Dienstag, 15. Januar 2008

prepare to compete

The competition is now three weeks ahead and I'm getting nervous. Last friday, David and I had a little training evening at Edzard's MuffinMann. He impressed me with his stunning and well-thought-of signature beverage. With a few small changes it'll be really great!

That evening also tought me that I'm too unprepared yet. No concept, only ideas floating around - at least I do have a working (though very risky) signature beverage! The next three weeks will be weeks of intense training (as intense as I can do at home).

I am very glad that Kaffeespezialität's Dr. Walter Charzewski is willing to roast the coffee for me. One of the two coffees I'll use is already set - if you know me, you'll have no real difficulties to guess what's it. For the other, I'll expect a pack of samples within a few days for me to experiment with - I have a general idea, but not made up my mind yet.

If you don't know where to order your next batch from, you really should try Walter's coffee. If you know already, heck, do so regardless ;), as he is one of the very few roasters I know that stock real quality coffee, and from what I taste in the cup he does put real effort and care into getting the best out of the bean.

Matari again

I talked about the Yemen Matari before. Three days ago, did another batch - after talking to Walter about my homeroasting methods - and it turns out to be much much better than on my last try. I still can taste it after finishing the cup half an hour ago, and it sit's really nice there on the back of my tongue. I get very nice wooden notes from it, though I do like the roasted wood that I got from Walter's roast more. My homeroast is still not as good as Walter's (of course!), but the race is getting closer (as in - only 100 miles behind, not 1000). Stunning coffee.

Am I a pro barista?

On sunday, I did my first video shooting and cutting (well Jessica shoot, I cut) - see here (or here for the bigger flash variant). This was for a german 'home-latte-art-contest', where you can win a trip to Costa Rica. It's not for people working in gastronomy, but home users, so called amateurs (whom I believe most of are better at producing good coffee than many so-called pros are - but that's an entirely different thing). So here's the question:

What am I?

I didn't work in gastronomy since August '07, and my work in the Café was a side job for nearly two years. Can I call myself a Pro Barista only because of having had a side job in a Café? Or because I competed last year in the german Baristachampionships and placed 11th?

Can I call myself an Amateur Barista because I read TMC all day long, have nifty (though not pricey!) equipment at home, roast for my pleasure and love what I'm doing at home? All I do coffee-wise happens in my kitchen currently, as you can see on the video. And it happens mostly for my own pleasure. And I pay retail prices, not bulk.

It'll be interesting to see what comes out of this home-latte-art-contest. Currently, I'm the only entrant. I hope that changes, though, but I do of course also hope I won't be disqualified and win the journey. I mean - hey come on - a trip to Costa Rica! :)

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