SCAA 2011 day 1

It’s Monday.

I arrived in Houston at 9pm. Caught a bus at 10pm. Met my roomie for the week Alex Negranza (@barista_alex), took a shower, we discussed cocktails for a few minutes as we’re both bartendistas as David Buehrer (@greenwaybarista) coined it. We’re stoked to be here. Duh!

After initial understandings of that, we decided that it was probably best to get food and a drink. Night cap. We did such at Grand Prize. A killer little bar that David drove us to. They have a Moscow mule slushy machine. Apparently it changes on a weekly basis. Cool.

They also had a picnic table full of crawfish. Which, being from Minnesota, I haven’t experienced much of. They’re basically super little lobsters. You can suck the brains out of their heads. Needless to say, it was delicious, and lots of that’s what she said jokes were made.

Later ended up at David’s house to meet Matt Banbury formerly of World Bean.

Topics of conversation:

Dosers vs. Doserless. Do any of us really still believe in dosers? Who knows. Timer mods are hands down a necessity. That was unanimous. Waste = bad. Thanks Aaron Blanco. You started it.

Cocktail bars vs. Coffee bars: service varies widely. Bartenders are typically bad, sure. Luxury cocktails are different. Service is typically better/ the patron/guest can’t really leave. They’re forced to stay. You can force educate them. In coffee you’re lucky to have 30 seconds, depending on your build out/setup. Are there parallels? Or are they totally different because of the demographic/ expectations of the customer.

Price: coffee is not a money makin’ business. Should we charge 5$ for an espresso? Should we have table service? Should we have espresso “bars”? Can we do those things and get away with it? Is World Bean the perfect setting to try that?

Money: do all forefront leaders in coffee have huge financial backing? Or are there some little guys? Is that bad or okay or just the way it is. It’s clearly working to some extent.

Either way, Alex and I both bartend, because A) there’s a lot to learn from the industry. And B) there’s money. We need to pay the bills.

Well. Right now, I smell like crawfish. And am super looking forward to the judges workshop in what 4-1/2 hours. Stoked for this week!

PS: Texas is effing warm for us minnesotans, but these people are nice! 🙂


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