Tamp This

May 24, 2009, 6:18 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense

Large scale coffee events have been happening all around me.

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

USBC~Portland, OR March 2009

usbc 4th machine

owens and I working the 4th machine for Ritual, I was cheering on my girl, Renee who competed in her first USBC and came in 10th!  I’m so  proud of her. photo by twitchy.org

Road Trip to AZ (with Owens and Scott Lucey) March 2009

roadtrip coffee

preparing coffee in the rental… heated water with a vac pot burner, ground coffee by hand in the Hario mill, then pour-over in the Hario V60, we had coffees from all the best at the USBC! photo by slucey

WEDDING!! March 14, 2009~Bisbee, AZ

the ring

We were married by the amazing Peter G with a small group of our friends and family, it was an amazing weekend! photo by my dad

Honeymoon~ Niagra Falls and Toronto, Canada


a view from our hotel room, photo by owens

Move to LA!! (part one; from San Francisco)

Our new room mate…


it’s a real tropical saloon ’round here…photo by tonx

WBC/Wedding Reception/SCAA~Atlanta, GA April 2009


We had our wedding reception at Octane in Atlanta during SCAA/WBC.  It was a great event, thanks again to all of our sponsors! and a big thanks to Reg Barber for taking this photo and making us this awesome knock box!

Congrats again to Gwilym, our new World Barista Champ!

owens and gwilym

Owens working at Gwilym’s cart during our December visit to London

Move to LA!! (part two; from Atlanta)

IntelliVenice opening party.  This happened 2 days ago, and I’m still recovering.

venice party

photo by tonx..  it stayed this busy until the party shut down at 1am!

New Venice cafe OPENS SOON!!  This cafe is going to be out of control awesome, and I am stoked to be a part of it.


La Marzocco GS2 that owens and I will be working on, thanks to terryz and the espressoparts team! photo by lC

Now that we are settling in, I will post more.  Things at the cafe will be so amazing there will be lots to write about!

czech this out…
January 21, 2009, 12:09 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense

I unfortunately can’t read the language but the pictures are amazing!

la boheme cafe.cz

Happy Birthday Cafe Grumpy!

It was three years ago that Cafe Grumpy opened its doors to the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and two years ago since it spread to Chelsea in Manhattan. I can’t believe it’s been so long.. Congratulations to Chris and Caroline the proud parents of these great cafes, and thank you both for taking a chance and hiring me so many years ago!

Here’s an oldie but goodie: This is a photo from the grand opening party of the Chelsea location, look at us babies. I was working for Grumpy, Chris was working for Gimme!, and Erin Meister was working for Joe the Art of Coffee back then. This was also back before any of us were married, or planning to be.. 🙂mlissa-chris-and-meister

from cafe grumpy’s flickr

also, don’t forget this one! ha! Taken by Andrew Barnett, before the cafe doors opened…Daniel Humphries and I being tools after a long day setting up.. ha!


Weekend Getaway..
November 12, 2008, 1:05 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense

When you live in San Francisco, it’s very easy to leave for the weekend, especially when Enterprise will rent you cars so cheaply!  So, Owens and I packed a weekend bag and some snacks and headed down to LA for the weekend.

Mostly we went to see this guy,


photo “m’rrissey the champ” by Chris Owens

but don’t tell him that, it’ll just go to his head.

We also got to meet a champion baby, lil Miles Glanville, just 2 weeks old and on one of his first outings!


photo by m’rrissey that I ‘borrowed’ from Kyle’s flickr

Intelligentsia’s new Venice baby will also be something to watch out for!  We were escorted by the Glanville clan to see the new space, fevorishly being built out.  It’s going to be amazing, beautiful, surprising, and cutting edge.  So, come to the Western Regional Barista Competition hosted by Intelli!

October 20, 2008, 9:18 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense | Tags: , , , , ,

I got a new ring!!  It’s official, and announced on by our dear friend, tonx!

( for the girls, he actually proposed with the Vera Wang gown of my dreams… so great..)

We haven’t set a date yet, but we’re working on it…

And we’re featuring all our new crop El Salvadors this week, Single Origin Matalapa and Finca Siberia espressos,  I couldn’t be happier!

Text Updates are the Best!
September 18, 2008, 9:38 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense

I unfortunately couldn’t attend tonight’s Thursday Night Throwdown, the amazing event now run solely by my buddy Ben Helfen.  But, I needn’t worry Mr. Imbalanced has stepped up to quench my thirst to know how it’s going!  This is a big TNT, the whole SCAA team and mr. world champ are in the house!

Good luck everyone, I wish I was there!

1 Rented Car, 2 Chris’, and 2231 Miles.
September 17, 2008, 1:26 am
Filed under: coffee nonsense | Tags: , , , , , ,

The past week has been full of friends, coffee, real talk, beer, junk food, gossip, driving, and not much sleep.  It was pretty awesome.

