Friday, January 28, 2005

Catching Up

It's been one of those weeks where all good intentions to keep everyone updated have been thwarted by things like work and sleep.

But it is best to start as close to the beginning as possible so...

The kiosk has seen a fairly good business throughout the week. Many people have stopped by on a whim, either hearing of us through word of mouth or seeing the sign on the corner. There has also been several people who either live or work in Hayes Valley who have discovered us. That has been a lot of fun because it seems most of the folk around there are into what they do so the general feeling is one of encouragement.

None more so than the girls and guy of Dark Garden (PG-18!). After a week or so, most of their names (and drinks) have been committed to memory. Though the idea of a corset shop might seem a little intimidating to the average pedestrian, the folks that work there are very friendly and engaging.

And they continue to surprise us. For instance, one customer was wondering about a particular tree that grows across the alley from us. Though none of us knew the answer, Kat, a Gardener privy to the discussion, took the question back to her coworkers. Who knew that Jacob, (who is currently constructing a corset out of sting ray hide) was an amateur botanist.

He identified the adjacent growth as a Bailey's Acacia, also known as a Golden Mimosa.



Notice the plastic bag. Gotta love living on an alley.

Jacob says that this tree is originally from Australia, where it grows like a shrub. It is one of the earliest blooming trees in San Francisco and only lives for about 25 years. He knows trees. He makes corsets.

Also on the informative tip, former National Bartista Champion ('02) and sixth best Barista in the World ('02) and Boyman's former boss ('00) Dismas Smith stopped by the kiosk while he was in town for the SF Fancy Food Show.

Boyman: "How come you never gave me that raise?"
: "Maybe because of your stupid hipster scarf!"

: "Oh."

Dismas has left his previous place of employment to join up with a new deal by the name of Hotwire Coffee and Roasting Co. He's roasting and whipping baristas into shape. He was particularly interested in developing a new drip operation. He was not so busy though that he couldn't pull some shot of our Hayes Valley blend, and then subject his own blend to scrutiny.

Dismas displays his signature "watch-shakin" style that won him accolades around the world.

Dismas has been roasting lately on a Diedrich very similar to ours but getting very different results. Par Example:

On the left, the BBCC Roman Espresso, several days old. Notice the darker color and presence of oils.
On the right, Dismas' Washed Sidamo. Lighter in color, dry and chafferific.

The shots of his stuff were smooth and then all of the sudden Holy Sh*t Spicy! Largely due to temperature adjustment (set cooler) age (not very old) and some crazy central american bean that will not be named here. He, like us, is working on it.


Thanks Dismas!

And to celebrate, Boyman and Dismas, on the recommendation of a certain bartendress/customer, ended us getting some post-work drinks at Hayes Valley's own German restaurant Suppenkuche.

No, we don't know how to pronounce it. Well, maybe Manboy does.

Anyway, following the suggestion of (H)anna, we tried a couple of finely poured German beers and enjoyed a plate of fine German wares guaranteed to make the flowers wilt the next day.

You try to take a focused picture after two big German beers. Go on, I dare ya.

Everything tasted great even the blood sausage stuff. Good thing it was dark.

Meanwhile, back in the world of coffee...

Now that the week has gone by, everyone of the HV baristos has had a crack at the alley. Boyman, Manboy and Oldman all took turns serving up drinks and wowing the public, taking impromptu interviews when available.

Q: Are we not men? A: We are Baristo



In other good news, Bittersweet made their official official opening this week to hordes of slobbering chocolate lovers. Some even tried the coffee. Our friends there are off and running with their new space all decked out.

Some of the fare:



snake flambars
Chocolate..., the yoga is across the street. Sorry.

The folks at Bittersweet are on the lookout for quality baristas who love the chocolate, so if you know anyone, send them their way.

This, the longest post ever. Sorry. Let's end it with a solemn pledge to be better about frequency.

If you made it this far, be sure to check out Larry's post about our opening. Also look to Meathenge for an excellent photo contest.

Until next time.



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