Thanks(a latte)giving!

We're doing a three-mini-part update today because this week has been busy, and as of tomorrow I'll be in LA with my sweetheart for a week on vacation. That's right! You heard me! Vacation! For a week! With the fellow I like best! I can hardly contain myself, but will try to keep it together for the next, say, two hundred words or so...

Ok! First up, we got a custom-built stainless steel bar installed under the espresso works at the Alessi store, and hoo-wee, it's a beaut. It's one of those little dream touches that start up the gears in a young coffee professional's noggin: "When I open my own shop, I need to git me one of these things!" Well, so I probably won't ever git me one of those things, because, oh, let's face it. But at least I get to look at it for a while.


Seriously, I practically have a crush on how sleek and clean it is. My virgo heart goes pitter-pat. I spent the whole morning yesterday just gazing at it and wiping grinds off of it with a brush. It was unnervingly satisfying.

7oz, on steel
I'm not sure it shows up very well in a photo this small, but truly, trust me, it's so exciting.

I... I promise I won't talk about this all the time. Really.

Also happening yesterday was head barista Amanda's Coffee 101 class, held at the Waverly Place branch of Joe! We love Coffee 101 because it gives us a chance to really educate the average consumer about the specialty coffee industry, about coffee professionals and their goals, and about some of the health and ecological and economic decisions that can make or break a person's perspective on what and why they brew what they brew.

Coffee 101

It was a full, enthusiastic and delightfully geeked-out crowd last night, and everyone seemed to get a lot out of it (myself included). Amanda is so funny and charming, and she has such a great energy and a ton of knowledge to impart -- it's a treat to get to assist her when she's teaching (especially when I get to sneak a few jokes in there myself, I'm not ashamed to say).

East Tim(or)

And assist I did, my friends! I stood on-hand to brew up a couple pots for the participants to try. We sampled four single origin beans and one blend: an East Timor, an Ethiopian Harar, the Barrington Estate Blend, and a Costa Rican bean roasted both to full city and French, which we tasted side by side for comparison.

A great time was had by all, if I may say so myself (and I suppose I may -- it is my blog, afterall).

Annnnnd finally, it's customer hand-turkey season at 13th Street again! Since I'll be out of town over the holiday, I'll leave you with one of the more creative of the submissions:


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Eat well and be safe.