another day - another shift

today was a good day.
no... today was a great day.

i feel like i'm settling in to the job. i had a good shift, i worked with great people, i served wonderful customers... i drank great coffee. what more could you ask for.

the folks who work here are amazing.
this is going to be very good.

and you cannot imagine how great it feels to be somewhere where there are baristas working for me who seriously kick my ass when it comes to the job. incredible!

hopefully i'll see y'all soon at Stumptown.
The final Iceland photos...

Continuing with the "Pandora's Box" part of the competition. To clarify what this was (sorry to those who were confused previously)...

For the last day of the competition, each national team was given a box of ingredients chosen by a local chef and two "themes" to structure their presentation around. These were:
- serving espresso drinks to the Queens of a couple countries (one of whom was a "stealth" barista),
- a party for some recent mothers who were coffee fanatics who had not been able to drink coffee for nine months.
All ingredients from the box had to be used (and included such things as various spices and fruits and baby food - among others).

Drinks from the Finnish team for the "mothers" theme.

The Swedish team in action (looking composed and serious).

Klaus (of the victorious Danish team) in action with the shaker.

Our host - the incredible Addy Heoinsdottir of Kaffitar. Without her this event would not have occurred.

A final bonus shot of WBC Champ Tim Wendelboe, entranced by the sight of the Hairbender through a naked portafilter.


The job is starting to become more "real" to me.

The company meeting last night was incredible. The whole company broke down into small groups and we cupped five Cup of Excellence coffees head to head. It was an amazing experience. Not just to have the opportunity to cup such coffees, but to hear the passion and excitement for the product expressed by so many people.

I'm really lucky.

And then this morning I got my first "new hire" orientation of sorts - working as a bar-back for part of the morning at the downtown location. Super fun actually. Not easy work, but a great group of people, a great vibe... very cool.

And then finishing the day watching a new barista get trained...

It's so sweet - the employees here are not like the "baristas" at so many places. People are very serious, very professional and very committed.

I'm lovin' it!!

Norwegians in Iceland

Here come some more of the promised Nordic Barista Cup Iceland photos... starting with some shots of team norge.

The Norwegians during the "pandora's box" drink challenge phase.

Norwegian team coach (and world champ) Tim Wendelboe overseeing

Fan support

Utilizing the baby food from the "pandora's box"


and the job

Tonight I'll be introduced to the company as a whole. Very exciting and more than a bit nervous-making if you know what I mean.

I'm slowly getting up to speed.
I know it's only my second day, but it feels like time is truly creeping by.

Someone tagged the Stumptown equipment van the other day. Huge (and incredibly lame) and on both sides of the van. Employees are seriously up in arms about it.

It's going to be incredibly cool - this job is really challenging and exciting, but more than that - the company is great. I like the fact that there is a strong culture - a way of acting and doing things - and it's not always my way. Everything from the style of the employees to the way espresso is extracted is different from my personal tastes - and I like that. I like the idea that I'm going to have to rethink stuff, that I'm going to have to change and adapt. And I love the idea of challenging the established "rules" myself. I only hope they're as excited about change as I am.

mo' iceland

i've finally got an internet connection at my new house and finally have recovered much of my data from the drive crash. so... here come more photos from the Nordic Barista Cup!!!

The "Amerkins"... looking, well...

Team Norway - about to start working on their espresso blend.

The teams about to start the cupping phase of the Cup.


More to come... I promise


first day on the job

OK... let me get this out of the way first... number one, Portland is great. the people, the vibe, the coffee, the beer... fantastic. and number two, Stumptown is awesome. i made the right choice and i feel so grateful for the opportunity.

i've been cupping a lot of coffees. samples from the Brazil COE as well as production cupping from Stumptown coffees. i'm learning by the minute if not by the second.

in general there are so many talented people working here. it's amazing.

there was one of the COE coffees from Brazil that was pretty damn good. wonderful cranberry acidity, a clean but balanced body and a wonderfully sweet finish. very lovely indeed. and really nothing like what you would think of when you hear "brazilian." nice.