Tag Archives: Cappuccino

Where in the World Is Wilson Hines

Anybody remember the computer game called “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”  I played that thing on a RadioShack Tandy back in the day!  And I OWNED it!  I could beat it ten ways each day!  🙂

I guess some people are asking where I am and what I am doing.  I have a few answers:

  • It isn’t work that is keeping me from posting quality information to my site.
  • It isn’t a lack of quality coffee (will reference some later in the post).
  • It is Twittering.  There is the whole blame.

The last post was the 21st of December.  I have found that Twitter is a fantastic tool for “Micro-Blogging” and I have been using it more and more every day.  On the mobile, at the desktop and checking the DMs constantly.  I “tweet” about anything and everything, coffee included.

Christmas was special.  We really had a good time this year.  I love Christmas and we try to make it a special coffee experience every year, as well.  This year, as previously posted, we went across the pond to the United Kingdom and purchased a fantastic group of coffees from @SquareMile Roasters in London (see there I go twittering).

The coffee Square Mile sent us was fantastic.  The Los luchadores Espresso was surely in a class by itself.  Everybody knows I like Toscano from CCC and this espresso was just as good and in some respects, better.  The Santa Rita Natural was just that: Natural.  Really full of flavor.  I even sneaked a espresso shot of that COE and it was great just as a SO espresso.   While there wasn’t anything wrong with the  El Portillo, it just wasn’t the Santa Rita!  It was great, please don’t misunderstand me.  But, the Santa Rita just kept coming back to us.

We surely enjoyed our time with their coffee and the shipping was great too; eight days to the Eastern United States off of roast.  I think that is perfect timing for some degassing and such.

Since running out of the Square Mile, the wifey and I have been going to Raleigh every 10 days or so and buying whatever strike our fancy up at Helios Cafe in downtown.  They serve Counter Culture Coffee.

Thanks for the visit and enjoy your coffee for the day!

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Five Days in Miami and I didn’t even try to drink the coffee!

Can you believe it.  I spent five days in Ft. Lauderdale and MIA and I didn’t even try.  I would see a neon sign frequently saying “Espresso” or “Cappuccino” and I didn’t even try.  I did get out of my truck once at a place and I peered into the window and saw the P.O.S (not to be confused with POINT OF SALE) machine and horrificly gross full doser on the grinder and I just walked away. LOL.  It is amazing.

More blithering about aweful espresso. It is making me physically ill

Remember my post about Mickey’s Pastries in Goldsboro taking an add out in the paper for an experienced barista?  Well, what a bunch of crapola.

Look, gloves off.  I have been nice the past few weeks about going into places and getting espresso, capps and coffee that just sucks.  It would be different if I was going into a Starbucks or some cracked up truckstop, but I am going into places that should know better, but they don’t. After reading a post on the Barista Exchange entitled “you serve bad espresso…..an you should be ashamed…..igot razors in my car if you want” and then replying, I am just sick of bad espresso and coffee.  It isn’t that bad when it is some cracked up joint that doesn’t care (or doesn’t have a history of caring) for the products they sell, they just want to sell’em (like a convenience store: no reason to care if the coffee sucks or not).  But, it is sick, absolutely gut wrenching, when you go into a place historically renown nationwide as being a stalwart and essence of quality.  Mickey’s Pastry has two people that are Certified Master Baker’s, which it is a rarity to have two CMBs on staff.  She has been in Cooking Light Magazine and I have read the article.  There are only a few CMBs in the United States, period.

So, with the CMB background I would figure that Melanie Daniels (CMB) and Mickey’s Pastries would take the same care and effort and funnel that into espresso and coffee.  Of course I know there is a learning curve.  Of course I understand that it will not be perfect at first.  But, there are few essentials I truly figured they would have taken care of first and foremost.

I walked in and a young lady came up to the counter asking if she could help me.  I asked “Did you fill the barista position?”  She said, “What is that?”  And I pointed to the LM Linea.  She said, “Oh, no, Melanie does it.”  So, I said, “I can order an espresso then?”  She replied, “Yes.”

Melanie came out about two minutes later never making eye contact, never saying “hi.”  She ground the shot, never wiping the portafilter after coming out of the group and tamped it with an RB.  Never flushing the Linea.  Pulled the shot which “went blond” immediately and poured in about 12 seconds.  That Espresso Toscano was just literally massacred.  Then, to completely finish whacking any tendons that may have been holding the skull to the upper vertebrae she poured it into a Styrofoam cup.  Yeah, that is right…Styrofoam, not even a paper cup.  Because she didn’t bleed the temperature off of the machine it was surely boiling and I didn’t taste a thing but hot, muddy water.

After she pulled it, she never looked at me and put it up on the counter, starting to walk off I said, “Hey, Melanie!  Have you had a hard time finding a barista?  I saw your ad in the paper.”  She finally made eye contact with me and said the following twice, “No, we really don’t have a need.”  She then, turned about face and walked off.  Weird.  Just weird.

