(POSITION FILLED)Looking for a hard working, quality driven barista in Austin, TX

October 20, 2010 · Filed Under Jobs · Comment 

POSITION FILLED

Taken straight from BaristaExchange…

I need to hire a full time barista in Austin, Tx.

We’re an independently owned shop with a focus on quality coffee as well as relationships with our customers.  This barista must have a strong work ethic, the ability to work well solo and as part of a team, and a strong desire learn about coffee, equipment, etc…

Interested baristas should forward their resume via email to ____@______________.

Thanks everyone!

(via)

Flipnotics.com

Crema – A perk, or a necessary evil?

October 6, 2010 · Filed Under Article, Brewing, Coffee, Espresso, How-to · 4 Comments 

Crema has often been believed to be a sign of a properly pulled espresso.  More recently, crema became loved as a sign of freshness of the coffee.  More recently still, a famous blogger declared that crema is rubbish.  Let’s move on to the lesser appreciated, but more commonly “understood” expression of coffee oils and gas often referred to as “creme”, but that I refer to as “bloom”.

French press fans have long been fans of what is often improperly called “crema” or “creme”.  It is referred to as “bloom” before poured into the cup, and it doesn’t change states between brewing and pouring, so I have opted to refer to it as bloom.  Nevertheless, it has then moved on to be an indication of how fresh a coffee is.  If it is “too fresh”, there will be unmanageable amounts of gas being released upon hot water contact, and the bloom risks overflowing its vessel.  More recently, an earlier World Barista Champion introduced the “cupping method” of French press brewing.

The question then being, “Does it make a difference?”  I have done a LOT of experimenting with French press brewing.  It’s the way that coffee is most often brewed in the mornings in my household.  It is full submersion brewing (read: even extraction) that you could teach a monkey to do.  There were talks of using a high dose and short brew time with a french press when the Clover was taken off of the independent market.  It can be used for cold brew coffee.  You can brew at double strength quite easily for Japanese method iced coffee, or to tide you over until you can afford that espresso machine that you so wisely passed up in order to blow all of your money on the best grinder you could get your hands on.

The French press definitely has it merits.  I would argue, however, that the single greatest contribution for the quality of home coffee brewing is the introduction of getting rid of that gorgeous foam before pressing the plunger down on your French press.  It makes that big of a difference.  Back to espresso.

Espresso, as we all know by now, is comprised of three parts: crema, body, and heart.  By definition, espresso is not espresso without crema.. but that would lead to a philosophical debate about ontology and semantics (so let’s just leave that bit out).  The heart is the concentrated solution of dissolved and undissolved solids in the bottom of your demitasse.  It is the reason for espresso’s being.  (I have found myself wiping clinging remainder of an espresso from the inside of my demitasse with my finger to get every last bit of flavor from one of the best shots I have ever tasted)  The body is the bulk of the liquid part of the espresso, which contains water, dissolved solids, and not a whole lot else.  The crema, they say, is a colloid of coffee oils and carbon dioxide gas.  The carbon dioxide is a known binder of aromatics.. which is something that most aficionados recognize as vitally important to a good cup of coffee.

It seems, however, that there is something else hiding in the crema, as well as in the bloom.  People have often talked about fine particles in the cup, but rarely do they blame the crema or bloom for that bitter tinge, when they are often the bulk of the cause.

Bloom lends texture to your French press coffee, and it is visually pleasing to behold.  Crema can tell you a lot about the espresso that was just served to you before you even taste it.  It also lends a texture, and a lasting persistence of flavor and aromatics long after the espresso is consumed.

The definitive question, however, is:  Is it worth it?

Leave your comments below.

Anonymous Review of The Pearl Cup: Dallas

October 1, 2009 · Filed Under DFW, Publicity, Retailers · Comment 

I saw this on the net and got permission to stick it up here.

Let me preface this by saying I hate coffee. Pearl Cup rocks.

They must be doing something right to get a simple, yet glorious, review like that.  Way to go!

It probably doesn’t hurt that D Magazine voted their “Pearl Latte” the best latte of 2009.

If you’re in Dallas and in need of a decent cup of coffee, you might consider dropping in.

The Pearl Cup
1900 N. Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

Espresso vs. Other Brew Methods

July 15, 2009 · Filed Under Brewing, Coffee, Espresso, Industry Insight · 2 Comments 

This is less a comparison and more of a question.

Do you find yourself preferring any specific brew method for your coffee?

If you work in the industry, consider this a question based on a morning or afternoon coffee for pure enjoyment, and leave all analysis aside.

I’ve found myself being awfully fond of macchiati lately, regardless of the coffee used (be it a blend or single origin).  Of course, this falls under the Espresso category.

I still enjoy other brew methods immensely, but I find myself most satisfied with a small blast of flavor rather than taking enjoyment in the act of consumption itself. Which is something I discovered I used to enjoy as a reason to prefer larger drinks(cups of coffee, that is.. I’ve never been fond of lots of milk).  It seems like a strange contrast to make, I realize.

I have seen more and more references to Toddy (and other cold-brews) on the web and more people taking an interest in French Press here in Lubbock.  Some people are discovering the Abid “Clever” filter brewer.

What do YOU tend to prefer?  Why?  I always like reading the thoughts of others.   Leave a comment.

Fioza Cafe: Houston

June 30, 2009 · Filed Under Community, Houston, Publicity, Texas Retailers · 1 Comment 

Fioza

Some readers may already know about Fioza, but since I just found out about them via Flickr (and their ties to Catalina), I figured I’d give them a mention.

I have not been, but I get the impression that they care about the quality of their coffee.

