Tuesday, April 19, 2005
One final adventure: Barry kindly offered to take Liz and me to the airport. So we head out, and Barry asks the valet to get his (rental) car. Valet returns after a while, announcing the car's battery is dead and he's going to go jump-start it using his own car. Okay. We wait. Barry's rental finally appears, but now features major facial scarring, thanks to the valet letting the dangling jumper cables short against each other. Yay.
Greg Fisher of Bunn Corportation has known Barry a long time, as shown by this astute analysis of Barry's mental state. The Bunn folks demoed their single-serving pod brewer, which, unlike most on the market, accepts pods from a number of different manufacturers.
These are the guys from Cirqua Customized Water. They had three airpots with the same coffee brewed with too-high, too-low, and just-right mineral content (?) water. The fellow at left is CEO Ian Knapp, and on the right is Phil Wagner doing a pretty good "clubbed seal" impression. The company will custom "dial-in" a Cirqua system to provide the exact water hardness etc. a business wants.
Tim Fleming at the Café D'Arte booth. Friendly folks, pulled lots of shots for all of us. D'Arte has espresso blends roasted over wood, which lends a particular flavor, which even my unsophisticated palate could detect. I quite liked it, and immediately wondered what it would taste like in a latte. (Yummy, I suspected.)
Terry Davis of Ambex roasters preaching to the converted -- the PID converted, that is. Here he's showing a datalogged roast in progress. I didn't (i.e. couldn't) follow all the techy stuff, but suffice it to say there's a hell of a lot of telemetry going from (and *to*) that roaster.
Scott Reed of Royal Coffee (wholesalers) talked to us about the challenges of sourcing and importing coffee. Apparently it can sometimes be a challenge just to get a container to use: "All the containers in the world are somewhere between Shanghai and Walmart..." He also talked about issues such as how long coffee can sometimes sit in the hold of a ship, the use of climate-controlled containers, what happens when he receives a shipment of coffee that has spoiled en route etc.
Monday morning. Barry (red shirt) leads c-members on a tour of the exhibit floor. He took us to booths that reflected coffee's journey from tree to cup, and our first stop was Cea and Bob Smith's Smithfarms's booth. Bob (left) gave us a great little talk about Kona coffee farming, and answered all sorts of questions.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Angelo Minicozzi of Espresso Parts Source. I spent over an hour talking to this very nice (and slightly mad) guy. He's a fan of traditional Italian-style espresso, drunk with a bit of sugar, and zero thermocouples. These photos illustrate some hand gestures that accompanied Angelo's comments on a certain high-end double-boiler machine.
This is me, shot by Mark Prince. He, Ken Fox and I had a private viewing of this prototype machine in a hotel suite near the show. Earlier in the day a bunch of alties got to see it, but Ken and I missed it. Thanks entirely to Ken's chutzpah, we got our chance later. Mark was already going to see it at about the same time apparently, and we all went up together.
We got to play around a bit and pull a few shots. I don't think I'm supposed to publish photos of it, so I blurred it out. (I would *like* to say "I can't tell you any more about it" but I'm afraid Coffeegeek's lawyers would come after me for trademark violation.)
Update: well the photos are up on Coffeegeek, so I guess it's ok to unblur the machine. Pity to waste a perfectly good blur though...
Ken Davids' coffee tasting session was great. He brought three brewed coffees for us to taste: all three three from the exact same beans, but each processed differently. One was washed, one "natural" i.e. dry, and the third was "pulped natural", if memory serves. edit: ["repassed natural" was the term - Thanks, Fortune]