BGA Member

I actually got my BGA card today!
I'm an official member of the Barista Guild of America!
Very cool.
I know it's geeky - but it feels good. To think that it wasn't that long ago that people first starting talking about some sort of guild for baristi on the SCAA site. And now it's real!


bad coffee - Tahoe

damn do i ever hate it when people serve me bad coffee. i'm not talking coffee that isn't exactly as i like it. i'm talking coffee that cannot be drunk, coffee so bad that 1/4 cup of cream and two tablespoons of sugar cannot cover the horrid, stale, dirty, unevenly extracted, bitter awfulness of it.

and after drinking coffee in Tahoe for two days, i'm thinking of naming it the Worst Coffee in the US. seriously. blech.


i've been spending a fair amount of time roasting and cupping coffees since i'm not working as a barista at present.
it's been incredibly informative and interesting - and i think i'm learning a lot (about roasting, of course, but about coffee in general as well). it should make me a better barista long term.

today i cupped four coffees - three origin coffees and one blend.

Test Blend - this used Uganda Organic Bugisu and a dry-processed Grade 1 Sumatra Mandheling as the base with a Guatemala Antigua and an Ethiopian Harrar as accent notes. post-rost blended, with the Bugisu and the Harrar both taken to Full City, the Antigua taken to City Plus and the Sumatra at Full City Plus. a really nice "house" style blend. balanced, juicy, with a nice bittersweet chocolate foundation and good fruit notes. not complex or challenging, but a good "everyday" coffee.

Guatemala Antigua - a single estate Antigua, roasted to City Plus. i extended the roast from first to second crack and stopped it right at the start of second crack. it turned out to be a very consistent roast. in the cup it has excellent aromatics (jasmine and bergamot) and a wonderful, balanced flavour profile. even though it was a somewhat light roast, it had good body, with some soft milk-chocolate tones and a plum/dried cherry note. a really lovely, satisfying coffee.

Sumatra Mandheling - a grade 1, dry-processed Sumatra from a single lot. i extended the roast on this one as well and took it truly to Full City Plus. this was a huge bodied coffee - perhaps the biggest bodied coffee i've ever tasted. not too funky, with none of the musty notes that some Indonesian coffees can get. a bit "flat" on the high end, but with some nice low-acid dried fruit tones and that thick, rich, nutty and syrup-like body dominating everything. the roast notes came through as toasty rather than carbon, which was really good.

Ethiopia Longberry Harrar - my personal favorite of the coffees. incredible aromatics - very earthy/spicy - reminiscent in an odd way of cologne (musk and earth and spice). i took this to Full City, but didn't extend the roast. this resulted in a wide range of roast (typical of Harrar). the idea was to really emphasize the "wild" flavours of a dry processed Harrar. it succeeded. when hot, the cup was dominated by a dark, leathery spice and tobacco flavour with just enough wine-berry fruit to balance it. as it cooled, the fruit became more dominant and a dark chocolate tone began to emerge. a wonderful, complex and challenging coffee.


one of the coolest things about being a barista is the incredible community you are a part of.

ever since i started looking for a new gig i've been getting a huge amount of positive feedback from baristi all over the place. folks are sending me emails about places that might be looking for skilled help, suggesting opportunities or just letting me know that i will get another barista job that i enjoy.

it's really cool!

oh... Ellie from Intelligentsia posted an incredible article about Pro Barista Training. it's a must read.

i cupped a really lovely Yemen Moka Sanani yesterday. it reminded me why i love Yemeni coffees so much.