Friday, April 16, 2010

Pictures from the Coffee Cruise

Our coffee cruise was a success, if on a minor note. Our party of five consisted of shop regulars and one lone Briton in town for a triathlon (pictured below, ad nauseum -- Sorry, Brett!). So we ended up manipulating the route to include a few local photo op spots (The new riverfront park, the capitol, etc.) and finished the night with a dinner at Frank.

The coffee was all fantastic. We hit Once Over, the Cafe Medici in Clarksville (who both vend from Cuvee), and finally Frank, which caries Intelligentsia, as well as open (or 'naked') portafilters.

Murph reviews the espresso at Frank.

Frank brews Intelligentsia. Rare for Austin, and duly appreciated.

Good ol' GB-5. (There's is better than ours, but only 'cause it's five feet from a full bar that serves bacon-infused bloody marys.)

If this doesn't make you laugh, you're not from Texas. (And if you're not, click here.)

Pour-Over coffee is it. I've been hooked since my first trip to Blue Bottle in San Francisco. (Our own p.o. rack is still under construction.)

Mr. B at the Capitol, under the Six Seals that represent the Six Flags Over Texas. (That's where he learned that Texas is the only U.S. state that was previously a nation.)

The La Marzocco at Medici. Straight out of The Jetsons.

Murph using cookies to bait Eileen into playing incredibly difficult memory games.

Texas sunset from the south bank of Lady Bird Lake.

Brett, illustrating the UK's relative size to Texas.

Obligatory South Austin photo stop. (We actually interrupted a photo shoot for a couple's engagement announcements.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2 Secondes

Found this intriguing Quebecois mountain bike film at I Luv Video last night, and put it on in the shop this morning. 2 Secondes is about a pro mountain bike rider who screws around for two seconds on the starting line, then loses by two seconds, and gets kicked off her team. Well, that's the opening sequence, anyway. I guess the premise is her fight back into the club. Looks cool. Like a French-Canadian, mountain-biking Rocky. Can't wait to take it home and play it with sound...

Monday, April 5, 2010


Last week my grinder stopped working all of sudden and it made me realize that I never have: A. changed out the burrs and B. Never have cleaned the burrs. Blasphemy! Especially after I talked about cleaning out your portafilters on a consistent basis. The funny thing, unless cleaning out burrs on a monthly basis is part of your job cleaning out the burrs on your home grinder (probably the same as most grinders in coffee shops) is something most people forget about or overlook. I'm obviously guilty of that. Dirty burr blades are harder to notice at first because you physically can't see the build up on the blades unless you take it apart. The first sign that your grinder needs cleaning should be the consistency of the espresso. I was noticing that some of my shots were not coming out evenly and that one side would draw out before the other. So I would adjust my grinder assuming it was the humidity that was affecting my shots and sometimes that would work. Other times I would assume I was tampening my shot too hard so I would draw another. Again sometimes this would work but recently both of these things weren't doing the trick. I found a useful link (thank goodness for YouTube) that walks you through on how to clean out your burrs on Rancilio grinders. Depending on how often you use your grinder will depend on how often you should clean out your burrs but I'm going to make it a habit to clean mine every 6 months. It's easy to do and if you don't wait too long then the build up shouldn't be that bad and the cleaning process should be relatively quick. After I cleaned mine the grinder started to work immediately. The only thing I had to do was adjust my grinder since the burrs were clean. Shots draw evenly now and the espresso has never tasted better.

Happy grinding! (no not that kind of grinding).

Here's the YouTube video that shows you how to clean your Rancilio grinder.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

To an espresso devotee there is nothing more beautiful than a perfectly tamped, well pulled shot of espresso, but most of us have only been privy to the finished product in our cup. No more my friends, for I give you espresso porn: And no, it won't get you fired at work. ~Nicole