, this very second)...
- These Lufthansa s.o.b.'s are all about getting passengers trashed. I've had three glasses of wine and a shot of cognac... and I'm in coach... and it's free.
- I sat down in my seat and looked up and saw a "Hotspot" sign. I'd read about this sort of thing, but it's an eerie thing. Maybe I should surf over to a porn site to freak out my seat-neighbors.
- A great/sad story from Luca (from Australia)... "he" is the Dave, the 2006 Australian Barista Champion:
Apparently this morning he and Peter Wolff decided to risk the hotel superauto coffee. Of course it wasn't great, but they were pretty damned impressed. So they asked where it came from and were told that apparently some Australian roastery had sent the hotel a whole bunch of sample coffee ...

... OK, so which hotel opens up stuff addressed to their guests and then runs ALL of their WBC blends through their superauto?!

Poor Dave; half of his signature drink gear smashed at the state competition, his luggage went missing for half a day, making him miss his practice session at the nationals and now this!

Can't wait to see how he performs!

Holy crap... so the hotel opened his coffee and used it!
- There's a duty-free cart that just went by with cartons and cartons of cigarettes on it... I haven't flown internationally in 12 years... I'd forgotten about dutyfree.
- Looking forward to seeing everyone in Bern... looking forward to coffee-touring around Italy. This is a dream come true.
- When I got on the plane, there was a woman with her boob hanging out of her shirt. She was getting ready to breastfeed, but jeezus-kriest, she's in full-view of everyone getting on the plane. I love the European mentality.
- The trip starts at SCAE Bern 2006 and ends at Sant'Eustachio Cafè in Rome.
- I'm scheduled to emcee the first half of both first-round days, and the finals (and awards ceremony). The biggest challenge of emceeing the WBC (which I experienced last year in Seattle as well) is learning to pronounce the competitors' names. What's funny is that sometimes, it's more helpful for me to write-out the competitor's name phoenetically in Korean.

Europe... here I come!
   from Nick

Podcast #37 - The Midnight Sessions

Last show before Nick goes to Europe!

Discussion topics:
- Coffee Wipes
- WBC and the SCAE World of Coffee
- "Jay Caragay Speaks"
- Hiring with Craigslist.org
- Kopi Luwak?!?
- OPP (Other Peoples' Podcasts)
- Kitchen Confidential, and the chef vis-a-vis barista discussion

2 hours, 2 minutes and 36 seconds

AAC format, 49.2 MB, MP3 format, 47.5 MB

See the sidebar to the right for more information and how to subscribe or download.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

   from AndyS

My kitchen counter

Thought you folks might get a chuckle and a groan at my own personal "urban sprawl." Here is the latest picture of my home kitchen counter in all its espressoed-out glory:



It's actually worse than it looks, because in back of the Silvia machine is a rotary pump, in back of the electronic control stack is a rat's nest of wiring, and in back of the Mazzer grinder is the Schectermatic Profiling Piston Pump. You see, it's a layered effect.

Believe it or not, besides looking simply mahvelous, this setup makes tasty espresso, too!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

   from ThaRiddla

So, what's your favorite coffee?

Monday, May 01, 2006

   from Peter G

a cup without immigrants


Forgive me if my post today seems political, but today's "Day Without Immigrants" protests have put me in mind of how important immigrants are to our favorite industry.

Consider:

-Coffee itself is an immigrant, originating in Ethiopia, and migrating around the world. Its first excursions as a crop into Asia, which triggered the worldwide propagation of the plant, were certainly against the restrictive laws set by the Arabians.

-Today, many of the folks who pick our coffee in the wintertime in Latin America migrate north to the United States during summer to harvest other food crops in California and Texas. Most lack work documents. Also, coffee pickers in many countries cross borders illegally to pick coffee in neighboring countries.

-Most coffee farmers in Latin America are unable to visit their roaster partners in the United States because even temporary visas are incredibly expensive, hard to come by, and are often distributed as political favors.

-The first coffeehouses in London and Paris were founded by- you guessed it- immigrants to those countries. (from Sicily. Go paisani!)

-Alfred Peet, founder of the seminal specialty coffeeshop Peet's, immigrated from Holland. Erna Knutsen, the woman who coined the term "Specialty Coffee", is from Norway. A ton of other of the most influential and significant coffee companies (too many to name) have immigrant roots.

As you might have guessed, this is a personal issue for me, too. My own grandparents immigrated here, fleeing the poverty, famine, and corruption of the "old country".

In my own life, I was taught to speak Spanish by Jose-Luis Garcia, a undocumented coworker at my first coffeehouse job. In addition to friendship, Jose gave me one of the greatest and most useful skills I now posess.

Food for thought today.

Peter G