the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “coffee”

Crazy for C8H10N4O2 – poor me, pour you.

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Since my last post a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and a lot of coffee has passed my lips, and while doing time on the machine I still don’t think I am anywhere near getting the perfect pour, just like in the last week I have not appeared to become some sort of sexual god, though in both cases, not through lack of want or trying.

Just up the road at the local school a local and national coffee icon donates time and equipment in a totally unselfish means to assist in fundraising; C4 Coffee, owned by Guy and Paula have plumbed in a commercial coffee machine so that tired and weary parents can grab a fix after dumping their kids, and teachers can get a kick before having to deal with said abandoned kids.

It also turns out that C4 will be hosting the CHCH chapter of the Rocket Home Barista Champs and after attending a ‘masterclass’ at head office in Tuam St it became crystal clear that I may in fact be the only one of the 20 entrants that does not have a coffee machine, and anytime spent on one has been a rare and futile attempt. So what does one do, three weeks out from the comp? One sucks up to aforementioned coffee connoisseurs and in true perfectionist-come-OCD-come-analytical mindset picks their collective brains, begs for time on the frontline, and learns, learns some more, and then when one cannot take on any more info, learns some more again.

The week has flown by as Paula, first, introduced me to the world of coffee-making. And like a $2 whore on a naval base, I took to it as if my life depended on it. Terms such as ‘tamping’, ‘grinding’, ‘group’ and ‘crema’ were surprisingly nothing to do with sexual deviancy (much to my disappointment) but explained methods, tools, and the ‘should’ of a good pour (crema).

Guy, and C4’s chief coffee trainer, Tare took it even further and all the coffee I had struggled, butchered, and a few times were proud about were but a distant memory as these two bared my soul and swore me into a secret society where a bare touch of the grinder was the difference between a good coffee and posh; where the pressure applied when tamping (pressing coffee grinds into a handle) could make a change of seconds before a pour started; where the depth of the steam wand either deafened you due to the horrific ‘squeal’ of the milk or sounded like a distant jet taking off (which is good); and even the act of luring milk into a cup which in itself required pin point accuracy, speed, and ‘finish’ to ensure a satisfied customer, or in my case, a judge.

The next few posts will focus on some of these, and more, mentioned above, and while anything I scribe here may be of interest, there is no better way to learn than to do the miles…or the cups.

And now my journey has now begun.


Crazy for C8H10N4O2 – Black as Night, Sweet as Sin.

Yours Truly supping on the sweetest nectar in New Caledonia...oh the memories.

Yours Truly supping on the sweetest nectar in New Caledonia…oh the memories.

A few months ago while cruising the South Pacific with friends and family a day stop in Noumea demanded the opportunity to sample and determine if in fact the French knew coffee as they have themselves believe. So in coming across a chic little place I took the punt on the king of all pours, the Espresso, and if I were to be so daft as to believe in any kind of deity then the lovely bird across the counter with the heavily lilted French accent was as close I have come to believing in any higher being.

Just like I know the difference between a good fuck and a dud root, my knowledge of coffee comes from similar experiences, but in no way does it make me an expert, just like dry humping the bed sheets doesn’t make me an aficionado of Kama Sutra. But, for those who follow my rants on Social Media I will happily name and shame those who try to palm off a cup they’ve obviously crapped in for a cup of hot Joe, and you’ll need to troll through my old Tweets and Updates to find those places worthy of avoiding as I won’t name them again though I will hint at them surreptitiously; Coffee Culture and Muffin Break Hornby, Coffee Club Manukau, Esquires Northwood.

logoHowever I am nothing if not willing to back up any such claims without placing myself into the firing line and over the next few weeks I will search to relive that moment in the islands as I attempt to extract the perfect Jitter Juice. Further to this I will readily lay my soul and reputation on the line as I enter the Rocket Home Barista Champs here in CHCH next month.

So, if you please, follow me as I give myself a crash course in grinding, tamping, stretching and pouring my way to the top, and if not the top, to a standard where I can subjectively rate  decent cup of Caffeine Infusion rather than my generic spat-out knee-jerk expletive as I have done in the past…

…and if I manage to impart some knowledge onto you, my three loyal followers of my blog, then my work is doubly rewarding.

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