Where's Smallaxe Coffee Been?

I got some emails and tweets asking where I've been.  It's been nearly nine months since any decent posts.  Well, I've got an infant smallaxe who's about nine months.  She's been taking a lot of time and energy and we're loving every minute of it.

So, things in the coffee realm of my life have taken a bit of a back seat to teaching Jr. to crawl, and walk and talk. More to come, when I can get the time.  For now, I'll be at the Boulder Farmer's Market every Saturday serving coffee for the Museum.

If you get to Colorado, drop me a line and we'll cup some stellar coffee.

Exploring New Coffees: ROASTe Makes it Easy

When I talk to people who are just getting into coffee, they inevitably hit a point where they are able to discern the characteristics from varietal to varietal.  It's around that point that they get excited about trying new coffees based on what characteristic they like the most.

We Need a Brewed Coffee Competition

I was just at Ozo Coffee 3rd Anniversary party talking with Nolan and the guys from Coal Creek Coffee, and we got to thinking.  There really needs to a competition for non-espresso brew methods.  Just picture it.  It'd be a lot like the barista championship now, but with more events. 

Here are a couple we kicked around. In each heat, five competitors take the stage and compete in the following events.

1. French Press, Pourover, Vacpot - Everyone uses the same equipment, beans, grinder and kettle.  This way the judges can isolate the variable of the barista.  These are table steaks, the warmup if you will. 

Back on the Road at Blue Bottle

OK, OK, so it's been a while.  We just had a marvelous new edition to our family and I haven't been on the road to anyplace (with good coffee) for a couple of months. Well, this week I had the good fortune to visit the Blue Bottle Coffee Roastery and Cafe in Oakland, CA.

Here's a great shot of Tony and JoeEllen (tell me if I butchered your name!) who got Friday morning off to a great start.  Definitely knowledgable of the BB goods and also the others roasting in SF/East Bay. Thanks guys!

This is a swell, modern space in a bit of an industrial area, but just a 10 minute walk from the Oakland convention center.  If I had the time, I would have hung out a bit.  Seems like a great space (poked my head into the roastery) to work but also for events.  Lots glass and plenty of light.

I swung by twice to see what they had going on.  The first was a quick visit in the afternoon for an espresso and a short cup of Bella Donovan.

The second trip was at 7:03 AM right after they opened.  Another shot of the espresso and BD.  Great stuff.  Could not have better unless Led Zeppelin III was playing. Oh, it was, loud. 

Brought home some Chiapas and Bella Donovan.  I like the BD for its nice body, complex flavor and lower acidity.  One of the guys at BB told me it was an Uganda/Sumatra blend but the web site says otherwise.  In any case worth a taste for sure.  The Chiapas was good, but my pal swears he can taste (and see) a little bit of scorching.  I thought it was solid, maybe not stellar, but the Mexican coffee is pretty much done for the year so I was happy to have it.

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