So, what did a walk in on here?  A tax write off?  I know she had at least $7,000 (if used) if not $12,000 (if new) worth of equipment.

Melanie, if your reading this?  Don’t get mad, get better.  Get some cups from espressoparts.com and find out as much about Espresso Toscano and coffee, how precious it is and how hard people work to make it spectacular, as you found out about the rest of your fantastic products in your bakery.  That bench with the coffee equipment is a black eye in that shop.  It is just as bad as having tray after tray of baked goods in your display and then on the end having some cakes that a three year old made with mommy. Another thing, about the equipment, there hardly any better equipment that can be purchased; There are a couple machines better and a few grinders better, but they are rarely chosen.  You have a La Marzocco Linea, a Mazzer Super Jolly and a Reg Barber Tamper.  You have the tools of about 80% (my number) of  the best professionals in the world.  Whether it is Murky Coffee in D.C, Octane in ATL, and the list just goes on and on, the LM Linea and the Mazzer SJ are the workhorses of fantastic coffee the world over.

And I am going to ask a serious question here: Where in HADES is Counter Culture Coffee here?  All that talk about espresso, coffee integrity and sustainability and all that.  Look guys, her whole bean on the shelf was roasted in mid-June.  I know you trained her, I could tell she had some practice.  But, what gives?  Are things so bad your salesmen have to talk people into purchasing the equipment that have no education in coffee, no compass to work off of regarding quality?  I know you sold her the drip blend for the walk-ins for years and that is fantastic.  It probably should have stayed right there.  I wonder how long it took you to talk her into the idea of buying $7k to $12k of equipment (or was it a write off).  You (CCC & Melanie) may say “is this any of your business?”  Yes, yes it is.  It becomes my business when I see somebody continuing the thought process in their customer’s mind that espresso is nasty and cappuccinos and lattes need two shots of syrup to hide the coffee.

I am just tired of seeing the same senario over and over and over with no “letting up.”  And on top of that, this time they dropped it right in my backyard.  I sit here looking at places where I would DIE to setup shop and create a fantastic product and atmosphere for people.  I sit here with no money and nobody with to develop a business.  Mrs. Daniels and CCC, if you desire, call me, write me, respond here or whatever.  Just Google me and get my address and phone number.  I am not hard at all to find.  Now, rip me.  Respond here and tell me what you were thinking.  Defend yourself.  Or just blow steam off on me.  Call me the idiot.  Call me the “coffee snob.”  Or you could call me (or somebody) up and ask for some advice.  You DO have a market.  And you CAN “have a need.”

Double Shot’s Latte Art Competition $$$

Double Shot Cafe Latte Art Competition

Double Shot Cafe Latte Art Competition

$185!   Why not $200 or $150?

Anyway, take a look at this latte art competition sign they made.  Look at the dang picture of that latte art.  How in the world?

Search for the Best Mocha Latte In the World

That is the title of the site and I must say a rather good site.  It is the expidites of Nathan Slabaugh, a professional trombonist for a travelling circuis.  Like me, he gets the chance to get into some fascinating places…just trying to find a good cup of coffee!  He has a podcast and I must say I am impressed with the whole deal.  He carries a little notebook Cataloguing every experience. I have thought about doing that, but I don’t do it because I just figure I would forget it a couple of times and then wind up throwing it away!

Subscribe to Bean Chaser by Email

Now you can subscribe to a daily e-mail with the “Bean Chaser” blog going right to your inbox.  As you can see, to the right and under the “search box” I have added a “Subscribe to Bean Chaser by E-mail.” You won’t receive an update if there isn’t an update, so don’t worry about it nagging you.  And instead of getting an update per post, it is just a “daily digest.”

Personally, I get most of my blogs through my Google Reader and then there are some that I just go to their URL because I like the site or whatever.  But, this gives another venue.  There are three blogs that I get in my e-mail and I have found that it makes a difference!

Thanks for subscribing!

The Perfect Cappuccino Movie

Amy Ferraris is a movie producer who turned a simple desire to find a good capp into a very powerful drive to find the PERFECT capp!  You can hear her on the Double Shot podcast co-hosting a couple episodes and talking about it.  I can’t wait to get a copy!

Copying from the Double Shot Cafe blog:

Amy Ferraris’ movie, “The Perfect Cappuccino” is starting to play at film festivals around the midsection of the country. I haven’t seen the final cut, but last I knew the DoubleShot played a pretty good role in the movie.

This Saturday the movie is playing at the Hardacre Film Festival in Tipton, Iowa. If you’re in the area (or have a flexible travel schedule), go see the movie. And let me know how it is.

It’s also playing at festivals in Houston, Kansas City, and Hot Springs Arkansas. I think.

Congrats to Amy. I’m hoping to get to one of the screenings. You should too.

Check out her website: cappuccinomovie.com