Archive for July, 2007

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Busy, busy, busy! 165kg per week busy!

15/07/2007

Busier then a one legged riverdancer!

Campos is with out a doubt the busiest espresso bar I have ever worked in and after four days I am left literally, physically sore. Saturday was the climax of the week and it was on this day that I felt that I was starting to get it. By this I mean, when you start a new job you have to learn there systems, where they place everything, from milk to milk pitchers. I really believe the first few days are just spent training your muscle memory. Like any sort of repetitive training be it, touch typing to full on combat training, if you repeat the moves enough it becomes a muscle memory rather then a thought process. So when I am reaching behind me for milk or in front for the tamper I don’t have to think about it.

 As they are busy there is one thing that I am aware of, its the velocity at which we have to move. I feel like I am learning to box having to learn to jab, grab, recoil and then (taking the manly boxing reference out of it) pour. Its really challenging to move as fast as the other guys. On that matter Ben the head barista is the best working barista I have seen or had the pleasure working with. Not only does he pour a wicked coffee he is taking phone calls, orders, handing out coffees, directing Barista 2 and 3, keeping an eye on the runners and make sure the cafe is clean all with out leaving his grinder and steam wand. He is a true professional and I have nothing but respect for the guy, he is just, great to watch.

 When I took on the job I was a little hesitant at first as there is a no speaking policy for us, but this is really not an option anyway. Sure, if there are only a few orders to do, we will have a one line conversation, but there is just not any chance to do the usual “catchup on last nights events” type chit chat. The cafe has no break in service, I was very used to having quiet lull’s in other jobs, when I could sit with a mate in the cafe and have a quick chat, there is just no chance here, so I have checked my social life at the door, I’m here to work . Its all about the coffee, nothing but the coffee, in fact the only beverage that they have that does not have coffee or milk in it, is bottled sparkling mineral water. So no juice, no frappes, no bells and whistle just bloody good coffee from 7am till 4pm 6 days a week.

It is, for me, taking coffee into a realm that I have not had the luxury of experiencing before, even trade shows that I have done don’t come close. If the milk is one degree to hot or cold, then throw it out, if the espresso is not spot on then throw it out. I have seen the guys make two or three shots before serving an espresso to a customer, it has to be precise! Its the way it should be, disciplined and exact! Will spoils the barista with not only fantastic pay, but new Roburs every two months for the cafe, who does that for their baristas?! I LOVE THIS PLACE!!

To top it off, at the time of writing this Campos had just nabbed no 1 spot on the eatabilty.com web site, beating Tetsuya’s and we don’t even serve food! have a look http://www.eatability.com.au/au/sydney/public/top_ten/best_restaurants_cafes_overall.htm

On Monday night they are going to train me to do drink in’s and I can’t wait to be able to pour a perfect cap with art every time all day, every day! At the moment I am doing milk for take aways and grinding & pouring decaf espresso.

Last week

 I got the chance to meet up with Arthur Wynne http://arthurwynne.wordpress.com in, of all places Bathurst, country NSW and he was thoughtful enough to bring with him some of Intelli’s coffee. Arthur for those who don’t know him is the tattooed Aussie that is working at Wicked cafe in Vancouver Canada. We met at a nice restaurant and got the chance to catch up over some good food and wine. In typical form he commandeered the Boema espresso machine and started to make us all coffee, even though the machine would not really let him. We had made plans to cup the coffees Tuesday at Campos new factory but unfortunately he could not make it.

Campos Tuesday 10th/7/07

I had made plans to meet up with Will and the boys from Naked Coffee (Shop 7/99 Elizabeth St, Elizabeth Arcade Brisbane) at 10.30am. So we lined up the coffee next to some of Campos coffees not to compare but just to enjoy, some of intelli’s coffees had gotten past three weeks old so I think that some of them had lost there, pazazz. We tried  Kenya, KitaORO, Auction lot Nyeri, Ethiopia, Yirgacheffe,
Anjilanaka organic Bolivia (Direct Trade), Colombian ,Tres Santos Micro Lot, Canoas (Dirtect Trade). We tried a Kenyan AA, Yirgacheffe and a Java from Campos. As always my fav coffees were the ones from Africa they just really stand out. Though, I might try and get Intelli to send us over some coffees from Panama as I really miss them, Doug or Kyle if your reading, what do you reckon?

Later that night at about 9.30pm Will rings up and first I’m thinking that I have done something wrong, but, straight of the cuff, he asks if I have had chicken pox! Yes I have, why? It turned out that our roaster had come down with them and we all had been cupping with him that day, eep!

A very special thanks to Arthur for bringing the coffees over with you I promise I will send you some Campos when I get paid (kinda broke at the moment).

