Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It came from Missouri

Couple of weeks ago, Boychick went back to Kansas City, Missouri to visit with her sister. We missed her desperately at the kiosk, but were quite happy to have her return to our bay area nest with caffeinated offerings from the middle of the country.

Broadway Cafe Espresso
The Broadway Cafe and Roastery in KCMO is doing it's part to destroy the myth that there is no good coffee in the middle of america.

Boychick brought back samples of both their espresso and of their New Guinea.

The NewG didn't hold up in our drippers after days of travel, but the espresso was a different story entirely. There was plenty of head-scratching back at the roaster where shots of the stuff pulled on the lever San Marco were coming out hard and stiff and wildly inconsistent. At the kiosk however, a discovery was made.

But before we get ahead of ourselves... with a freshly cleaned machine, one can expect a certain fluffiness to the crema. This however did not explain the cascading lava of polyphasic colloidal foam streaming from the bottom of the portafilter. The kind that over runs your puny demitasse in a matter of seconds. We hadn't see stuff like that since our adventures with Victrola's Streamline.

And that should have been a clue!

The mystery was solved by an online friend who revealed that the BC&R blend did indeed have one of those creama enhancers. Eureka! The only problem being that we had already blown through half our stash. Determined, we returned to our trusty Linnea in Hayes Valley the next morning to try make it work.

Broadway Cafe Espresso vs. BBCC Hayes Valley Espresso
BC&R Espresso vs. BBCC HV Espresso

And it did. We normally shoot our Blue Bottle Coffee Hayes Valley Espresso to about an ounce and and a half at around 31 seconds at a temp of about 204. (Keep it Secret!) So our early experiments with BC&R were geared toward this formula. When we accidentally made the shot pour over a longer time frame, the resulting shot was drastically different and decidedly better. Super sweet and punchy. Like the good part of a cigar only without the smoke, coughing and bad breath. And the shots looked wonderful! Look!



Broadway Cafe Shot

and then there was the Gibraltar that proved that topped it all off.

First Cup August 23, 2005

And then it was gone. Damn. So if any of you folks over in KC are headed to the bay area soon, bring more coffee, and this time, bring instructions.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What's going on?

After months of relative anonymity, the BBCC has been experiencing a flood of "comments" from seemingly random people. Anyone of you commenters wish to share the secret?

Maybe this actually some crazy plot to further distract us from our work so that we will never post again. We've deleted several all ready but the just keep appearing. Where are you all coming from?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Reversi Ring-Around-The-Rosi

Reversi Ring-Around-The-Rosi
Art by Oldman

Copy That!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wanting to settle things once and for all with Guy from Meathenge, the BBCC sent Boyman off to Richmond. But to his mild surprise, Guy seemed to know what was coming. He had gathered together several influential food bloggers from around the Bay Area in his backyard, thus making it a far too public place. To further distract Boyman from his mission, Guy had pulled out all the stops and cast a stupification spell with the intoxicating smell of cooking meat. Cooking Meat. Everything wrapped in bacon. Some giant snake of a sauage. More bacon.

There was some other stuff on the tables but you know the power meat has.

Took the time to meat, or meet rather, a relation of Guy's responsible for Blastmilk who was also pouring absinthe. The rest of the time was spent busily preparing cups of drip coffee in the kitchen with son of Meathenge Elijah. He was doing so well, we might have to give him a BBCC name. Boyboy isn't taken...

The little helper

Oh so stuffed. Next time time.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hot coffee

Part two of travels with Boyman has the BBCC getting lost and almost running out of gas in the middle of California. You know, the hot part. Where all the stuff grows.

But luck favors the bold, and a gas station was found just in the nick of time. Refueled, the road eventually led to Sutter Creek, California where the furthest eastern outpost of the BBCC is being served at caffe Intermezzo.


Owned by foodies Laura and Byron, and managed by the unflappable Susan, Intermezzo will be serving the Hayes Valley Espresso on their three group LM Linnea. They will also be serving individually prepared drip, and as it is super hot out there, the New Orleans in the near future.


By the end of the training, their drinks were coming out great.

First Cup July 30, 2005

Congrats guys.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Manboy!

