Report - Day One (Fri, 15 April)

crossing my fingers and holding my breath i took the morning train to Seattle. deep down in the pit of my stomach there was such dread... how would the cafes perform? what would people think?

perhaps i should explain... a while back Duane decided that the best thing to do, given that many of the people in the coffee business who are respected here at Stumptown would be in Seattle for the SCAA show, would be to throw a party down here in Portland after the show ended. this plan grew and mutated in in the end become much more than a simple party. instead, it was a large party at our downtown cafe followed the next day by a guided tour of all our cafes and the roastery.

we really didn't want to let Duane down. the nightmare in the cafes was the idea that someone we care about might comment about a "not so good" drink.

i had a hard time sleeping.
i had near panic attacks.

and now i was going to be going away from town for a long weekend right before the whole big deal.

so up to Seattle it was (i'll skip the screaming children and my thoughts on parents who buy business class for their brats).
and then over to the conference center itself for a quick immersion in the chaos that was the show floor in setup mode.
then across the way with Boothmaster Jay to the WBC area. i got to taste some shots from a bunch of competitors who were practicing. Troels (from Denmark) was using an espresso from George Howell that was very nice indeed. I've tasted this espresso before - but found it a bit flat. This time it was quite lovely. Sweet, creamy, with some lovely aromatics, a touch of fruit and a warm peanut note.
i then ran into some friends there and decided to go to dinner at Lark (IMHO the best restaurant in Seattle and which lived up to that billing on that night).
exhausted and stressed, a few drinks, some scattered party trawling and then to bed with thoughts of the next morning's sessions and my busy schedule and looming stress combining with alcohol in my stomach in a most unpleasant way. sweet dreams indeed.

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