top 12 coffees of 2004

Ken Davids just announced the top twelve coffees for the last year in Coffee Review.
the Stumptown El Salvador Las Nubitas was #6.
very cool indeed. especially given that it was one of only two Stumptown coffees reviewed by Coffee Review.
"A delicately intense, sweetly acidy cup. In the aroma spicy and floral with milk chocolate undertones. Perfectly balanced and lyric in the cup, with floral notes and a sweet, high-toned temperate fruit, pear or cherry. The chocolate resurfaces in the long, gently astringent finish."

i had a fun bar shift today. pretty busy, great crew.
spent most of my time working bar-back (aka chimp) which is tough work but not exactly super challenging. still had fun, however, and glad i got the chance to work the shift.


i'm feeling so much better. thank god for doctors and drugs! i'm still not 100% but i'm feeling alive, up and about and happy to be feeling human again.

there is a great article by Kyle Larson on Single Origin Espresso in Fresh Cup. having Kyle around is super cool - he's a really good barista and a great guy. one of the best in the business.

i've been spending a lot of time working with some of the baristas here. it's been really rewarding. we've been focusing on bio-mechanics and ergonomics and it's great to see this sort of positive results on a personal and professional level. seeing people getting more comforable and safer and maybe even extending their careers... super cool.

we've been working really hard as a company on continuing to push quality as far as we can take it - perhaps even further! it's so cool to work somewhere where the committment to quality is this intense and this engrained within the culture of the company.

i've been learning so much.
the cuppings, working with baristas of such incredible skill, listening to the roasters and seeing them at work and (perhaps most of all) talking to Duane and to the managers of the business and seeing their committment to what we're all doing here.

today i cupped a couple really amazing coffees in fact. first, a Sumatra with the most incredible herbal-fruit brightness -- creating a coffee that is over the top and yet balanced in its own way. insane, funky, sappy-resin-herbal tones in the aroma and on the palate, gorgeous almost fermented rich fruit and the deep funky chocolate earth in the body and finish. for a Sumatran it's got some actual clarity even. brilliant. and then a Yirgacheffe with a rich buttery chocolate tone in the body - a body that actually was amped up to the point where the coffee was almost heavy, with the body to match the candied lemon peel/zest-floral high tones.
the cool thing is that the other coffees on the table were all so good -- it allowed me to experience these two oddball and unusual coffees for what they were. different and special.
and... of course... the cupping was our usual employee cupping - which made it all the more awesome.
lovin' it.

finally, the other day Les (creator of Thor Tampers) came into the Belmont cafe and sent me an email the next day where he said his drink was "the best ristretto he'd ever had in a commercial place" and "The flavor was deep and complex with no hint of bitterness." he capped it all off with perhaps the best comment of all... "The presentation was good the service was great."

feels so good.