Thursday, January 29, 2009

"I've only had 15 to 20 good espressos in my life.": The T-shirt

It all started with an article Mike White posted on Twitter. In this article, which is coverage from the WRBC, the article writer quotes one of the most loved baristas in coffee, Stephen Morrissey, as saying "I've only had 15 to 20 good espressos in my life."

Needless to say, this is a hilarious thing for a WBC Champion to say. Nothing wrong with it at all, i just found it really funny. I immediately posted this tweet, in which i jokingly plan to create a shirt with Stephen's face on it, and the funny quote.

It just so happened that it was a slow night at work, and i decided to play around with making a t-shirt design, just for fun. I "borrowed" a picture of Stephen from Tonx's Flickr (which i claimed was for a good cause, though he still encouraged me to use it for diabolical purposes) and created the above shirt design. Right as i was finishing it up, my co-worker and other half of "Team Coffee", Danielle, walked by and i explained the significance and that i was playing around, etc.

Well, seeing as Danielle's boyfriend runs a screen printing company, she said we should print a couple. And so we did. And there you have it.

Just so everyone's clear, we love Stephen and think he's super bad ass, but the stars just aligned in our favor. Wouldn't you have done the same thing?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Because i care

In one week i'll be on my way to Pittburgh with Tony to take the Judging Workshop for NERBC/MARBC. I'm super pumped. So pumped, in fact, i'm taking dramatic measures to make sure i do well....

I'm going to quit smoking.

Not sure if i'm doing technical or sensory judging yet, but in case i'm doing sensory, i want my pallatte to be as clean and untainted as possible. Starting to tomorrow, i will have no more cigarettes, at least until after SERBC, which is in 2 weeks. Hope i stay strong!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm the first hit when searching "rosetta stone finnish"!

So about a year and a half ago, i made a post about how Rosetta Stone doesn't offer Finnish as one of their languages and how frustrating that is. A year and half later still no Finnish Rosetta Stone, but i've discovered i'm not alone in my search! Every once in a while i get comments on that post from my fellow Finnophiles expressing their frustration as well. My assumption has been that they've been searching Google for "rosetta stone finnish" or something and way down the list my blog has popped up. I decided to check and see how far down i was.... and it turns out i'm first!

Isn't that nifty? I think it's pretty cool, and also very sad... In any case, i'm playing on a few language sites still trying to keep up my Finnish education. I'm always up for new suggestions, too, so keep them coming!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm about 6 months to a year behind the rest of the coffee world

So yesterday i posted about Tim Wendelboe's deliciously awesome French Press technique that i saw on CoffeeGeek. Still excited about my "new" discovery today, i was talking online to Chris Owens and he informed me or, should i say "busted my balls", by telling me James Hoffmann had done a video tutorial a while ago too, and Coffee Collective before that! So needless to say, i had to go back and watch James's tutorial as well, just to see what i had missed. I guess i have some more playing around to do...

My fatal flaw is that in an effort to better my coffee knowledge i subscribe to an obscene amount of RSS feeds, but because for many months i had literally over 1000 unread posts in my reader, i missed a lot of good stuff. (On a side note, i've switched from Bloglines to Google Reader (with Helvetireader) and am now completely caught up!) My days of being 6 months behind are (hopefully) over!

The moral of the story is have a good RSS reader. It helps your coffee skills and keeps you super informed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

CoffeeGeek spreads delicious knowledge!

Like most coffee nerds, i love hearing about new techniques for anything related to coffee. I've been watching more video tutorials online recently, just so i can see what's out there. Most recently i watched the above video from CoffeeGeek, and i have to tell you, it's rocking my world.

My love for the French press has waned over the past year or so, but i'm happy to say it's been reinvigorated. This French press technique (apparently invented by 2006 WBC champ Tim Wendelboe) involves using 20% more coffee and a clearing technique used in cupping. I'll let you watch the video for details.

Danielle and I decided to test out this method to see if we could really tell much of a difference. We made a French press the "old-fashioned" way and one with the new technique, using Counter Cultures La Golandrina for both. We were a bit skeptical at first, but the proof was in the cup(s). The new technique was much cleaner. The best thing i can compare it to is if you combined the clean cup of a Chemex with the fuller body of a French press. Definitely the best of both worlds.

I tried the technique again this morning on the Ndaroini (Kenya) Microlot we have and it's was one of the best cups of a Kenya i've had in a long time. Mike (one of our new guys) said it was straight up maybe one of the best cups of coffee he'd ever had. Needless to say, I'm pretty sure i'll not be able to go back to the "old-fashioned" way for a long while.