Mid Atlantic/ North East Coffee Conference- MANE

Minded with mastery and no stranger to events Troy, of Cosmic Cup Coffee and Gerra, of New Harvest Coffee can add another successful gathering to their list of accomplishments.

Barista folk from all over the world gathered at a specialized 2 1/2 day event titled MANE.

According to attendees, speakers and a brief, lovely post from dear coffee i love you we’d like to offer a little recap.
With interviews from a short, but sweet DM twitter feed from an easy man to adore, Gwilym Davies and one of our very own attendee/instructor/all around cool guy, Scott Guglielmino.

Let’s start with the keynote speaker and 2009 World Barista Champion (apparently looking very good for his age according to the wikipedia definition, perhaps some shenanigans around his birth year). If you have met Gwilym you would agree he’s probably the most approachable person in the industry; kind, knowledgeable, and a professional learner. His keynote speech summed up felt a little something like this “we just don’t know much…and it’s time to drop the ego’s.” With an invitation like that you can imagine how the dynamic of a room can change opening up the lines of communication.

Scott G. (LM Solutions & specialized customer service tech.) came away with a similar feeling on the event. Scott spent his time doing what he does very well, explaining the intricate but very basic controls for finding great coffee; dose, grind, temperature. His message is the same whether he is here, abroad or at MANE, “…the correction extraction should also taste good.” (Thank you www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com for that perfect quote). He is full of impactful one liners like that. Scott had another pretty inspiring moment that he put into these exact words,”The thirst for knowledge in the New England coffee community was refreshing.”

The event had great topics, full days of information sharing in an intimate layout which welcomed conversation and encouraged hands on learning.

Evenings were matched with a latte art competition, brew down event and what would be great fellowship leading into the wee hours of the morning.

Strada, lever machines and Marco boilers played supporting equipment roles in the production that attendees brag is the best coffee event to date!

La Marzocco Basket

WHAT

Every so often, there is a fundamental advancement in espresso technology – the first double boiler, the first electric motor or the first PID temperature controller, to name just a few. Each of these advancements has brought us great changes in the relationship between the barista and the machine, and, most importantly, the quality of the espresso. Along with game changing baristas, La Marzocco has been a driving force in this endeavor. That’s why back in 2010, La Marzocco contracted with Vince Fedele of VST, Inc. to focus on what had been a long time bottleneck in espresso quality – the espresso filter basket. Read more…

Strada MP Video by Lem

Lemuel Butler, Counter Culture Coffee’s Customer Relations Manager and 2010 SE Regional Barista Champion, showcases his DJ and video editing talents in a short video he made when he first received their Strada MP. Check it out:

 

The Craft

The best coffee video of the year.

BGA’s Camp Pull-A-Shot

Why attend? Because you’ll be using some shiny new Marzoccos there! Camp Pull-A-Shot is the first annual event of its kind that will focus on offering educational courses and content for baristas who want to take their skills to the next level. You will have the opportunity to complete multiple levels of BGA Certification in a very short period of time. Camp Pull-A-Shot will also offer a unique opportunity for all skill levels to have hands on training with some of the most innovative and dynamic baristas in the country. This event will encourage great community networking and fellowship. And at this fantastic price point, you have no excuse not to attend. Compared to private training programs or even SCAA workshops taken individually, you are saving a bundle. Advance your career and get the most cutting edge information and education from the highest level of professional baristas and trainers in the industry.

Who should attend?
-Baristas with all levels of experience looking for certification opportunities, education, and community building.
-Both small and large retailers looking to advance their training and in-store service programs.

BGA Camp Pull-A-Shot

Mid-Atlantic Northeast Coffee Conference

MANE is a 2 1/2 day coffee conference for baristas. Chock full of educational classes, hands on workshops on alternative brewing, espresso extraction on THREE La Marzocco Linea paddle machines, Keynote Sarah Allen, editor of Barista Magazine. Read more…

Limited Edition LM Tampers!

This is limited edition production of La Marzocco branded, engraved wood tampers made by Espresso Parts.

These 58mm convex tampers are available in two handle sizes and 3 wood options – bocote, cocobolo, and ebony.

Get them here:
Long handle
Short handle

An Espresso Analogy

So I came across an article titled What Happens During an Espresso Extractionby Erin Meister of Counter Culture Coffee and Nervous Cook. It’s an excellent primer for coffee newbies on what makes an espresso an espresso. But it’s this that caught my eye:

“Espresso sure is a complicated elixir for being so small. Like Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, a high-quality shot can be multilayered and complex: rich, sexy, sweet, but also fast and smooth—maybe even a little dangerous—with a hint of a bitter edge.”

