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!



  1. Good to hear from you Deats…

  2. Enjoy the reunion with the bearded one.

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