East Coast Barista

Friday, January 26, 2007

Busy and full of excuses

Yes I am! I have a hankerin to post more but I am considering a wordpress format. I really Like the style.
But what good is decorating your house if you don't really live there?
So I am faced now with the question of, "How much time do I really want to spend on-line?" the answer is...Not alot.
I find life to be sweeter as a participant rather than a pundit.
I am training two new Baristi at the cafe, we are renovating the upstairs after 2 years of mantaining it s a massive storage space, I am accepting more free lance training jobs, I am more of a health nut now, and I have a myspace page to attend to. Here \On top of other coutless trivial everyday things that consume my time.
And then there is my pursuit of more intimacy in the Lord. He cannot be secondary to career, relationships, anything. I must alway delight in the Lord. What I have in this life is a gift. Far be it from me to not worship the giver.
So, yes, I am at a crossroads.
I believe I will keep blogging.
But just know that life is more than coffee, more than work, more than you...
Life is, and is only found in Christ.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Full Service

Alot to discuss...

Carriage House Cafe is now completely full service! Breakast, Lunch, and Dinner.
You can check out the new Wine, Beer, and Coffee menu at
We want to elevate the coffee to the same level as the Wine and Beer. All the employees participate in cuppings and training for pairings with all the menu items. What we wanted to do was offer three choices and a decaf. These three represent three flavor profiles ranging from light, medium, heavy. (eth/col/java) This gives the customer a choice depending on what dish they order...all the coffees are on tap. The Decaf is a departure from what we have been doing.
It is from a different roaster my friend Matt. This Decaf is truely amazing...nothing like decaf. And it's Swiss Water...which I have usually scoffed at but tasting is believing. It is deep, nutty, no very complex but totally satisfying...and...most importantly for decaf as espresso (since we only do french and americano decaf) not offensive in anyway.
We are working on some Dossiers to give to customers who express interest.
As for not working exclusively with Gimme! let it be said up front...

1. Gimme! Coffee is incredible!...they have a great staff, great selection, and Kevin is pretty cool too. We use them with considerable local pride and quality preference.
2. There are other roasters on this coast that also produce quality. We do not want to educate people about a brand primarily...but rather quality coffee as it is in the hands of the wider quality focused coffee community.
3. A restaurant who offers wine will not offer wine from only one vineyard. That is not to say they won't stock multiple wines from that vineyard...but it is to say that the diversity in their offerings will show that they are out to find the "right" wine for their customers...not the wine that will simplify their ordering process.

  • On top of that we have just setup a third -SOS- grinder that will further educate the customerto a varietals potential.
  • We are hoping to source a COE to add to the French Press offerings.
Also, we have been offering "Seasonal Signature Drinks" a rush to get this menu up we simply put two things on it....a Shaken Iced Rosemary Latte and a Coconut Afagatto.
For the Fall season we will still have an Afagatto whos ingredients are yet undetermined but we will also have...
  • Autunno...the pumkin drink I did from 04 USBC
  • the Star anise and Ganache drink I did at this years 05 USBC.
  • Carriage House Version of the Torino Fav. the Bicerin
  • A seceret Sig drink for next years USBC (for live testing)
  • and of course Cider (not espresso related but up here in NY it's awesome!)

The SO french presses will probably rotate then into a different three or four selections.

I am really excited to see how much of what is talked about as being progressive in coffee we can adopt onto the cafe floor along with high quality food. I see the culinary path as the way to take if we are ever going to get coffee to the level of respect we dream it can attain.

More later hopefully...theres the Seattle Coffee Fest to consider as wellas the East Coasts first Barista Jam! Thanks to Cresent Moon Coffee and Tea and Coffee Labs Roasters

Drink it in.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Congradulations to Matt Riddle of Intelligetsia! 3rd place in the World Barista Championships.
Things are looking up in the world of fine espresso. It is an exciting time to be a Barista

Monday, May 08, 2006


see...I did's as simple as that.
To help my self post I will outline the main items which I should recap from the past few months.
winter in NY
Life at the Carriage House.
R.I.P. latte art focus
competative comradery
Espresso menus...Carriage house style
Bow Hunting(not really)

And probably some other stuff as well. So as I prepare for the next post please enjoy a couple pics for your eye balling pleasure.

Heather, Phong, and myself took part in Charlotte Shout culinary art event last September. Good times...these are some screen shots from our booth where we wowed the audience with of coffee.


