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Posted April 16, 2002 8:00pm
hyperlink comments (2): read | write

Even though I was TOTALLY not expecting it or trying for it, some of you took my last rant as a plea for help, and offered it (or just offered public or private thanks for the stuff I put into these sites I do).

Wow. Thanks folks. I can't express how much I appreciate it. It even looks like I have a couple of new volunteers to join in the CoffeeGeek festivities as writers, photo editors, and maybe even a tester or two. That's so cool.

But I have to tell you one thing - I wouldn't do all the time and effort I put into CoffeeKid and CoffeeGeek if I didn't enjoy it, didn't have the passion and the pure joy out of working on this stuff. That, along with your kind words is what drives me. Thanks again...

(btw, if anyone wants to write articles for CoffeeGeek, especially for the Newbie Revelations or Cafe Stage columns, don't hesitate to contact me via email. I'll send you the scoop.

New Coffees, toys and... a CD!

I gotta say, if there's one guy at Whole Latte Love that is uber cool, it has to be Evan Smith (Todd is another guy there who's pretty cool - Kyra Kennedy of Baratza speaks volumes about Todd) Evan's the guy behind much of the gee whiz look that WLL is featuring these days on their website, and I think he handles some of the phone orders as well.

Evan recently sent me a "care package" (as if I'm needy :)) that included a pound and a half of Java Joe Espresso Deluxe blend, a WLL branded Reg Barber tamper (!!!!!!!) and the very cool WLL created Rancilio Silvia CD.

First, the beans. The blend is dark roast, which is not my favourite type of roast, but I gave it a shot, as it were. The resulting pours off a Pasquini Livia, a Solis SL 70 and an Elektra Nivola (the three machines I'm currently running) produced tons of crema and heady espresso aromas. I still found the shots a bit beyond what my palate likes, but fortunately I had one of my more attuned espresso buddies over today for a short visit and gave him a try. He ended up leaving with the 1 lb bag (still unopened), he liked it that much. David's comments:

I have to find out what they're using in this blend - it is one of the better ones I've tried recently. I like the tingly aftertaste and the smooth mouthfeel you get from it. I love my dark roasts, and this ranks up there

(Dave doesn't home roast, btw :P)

Whole Latte Love tamper
WLL Branded Tamper
Gee, I hope they don't mind me lifting their picture :)

Next, the tamper. I won't get into reasons why I never bought a Reg Barber tamper myself - I sometimes like to stir up stuff, but not this time around. Suffice to say I never bought one, but not because I didn't think it had high cool factor written all over it. I mentioned this to Evan in an email, and as a near total surprise, he decided to ship one to me.

One thing I should note - it seems lately that the logos that Reg (or whatever third party he uses) burns into the derlin disc on top are not very centered - I've heard this complaint from several people recently who have ordered "custom logo" tampers, and the WLL one Evan sent me exhibits this problem. Reg needs to get a handle on this, and I think he already has.

Still, it barely detracts from the quality these tampers exude. "Work of art" barely describes it adequately. It is bottom heavy (Evan sent a stainless steel version), with a very low centre of gravity. I dunno yet if I actually prefer it over the new stainless steel tamper that Terry Z. over at Espresso Parts is making and also sent my way, because Terry Z's new all steel tamper is more evenly balanced, but it's pretty damned close. Probably too close. I think the Reg may win out slightly in the looks and feel department (I like the more rounded top), but the EPNW all steel tamper might win out in the overall usability factor.

Lastly, the CD - Evan did an awesome job on that package. There's very few rough spots I could find. Sure, it could be more professional, but you'd have to hire a Josh Davis level Flash expert (at mega $$$$) to see any serious improvement. While there isn't very much in the way of new or unique info in the CD for Silvia owners, it does put it all together in a nice, comprehensive package, compiling most of the "known" and published info on the Silvia online in a new and complete way.

Good job Evan! If Gary ever gets all pissy with you or something, give me a call, we may have an opening at WebMotif for a guy with your skills :)

hyperlink comments (2): read | write

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