I don’t know about you, but rich, sexy, sweet, fast, smooth, bitter, and dangerous is how I have my espresso everyday (especially the dangerous part, as it is my middle name as well). But Barbara Stanwyck and Double Indemnity? What the? Well, here’s the writeup according to Netflix:

“Smitten insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) plots the perfect murder with femme fatale client Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck): staging her husband’s “accidental” death to collect double indemnity on his life insurance and absconding with the loot. But before their scheme can pay off, the lethal duo must first get past a crafty claims investigator (Edward G. Robinson) who senses something isn’t kosher.”

While it does have a rating of 4.1 stars on Netflix, I wonder how many readers out there has even heard of this gem from 1944? Certainly not I. Erin, may I recommend this instead?

A Sneak Preview of SCAA New Products

Ok, this just can’t wait for two more weeks. Here’s a sneak peak of La Marzocco’s new iPad app!!This is the first iPad program to work in concert with the forthcoming Strada, controlling functions and parameters such as: time, temp, pressure, and cup profile. Yes, you get to edit and manage your desired cup profile and import it into the app as you wish. The built-in artificial intelligence, or “AI”, (co-developed by La Marzocco, Stanford, and Apple) takes the profile and automatically adjusts other parameters to replicate the profile in the resulting cup.

The app also has analytical tools to indicate: body (in viscosity measurements), spot TDS, and coffee origin (via a built-in DNA sequencer in the grouphead). Best of all, it has a pre-configured scoring system (also controlled by the AI) that analyzes the resulting espresso on the almighty God Shot scale (out of possible 10). I mean, how else would you know you’re drinking a God Shot if it wasn’t a computer with AI telling you so?

Since the recent development of this app, we’ve been just constantly amazed at the superb quality of espressos this tool is able to produce. Forget repeatability, the La Marzocco iPad app brings you the controls over parameters never before possible.

The La Marzocco app is also built to be on the bleeding edge of Apple technology. When future versions of the iPad comes out with a built-in camera, the app’s AI is already configured to immediately take advantage of that and it will know the barista via facial recognition and automatically brew up the barista’s favorite cup profile. Connect it to an additional external camera facing the cafe, and the AI will do the same with frequent customers.

Come see the demo at SCAA!

Tuesday Night – Barista Round Table – Be There

Visions Espresso‘s Coffee Enhancement Lounge will be hosting round 3 of Barista Round Table, an interactive and highly involved forum for coffee professionals – managers, baristas, roasters, techs, et al. Wonderfully hosted by Sarah Dooley and Jared Mockli, the BRT is a means for all to come together, unencumbered, and simply geek out on all things coffee.

While some may argue that Seattle’s coffee scene has been lagging behind other progressive specialty coffee markets such as SF, NYC, and Portland, it does not necessarily represent all of us here in Seattle. Granted, there are indeed plenty of people (consumers and professionals alike) ok with the status quo of dark(er) roasted coffees or mysterious blends and defend tirelessly of Seattle’s “coffee city” repute. At the same time, however, there are also many of us that are actively working to further our understanding and appreciation of specialty coffee, collaborating with each other as well as many other leading establishments elsewhere. BRT is such a place where these people come together.

Perhaps it is a confluence of the economy, bad public policy, stagnant demand, a dash of complacency, and Seattle’s passive aggressive culture that have discouraged many progressive Third Wave cafes from opening up. Nonetheless, there are a handful of relatively new (within the past 1-2 years or so) and excellent places that are worthy of at least a visit by the most discerning amongst us.

  • Urban Coffee Lounge – Baristas Andrew and Laila came in 2nd and 3rd at 2010 NWRBC. Features Stumptown coffee prepared with care and precision.
  • Zoka Kirkland – Their new cafe is a daring departure, with two machines (one dedicated to single origin espressos) in a sexy urban setting.
  • Tougo Coffee – Serves Stumptown and Ritual (only place in Seattle!).
  • Dubsea Coffee – New cafe serving Stumptown coffee, bringing specialty coffee to an area of town (White Center) not previously accustomed to specialty coffee.
  • Stumptown Seattle – Always pushing the quality above all else, of course.
  • Makeda Coffee – Little shop in a sleepy neighborhood of Phinney Ridge, serving Seven Roasters coffee

This is not a comprehensive list of course (let’s not forget Aster, Trabant, and many more but keeping it short here to get to the point). Perhaps it is due to Seattle’s inherent culture of understatedness and avoidance of attracting attention to oneself that most of these establishments are not very well known (Zoka and Stumptown notwithstanding).

The point is, the BRT is a manifestation of the kind of progressive efforts a dedicated group of us in Seattle are actively pursuing. If you’re in town, this is your chance to geek out.

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