Straight from their website:

Fioza wants the best that coffee has to offer. We are constantly learning, constantly improving, constantly creating, and constantly adjusting anything that can be improved. From fresh locally roasted coffee to well crafted espresso drinks using the best equipment we know, we strive to create a great coffee experience.

Pair that with the fact that they hosted/sponsored a latte art throwdown with Catalina Coffee, and the implied result sounds promising.

Here are a couple of pictures from their website as well:

Have you been to Fioza?  How was it?

Fioza Cafe has been added to our list of Retailers.

Fioza Cafe
9002 Chimney Rock Rd, Suite F
Houston, TX 77096

Saturday Night Smackdown: Austin

May 19, 2009 · Filed Under Austin, Barista, barista jam, Events, Just for fun, Latte Art · Comment 

As taken from an email, and an announcement in the Texas Coffee People group on BaristaExchange.com:

Hey Texas Coffee People!!

We’re having yet another Saturday Night Smackdown. Caffe Medici on Guadalupe in Austin is closing down early on May 30th, we’re pulling out the keg and pulling out the steaming pitchers. It’s listed under the events page on bX, or you can find out more at www.saturdaynightsmackdown.blogspot.com.

We’ll be doing a tasting and discussion on processing methods, then getting a little tipsy and pouring some lattes. Hope to see ya’ll there.

2009 USBC Live Video Feed (and Live-Blogging)

March 5, 2009 · Filed Under Barista Competition, Industry, SCAA, Video · Comment 

Feed can be found here -> Click

Blog can be found here -> Click

Or, you can just sit back, and enjoy the show from the comfort of TX-Coffee.com:

Free TV : Ustream

The Pearl Cup: Dallas, TX

pearlcup_logo
(Website)

As taken from a Facebook message:

NOW OPEN!!!

Business Hours:

Monday – Thursday 6:30am – 9pm
Friday 6:30am – 11pm
Saturday 7am – 11pm
Sunday 9am – 3pm

Come check us out!

The Pearl Cup
1900 N. Henderson Ave
(On the corner of Henderson Ave and McMillan Ave)

The Pearl Cup is running coffee from Coffee Eiland (no website.. get on that, Clay!) in Dallas, along with Mazzer grinders and a La Marzocco Linea.  Allegedly, they are offering single origin espresso.  At least, that’s what I’ve heard.
n901870036_5087005_4855 n1496673100_30222030_4489The setup (La Marzocco + Mazzer + Coffee Eiland) REALLY reminds me of Gachet Coffee Lounge downtown near the House of Blues.  I was not impressed with the coffee at Gachet, but I’m guessing inconsistency is the fault that plagues us all (including Gachet), as what is to blame.  It wasn’t bad, but I felt it could have been better.

But, this is a whole new beast, headed by a band of three friends bent on bringing better coffee to Dallas. (or so it seems)

They have a website, which can be found at http://thepearlcup.com, and a page on Facebook. (link on their website)

The Pearl Cup has been added to our List of Retailers.

The Pearl Cup

1900 N. Henderson Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

(On the corner of Henderson Ave and McMillan Ave)

New Tech in the World of Coffee

I was looking through some Flickr updates, when I come across this interesting looking machine that reminds me of a Clover, and some experiments I’d seen done over at Jim Seven regarding water measurment by weight, rather than volume.

Well, here it is.  The Marco Uber Boiler.  It’s been situated to deliver water at temperatures of .2C precision by weight into whatever vessel of your choice.  Precise temperature, precise measurement, both in a neat in-counter package.  This does what Clover couldn’t.(just my opinion)

It’s not in production yet, and James says, “For those interested I’d recommend e-mailing Marco, and they will keep those interested up to date on the boiler.”(via) Click Here for the full report from James Hoffmann.

The next bit of tech for the coffee industry is an espresso machine project that I’ve been following for awhile, but was just recently finished into a functional prototype.  It has since made quite a splash, and it has gotten more attention.  It is the Slayer Espresso machine.

It’s low, it’s sleek, it has exposed group heads, it has steam wands and levers that remind one of Synesso, it boasts temperature control/stability, exposed paddle group heads, and… pressure profiling control?

I know that La Marzocco has released their paddle machine (which, btw, Cuvee was one of the first to have acquired), and it has made a splash, but not in the same way as this one.  Maybe it’s because it is from an independent, rather than from a prestigious manufacturer with a long history.  Maybe it’s because they’ve been blogging about its progress since it began.  Or, maybe it’s because it was developed from the same folks who started Treuh, except for Mark Barnett, who went on to found Synesso.

Either way, this piece of espresso tech holds a lot of promising potential.  Also not in production yet, I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for updates on its progress.

That’s all the news for today!  I’m sure that’s more than enough to hold you over for awhile.

Double Espresso Poll (and a new feature)

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under TX-Coffee · Comment 

On your left, you’ll see a poll that asks how many grams of coffee you would normally dose for a double espresso.

This is just to get an idea of which direction we are headed.  More coffee per shot.. or less coffee.

And, if you’ll look to your right, you will see a mobile barcode.  This barcode can be read by your SmartPhone, iPhone, or Picket PC (when equipped with a bar code reader.. which can be downloaded to work with your phone’s camera, if your phone does not include one from the factory).  Just scan it, and it will pop up tx-coffee.com, so you can grab the URL for your phone without having to go through the hastle of typing it out on tiny keys.

And just a reminder, be sure to try out the Internet Coffee Database (also known as the internet encyclopedia of coffee(LIVE)) hosted here at TX-Coffee.com.  And use the contact form if you think we are missing a website or blog that should be included in the search database.

And, the last of this tx-coffee news update, there is a new t-shirt style available in the TX-Coffee Gear store.

“Roots” E-61 T-shirt

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