blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Saturday, November 12, 2005

espresso olympics results

Today we hosted our first ever espresso olympics, in our relatively new coffee education area at the Roastery on St. Clair Avenue.

Here are the results:

Julie (Owner of the Lakewood store) won the espresso brewing judging with a score of 72.5.
Adam (Lakewood Barista) and Kiley (General Manager of Superior and Lee) tied for second with scores of 71.
Tina Reis (Superior Ave Barista) was third with a score of 67.

Other participants were Lamont (Superior Avenue barista), Mike Hoffman (Superior Avenue Barista) Bobby (husband of Julie, owner of Lakewood store), Britten (Lakewood Barista) and Mike M. (Phoenix friend and customer at Superior Ave).

We watched shot after shot, timed them, and learned that while the length of time that a shot brews for is important, it is not the most important variable. For example, Kiley's shot brewed very slowly, but the stream of espresso stayed tight the entire time and produced a sweet, nutty shot (kind of like Kiley himself, hmmm...). Tina's brewed exactly at 25 seconds and was the closest to a text book shot. It was solid and tasty. Julie's brewed a little slowly, but produced and interesting, striated crema. Hers was the first one we tasted and struck us all as being very good. My first shot was bitter, but I readjusted my tamping and dosing and produced a shot with a nice clean aftertaste.

Blindfolded Tamping Contest (to see who can get closest to 30 lbs):

Kiley 25 lbs
Julie 40 lbs, second try 30 lbs
Britten 60 lbs
Tina R. 40 lbs
Mike H. 35 lbs
Lamont 20 lbs
Bobby 15 lbs (he has a broken collarbone right now)
Mike M. 27 lbs
Adam 30 lbs
Veronica 20 lbs
Charlotte 28 lbs

Adam won!

Then we fractionated a shot and mixed up the fractions. Everyone was able to successfully identify the volatiles and aromatics, the solubles and sugars and the astringents and caffeine. However, blindfolded, only Julie and Britten were able to put the fractions in the correct order.

Prizes included some Cross Ion pens courtesy of Herbruck Alder, some Phoenix travel mugs and some of course, COFFEE! Everyone ended up getting a prize since everyone was able to successfully order the fractions of the espresso shot.

Congratulations, everyone! What a fun event!


Blogger fiatluxpro said...

GO Team Superior!

I just wanted to point out that not only can Kylie tamp with extraordinary accuracy, he also wrote the book on wiping off extra grounds (his patented "two-fingered swipe" method).


2:29 PM, November 12, 2005  

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