Usually known for their reporting and humor on all things tech and gadgets, Gizmodo‘s Matt Buchanan wrote a comprehensive primer on coffee and basic brewing methods. Unlike most mainstream media, however, he actually sought knowledge and advice from those in the know – Ken Nye of Ninth Street Espresso and David Latourell of Intelligentsia. Matt also interviewed Jacob Ellul-Blake, La Marzocco s.r.l.‘s R&D, on what it takes for an espresso machine to brew a good espresso shot (other than a good barista, that is).
Also featured in the article is a picture of Ninth Street Espresso’s custom Linea Paddle.
- Ninth Street Espresso’s Linea Paddle with individual coffee boilers, 3 PID controllers, preheated inlet water line, and barista lights.
- Flooded espresso machines during the 1966 Flood of River Arno
Here’s one from the archives… In the aftermath of the great 1966 Flood of the River Arno in Florence, Italy, many shops’ espresso machines were destroyed or otherwise rendered useless. La Marzocco s.r.l. accepted these machines and replaced them with new La Marzoccos so that the people of Florence can at least enjoy espresso as they work through the difficult clean up.
Bonus points if you can Name That Machine!
It’s not always easy to put the right people in the right job. Thanks to Tom and Ray at CarTalk, we now have this (adapted for espresso machines):
Put all prospectives in a room with nothing but an espresso machine and leave them alone for 2 hrs without any instructions. After 2 hrs, check up on them and see what they’ve done:
- Those who took the machine apart go to Engineering
- Those who became jittery without an internet connection go to IT
- Those who ask you what you’ve paid for the machine go to Purchasing
- Those who were caught sleeping go to Senior Management
- Those who don’t even look up go to Security
- Those who tell you what a great machine you’ve got here go to Sales
Our friends at Visions Espresso introduces their Coffee Enhancement Lounge (nice blurb here from Seattle Times), an extension of their services into training and consulting. Spearheaded by the always cheerful Sarah Dooley, every event should be a blast.
The Coffee Enhancement Lounge, or intentionally abbreviated as CEL so people like me won’t forget, features a La Marzocco Linea Manual Paddle, a standard Linea, and a GS/3. Soon it will also feature a Slayer, so baristas can have a smackdown between a Slayer and a Linea Manual Paddle.
- La Marzocco espresso machines at the Coffee Equipment Lounge
When not training, Sarah and her accomplices at Visions enjoy water gun/balloon fights, pranks during coffee cupping, and anything else that doesn’t relate to work.
If you’ll be around Seattle on Saturday, August 29, check out CEL’s all day class/lecture on defect cupping, PID, SO espresso roasting, equipment mods, and more presented by many industry names you may know. The event will migrate over to a BGA sanctioned Barista Jam/Latte Art Smackdown at Victrola, where winning NW baristas will compete with LA baristas during Coffee Fest.
- Kevin Knox demonstrating the Aerobie coffee press.
Kevin Knox, the famed coffee industry veteran, stopped by last week to check out our new dig and to play around on the Aerobie coffee press. Having worked for Allegro and Starbucks during the 80’s and early 90’s (back when the specialty coffee retail scene was still in its infancy, relatively speaking), Knox is a walking encyclopedia of coffee (you can read more about Knox here). Now working as a coffee consultant, he travels around the world in seeking to improve coffee practices worldwide. Perhaps to many people, he is best known for his book, Coffee Basics, a primer on specialty coffee and a must read for those new to the coffee world.
We are excited for Zoka Coffee and their new cafe on the Eastside. Zoka is busy preparing for their new grand opening of their new store in Kirkland, WA. If things go according to plan, that grand opening may be…. today!
- Robbie and La Marzocco FB/70
On the coffee bar, Zoka is featuring a special edition La Marzocco FB/70:
- Manual paddle for variable soft pre-infusion
- Independent PID control for each group
- Independent coffee boiler for each group
- Custom matte black panel
- Teflon coated steam wands
- Setting up the machine
When we visited, they had 5 espresso grinders, possibly offering single origin espressos as standard menu items. We certainly hope so!