Archive for October, 2008


Canadian Barista Championships 08


I am starting to wonder how many times I have started a post with the following sentence,”Its been awhile since my last post”, I’m not sure really, though it feels like it is something I say or think a lot…

So anyway, its been a while since my last post and for that, I apologise! Its not that there has been a lack of things to write about. Since my last post we have had new coffees come into the warehouse, have renegotiated my employment terms with intelligentsia, have had my, dare I say it, my 31st birthday and finally found out that I have actually passed the SCAAsensory test that I sat in Minneapolis in April this year. I have been to San Fran with my wife Julia, for the slow foods festival, went to Los Vegas (and loved it) and now I am in Montreal to judge at the Canadian Barista Championships!

I have some time to kill as I wait for the one and only Stephen Morriessey to get back from his advance barista course somewhere in the outskirts of Montreal. So, here I am, me, my thoughts and free internet at the hotel I am staying at, thanks Le Dauphin, this could get interesting, or really boring, you can be the judge.

I survived the red eye from LA to Toronto easy enough but as my plans to stay in Toronto for a few days were foiled after the Canadian BC changed the dates that they would be doing the judges calibration. The 5 hours I spent at the airport in Toronto with literally no sleep was almost unbearable! You know that feeling when you are so tired, you can’t help but keep falling a sleep, then just as you nod of you joilt up right as your head falls of your hand? With my eyes welling with water and in a constant blur I would scan the airport trying to get my bearings as my heart was thumping out of my chest, calming myself down after I’d work out that I was still in the airport, just to then repeat the cycle only minuets later. That was my holiday in Toronto…

Eventually, after a cab ride and shower to freshen up, I took a short walk over to Cafe Veritas which was recommended to me by Mr Brent Fortune. Pouring 49th parallel out of a 3 group Synesso I was more then happy with the espresso that was served. The espresso was really fruit forward, jammy, with a slight muddled earthy finish, that finish, was something I have not had in a while. It gave the espresso a load of surupy body and made me think of the espresso that I am used to drinking back home in Australia. The Cap I ordered was at least an 8 oz, so it was a little larger then I am used to, a little milky but nice and easy to drink. Not bad as I chowed down on a steak and portabello mushroom panini with a fresh side salad. Unfortunatly the second shot was just not executed as well as the first, so I left with a un-pleasant taste in my mouth…

I then went for a walk down to Old Montreal,  it has been 10 years almost to the month when I was last here and I can’t believe that old, faded memories were starting to flood back after so long. I was a younger 20 year old travelling on my own for the first time and from memory was really impressed/ over whelmed by the age of the town back then. I am not sure if the city has changed much, there seem to be more “touristy” shops around, though they very well could of been there last time, I would not have noted something like that back then. I still find the city to have its charm but maybe, now that I am older, better travelled, so far (in the hour that I walked around) does not have that same, “wow” factor! Gee, I sound like a snob, what ever happened to feeling blessed for the travelling opportunities that I have?! Maybe I was just to knackered?

Enough, I will try to add more as the days go on, tomorrow is the calibration workshop so surely I should have something a little more interesting to write.

I’ll try and keep it short and sweet… No pun intended!