12.26.2008

Songs for Rosetta

Howdy Friends,

I woke up 15 minutes before I was supposed to be a work. It was a rough start to the day. However, my first latte of the day ended up like this:



Love,
Matt

12.23.2008

I'm a Little Fixed on This Design

Howdy Friends,

I haven't been working very much lately (it's a long story, don't ask), but it looks like I still possess some latte art skills:

Hopefully I will post more often.

Love,
Matt

12.07.2008

New Camera Phone Takes Swell Pictures

Howdy Friends,



This one isn't with the new phone:


Love,
Matt

9.07.2008

Real Camera Photos

Howdy Friends,

I brought Shannon's camera to work again:







Love,
Matt

8.16.2008

The New "Fast-Pour" Method

Howdy Friends,

After watching a video by a gentleman named "Nicely" I discovered a new method for pouring latte art. So far, it seems pretty cool:


Love,
Matt

8.14.2008

An Even More Special Day Than The Last....

Howdy Friends,

Well today was a spectacular day.

Everyone was in a bad mood, including myself.

Then around six tonight, a computer guy came in to update the system. The original idea was that the credit cards wouldn't go through. Then we found out the register doesn't work unless it's connected to the network. After calling the manager, it was decided to sell drip coffee and iced tea for a buck. After selling two or three like that we decided that having money laying around in the open wasn't a good idea. So we were effectively closed around 6:30. Luckily it ended up being extremely slow and we didn't really have to turn anyone away.

But before the drama I managed to produce this:



Love,
Matt

8.08.2008

Lots of Very Special People Today...

Howdy Friends,

I know, I know, it's been a while. We have a new espresso machine at work and it took me a little while to get used to wands. Things seem to be okay now...

Love,
Matt

7.21.2008

It's Monday

Howdy Friends,

Latte Art for the day:



Random wedding Photo:



Love,
Matt

7.10.2008

Howdy Friends,

World Cup Coffee (my work) just held an in-house competition to see who would be attending the NW regional barista competition.
6 baristas from 2 of the 4 shoppes decided to compete. Jennie (the assistant manager) and myself ended up winning.

The competition consisted of several things:
4 double espressos
4 double cappuccinos
4 signature drinks

My signature drink was a rose mocha that Shannon (my wife) and I thought up. Shannon made a cocoa syrup with some rose water and I crushed up candied rose pedals (for the top of the drink). It seemed to have worked pretty well:

You can't really see the candied rose pedals very well in this pic, but they're there.

Love,
Matt

6.24.2008

Taking a Little Time Off Work

Howdy Friends,

Don't worry, I'll be back in a few weeks.




Love,
Matt

6.16.2008

Real Camera Latte Art

Howdy Friends,

This is what happens when I bring Shannon's camera to work:





Love,
Matt

School is Out So I Get to Work a Bunch More

Howdy Friends,

Here's a pretty good one that sat on the counter just a little to long....


and another from a few days ago:


Also, 11 days until I get big ol' married

Love,
Matt

6.01.2008

I Don't Work at Starbucks, Seriously

Howdy Friends,

Long day at work today...
I swear, if one more person orders a grande skinny cappuccini, I will make it for them, and they won't like what they get.

First of all, Do these people realize they are literally ordering a large, underweight, Franciscan friar?

Secondly, What size is grande?

When you walk into a quality, locally-owned cafe and throw 'bucks lingo around, it's like walking into a James Beard award-winning restaurant and asking for your meal to be super-sized.

Now that I have that off my chest, here is some latte art for you:


Love,
Matt

5.26.2008

Hi

Howdy Friends,

Here's another one from Saturday's shift:

Love,
Matt

5.18.2008

Even More Latte Art...

Howdy Friends,

I swear to you, after I finish the quarter at school, I will do some legit "info" on espresso and drink prep.

In the mean time,




Love,
Matt

5.15.2008

Post-School Delicious Latte

Howdy Friends,

I dropped by the shoppe after school to re-energize... I'm still tired but at least I drank a delicious latte:


Love,
Matt

5.11.2008

Howdy Friends,

A few pictures for you:




Love,
Matt

5.01.2008

This Isn't a Coffee Post

Howdy Friends,

I recorded a new song, called "Sleepwalk," and posted it on my music webpage:

Matt Dark & The Drearies

I did drink a lot of coffee while I was working on it...that counts as a coffee post-ish right?

