Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Chum Bucket, and Gimme! Coffee Pt. 1

Saturday went off much as any other. Hayes Valley had Oldman ringing a record day, while Berkeley had both the Hug and PurpleCup braving the rain and selling out of beans. The Ferry Plaza performance featured James on Machine and taking orders, Boyman on milk and anger, and Pilot pumping out cups and cups of drip to the amazement of all.

Since HV is off and going, there has been a marked difference in the attitude of "the line" on Saturdays. Whether that is because those in the know find HV easier to deal with or whether the new clientele are just a little rougher around the edges has yet to be determined. BBC would like to take this opportunity to send out a fair warning to all of you who want to come the Ferry Plaza for a fabulous cup of drip or a lovely latte: You will have to wait. And if you do, we will love you for it.

The fact that most businesses cater to the belief that everyone is in a rush makes the intentional slowness of the market seem an anachronism. Yet, markets all over the world are hugely successful. We just need to work on that dance routine so that people won't notice that they've had to wait in line for a half an hour only to stand for even more time amid the grumbles of their fellow uncaffienated marketeers while the chicken truck bathes them in the smell of rosemary cooked poultry flesh.

Child: "Mommy, look at the funny dancing man with his clarinet!"
Mother: "Yes dear. Those cheerful milk-stained glasses and coffee-covered Carharts make me want to stay here forever...and ever...and ever..."

Either that or Manboy just needs to come back.

And through the rather ingenious addition of a plastic bucket to our load list, (an idea that was originally proposed to our guffaws by Oddjob months back), we've cut our clean-up time in half! Plus there's no milk bog in the sink! Brilliant!

Also, our good friend and Yemen drinker Larry, recently ventured to New York City! to try the coffee and see those funny orange gates in Central Park. While he was there, he followed up on a couple of coffee recommendations of ours and even brought some home!


Gimme! Coffee from Ithaca, (Larry probably only went as far as Brooklyn) serves an excellent espresso by the name of Platinum Blonde that unfortunately didn't taste so excellent in the San Marco back at the roaster some months ago. Thus you can imagine our excitement when that tell-tale "white label on a silver bag" showed up in Hayes Valley. Finally the PID has purpose!


Their roast profile is similar to ours. The Hayes Valley Espresso is on the left and Gimme's Platinum Blonde on the right. Though the image is less than perfect, you can see the slight variation on color. That and the beans they use were significantly larger on the whole. Whole, get it? like whole beans! Ha, coffee humor, it cracks us up! Like roasting, cracks...too much.

Though J had thought that they were serving in Triple Baskets, otherwise known as a-whole-hell-of-a-lotta-coffee, their site prescribes a 21 gram basket, which is what we're using in Hayes. Coffee culture nomenclature. Issa problem.

OK, so we dumped that dirty decaf and got to work.

The first thing was to turn up the temp on the machine. See, when dealing with so many variables, (gram weight, shot times, shot volumes, machine temp, ambient temp, caffeine level of baristo) it's hard to recreate with any certainty the magical brew served back in NY.

We cranked it up to 240, which is really hot. So hot it fact that the group heads hiss out steam and little red men with pitchforks and spade tails peek out and blink at the daylight.

The first shots looked excellent. Jeremy from Ritual was on hand with a couple of buddies to try the shots. This is a guy who drinks the HV daily and is also intimate with Stumptown. His word? "Smooth."


And that pretty much summed it up. It's flavor would be hard to pick apart, and really quite futile. This is the point at which James starts up the "objectifying the subjective" reel of the BBCC tour.

Then again.


This time, the shot was shared with some random Australian fella who actually tasted ours (at 230 as well) and the Blonde back to back. He looked very pleased.

This second shot also poured in about 24sec as opposed to the previous 34sec @ 240 extraction.

Let's just say there was more shots pulled, but the photography became so shaky, we'll have to wait until tomorrow for the conclusion.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's your Berkeley fack chekker? Twas Cabby sold all them beans. Well, lots of them. Well, the ones Hug didn't sell.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Alex Bernson said...

Fyi, a 21 gram basket is most definitely a "triple basket"

11:58 AM  

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