Tamp This

October 20, 2008, 9:18 pm
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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!


1 Rented Car, 2 Chris’, and 2231 Miles.
September 17, 2008, 1:26 am
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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
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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

Coffee Across the Country: Part 3, the South West
June 20, 2008, 4:14 pm
Filed under: coffee nonsense, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sorry, one more traveling post and then I can move on. Leaving New Orleans was sad but we felt energized for the days to come. Following I-10 across Louisiana, crossing the longest bridge over swamp/marsh lands and half way through Texas to stop at Chris’ mom’s house in Bandera. No joke, Bandera is the cowboy capital of the world. The next day we made a small day trip with his mom to Austin, TX. Although we didn’t see much of the city, Austin was pretty rad. Of course, we visited Caffe Medici, home of the 1st and 2nd place South Central Regional Barista Champions, . They proudly serve coffees roasted by Cuvee Coffee. I was feeling a little bad for the baristas there though, it was already so hot and humid, I’m sure they were struggling to keep the shots consistent, but they did a stellar job!

Before we could get out of Texas we were stopped by the State Patrol and given a ticket for speeding. As my dad would say, “Damn, the bad luck.” Our drive continued west through New Mexico and into Arizona, where we stayed with Chris’ grandparents in Tucson.

We visited the Safehouse. They brew coffee roasted by Roaster X. Their espresso blends were called Dada and Firecracker, and pulled through a 3 group Astoria lever machine. Next up was a new shop in Tucson, Crave. It’s comfortable with an alternative, retro edge. And they have an amazing bar to sit at. We spoke with the owner, Kim and barista, Logan, for quite a while. Kim really wants to push coffee quality in AZ, she’s going to start leading cuppings and tastings there soon. Plus, they make all of their pastries in house, and they were great!

We took a day trip down to Tombstone and Bisbee. Mostly because I really wanted to see the shoot-out at the OK Corral, but also there’s some great coffee down in Bisbee. After seeing the dramatic reenactment of the gunfight betweent the Earps and Doc Holliday vs. the cowboys, we headed to Bisbee, another small mining town. Bisbee Coffe Co. has a small shop in the historic streets. They’re rockin a Linea/ Super Jolly set-up, and served us one of the best shots we’d had in days, the baristas even knew what their blend consisted of and was pleased to share with us. The roaster is upstairs so we went up and chatted with Justin, who’d just finished roasting all the wholesale coffees for the day. Justin was pretty stoked, he had just returned from his first SCAA conference in Minneapolis and ready to get down to business on the company’s 12 kilo Diedrich roaster.

We continued our travels along the US/Mexico border into California. We stopped in San Diego for fish tacos, but continued on to Los Angeles. Visiting many friends and shops that weren’t opened the year before when we were in town. Thanks again to Tonx and his lovely lady for being our excellent hosts! Of course we visited Intelli.l.a., Choke, and LA Mill. We had fantastic meals with many friends. Basically, everyone should visit.

shot at Choke, pulled by new friend Jules

this is Lilly, the cutest chic in LA, daughter of Nick & Shar Griffith

From L.A. we headed north on the 101. We took a couple of detours to visit the new shop, Verve, in Santa Cruz. It’s a cool beach city and a super cool shop. Placed on the extremely low cement counter is their GB5 that’s pulling super tight ristrettos of both their Street Level and Sermon Espresso blends that they roast right next door. Verve put a big smile on my face, and they gave us plenty of coffee to take with us. Thanks guys!

As we neared San Francisco, we headed to Barefoot Coffee Roasters. They shop was dimly lit and crowded, as it was a Sunday afternoon. They have barista profiles and pictures hanging on the wall so all the customers can know the people behind the bar. They pulled us shots of their Big Foot Espresso blend as well as a single origin shot from El Salvador, the CoE #10, San José.

We arrived in San Francisco just in time for our first staff meeting, at RITUAL COFFEE ROASTERS!! We are stoked to be a part of this team, and excited to continue our coffee education.

Thanks for reading, everyone!