Sprodown and Baca madness and a thank you.

The first ever Bay Area Sprodown was a success from what i can tell. there was even a Glanville like moment when Baca won his own Latte Art competition. hahaha. (I know he’s gonna hate me for that). Anyway, i didn’t stay for very long, and left the baristas with plenty of room to throw down and have a great time.

Have I mentioned I am no good at the social graces thing? Yeah, I think I might have once before. I am not a big party guy either, I was in college,  I dunno what happened. But in any case, I left the joint about an hour and a half into it, and from what I can gather it was a hit. Which is great because the one thing Baca wanted, was to connect with folks.

These days are strange for me, I am sort of fading into the background noise of coffee. really. meaning that I really want to focus on the coffee aspect of things as opposed to the people/retail aspect of things. Does that make sense? I am really looking forward to having more time to really focus on cupping with Ryan and roasting and really talking coffee. Right now, I roast, pull shots on the bar and have no real time to talk about what it is I am doing with the roasting. It’s a huge task, and I feel like I have not devoted REAL quality time to the craft, but more…I have to roast so we don’t run out of coffee.

Things are always hectic around here, but with more people trained, and things smoothed out a bit I really hope to spend more time focusing on roasting really really intimately, as opposed for quantity’s sake.

I am not saying i pay no attention, but what I am saying is that we are slowly paving the road with real experimentation and exploration in roasting. I just want more time to do things like that. I never thought I would want to get off the bar, but I think I might have to for a while, to really dive into the roasting gig. And speaking of roaster….

we have a new roaster. A 1983 Probat L12. What a tempermental fuck that thing is! it will make me a better roaster. Ryan has a year ahead of me in experience, so I think I will benefit from having to really look, listen, feel, taste and just pay attention to what it going on in that drum. Sometimes gauges are distracting, not with the sucker. We have to really watch every step, and this means we will become better at what we do. i have a shit ton to learn, and I will admit it here on this little blog in the websky that I think my coffee is subpar. Roasting is a huge learning process, so my esteem has been whacked hard a little. But it took me years to feel comfortable behind the bar, so it will take me years to roast well too. I know this, it is a humbling thing. Which is always good…to be humbled that is. keeps me in line, here on earth, and makes me a real person.

I want to thank Duane Sorensen and The Stumptown for lending us that beautiful little 1919 Probat 5 kilo roaster for so long. I have always felt honored to have it in the shop, and to get to roast on it? well, shit, that’s a whole different plane my friends. I learned a whole lot on the little roaster that could, and learned a whole lot working at Stumptown and cupping the coffees. It was an intregal part of my life as a coffee person, and I understood a whole lot more by having that experience. Thank you Duane, you are one of the reasons I have stuck with coffee these days. Especially on the ones I don’t feel like I am contributing at all. baby steps and love. It is all it takes. Love is a  difficult thing.

We are turning the page now at Ritual, and the pages are being typed sometimes faster than I can read them, which is super exciting.  This is all about learning and growing and I am all about it.


~ by Me on July 21, 2007.

4 Responses to “Sprodown and Baca madness and a thank you.”

  1. Congrats. Looks like you guys are having fun. SF roasters unite…

  2. con mucho gusto amigo!

  3. I can definitely understand the need to just want to think about the coffee, research, experiment, etc. but at the same time I think that I’m going to have to somehow focus on the people, networking and business at the same time. You are in a fairly unique position right now- the company you work for is incredibly successful and is only heading upwards and onwards; your buying power is steadily increasing and you guys are buying bigger lots of better green, and most importantly, you are financially solvent for being in this business that you love (at least I assume).
    I on the other hand, am not. I’m really still trying to find my place in coffee and the biggest problem is definitely financial. I look to Wendelboe and Hoffman, even Owens and kind of wonder how they landed such sweet gigs (prior to their wbc wins) where they just have so much alone time with the coffee, you know? Anyway, kind of a rant, but moral of the story is I hope I can get to where you are so I can complain about not getting to spend enough time with the coffee for other reasons than money, that would be sweet. one

  4. Hey B.
    The people and networking is a must in the beginning. especially if you are owning the joint. That is something I feel very fortunate to be able to slide by without doing too much of. I interact when I have to, and will inform when asked to do so, but in general, for me, I have to really think about the roasting and how it affects the end product and how it will influence the dialogue between barista and customer. You will get here, and as for the money aspect…dude, I ain’t making all that much.

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