10 or so hours of driving to Portland

photo by Baca

1 full day chillin’ at albina press, coffeehouse nw, extracto, river city cycles, attempted tattoos, tacos, the bye and bye, and finding nemo on a very large hd tv

photo by Baca

2 dropped cupcakes and a morning bun followed by countless tears (yes, I really did cry after dropping the cupcakes..  another big, big thanks again to Brent and Silas who hand delivered more cupcakes to Seattle from Portland after they heard the story.)

beautiful machine at Extracto

3 more hours in the car to Seattle

lots of hugs on a convention floor, lots of questions about where we live now..

.photo by Ben

loads of lattes were poured and $5,000 was awarded to a super deserving guy, Hiroshi Sawada, who then, rumor has it, donated it all to Coffee Kids!!

playing with Reg’s new tamper and the Marzocco tester at Origins

a couple more hours up to Vancouver, BC where bike shops, coffee houses, roasteries, and equisite cocktails were done!

then a long long long 22 hour drive back to San Francisco…  tomorrow it’s back to making Ritual’s new training program!

Major thanks to our amazing hosts, Brent Fortune (and David George), Ben Helfen and his awesome new girl, Brooke, and Drew Johnson and Leesha in Canada!

Slow Food to CoffeeFest
September 9, 2008, 8:39 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve worked at several New York slow food restaurants, so I was familiar with the values and concepts of the organization.  I was very also very excited to be a part of the 1st giant event to be held in the States, but I had no idea what I was in store for.  We heard about the event months ago since it was held in our new city, just a few blocks from our apartment in the Marina.  It was more than I could have imagined!  The other tasting pavilions were great, but nothing compared with the coffee tasting, tea came close with their 10 minute educational tea services, but coffee… wow.  Andrew, Tonx, and Eileen did a fantastic job, and Brent… wow, Brent was in charge of wrangling the volunteers, the all star cast was there, barista champions, green buyers, roasters, producers, equipment specialists, working together! There are other posts about the event, and many, many pictures, so I just wanted to say it was such a privilege to be a part of this, and if it ever happens again I’m volunteering now.  Thank you.

Also, slow food left Ritual a little short staffed so, it was a pleasure working with several out of towners.. so a big shout out and thanks to Ben Kaminsky, Nick Griffith (who just came in for coffee and saw us floundering and jumped on bar!), Danger Dan Griffin, and Jenni Bryant!  You guys are my heroes!

This post is helping me procrastinate on preparing for a weekend trip I’m leaving on tomorrow.  Chris Owens, Chris Baca and I will be renting a car and making our way north, potentially into Canada.  We’ll be stopping in the usual haunts, Portland, Seattle for CoffeeFest and Vancouver!  I’m very excited, but I have no idea what to pack….

I cut Ben Kaminsky’s hair out back… photos by Owens

check my flickr for some hopefully amusing photos

times they are a changin’
August 20, 2008, 9:32 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense

I was just looking over the changes in the WBC rules and regulations…  I like them I think… Drinks don’t have to be served at the same time.  There is also no more under the table storage.

What do you guys think?

a return..
August 18, 2008, 6:21 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense

Yes, Yes, it’s been a while… so sorry. I’m going to blame it on acclimating to the weather here in San Francisco.

A news update..

San Francisco is about to be the gathering place of large group of the talented coffee professionals next weekend, and no one is even competing! Slow Food Nation will be happening over the Labor Day weekend.  It’s an event to celebrate well crafted foods and beverages. Besides there being a giant coffee tasting pavilion, there will be beer, bread, cheese, chocolate, honey, fish, olive oil, pickles, tea, and wine tasting pavilions. The amazing and talented Tonx, Andrew Barnett, and my boss, Eileen Hassi are curating the coffee tasting. There will be coffees from some of the best roasters from across the States, as well as some of the most amazing baristas from all over leading people through eye opening coffee experiences. But, maybe the most exciting part will be all the producers that will be there, rumor has it that Marysabel from Finca El Puente in Honduras, Abdullah Bagersh of Misty Valley and other Ethiopian coffee fame, Jacques Pereira from Carmo do Minas in Brazil, as well many others will also be attending! It’s going to be an all star cast, for sure!

My talented co-worker, Chris Baca, and I have started working on a new training program.  It’s turning into a monster, but a monster program that will produce well-rounded, skilled and confident  coffee professionals.  Watch out guys, we’re forging elite baristas out here on the west coast.

ps… Ritual has many many new coffees, as well as a new espresso blend! Espresso Lifesaver is pretty much rockin my world lately… there’s Misty Valley in it so how could it not be..