Thursday, May 31, 2007

Signature Drinks!
So I stopped by Intelligentsia today, ready to plop down my $8 for a cup of the Brazil COE 3rd place coffee, lovingly extracted by the shiny, new, up-close and personal Clover brewer. My plans were derailed when I saw that the lovely and talented Amber Sather was working the espresso machine. Since Amber was the barista who (a few months ago) prepared the best shot of espresso I have ever experienced, I decided I would have to have espresso. It was excellent, of course. I also got a chance to see a sign posted alerting me to upcoming Signature Drink Days, one at each location I am really excited by this, I will have to sneak away from work to give them a try. The only other signature drink I have ever tasted was Steve Fritzen's from 2006, he gave me a sneak preview before the 2006 GLRBC.
Here are video clips of Amber and Matt at the 2007 GLRBC:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Eureka Macchiato
Until last Friday, I don't think I have ever ordered an espresso macchiato. I have long known what it was, and even made them at home occasionally (usually to palate an inferior shot, if I am not inclined to re-pull). Friday lunchtime I was near the Monadnock Intelligentsia, so I decided to try something different (i usually just have espresso).
Holy crap! it was fantastic! I really like the cup, bowl shape, probably about 3oz capacity. The barista poured a nice heart. It tasted like someone had figured out a way to turn crema into butter. All the flavor of the espresso came through and it just had this really creamy mouthfeel.

(Note- the picture was not of THE drink I posted this about. It is from the one I got today, to get a picture of the cup)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pressurestat Creep

Pressurestat Creep
Originally uploaded by pavasm.

I think my pstat is starting to go. About a year ago the original pstat on my machine (Signal Lux) failed. The boiler temp ran away and tripped the high-limit thermostat. I replaced the pressurestat and the thermostat. I took the Signal Lux stat apart, and found the contacts were pretty toasted. I found that the full heating element amperage was running through the stat, which I believe is not rated for 10+ amps. When I put in the replacement Mater stat I also added a relay, so that the full amps do not run through the stat. I also strapped a thermometer probe to the boiler so I would be able to keep an eye on the boiler temp if it changed over time. Well, now that is apparently happening. The temp used to happily idle around 214F. Now it does upon initial warmup (up to an hour or so), but after shots are pulled, the temp climbs up to about 218F. From some forum research, it appears the exposure to the steam on the pstat line evantually degrades the stat (or maybe it is some sort of scale in the line). When I originally replaced the pstat I vowed to switch over to some sort of digital control (PID) if the replacement went. I think the time has come. I also wanted to try adding a dimmer to the pump wiring so that I could control the pressure of the vibe pump, and I thought I could use the same enclosure as the PID/SSR.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Betting on the USBC

Okay, not really betting. I was thinking that would be cool, but the logistics and legality were deterring factors. Instead, I posted an appeal to asking for folks to email predictions of the final six baristas, and the top 3 spots to
I figured people would send predictions if they knew that it would be kept anonymous (heck, it is really easy to get an anonymous email address these days).
I haven't gotten much of a response yet (please help!).
Next year maybe I can figure out some sort of prize to motivate people to put a prediction on record.