Right?

Love,
Matt

4.27.2008

The Early Bird Gets a Double (Half Decaf) Non-Fat (With Just a Touch of Soy), No Foam, Extra Hot Latte... Are You Sure That's Half Decaf?

Howdy Friends,

Today was my first opening shift in quite a while...it was totally cool...

Objectively speaking, opening is much better than closing. You go in at 6:30am, start your day with a delicious latte, brew a few pots of coffee and help the masses. Piece of scone.

I, however, prefer to close up shop. I like sleeping in, I LOVE kicking people out of the cafe when the time comes...actually I think that's the only reason I truly prefer closing.

Anyways, this was my latte at 6:20am (that's right, I was early).

Love,
Matt

4.13.2008

Lunch Break Rosetta

Howdy Friends,

Today's latte art produced this:


The day is only halfway over, so we'll see if anything else turns up.

Love,
Matt

4.05.2008

Finally, A Good One

Howdy Friends,

Here it is folks, a decent semi-rosetta heart:

Love,
Matt

3.22.2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Howdy Friends,

I was checking out the website "Rate My Rosetta" and I saw some pretty interesting stuff. You should all check it out.

I thought I would try and mimic some of the cool art I saw:
More to come! I work again tomorrow! Woooooo!

Love,
Matt

3.09.2008

Rosetta

Howdy Friends,

Busy day, today, at the shoppe.

Here is the best of the bunch for today:

Love,
Matt

3.08.2008

Feather

Howdy Friends,

Another day, another dollar.

It was kind of a rough latte art day...

Here is a picture of the best one for today:


Love,
Matt

3.06.2008

Competition is the Whetstone of Talent

Howdy Friends,

The coffee shop I work work at (World Cup Coffee) is having an in-house competition.

What I just found out is that the top two competitors are going to be sent to Seattle [most expenses paid (whatever that means)] for a regional competition.

This is kind of a big deal for me.

This past December I got the crazy idea that I would like to compete in a SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) barista competition. This is my chance.

I need to step of the training a bit for this. I want to go.

As part of my training schedule I have decided to post an "A to Z" guide to making drinks. This will include:

Grinding
Dosing
Tamping
Extraction
Pouring (milk)

I will be posting these topics with the intention of learning something (fancy that) I can use to give me an edge. The way I see it, if I can read up on these topics and explain the various technical aspects of preparing a proper espresso drink, I will have systematically brainwashed myself into achieving the kind of knowledge you need to win one of these things.

We'll see.

Love,
Matt

P.S. Random Rosetta:

3.04.2008

Semi-Rosetta & Heart

Howdy Friends,

Shannon (my lady) had a really good idea: To post my latte art weekly. So here we go, the first latte art post.


Love,
Matt

3.01.2008

Is That a Tamp in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Howdy Friends,

My first blog post will be on this:
The Reg Barber in all its glory.

I got serious about preparing espresso about 6 months ago, since then, I have found that I have almost no free time. There is a lot to learn.

On to the Reg...sweet, sweet Reg.
The tamp I decided to go with has a solid aluminum base and a stainless steel base (C-Flat). This combo ended up being about the cheapest you can get for a Reg Barber (about 90 USD, after shipping). The price isn't what affected my decision, but it didn't hurt.

One thousand angels gently massaging your hand.
The handle of this thing is amazing. I went with the 3.5 inch handle (they call it the tall brushed solid aluminum) which fits perfectly in my hand. I was a little worried about going with a slight longer handle than the shop tamp (about 1/4 of an inch longer) but it ended up being much better. It doesn't take any time, at all, to get used to working with the Reg.

Smooth, bro, real smooth.
The most surprising thing I found with this tamp was the way the base feels against the espresso. The polish [gently spinning the tamp to smooth out the top of the puck (post-tamp espresso in the portafilter)] is really, for lack of a better term, frictionless. It's amazing.
After doing a little research, I decided to go with the C-Flat base. The C-Flat base is a combination of the traditional flat base and a euro curve base. What this means is you get the smooth flat surface of the puck combined with a good seal around the edges of the portafilter. Both are very important attributes for extracting a good shot of espresso.

Overall.
This tamp is amazing.
It has a really good weight to it.
I noticed an instant difference in the way my shots were coming out.
It feels good to work with the best tools, I take pride in my coffee and I take pride in my tools.

Love,
Matt