Thursday, July 30, 2009

Holy Shit . . .

I'm speechless . . .

And I thought I was the only one who enjoyed Tabasco and Sausage Lattes.

Watch his other videos at his YouTube page.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One more under the belt

This months theme was the tulip. Ah, the dreaded tulip. The bastard cousin to the heavily favored rosetta. Well, it's family reunion time, and yes you do have to be there. Just don't say anything about Aunt Edna's fruitcake . . . As usual the competitors had three minutes,ten dollars, and one pitcher of milk with which to take it all. Third place went to . . .

Johnathan Meadows of Alliance World Coffee/White Rock Coffee

Second Place finisher Dan Streetman of Cuvee Coffee

and First Place went to Sean Marshal of Fusion Beans/Catalina Coffee

As this months SNS came to a close, I left feeling strangely satisfied. I didn't win, I didn't compete, and Sean Marshall didn't bribe me with half the winnings. What was it about that night that left me with a little smile on my face?

It could have been the beer, graciously provided in part by Clementine, (thanks Chris) but I have a feeling that it went much deeper. That's what she said.

Bottom line, seeing this community grow has been pretty amazing. In 2007, John Johnson was putting together the Texas Coffee Think Tank, a brilliant idea that fizzled because there was no real support system, no team, and a much smaller community. Flash forward two years later, and a community has sprung up, willing to work together to make something beautiful happen. People from San Antonio to Dallas to Houston and here in Austin all make this event happen. And it happens every month! I'm still amazed by the passion of the baristas who turn out to this event, and it keeps getting better and better.

Last month, as I was in Dallas the Smackdown followed me there and we discovered a blossoming coffee scene waiting and wanting to be. It just shows that all over this state (yes, even in YOUR town) there are like minded people who want to have a great time, learn something new, and build a community. And not one based on competition and rivalry, but on camaraderie and a serious love for coffee. What Dan said at the beginning is absolutely true, if you have passion and share it with others it is highly contagious. Thanks for letting me catch yours.

(that's what she said)


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bring It On . . . Again

Just putting the word out on the street, officially, that the next Smackdown is on for July 25 at 6:00 pm at Medici Guadalupe. Last month was a nice change of scenery, for Dallas, but I'm glad to be bringing it back home. In the future, SNS will hopefully be making some rounds around town . . . more on that one later.

Dan Streetman, United States Barista Championship Head Judge and Barista Guild of America South Central Regional Chapter Representative, will be facilitating a discussion on what it means to be a barista, what the role of a barista is and should be, as well as the place of the barista within the larger coffee community. The talk could be titled, "Barista, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 4 M's". I can't promise revolution, but I can promise some awesomeness.

As usual, they educational portion will be followed by a Latte Art Throwdown, in the usaully style . . . with milk and espresso. The theme for this months pour will be seven ounce TULIPS! The point of these theme pours are to challenge baristas to perfect and extend their repetoire, furthering the craft and artisanship fo the barista. So, time to start practising those tulips. Below is a video of how to pour a tulip. See y'all on the 25th.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dallas Breakdown

I'm back in Austin after an amazing barista jam in Dallas. Everything was pretty phenomenal, and we'll have some pictures to post on the Flickr page pretty soon. Heather Perry gave a wonderful "how-to" on basic espresso and milk steaming techniques, as well as encouraging everyone to join the Barista Guild of America. For more information on the BGA, contact our local chapter representative Dan Streetman at

More than fifty people turned out to show everyone what Dallas was all about, and the support and enthusiasm from the baristas was astonishing. Dallas is starting the fire, Houston is pulling some tasty espresso, Austin is . . . still weird. All in all, Texas is kicking some ass, and I can't be happier about it.

I'll be posting some more on the upcoming SNS at Medici that will be held on July 31st. In the mean time, I hope to see some of y'all at Brown Coffee's Open House, or at Clementine's party on July 10. Late.