i am starting to see wizards around the convention center. actual wizards. i am seriously contemplating joining their convention instead of this one, so if coverage stops suddenly this weekend you will know why.
also, important correction: the fro yo place adjacent the convention center is called frozen assets, not liquid assets.
andrew milstead (urban coffee lounge, kirkland, washington) presents a super pro routine in which he manages to say “avocado affogato” numerous times without tripping over himself. it’s a crazy-tasting signature drink…sweet and wild.
following andrew is tyler wells of austin, texas sausage purveyor frank. tyler makes the grand but possibly not entirely illogical leap that the wonders of finca matalapa are as diverse and rewarding as those of the pig: after all, if ham, bacon and pork chops can come from a magical animal, so can all the amazing coffees from this farm in el salvador. his signature drink is a balance of caramel and apple cider, and it’s crazy sweet, crazy tasty and crazy that this is a coffee drink.
gabriel combs of intelligentsia coffee in LA is preparing a coffee with notes of cherry cordial. he’s hot buttering some almonds up there. competitor nik krankl‘s granddad and style maven is strolling about the floor by now, by the way, in paramilitary garb, a leatherman, jackboots, and suspenders. i can’t tell if he has a sightglass or sextant on him but i’m guessing he does…
alterra coffee’s scott lucey promises a coffee routine that works like an “inverse crescendo”. servant leadership is on the menu again today: this time in the form of a cappuccino, the drink that truly works to serve the coffee selflessly. yeah it does!
(greg scace overheard on the floor: “five year olds can accumulate some princess shit, that’s the truth”)
charles babinski is next from intelligentsia cofffee in chicago: “i want you to imagine that this table is a coffee farm!” he says…and for a moment we are teleported, from under the hot lights and stale convention center air, to el salvador.
espresso parts’ robbie britt disqualifies over time, but as emcee michael elvin puts it, “you went a little over time, but you looked great doing it!”
ryan knapp from madcap in grand rapids, mitten, asserts that happy cappuccinos come from happy cows, but jared truby of santa cruz’s verve coffee roasters claims that happy coffee comes from happy people. all this happiness is making me dizzy, though not as much as truby who claims that the first time he tasted his competition coffee he “literally blacked out”.
i skip chris baca who i actually really want to watch, only because i need to eat lunch and i’m certain i’ll have the chance to see him compete in the semifinals saturday, unless his routine is obliterated by wayward volcanic ash from iceland or something else equally unlikely. i steal a pimp ride with doug palas and we go to the nearest in-n-out burger. thank god for short breaks of fresh air…or french fry air, we take what we can get in anaheim.
the semifinalists are announced, gosh, at some point, and amazingly, scott lucey isn’t there to hear his name called. he’s busy in the basement of the convention center leading a barista guild class. how do you like THAT for servant leadership?
a quick stop at the hotel for cold drinks and coffeemaker tea, and we’re off to LA for the intelligentsia party, full of tacos, flickr stalkers, brewtbart souvenirs, and so much more. i’m pretty sure the party is past its prime when i start seeing people doing face-painting at 1:00am, and we all pile onto the last shuttle bus back to anaheim, where some drunk australians try to start a dance contest in the aisle. to sleep, and to the semifinals, where hopefully no one will still be their in face paint.