To use a word that is starting alot of Baristas posts these days....Wow! I really have been busy bit no blogging since November 05 ? Ridiculous. Just plain bad. Oh well.
I know that youu are probebly here reading this thinking " that I'm out of wheat thins and baco bit what willI feed my face with tonight?" and "look, a puppy, I wish I could get one but it's so much work...and what about poop? There will be alot of that and barking too...can't forget barking. And HAIR! Dear glory the HAIR! I can't handle this!"
or you just may be thinking..."yeah right He won't blog beyond this post." Well you'd be wrong


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

To whom much is given...

Etc etc etc.
In the last few months I have been busy.
I have been on the recieving end of a lot more responsability.
Here is the short story.
On August 30th I accepted a full time position of espresso cafe manager at the one year old casual fine dinning cafe the- Carriage House Cafe-
I was in great distress because I knew that I had such a good thing at gimme! coffee and they have been such a blessing to me for the last two years. I could honestly say that those two years were my most formative as far as coffee is concerned. But I knew that this was the next step for me. I had a real deep feeling driving me to the carriage house. I'm sure you know what I mean when I say that I knew the time was then and now. So rather than drag out the descision I prayed it over for a couple months and one Friday afternoon made the desicion and it was the right one.
Since then I have been going full steam at the tasks nescaessary to being a manager. This includes paper work, bar time, training, suplemental information training, and since we are a fully functional food cafe...serving, dishes, and random creative input and brain storming.
Our Idea is one word. Excelence. Our food our breads, our coffee and tea. All that we put our hands to we want excellence. I was hired to over see one aspect of excellence
In the world of food service coffee is secondary and you can really ony find one or two places that are doing a decent job. The reason is that there is so much stuff the cheff has to conentrate on that coffee dips bellow their radar. To combat this you need dedicated and quality oversight of that area. That's where I come in.
We want to make progessive steps in espresso offerings that will change the temperature of the fodd and bev service water. Making it easier for "just coffee" cafes to get rid of things they have always wanted to but rely on for revenew. Since we serve a sit down crowd we can make move to eventually do away with to-go cup, drip coffee, 16 ounce beeverages etc. I see it as doing our part to bring about the espresso culture we all yearn for. Where consumers stop being consumers and start being people. Where People stop mindlesly drinking and eating and start really experiencing. Alot of what Chris Tacy says about progressive bar culture I can Identify with Although we are not surly bartenders we are, Lord willing along with other progressive "doers", going to make a difference so that the bar will be raised for everyones sake.
The first step we have taken is two fold.

One. Only french press in the evenings...."do you have just regular coffee?" "Why certainly...right here in our french press is our regular coffee"

Two. A desert and coffee/espresso pairing menu.
We have two of these. A Ginger creme brulee paired with a slightly hot spiced machiatto.
and a Valrona Chocolate Pot de creme paired with a Medium Mexican Malinal french press
(These are both evening items)
So There is a little of what we want to be about. I'll post more in a bit(I always say that don't I)

Other than that...I WILL write late.
God bless.


Friday, August 19, 2005


Because of some unwanted comments on my recent posts I have turned off the comments function for further posts on this blog.
I am currently reading John Eldridges "the Sacred Romance" Drawing closer to the heart of God. I am on the fith chapter and have had many -moments- with this book. The most recent is the realization that God purues me for a love relationship. He is always wooing me and I (we) his created...His beloved affect Him greatly. Just as one person can hurt another. So we, in our rejection of Gods loving heart, grieve Him.

loser SPAMers

Friday, July 29, 2005

I tasted a Ruwandan today

In a cupping today I finally got to try one of many Ruwandan coffees. The cup was extremely smooth with a fruity side note that did no settle down really...not very heavy...rather etherial. he shot however was EXACTLY like milk chocolate...very weird...and right at the end it settled into an unmistakable strawberry on the sides of the tongue.
It was good to try something with such a straight forward profile rather than a cup that is multi-dimensional. Sometimes all that dimension and expanding depth gets a entire orchestra playing non-stop for hours and turns into a bit of white noise. This was like a single guitar hitting the strings slowly each time with care and purpose...a welcome change of pace for my palate.
I think this is why I am a fan of having SOS shots on tap at an espresso bar...they satisfy the minimalist in all of us.