Posted April 30, 2002 5:25pm
Okay, first, it looks like you indecisive types out there have forced me to drink an espresso ristretto, a cappuccino, AND a cup of water first thing tomorrow morning. To truly achieve that "first thing" status, apparently I have to drink all three at the same time. Buggers. :)Oh well, at least you guys didn't force me to drink a double tall, half fat, no froth, choco latte. (what am I talking about? I had a poll online asking what I should drink first thing tomorrow morning - see the results here.
Next up... SCAA, Baybee! I'm so looking forward to this, although it is tempered somewhat. I found out yesterday my Mom is going under the knife on Friday (when I'm in the air on a plane) to have a tumor in her ovaries looked at, and possibly removed. Things aren't looking great - she's apparently lost a lot of weight in the last month or so. She's in Ottawa, some 7,000 kms away from me, and I'll be even further away in the horrible possibility that something goes wrong.
Anyway, I hesitated mentioning this here, but I figured I should - I have promised daily updates from the SCAA convention floor with photos and possibly videos (they will start Friday at the www.coffeegeek.com site), and well, if something bad does happen to my Mom, I'll be taking the first flight (or combo of flights) I can to get from Anaheim to Ottawa, and it's better if I give a pre warning at least somewhere online about this.
Anyway... SCAA. I'm so looking forward to the show. I know a lot of products are debuting at the show, including many I can't mention, but one I can - Wega is bringing out the new Lyra machine. Some rumours are bandying about that it is simple a reskinned Wega Mini or Nova, with a much higher price. Don't ask me - but I don't think that's true.
My tentative schedule for the show is arrive in Anaheim on the eTicket flight at 5:15pm Friday (the eTicket is a ref to the zany approach pattern planes have to use to get into John Wayne airport - apparently it's more scary and freaky than any ride at Disneyland), then eithe go to the SCAA conference and help Baratza set up their booth, or do some sight seeing, we'll see. I have a possible dinner to attend Friday night, but it's tentative. I'll post a first report from the floor that evening.
Saturday, I promised to work the Baratza booth (#870) for some of the morning, then I have to go pay my respects to a few of the Italians... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, Elektra. Then I tour the show. Saturday evening there's an alt.coffee dinner. Way cool. No one take my picture. Update either from the convention floor or from my hotel room.
Sunday, I'll be hanging around the ESI (La Marzocco) booth for a while, then Nuova Simonelli again, then touring the floor, with maybe a pit stop at Baratza again. Sunday evening, two dinners, one early, one late. Look for another update with photos and vids.
Monday, I'll be toolin' for free schwag all day long. I'm bringing a big duffle bag. I'm not kidding. I'll try to get my last update out before I go transit again, around 5pm.
Yoiks! I can't wait!
New Beans in the House
There's this woman who has one of the coolest names I've ever heard or seen in writing - Letitia - who along with her partner Steve just so happens to run a coffee bean company called The Flying Bean (website). The website is cool too, with lots of info, some community features, and nicely laid out.
Letitia sent me a couple of half pound samples of some of their fare, and I gotta say, pretty damned good espresso blends they have happening over there. And there's a bonus that makes it even better - they are heavily involved in the CoffeeKids Organization (not me - www.coffeekids.org). Their bean roaster uses what appears to be a Sivitz air roasting machine, so if you've ever wondered what air-roasted commercial coffee is like, here's your chance - and trust me, it's a different ball game when compared to the home air roasters.
My favourite was the custom Espresso Baccellieri blend they get from their roaster - Longbottom Coffee and Tea, Inc. I'm guessing that it's mainly Centrals in there, because I can taste fruity overtones and a bit of the sharpness and acidic flavors a good Guat offers. I really liked the blend, and it was best in milk-based drinks because it punched through milk and added a serious effect to the drink.
The other blend was a salt-n-pepper (viennese; where some beans are lighter, some are darker) blend called "The Flying Bean", their signature blend. According to their website this is made up of South American beans, which probably explains why I was more neutral on this one - my palate hasn't found many South American bean types to like much. I did give the remainder of the beans to a buddy of mine who adores anything south of the Equator, and he raved about it:
"Their blend was working well in my Nuova Simonelli Oscar this morning Mark. It's a very smooth blend, but flavours poke through well, especially in the aftertaste. I may be ordering some of this very soon..."
By the way... Letitia is one of the coolest female names I've seen in a while... the coolest male name I've ever heard? My e-buddy Granger! :) (if I was ever going to change my name....)