Tag Archives: Coffee

Only 15-20

Well if you don’t know who they are or who he (on the shirt) is I guess you could ask in the comments section.

This is idol worship, but I like it!

This is idol worship, but I like it!

Courtesy of Portafilter.net

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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!

Espresso Test: This is a test

A friend of mine and I travelled yesterday up to Cary, NC to Crema Roasters to get a couple pounds of espresso.

Kevin gladly responded by saying, “You want some espresso I am working on?” Meaning it was going to be a test.

“Sure thing.  You got my attention”

  • Ethiopian Guji
  • Costa Rica La Pastora
  • Columbian Hvila
  • Brazil Pedre Grande
  • Sumatra Mandilin

Well if this is a test, please let me grade this with a “Oh, my word!

Look, I am not trying to toot my own horn, either.  But, Mark said the espresso tasted better out of my machine (Faema).  Kevin’s is a temp stable La Marzocco FB/80.  This almost has to be a temprature issue – IMHO.  I know that machine runs hot, almost 205.  I am running in the 199-201 range, according to everything Shannon and I discussed.  Ahh, alas I need a Scace of my own with a data logger.

Running into Helios Cafe in Raliegh and end up meeting important peeps!

rich_futrell_s Hmmm, I quickly with a rush blow into Helios Cafe in Raleigh to grab some Counter Culture whole bean for the press and some espresso to tide us over until the Square Mile comes in and “lo and behold” Rich Futrell is sitting there getting wired up on espresso Aficionado.

I had never met Rich, but dude was there and with the very limited time we had we were able to talk shop!! I wish I had much more time, but I had my sister’s family and mine in the Excursion waiting!

Good to meet you Rich and I hope we can run into each other again very soon!

While I was there I got a pound of Counter Culture’s Espresso Aficionado, Ada’s Finca Mauritania, & Kenya Kangocho (a personal CCC fav).

Can’t wait until the morning when I can get into this stuff.

Square Mile Roasters of London chosen for the Holidays!

Square Mile Coffee Roasters is on top of my list this year.

Nikki and I wanted to do something this year out of the ordinary…and that we did. As much as I love Counter Culture Coffee, I live within an hours drive of the place. I was really wanting to do something different this year. Nope, not Intelli, either. They were my introduction into the specialty coffee world. What about West Coast? There are some fantastic roasters out there, like Stumptown or even Ecco Cafe.

But, after some discussion, we landed on Square Mile. Me personally, I just kept coming back to them in my head (good marketing guys). They are working on some special stuff. I like the fact they work with small batches and small numbers of those batches. In other words they don’t have 30 different beans for sale, just six or so and they have rather limited quantities of those beans.

I have an inordanant amount of trust in James Hoffman’s and Stephen Morrisey’s ability and skill and Anette Moldvaer‘s nose and taste buds. All are champions! And I am laying trust in that. I have heard some comments, which shall remain nameless, that swear by the stuff! Honestly, one said the “Winter Espresso” was disappearing in milk. I just can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t a batch error. Afterall, you can’t get every batch perfect. It is coffee, not the Bible.

Anyways, I can’t wait. Here was my order:

That Santa Rita natural has my mouth watering thinking about it.

I will need more coffee for the holidays. That is only four pounds. I am leaning on Stumptown, but your thoughts are important and I desire your comments!

Holiday Coffee & Espresso

latteartsnowman2

Well, it really is that time of year again.  I have heard all of my life that time flies faster and faster the older you get, but it seems like yesterday I was sweating my brains out in 100 degree heat!  Now, we have had a great month of November and late October in averaging in the high 50’s.  A bit odd, even for North Carolina this time of year.

So, what to do about Christmas?  Last year, it was my first Christmas with “the unit” hooked up in the house.  It was  a sprint to get it all hooked up as a 220v electric line had to be brought in from the service box, we had to plumb it for water coming in and out and finally, I had to get a couple hundred dollars of accessories like cups and such.  Finally, when I did get things going all I had was a Kitchen Aid Proline Grinder, which was suppose to work fine with espresso and probably would for the average setup, but quite frankly I was trained on a Mazzer (Jolly & Robur) and I just couldn’t see using that PL.  So, a Mini Mazzer was acquired.

Coffee wise, I ordered five pounds from Crema Coffee Roaster and I shot through that in about three days!  That is high volume for a house!  And to be honest with you, it wasn’t that great of espresso.  No fear my friends, it wasn’t Crema’s fault.  It was squarely my fault.

This year, I am still considering ordering three pounds from Crema, as I just spent through a three pound order that was fantastic.  But, I am keeping my options open.  I may just mix things up and go “West Coast” this year.  The only issue I have is not knowing what it should taste like and then not knowing if I am dialed in right.

What are you doing for the holidays with your coffee purchases?  Spicing things up a bit?  Staying with your stalwert coffee sources?

Basics for a new generation coffee business

The wife and I have been just plugging at an idea for a coffee kiosk business.  We have a plan in our head which we intend on putting on paper, but right now it is just in the air.  All we would be doing is sucking off of $B top.  We would be in a high foot traffic educational area and we would keep the menu as simple as possible.  A very, very constricted menu such as a espresso, Latte, cappuccino, with the usual soy and such variations and finally the drip/French press via only two single origins.  Nothing fancy and nothing to argue about.  It is a kiosk and the point is the student doesn’t have to drive four miles off campus between a set of classes to go to $B.  The concept further states that we “are not $B and thus we are different.”  Two flavors, which I don’t even want to offer, but we feel like there is some necessity for it, especially at first.  Hopefully, we will be able to offer at least two tables for chair seating and there is some benches all around this large enclosed rotunda area that we have our eyes upon; Thus we hope we can offer the espresso “for here” only.

Jim Hoffman has some spectacular reading going on over at his blog that, in his words, covers “quite a broad topic within coffee, that covers not only elements of brewing but sales, consumption, successes and failures and the challenges that lie ahead for anyone in the industry.”

The first topic is Trust, then Pricing, and finally Expectations.

I would have to say this is required reading, even for a customer.  I know that Miss Nikki and myself will be studying this short, but very helpful primer.