i had an excellent training session today.
in this case, i was not training but being trained.
it was really good - very valuable.
i think all baristas should try to get trained and/or re-trained regularly. it's so worthwhile.

stephen diagnosed a bad habit i've fallen into with my shots (i'd started pulling them a bit short, which was resulting in a truncated and somewhat flat profile). just one more second of patience and the flavour became balanced and complete. nice! better than that, he figured out why i've been struggling so much with my milk texturing on the Mistrals. i had the wand orientation off and i had the pitcher angle wrong as well. finally, i had a compromised grip on the pitcher from trying to use the grip i've always used on La Marzoccos, but with the cross-hand thing i now need due to the placement of the steam knob on the Mistral. and just like that the texture was better, the roll was back and now i'm able to get the latte art back on track.
i just need to rediscover the confidence i used to have now that the milk is working.

very cool.



have had a whole bunch of visitors of late - which has been super cool.

first, Jay and Linda from Bishop came to visit. they're two of my best friends and among the few things i really really miss from there. both used to work with me, both have great palates and are great people. i turned them on to a whole bunch of the coffees we have, which was really great. it's so cool to see people from outside Portland or the niche industry experience Stumptown coffees for the first time and understand what we're all about and what's going on here and why it's all so exciting.

and then Matthew and Janet (also from Bishop) showed up this morning. two more friends and two regular customers from the past as well. it was really cool and a bit surreal to be serving espresso drinks to them at the counter again - but in a new place.

worked a fun shift this morning subbing for a sick employee. bar shifts are good.

and had a great talk with a friend who's trying to put together a "Horror Stories from Coffee Bars" book. told me some of the horror stories. hysterical and terrible. he's got some that are about customers, some that are about staff, some about equipment, some about natural disasters, some about supplies and vendors... you get the idea.

and we cupped three of the COE coffees today at the employee cupping - very cool. to top it off, we cupped an AMAZING coffee from Rwanda afterwards. incredible raspberry dark chocolate truffle things and some tropical fruit/floral tones. a truly gorgeous coffee!