Monday, July 20, 2009

So I guess I don't Blog anymore.

or something.

It is called GoNunziGo. And now I stopped.

so I guess is makes sense that I haven't been moved to write. Actually, in Guatemala, I averaged ten pages a day in my journal. I've been back from Guatemala for . . . about three and a half months, and I think I haven't written ten full pages in that whole time.

That includes a month at home in Vermont, then three weeks on my motorcycle, and the returning to Portland, getting settled in and reconnecting with this place and these friends. And I haven't written anything on here since, where was I, Wyoming? I've had photos of the motorcycle ride through yellowstone just chilling but haven't uploaded them to any computers yet. And the rest of the ride through into
- Montana (for about 20 miles),
- Idaho (where I met the fiercest wind I've ever felt on my motorcycle. on my way into the wind, I struggled to                       stay on the highway and had to wrestle my bike up to 60mph. Heading with the wind, my bike sailed                         up to 90 without my even trying.)
- And Oregon. the final state line, around some of the best roads of the whole trip, through the gorge, around                       some waterfalls and into Portland. 

3 weeks from origin to destination, 12 days actually on the road.

now I'm here.

I spent a frantic two weeks looking for a job full time and giving my resume to every coffee related establishment in Portland. My passion is for roasting and working with green coffee but I harbored a secret wish for the opportunity to work as a barista for once. Coffee culture out in Portland is amazing. There's thousands of people here who are way into it, tons of fantastic cafes and small micro-roasters popping up. In Brattleboro I managed the only roastery in town, pretty much had the bitchinest coffee job possible. But out here I feel like a drop in an ocean of dedicated coffee professionals. Many of the people I've met compete in regional and national barista competitions. The dedication to the craft of preparing coffee is astounding. 

So now I'm learning how to pull the best shots of espresso possible and getting my first experience behind the counter at a cafe thanks to Blend Coffee Lounge on N. Killingsworth. You think being a good barista is easy and that there's nothin' to making good espresso? holy crap. During the process of preparing an extraction the variables that you need to control which ultimately effect the quality of the shot include Grind, settling, leveling and distribution of the grounds, tamping, tapping, whether you flush the group head and how long, the temperature of the portafilter, how long since the last shot was pulled, how long this shot is pulled (which depends on things like grind and tamp...), how old is the coffee you're using... and the results in the cup vary significantly with even the slightest change or inconsistency.  I'm getting it, I think. Thanks to the good folks at Blend for giving me the chance.

Also, drums, bikes, friends, shows, coffees, beers, epic heatwaves and ... the river.