After the cupping Will took the four of us to Allpress to see their new cafe and to have a look at the first operating Clover in Australia. We got to try a Colombian but unfortunately the only info they had on it was that it was a relationship coffee… I am really excited that Will has already bought a Clover and we should be getting it within the next few weeks!!! I was lovin how “gun ho” Will is when it comes to coffee as he had bought the Clover without even seeing it in action! That’s just fantastic, he’d heard that it is a great machine and just did it, spent the money no questions asked. God knows how many companies sit there and “um and arr” about things like this. I had heard that Bewley’s had bought one and did not even get it out of the box for two months, why!

James the head barista at Allpress took time out to talk about how the machine is going, saying that he has not been pushing it, as they have only just opened with the new look bar. The only people who are ordering of the Clover at the moment he said are industry people coming to see it in action, so time will tell, though I am sure that the Clover will make an impression on the Aussie market. The place is interesting with a view looking straight back into the factory. They has great food on offer too but we could not stay, so after the coffee we had to press on as I had to do training that night.

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First full day on the job!

10/07/2007

Today is my first full day at Campos and in true Deaton Pigot fashion I have been awake since 3am anticipating my 5am alarm. My roster has me working Tuesdays through to Saturdays starting a 6.30am till 4.30pm with a 45min break. I hope to do a post this Sunday on the week’s events as it has been filled with coffee fun. Arthur Wynn was in town, we cupped Intelligentsia’s coffees next to Campos, met the boys from Naked Coffee, Brisbane and got to see/ taste coffee through the first working Clover in Australia at Allpress…

Till then!

 

Deaton

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Mexico! 19/4/07

05/07/2007

I, can you believe, am still trying to play catch up on my blog, so this is what I was thinking when I finally landed in Mexico City on the 19/4/07. I have decided to do an old post and a new post in order, so bare with me as I have already got some exciting things about to happen! 

A short flight from Guatemala City that had a rougher landing then I expected, I was greeted at the airport by Arturo Hernandez of and Antonio. Arturo is the president of the, Specialty Coffee Association of Mexico, better know as SCAM. I met Arturro in Managua, Nicaragua in Sept 06 at Ramacafe. He also runs a successful roastery, cafe and milling plant, I will fill you in on this coffee connoisseur in latter posts. They both take me straight to a beautiful hotel that was built for the Mexican Olympics back in the 60’s. The place is huge and still looks very contemporary, very ritzy indeed!

Antonio and Arturo

We sit over a deconstructed bloody Mary; sorry I didn’t catch the name of it. Basically it was a shot of sipping tequila and another shot glass full of tomato juice and some spices. Un-like western culture or should I say my culture we did not slam it back all in one go, rather, we sipped it to enjoy the flavors. Up until then I had no idea that there was such a thing as sipping tequila, its something I will have to acquire a taste for.

My feet, tis all!

Next we head to the “Rodao Drive” of Mexico City, this is where all the beautiful people hang out and I do mean beautiful. It was an eye pleasing change from rough and rugged Guatemala.  We passed numerous Ferrari and Masserati car dealerships surrounded by throngs of night clubs, to eventually pull over and are greeted by a valet parking attendant who eagerly takes Arturo’s Rang Rover keys off him. This Restaurant is brightly lit and looks very decadent, Arturo and Antonio tell me its Mexican fusion and the chef is very famous in Mexico. Arturo orders a lovely Mexican wine to accompany the Duck with a chocolate and chilly sauce drizzled over. I would have to say it was one of the best Mexican meals I have had to this date, Second only to Owen’s, my brother in law’s, Mexican Restaurant Amigos in Wollongong, Australia www.amigosmexican.com.au actually if you go to the photo gallery you can see a photo of a young bar man still so full of hope, named Deaton.Duck!!!!!

We order some fantastic wines from Mexico, I had no idea that they even existed, I’m so ignorant sometimes and within one hour or so of being in Mexico, this has become really apparent. By the time that we finished, get to my digs sorted, its past midnight so I go straight to bed. Am I getting old??? Don’t anyone dare comment on that last comment!

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Its Official

05/07/2007

 

Its official, I will start to work at Campos in Newtown, Sydney, I am really looking forward to working with the guys. I’m sure It will be a challenge as they are an extremely busy company with the cafe its self doing more then double per week then at Flat White London (for reference with out giving away to much). From what I can gather they have really managed to set up a coffee experience rather then a cafe experience, as the turn over is just huge.

 I am really looking forward to getting behind a bar again on a full time basis as its been over four and a half years since my last stint. So it will be great to put all my last four years of barista training into practise. The guys there are extremely consistent in everything that they do and it will push me to be a better barista.

 I will start training at the cafe on Monday and Tuesday night ready for a 6.30am start the following Wednesday. So if you are are living in Australia and in Sydney more importantly, come to Campos 193 Missenden Road Newtown for a coffee!

 Hope to see you there.