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Grinder’d

Who got a Barazta Virtuoso?  That’s right. Me. Finally a grinder that doesn’t burn off a ton of calories early in the morning. This is exciting. More on the grinder later. I expect to have a whole review up soon. 

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More guest shifts

I will again be working at Phil and Sebastian Coffee this weekend, but this time both Saturday and Sunday. It’s supposed to be a bit cooler, so it’s a perfect time to peruse the market. Introduce yourself… I’m the one with the plaid fedora…

Guest Barista-ing

To all my Calgary readers, I will be pulling shots and helping out the guys at Phil&Sebastian this Saturday from 9-5. They’re located in the Calgary Farmer’s Market at the old CFB Calgary Currie Barracks. My other posts extol the virtues of P&S, so read the archives if you want to know how amazing these two guys (and their coffee) are. Working there makes me even more aware of what these guys are really doing, and I can assure you I can only think of one other shop in Canada that takes such a detailed approach to coffee.

Hope to see some of you on Saturday!

Well, maybe sometimes it’s not so great.

I’m in search of a place to acquire a decent americano in the downtown core (Bumpy’s, I tried to get to you this morning, but the Beltline is so far away from Eau Claire!). I’ve fallen victim to the barista inconsistency phenomenon at the place where I can get passable coffee.

Also, why don’t people use more coffee in their drip basket? At work we have a Keurig K-Cup system, with the pods supplied by Van Houtte. Though it tastes like most mediocre drip brewed in cafes, I’m tired of having to switch in the morning from my homemade commute french press to the work stuff. But! The switch to a local cafe is no fun either! I want a deep, rich coffee, not brown water!

So I bought a Finum permanent filter for tea, and I am drinking fancy subtle senchas and oolongs. But there’s not enough caffeine. Quandary? Yes.

I’m considering importing the hand grinder and press to work. My colleagues will love it.

Life’s not bad on the prairies

I must say, after a day of pounding the singletrack trails of the Powderface area in the Elbow Valley out in Kananaskis Country, sipping on some Calgary brewed Big Rock Beer, eating some garden grown salad greens and barbecued vegetables and pork, then sitting down to a hand ground cup of french pressed 2006 Carmen Estate – Best of Panama, roasted by Novo Coffee and provided by Phil and Sebastian, life is pretty good here. 

So yeah, I think the biggest thing I need to say to my very few readers (well, actually stats have been up in the last few days!), if you live in Calgary, make Phil and Sebastian your coffee destination. If you haven’t been yet, or you don’t know where they are, they have a kiosk in the Calgary Farmer’s Market, located in the former CFB Calgary Currie Barracks.The two of them, plus Kat, formerly of Cafe Fantastico in Victoria, and Will, provide the city with some of the finest coffee available, bringing in goods from Intelligentsia, Novo and Hines. They’ve got a 3 group semi-automatic La Marzocco FB80, a few Anfim grinders, a Ditting and a Clover 1s. 

It’s like a mini-Elysian Room. 

Seriously though, I can honestly say that if they did not exist, and if John wasn’t bringing in 49th Parallel coffee into Bumpy’s, I would be much less happy with my situation in Calgary. So thank you John from Bumpy’s and Phil and Sebastian. I am now glad to be in Calgary. 

In other news, I have been out pretty much every weekend for some sort of mountain adventure. Last week had my friend Quinn and I camp in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. I even brought the trusty hand grinder and the french press to have some of 49th’s Wild Forest Washed Gizmeret Ethiopia coffee. We hiked on the Saturday up Elk Pass, into BC, down into Elk Lakes and up to Petain Falls. If you ever get a chance, do this (really long) hike, and you will not regret it. The falls are spectacular. 

Today, Quinn and his friend Karla and I rode the Powderface Creek and Prairie Creek trails on our mountain bikes. I tell you, after a couple of years not riding technical high country trails, it hurt, but it was so awesome flying down the slopes, avoiding trees, roots, rocks and mud. 

Here’s a picture from our Petain Falls trip (just click on the link… wordpress isn’t giving me an option to thumbnail this dude). 

Back in Calgary

Despite my hopes to acquire a job in the mineral exploration industry, I have returned home to Calgary to save on rent and spend some time here. I’ve paid a visit to Bumpy’s and managed to chat with a few old friends there. The cappuccinos courtesy of Mike, were excellent. As I think I’ve got a job lined up in the downtown core (yes, that means this summer, I’m no longer employed in the coffee industry), I’ll probably be frequenting Bumpy’s a fair bit.

I’ve yet to visit Phil and Sebastian in the Farmer’s Market. I really really want to, but this past weekend didn’t work out. So I’m aiming for Friday before a barbeque I plan on going to in the area.

I’m on my last bit of Intelly’s Gaturiri Kenya Auction Lot… it was an excellent coffee that allowed me to get through a whole lot of early morning mapping at my 2nd year geology field school last week.

Big congrats to Heather Perry, 2007 USBC champion, and all of the other finalists. It was quite the competition from what I read!

Publicity

There was an article in Thursday’s Vancouver Sun about Wicked. Here’s the link. If you’ve found my blog from searching about the cafe after reading the article, that’s not Arthur! That’s Alberto. Oops. There are a few other inaccuracies, but I won’t be too nitpicky.

But today, I pulled my last shift at the cafe until September (pending my return, which is most likely), so don’t expect to see my face in there anytime soon. It was awesome, and much caffeine was consumed. I even pulled this off. It’s soy and 6 oz. I think it’s pretty sweet…

Now back to the packing.


On tap

49th Parallel El Salvador La Montaña
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

Bulleit Bourbon
By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

The Phonograph

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