I have defined my life by events that have changed me. We all have experiences where we were one person before and different person after. Becoming a father was probably the biggest mark on my time line.
We got back from California this weekend, and I failed pretty hard on my coffee plans.
I was going to hit all 3 of my favorite coffee shops and barely only made it to one. We got in much later then I expected and just got caught up in trying to do everything we planned that my coffee trips got pushed to the back and then fell off. I did stop at Better Buzz, though. I really like this shop. This was my first time getting a pour over here. They had awesome equipment, but I wasn't a big fan of their technique. I call it the fill and empty. The barista was doing 2 things at once, so she would fill the v60 then go do something else while it emptied, then repeat a couple of times. I'm not a fan of this. Also, for $4.30 for 12oz cup, I feel like I should get a little dedicated time. I'm super bummed I couldn't hit the other 2 shops.
We hit a couple of other places. One was a little cafe for breakfast that literally offered over 10 different types of coffee in air pots. I'…
We pretty much head to Encinitas every Memorial Day weekend. This is one of my favorite trips. One, because I love the beach. I could sit on the beach all day long. Two, the food in San Diego (and surrounding towns) is awesome. And three, my little beach town has 3 amazing coffee shops.
My wife and I were invited to a little party out in Downtown Gilbert. It was a crazy long drive, but well worth it. It is like a little piece of Radiator Springs right in the middle of Arizona, minus the talking cars. I love this little street. If it wasn't an hour drive, I would spend a lot of time there.
We were sitting out on the patio of one restaurant and I was longing to be at the BBQ restaurant across the street. Then I realized there was a little coffee shop across the street. It was getting late so my wife googled when it closed...I had 4 minutes before it closed. I hesitated for a moment, but the walk signal turned on the cross walk switch to go and I made a break for it.
Since cold brew coffee is all the craze these days, and I had a bunch of coffee left over from my test batches, I figured why not give it a try. Plus, living in Arizona, a cold coffee option is a must or sales will drop almost too low during the summer months.
This is going to be a bid of a short blog post, because I am working on a little video of my taste test. I think what I will focus on here is the biggest lesson I learned. That is regarding the Millard reaction.
I have arrived at the conclusion that I need some help to get this business up off the ground. I have a habit of getting stuck in my thinking and need someone to bring fresh ideas to the table. So I reached out to a buddy of mine. We go quite a ways back. We worked together back when I was doing indie-film. I picked a place called Tim Finnegan's...having just listened to the song Finnegan's Wake, how could I not go here.
I had someone laugh about my "black death" coffee a couple days ago and it confused me. I was like, "what are you talking about?" He said, "yeah, you have skulls and stuff." I knew what he meant and I knew I wasn't going to change his view of my logo right then and there. All I could do (and can do) is love those people and share with them. So, that's what I'm doing here.
I purchased my Behmor from Seattle Coffee Gear. It was kind of a no brainer (no this is not an endorsement). They didn't charge tax or shipping...AND they gave me a free 1 lb bag of green coffee beans. It was the best deal.
Since I didn't have to pay for those green beans, I put them to good use in testing my new roaster.
Now that I have a new roaster, I'm doing research to understand it better. This of course will result in me blogging about what I have been learning. Please weigh in and add your thoughts to the comments section.
The first aspect I have been learning about is the Turning Point.
For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of Fox Concepts. I think they just do everything right. When I heard that there was a Fox Concept restaurant that had a coffee shop incorporated, I had to go.
I got a nice gift card from my manager for Christmas and I was only going to use on The Henry. My 7 year anniversary was at the end of February and my wife and I agreed we would just go have a nice dinner. I capitalized on this opportunity to try their coffee shop too.
It was getting late in the year and so my family and I decided to make a last minute trip up to Flagstaff to play in some snow before it all melted. It had been raining for days, but the weather app on our phone said it would snow that day. Sadly, it did not. Instead, we got rain...lots of rain. Since we had to wait out the storm, I used that opportunity to check out a coffee shop I have been wanting to try for a while, Firecreek Coffee.
I know I'm not ready to start brewing coffee, but I do want to make it out to a farmer's market soon. When I do finally make it out there, I will need to have something to sell from. So, I took my cheapskate creative juices and put them to work.
It was a sad day when I tried to open the door and found them all locked. I could see through the windows and noticed the ladders and though it was just some re-modeling. That wouldn't bother me a bit. I could work right through some construction noise. But, it was a tear down only.
I have posted a couple of times about my trip to Old Town Orange. This last December, I decided to video the experience and try my hand at a Vlog. I had fun. There is nothing like watching video of yourself to give you very honest feedback. I have a long way to go in the way of great video content, but I think I'll get there.
I think the world is starting to become a crazy cool place. Integration with technology has become possible for every day items...like a kettle. It seems strange to want a kettle to be integrated with tech, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.
My family has this nasty habit of going to Disneyland once a year. I've tried to kick it, but my wife's a junkie and now my daughter's hooked, so I don't see a light at the end of that tunnel. In a compromise, we go to Old Town Orange the night we get in. There is a BBQ shop that is really good and Portola Coffee. My first experience was reviewed here, but my barista used my favorite v60. This last time I went the barista brewed on the Bunn Trifecta.
Looking ahead to 2017, I want to include as many new coffee experiences as possible. One the best ways is to try new shops and meet new people. Everyone does it a little differently. I take all those little nuggets of experience and continue to develop my own way of doing things.
That being said, I thought it would be good to look back at my top 3 shops of 2016.
Sitting here trying to think of something to write about, I realize I am kind of in limbo. I haven't had a lot of new coffee experiences because of the craziness of the holidays and I don't have any grand plans for the future....wait a second...that's terrible. How can a business not have plans for the future? I need some goals.
In the early stages of starting a business it is just as much about the people invested in its success as it is about the business. I don't have stock holders, but (hopefully) I do have a few people that want to see me succeed. So, until I do have stock holders, I figured I would share how my company did in 2016.