Birthday manboy

He's 30 ya'll! And after humiliating him in front of the public with a stupid hat, he made three beautiful Gibraltars!

Manboy at work

Don't worry, he's still a Manboy.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Blue Bottle in the Big Easy

In an attempt to remove the log-jam of posts, here's something that has taken waaay too long.

A couple of weeks ago, Boyman took advantage of a cheap plane ticket and made some last minute arrangements to travel down to LA (the state that is) to enjoy some really uncomfortable weather in the city of New Orleans.

And since his mind is fairly one-tracked, the opportunity to enjoy a rich cultural experience was sidestepped by the burning question: "Where should we get coffee?"

Now the all too simple answer, and the shop that even non-coffee people recommended, was Cafe Du Monde. We'll get there eventually.

It was however a customer, or a couple of customers rather, that came to the rescue. Dear friends Gabby (sp) and Charlie we very excited to hear of our visit as she had spent some time down there and was well equipped with information that suited our need. Gabby is also the one of those very skeptical people when it came to our New Orleans Style Iced coffee. But now, now she is hooked. Perhaps that's why she helped...

Upon arrival, the traveling party noticed that it was hot. Damn hot. But like all hot places that cater to tourists, every place had the air conditioning cranked. Hot cold hot cold hot cold. The weary party sought refreshment, and though that city has bars like Seattle has cafes, Boyman braved the question: "Where should we get coffee first?"

First Cup July 15, 2005

Surprisingly it worked. The first cafe sounded a little too close to home. The Royal Blend Coffee and Tea House, located just up the street from the hotel, was not very much of a house. Actually it was a room, dropped back from the street, with a very nice outdoor patio area located in front. The offerings were a little disturbing, but Boyman realized that when in New Orleans, do as the New Orleaners, Orleanese... right, so "dark roasted Kenya with Chicory it was."

Now hot coffee in hot places is not always a bad idea. You know, like hot peppers. But let's just say that dark roasted Kenya with Chicory was just slightly better than a sharp stick in the tongue. Everything that should have been good about a dark roast, Kenyas and even Chicory was gone. In it's place was a scalding hot concoction of soupy-yuckmouth.

The smarter members of the party ordered iced drinks. With burning tongue out Boyman asks "can I haf thum of yo ith? " Refreshment. Now it makes sense. This is why everybody drinks it with milk and sugar. This is why, after all, the BBCC uses milk and sugar. This iced coffee almost got Boyman killed by a big biker dude, but he'd rather not relive that episode.

We should take a little aside here.

First Cup July 31, 2005

Now a very popular Q&A from life at the kiosk:
Customer: "What's New Orleans-Style Iced Coffee?"
Charming Blue Bottle Barista: "That is a cold steeped coffee with chicory that we mix with sugar, ice and milk."
Customer: (blank stare) "What's Chicory"
Charming Blue Bottle Barista: Well according to Wikipedia, oh you don't know that one either? Well basically it is a root that is roasted and ground up and added to coffee to give it some pungency.
Customer: (confused look) "Oh."
Charming Blue Bottle Barista: Here, try some.
Customer: (face lights up) "That's good."
Blue Bottle Barista: Yes. Yes it is.

The other destinations within the Quarter faired only slightly better.

First Cup July 16, 2005
Cafe Beignet, just up the street from Royal Blend, served beignets of course along with a medium roast that was thankfully chicory-free. The real attraction here however was the food which was served hot and fast. The atmosphere was also very attractive with outdoor seating that looks out onto Royal Street while stray cats play at your feet.

A giant, wonderful Sunday Jazz brunch was disappointingly accompanied by more of the spicy hot root beverage at The Court of Two Sisters, yet again on Royal Street.

First Cup July 17, 2005
It took a 4 a.m. visit to the rather Lynch-ian experience of Cafe Du Monde to finally get Boyman to get it. See, milk helps. Sugar helps. Beignets help. Impetus of "let's get away from the scary server guy" helps. Really it was good. Not magical, but good.

So team, New Orleans is a place for long walks, jazz and coffee only if it has lots of SUGAR and lots of MILK and lots of ICE. But, I guess we already knew that.