This is actually a very late last update for Day 1. I had a busy evening; it started off with a visit to the CoffeeKids reception where we saw a very powerful and provoking slideshow and some discussion from CoffeeKids folks about what's been going on for the past year and where CoffeeKids is going.
There was a lot of talk about something called "La Quinta" (I'm not sure if I got the spelling of that right)... it was a large meeting of people, mainly coffee women from various Central American countries to discuss their trade and where things were going. Bill Fishbein spoke about this and it was very moving.
I saw a lot of familiar faces at the reception. Mark Pendergast was there (the author of Uncommon Grounds, a novel / historical look at coffee). He told me about a new project he has going on - his new book which will be about the world of epidemic "forensic" doctors - think CSI, but for doctors and scientists who go to extremes to combat infectious diseases.
Kimberly Easson, the chairperson of the Consumer Marketing Committee was there, as were many other fine folks. I finally met Chipper Harris of CoffeeKids, and for about a half hour, I had almost dozens of people come up to me and talk about how great it was that we raised so much money for CoffeeKids over Christmas. I was getting a bit uncomfortable about it all, so I left, soon after.
I met up with Trish Skeie (again, I hope I got the spelling right) outside, and we walked back to my hotel for some cocktails. Trish is brilliant in the world of coffee and espresso, and is involved with the World Barista Championships. We had a very engaging and fun (and geeky beyond extreme) talk about the finer points of espresso. Trish believes, with much merit, that some single origins can be a great espresso - because she examines espresso in a different mindset than I do.
I on the other hand... well, I'm stubborn. I only think one bean can cut it as a single varietal espresso - Yemen (because yemen is usually pretty mixed and diverse in the bag).
I really wished I could chat with Trish all evening (and I must make it a mission to chat with her more often), but I had another fun event planned - dinner with John Neate, Nikki Schultz, and Angie Lof. Always a great time, I gotta tell you - John's a wealth of information, and I was also dining with two of the best Baristi from Vancouver. The talk, of course, was mainly coffee.
Afterwards, we found a Caribou Coffee location, and we wanted to give it a try. The interior was nice, but lemme tell you, the drinks sure weren’t.
What was weird was, there were two people behind the bar. The guy on till seemed to know his stuff - really know his stuff. We talked to him about coffee origins, espresso, etc. But the guy manning the bar? An automaton who couldn't build drinks if his life depended on it. Nikki and Angie ordered a macchiato, and it was served to them AS a very bad macchiato (more like a dry cappuccino), in a 14 ounce mug. That's right - they got a 3.5 oz drink in a 14 oz mug.
| || || |
| || || |
| Dinner partners |
Angie Lof, John Neate, and Nikki Schultz having drinks with me before din din
| This is a full drink |
This is how Angie was served her "macchiato" at Caribou.
| Come on Angie! |
Drink it! Drink it!!!
But, we stayed in the shop for over an hour, again discussing coffee. I love and live for that at times... as I did tonight.
I headed back to my hotel room and hooked up with Amanda Wilson ever so briefly. She's the contest winner in the Free Hotel Room and Show Pass writing contest we had. 1st Line Equipment was the sponsor of this event, and Amanda's on the hunt for Jim from 1st Line to thank him in person. And I've already mentioned this, but I'm staying in a posh suite too, thanks to 1st Line, so in many ways, that company is bringing these reports to you. Thanks Jim!
More later on today. It's an action packed day for sure, and I'm judging in the semi-finals of the USBC.