[Homeroast] A new Disloyalty Card club member and other miscellaneous coffee travel updates

Yakster yakster at gmail.com
Sat Mar 20 01:06:27 CDT 2010


Great post, Greg, glad your trip went so well and you made it home safely.

-Chris

On 3/19/10, Greg Hollrigel <ghollrigel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Following the daily morning coffee cup emails, and my travels, I thought I'd
> share my weekly coffee experience.
>
> Sunday I set off for LAX to go to London, and then Southampton.  Running a
> bit late, I pushed it up the 405 because my goal was to visit Intelligentsia
> in Venice, CA, or Cafe Cielo in Santa Monica (I believe).  I drove by LAX at
> my 2 hour mark for checking in.  Feeling my heart rate increasing, I said to
> myself, "I hope I can find a parking space in Venice."  Driving by
> Intelligentsia, it didn't look like I was going to find parking, but then, 1
> block later, a car pulled out, and I was in.  :-)  Walked back to the shop
> to see how the line was.  Not too bad.  I introduced myself to the barista,
> asked for a shot of Black Cat, and he recommended a Machiato of a SO
> Ugandan.  Both were great, and I have to say, the machiato was the best I've
> had.  Very impressed.  So I picked up a bag of Black Cat for home, and was
> happy to hear that they start pulling shots 7 days post roast, which was
> perfect for leaving it in my car and having it when I return to the states.
> I also figured I would hit Cafe Cielo on my way back, and taste 49th
> Parallel beans.  So off to LAX.
>
> Made it to LAX with an 1 hour before my flight.  Luckily there was almost no
> line for security.  I went through security without any problems, and I was
> carrying my Hario Skerton, Aeropress, and about 10 oz of Sulawesi about 5
> days post roast.  I think what helped was that I had all of my coffee gear
> in a big ziploc and as a separate item in my security tray.  Got to my
> flight with 15 minutes before boarding.  Whew!
>
> Arrived in London on Monday around noon.  I was happy to see that the law
> firm I was having a meeting at was less than 5 minutes walking to Dose (an
> espresso bar on the Disloyalty Card
> (http://www.jimseven.com/2009/12/17/gwilyms-disloyalty-card/).  So after
> lunch, my colleague and I went to Dose.  I introduced myself, and asked them
> to impress me since I flew all the way from California to experience the
> coffee scene in London.  The baristas got a kick out of this.  I had a shot
> of their Winter Blend, which was also very good, and then a Flat White,
> which was fantastic.  They offered me a cup of drip, which is all brewed in
> the Aeropress.  I declined since I told them that mine was riding shotgun,
> along with the Hario grinder that they sold, I would prefer espressos since
> I was going to be without for a few days.  They were cracking up at how I
> brought all of this equipment with me, and then I explained that I didn't
> expect any decent coffee for the rest of the week if I didn't bring my own.
> They understood.  Then we compared some notes on brewing with the Aeropress
> since that is how they serve regular coffee to their customers.  I put a
> pound of their Winter Blend on the counter, and went to pay when I realized
> they didn't take credit cards.  So I put the coffee back, and asked my
> friend to pay, LoL, since I wasn't bright enough to get cash.  After getting
> the stamp on my new Disloyalty Card, we were off to explore some other
> shops, but they close early in London, so they were closed.  Off to my
> meeting with attorneys.
>
> Tuesday through Wednesday I enjoyed my homeroasted Sulawesi taken about 20
> seconds into 2nd crack.  Definitely made my stay in Southampton and work for
> the day more enjoyable.  I had to grind and brew with the room window fully
> open to minimize insulting the hotel with the odor.  It got cold in my room
> fast since I was brewing around 5 AM.  Hopefully I won't see another
> cleaning charge from the hotel.
>
> Thursday it was back to Heathrow and then to LAX.  Did the same deal with my
> coffee travel gear, and the London security didn't have a problem either!
> Landed at LAX right on time, and was set to swing up to Cafe Cielo and then
> home.  Customs was unbelievably slow, and by the time I was through, I lost
> my coffee drinking time, and had to boogey home to try and avoid LA traffic.
> So Cafe Cielo will have to wait until my next LA visit.
>
> Friday (today), nice to be back at home.  Pulled some shots of the Black
> Cat.  Made 2 espressos, and 1 Breve.  It was good, but I think I need to
> work on my technique, b/c the shots were pulling a little fast.  Tomorrow is
> my next experiment.  I believe updosing may help a bit.  Also had a cup of
> the Sulawesi, and it is really good.
>
> I read the comments on the Barefoot Lever Domination brewing class, and that
> sounded great.  I'm going to play some more with my Factory.  Chris - your
> comments on the Boss and the Element are very interesting.  I had a hard
> time with the Boss, so I'm thinking I'll pick up a bag of Element next week.
>
> And, today, I also opened my Sweet Marias box of 20 lbs of coffee, and I'm
> looking forward to start roasting those (Brazil Raisin, Sidamo Maduro,
> Rwandan, and a Guatemalan).  I should be having lots of fun with these over
> the next few months.
>
> So take home messages from Greg:
>
> There is good coffee in London, and I have 7 more shops to visit in the
> future.  London Baristas are really fun and friendly.  I definitely
> recommend Dose to any visitors.  Thanks for the links to the UK blogs, and
> thanks to the baristas at Dose.
> Travelling with coffee gear to the UK is easy, and my fears of having to
> ditch my equipment are now alleviated.
> I like Intellegentsia in Venice, but I can see the crowd situation being
> disheartening to those who visit more frequently.
> Homeroast Sulawesi is fantastic ... Thanks Tom!!!
>
> Have a good weekend everyone.
>
> Greg
>
>
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