twitchy

SCAA 2008 ramp-up

April 30th, 2008

2.5 hours sleep and one lucid dream on the plane later I put down on the ground this morning in MSP. (For the second time in a week, though I actually got out of the airport this time. That layover from SF *was* magical, though — who knew $4 bottles of water tasted so good? — [...]

Supercompetitor takes it!

April 12th, 2008

Northeast Regional Barista Competition 2008 Winners! #3: Katie Carguilo, Counter Culture Coffee, Brooklyn, NY ( right) #2: Chris Deferio, Carriage House Cafe, Ithaca, NY (left) aaaand #1: Amber Sather, Intelligentsia Coffee, New York, NY (center) !!!!

Jay is way more relaxed today and yesterday didn’t even seem that rough. He reintroduces the Heartbreaker espressso roasted by Novo. His signature drink is the Café Brulée, foreshadowing both the custard and the hand torch yet again. Jay’s talkin’ more today — goes into detail about the origins of his coffee, an area of [...]

Deferio is the reigning NERBC champion and has more than luck and skill on his side. Today I catch the full introduction of his espresso blend — three different coffees roasted by three different friends across the US. The Brazil is roasted by his friend Matt in Syracuse. The Papua New Guinea is roasted by his [...]

I catch a wince at 2:22 — Ganger is already flustered by his routine. His tamp? It’s hard to tell. Thick deep microfoam tops his cappuccinos — he seems super competent but there’s a little romance lacking in this presentation. Chris explains he’s updosing and pulling 3/4 oz ristretto shots to maximize the body of [...]

Amber’s keeping her cool real cool today. She talks more this morning than yesterday, but seems totally at ease — starts off introducing her espresso blend again, a marriage of two Brazils: Veloso Estate and Santo Antonio Estate. Sweetness and caramel are promised, to match the caramel Sather is cooking down at the front of [...]

Katie is back with her beets. She explains that beets are earthy and sweet and she thought they would pair perfectly with coffee. Preparing her beet and goat’s milk mixture, she adds that as goat cheese is a classic pairing with beets, she’s simply adapting this to a milk. Again she immersion blends the beets [...]

The shakiest part of Lance’s performance yesterday appeared to be his verbal presentation — today’s just as stammery (I was hoping he’d reuse the same jokes) and he says something about biodiesel wine. When he hits the machine things start to regain a bit of control. Lance explains his blend again. Cappuccinos are poured shaky [...]

Thanks to the lovely and enticing Jenni Bryant for holding my notebook while I type these notes in, by the way. Competitor #10: Justin Teisl There is a long judge’s delay before Teisl goes on, and I’m really hungry. But I can’t leave. Time to dig into these smoked dates! Like in Milwaukee, Teisl is [...]

NERBC Day One: Finalists

April 11th, 2008

Check it: Chris Ganger (Ithaca Coffee Co) Lance Nichols (Gimme! Coffee) Jay Murdock (Cafe Grumpy) Chris Deferio (Carriage House Cafe) Katie Carguilo (Counter Culture Coffee) Amber Sather (Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea)

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