win cool shit

check out the contest over on Home-Barista.com...

first prize is a Mazzer Mini grinder. seriously. other prizes include an i-Roast home roaster, a set of Illy cups, etc etc

whatcha got to lose?
insane, crazy busy.

let's see... i had a really fun trip to SF that included a trip to Ritual Coffee. if you're in the Bay Area you need to go check these folks out. first of all... the space is fantastic. it's a gorgeous coffee bar, spacious, attractive... for some reason it feels like a San Francisco coffee bar should feel (as compared to most SF coffee shops that feel either like they should be in Berkeley or like they're frozen in time or like they could be anywhere in the world).
i had a couple double shots of Hairbender. nice, clean, served in pre-heated demitasse...
my friends had lattes and cappuccinos and macchiattos and it was so cool to see the drinks come out with perfect milk and nice latte art.
it's been a long time coming!
and i finished it off with a super nice cup of the Kenya AA.
Blue Bottle really opened things up in SF. before them - SF was a coffee wasteland. Ritual has taken things to a new level. with these two companies (and at least one i've not checked out - Cafe Organica) SF finally is getting the coffee it deserves.

i've been getting a ton of feedback on my Grimac Mia review. it's kind of funny... i've had a whole bunch of pro baristas on my case saying that i scored it too high as compared to a Linea (not that they've ever used a Mia, but it's a home machine after all - grin). and meanwhile i've had a whole bunch of home baristas on my case saying i scored it too low and shouldn't have compared it to commercial machines as that was doing it a disservice. the truly ironic thing is that the folks at Espresso Parts (who provided the machine for the review) were happy. it's a weird world.

finally, i went up to Olympia (to drop of the machines) and Seattle yesterday and had a really great day. went with Terry from Espresso Parts and Bronwen from Hines and Tony, Chris and Jen from Victrola and Kent from ESI to see an incredibly cool new piece of coffee equipment being produced by a new startup. it's seriously amazing. i think it has a chance to truly change a whole segment of the coffee market. it blew all of us away.

after checking it out and having a lunch at Hopvine, we all hit Victrola for some coffee (thanks Kyle) and then over to ESI (gear geek heaven) before finishing up with a couple macchiattos at Vivace.

sunny day in Seattle - good people, good coffee, good beer... good fun.

oh... and finally... the new issue of Barista Magazine is out and my article is in there! Go buy it now.


Gorgeous Guat

Just pulled some shots of the new Stumptown Guatemala Finca San Vicente.
Chocolate-covered dried cherry bomb!!
After tasting it, I decided it was time for the affogato treatment.

Over-the-top ultra treat.
Lovin' life.