Archive for January, 2010

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Haiti Fundraiser Gig

20/01/2010

You may not already know this but I am a musician, or at least I used to be. Coming to LA and working for Intelligentsia has been an interesting experience to say the least. I had so much to learn about the company, it’s systems, its coffee, coffee itself and not to mention find my way around LA and its people. Needless to say the last few years have not been the most creative. I feel that this year, is the year to change all of that, and what better way then to play a gig at  Bar Lubitsch to help raise money for the Haiti earthquake disaster.

There will be 10 of us playing with all proceeds going towards the relief effort, there is no cover charge only donations, which can be made at the door. So clear your calendar on Monday the 25th of Jan.

Hope to see you there, click on the link below to see the flyer and the address, you can also hear my music here.

Haiti Gig

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Dead Blog.

19/01/2010

Yesterday I got sucked into the following tweet;

“blog blowup brouhaha between barista ballyhoos http://sprudge.com/?p=450 via @sprudge”

I went to Sprudge and checked out the shenanigans that was going on, it is the same old story about some “Mr Grumpy Pants”, who knows a guy, who competed at some barista competition and by the sounds of things he does not know how to tamp consistently or something. I am not really going to comment on that, nor the fact that he bought Intelligentsia’s name into the argument not once but three times for no apparent reason, maybe other then a bad case “Intelli-enviouse”. The whole thing is a bit of a “YAWN” to tell you the truth as this thing happens every year and like I said I am not going to comment on it, hang on, I think I just did, or did I?

Being the vein Intelligentsia type of guy that I am, when I finally stop being distracted by my own reflection in the mirror, I thought that I would see if Sprudge had linked my blog from their site. As I scrolled down the links page I saw the blogs were listed alphabetically, I thought, how nice, my name will be somewhere close to the top. Imagine my surprise when passed all the blogs starting with D and my name was not there, I thought, huh, that’s ok maybe they put it under Pigot, I did not know why they’d do that but I thought, surely they would not skip my blog entirely, surely. Then a shock panged, throughout my body, my eye lid started to twitch when I realized that no, NO, my blog is not linked, OBAMA WHY!!! My vision started going white as my blood drained my head, feeling fuzzy I scrolled back up, then down, then back up! Nothing!!!

It was on my 4th approach to the bottom of the links page that I saw it, a list, a ghastly list, titled “Dead Blogs”, at this point I had a nose bleed, as it dawned on me. Sprudge, a while ago announced to the WORLD, that I had lost interest in coffee blogging… This was kinda true, yes I had stopped, but there were other reasons outside of my own. As to why, I wont go into details, but yes, I took a hiatus, but dead, surely not!

I ask this of Sprudge, if you are reading this, then please answer my few humble questions.

SPRUDGE! How do I get my blog back in the “alive” links?

SPRUDGE! What is the difference between an “alive” blog and a “dead” blog?

SPRUDGE! How many times per week/ day do I need to blog?

SPRUDGE! Can I blog about other things like beer or cigars?… Am I allowed?!

SPRUDGE! How long is a piece of string? I need to KNOW!!!!

SPRUDGE! Are you there? SPRUDGE! Can you hear me?! I NEED you SPRUDGE!

SPRUDGE! I need your help!!!!

To  calm down, I turned back to the mirror, repeated 5 times, “Deaton you ARE an Intelligentsian”, then I fell into a deep sleep, sucking my thumb.

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New Intelligentsia Video shot by who?

18/01/2010

This is a little video by some guys who came to our cafe at Venice, I hear rumors there is a new show that is being shopped around that is similar to the Discovery channel’s “How It’s Made”.

The details are a little fuzzy, but, you can ask Kyle (who stars in it) questions about the video, like, who did it, when it was done and what time of day it was shot, just by going to Kyle’s formspring page and ask him the questions yourself, I know he will be more then happy to answer any and all questions you have.

Oh, if you want to see the video then please go here, I am sorry that I could not embed the video straight to my blog, I could not figure out how.

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Deep Clean – Dry Ice Blasting

06/01/2010

Late last year we tested a new-ish, or at least a new to us at Intelligentsia, way to do a deep clean of our roasters. No matter how hard we try to clean, no matter how many hours we scrub away at the build up of oils and what not, the roasters still get a build up of goop. This seems like a pretty cool way of doing that once a year deep clean. I wont go into to much detail, but the dry ice blaster, as I call it, works much the same way as a sand blaster, though the ice melts and evaporates leaving no residue behind. Cool huh?

For more details on the dry ice cleaning go to First-Crack Addicts blog, a light hearted though definitely  insightful and well informed blog that the roasters in Chicago are maintaining and add them to your RSS feed.

Other wise see this video I stole from them.

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In Season Coffee 3

03/01/2010

In Season Coffee

Since November 2009 I have been thinking I should blog about In Season coffee again, as it was over a year ago in November 2008 that I first posted this and asked the question, among others, “where is the hype”? I did not imagine the debate that would ensue nor predict the shit ton of hits and comments, people seemed passionate about it… I then did a follow up where I posted Geoff Watt’s comments in “In Season Coffee 2”, about what Intelligentsia had planned for the initiative.

I was not really wanting to do a follow up as I did not want to, how should I put this, rock the boat as it were…

Then Mr James Hoffmann put in his 5 predictions for 2010 post that there would be increasingly explicit seasonality, so with that, a year on, I thought that I would ask a couple of questions as the boat is already a rocking. Thanks James.

1, What does Seasonality mean to you the business owner?

2, What does Seasonality mean to you the consumer?

3, Are we talking about Seasonality in coffee, if so are we talking about it enough?

4, What does Intelligentsia’s In Season program mean to you?

Penny for your thoughts.

My predictions for 2010 – Australia.

Direct Trade Coffee – Australia

I was in Australia the other week renewing my visa (3rd change in visa status for 09 (don’t remind me)) and I get the feeling that in Australia, 2010 will be all about Direct Trade Coffee, it has started to get some hype already but I have the feeling that there will be a few companies making a huge push in this direction in 2010. In particular Central America,  a region that seems to be a little under represented back home.

Alternative brewing methods – Australia

Alternative brewing methods other then espresso will continue to make more appearances in cafes throughout Australia’s major cities and hopefully inland as well. This is a great thing for Australia and I am already seeing this happen, as it is exposing coffees in another light and now old, agey coffees will increasingly no longer cut it. They will no longer be able to hide berried in espresso blends, as single origin filter style coffees get more and more popular. What does this mean? Well like I said in the last paragraph, it will mean people will be looking for Direct Trade coffees, investing more at origin with less emphasis on toys and equipment at home.

Shortening shipping routes – Australia

Now this one could be a bit harder to achieve but surely there are quicker shipping routes then shipping coffees from America via Hong Kong or Singapore. Coffee companies will be trying to shorten shipping routes, all with the view to get coffees on Australia’s soil quicker so the consumer can enjoy coffees sooner/ fresher. This of course rings true world wide.

Parting thought

I will leave you all with one thought; I wonder who will be the first in Australia to start talking about seasonality, who will break the silence? If someone has already then, sorry, let me know who.

Disclaimer – This is not an Intelligentsia sanctioned post, these are my thoughts and may not represent the thoughts and beliefs of the good folk at Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea.