Tamper Tantrum Live: Gwilym (Susan) Davies

Another talk posted – and this one on a different subject. If you can look past the lipstick (I know, I know – is that even possible) there is a question we need to answer. Not for the sake of forced and awkward equality but instead to make sure we’re drawing and benefitting from the widest possible talent pool and, as an industry, being driven forward as hard as we can.

The dress aside, I think he makes a good point.


More Tamper Tantrum videos

I meant to post each of these as they came out, but things like Maastricht got in the way. (A post on the whole thing will follow at some point, along with my scoresheets and stuff for those interested.)

Anyway – there are now two new talks out so I thought I’d post them together.

Cosimo Libardo

Take your time with this one. Go full screen, so you can see the data. It is some interesting research that will reward careful viewing.

Paul Stack

I liked Paul’s presentation a lot, despite (or perhaps because) of his misbehaving powerpoint. Well worth a watch too!

Watch and enjoy! Once again – was so proud to be a part of this awesome event that is only going to get better in the future!

UK Brewers Cup

So yesterday was the UK Brewers Cup – and I think it was a great event, and irrespective of the result I am extremely glad that it happened.

Initially there wasn’t going to be a UK Brewers Cup.  With the World Brewers Cup being relatively new, countries had the option to nominate someone to compete, and the SCAE UK asked me.  I’ll be completely honest – I did want to compete in the Worlds because I really like this competition.  However, it seemed a little unfair and I thought that it would be a fun competition to put on.  I made a deal that I would go and represent if I failed to organise the UK competition myself.  Because I had wanted to compete I planned to enter into the competition – competitions have always proven to be great learning experiences and I thought this one would be especially fun.

With WBC and all that goes into it, this was perhaps a foolish proposition but I was lucky enough to be able to drag Andrew Tolley from Taylor Street Baristas and Gwilym Davies into the mix to help organise.  As this was outside of the remit of the SCAE we also had to find funding and sponsorship and I have to say thank you to Paul and all at Marco for water boilers, Ed and Steve at Mahlkoenig UK for grinders, Paul at Coffee Hit for prizes and Peter from James Gourmet for roasting the round 1 coffee.

I was delighted with the response – we filled all 20 places very quickly (more seemed a little ambitious as we planned to hold both round 1 and round 2 on the same day, at Prufrock Cafe on a Saturday.)  There was a great cross section of shops and roasters in the running, and we just needed a few judges.

Those judges ended up giving a heroic effort.  They’d judge around 25 cups of coffee over a 9 hour period.  I was impressed.  Thank you to Grant Rattray from Cup of Excellence, Lynsey from United Coffee and Joanna Lawson from Twin Trading.  (Unlike the other two, Grant isn’t a Q-Grader, but he has some substantial cupping credentials….)

The day was fun – a lot more people showed up to hang out, drink coffee and support than we hoped.  The vibe in the place was lovely, and great coffee felt oddly accessible compared to so many other coffee competitions.

I made a little video – I tried to capture everyone during the day but in between organising, competing and just running around like an idiot I maybe didn’t do the best job.  It should show everyone and the brew method they used.  We’ll try and get some recipes up on the tumblr soon.  I am annoyed I didn’t get good footage of Andrew running things, doing the scoring, organising judges and competitors and generally being awesome – thank you again for your help! He should have been in the video, so my apologies there.

So, I ended up winning.  I have to say that I would have felt awkward enough about this, even without the mixture of cheers and groans that met the announcement.  Nonetheless I am very pleased this event happened – I hope all competitors had fun.  I shall do my best in Maastricht later in the month.

A big thank you to Jess for roasting some delicious coffee, it shouldn’t have tasted that good the day after roasting!  For those who want the details I brewed a Kangunu AA lot, from Nyeri, at a ratio of 60g/l.  The method was basically a filtered french press.  (I like simple brewing).  4 minute steep time.

Tamper Tantrum Live – my talk

Hopefully you’ve all watched Colin’s excellent talk I posted a little while back. If not then do so now – it is here. Today Steve posted mine up. It is very similar to the talk I gave at SCAA’s Symposium – but a little longer and you can see the images that went along with it. 1

People’s thoughts and feedback on the topic are very welcome – what is also exciting is how many more great talks there are to come from the day!

  1. And yes – I have a Sprudge t-shirt!  ↩︎

Tamper Tantrum Live – Colin Harmon

So a couple of weekends ago I popped over to Dublin to take part in Tamper Tantrum Live – organised by Steve Leighton and Colin Harmon. There were to be a bunch of short presentations on whatever the speakers found interesting.

The idea is that with more events there will be a library of interesting TED style talks on all things coffee.

Steve has started to release the talks in the order of the day, and kicking off the event was Colin Harmon whose talk I would consider absolutely essential for anyone thinking about opening a shop. (It was a very hard act to follow – Colin is a great speaker).

I’ll be reposting all the talks on here as they are released because I think they are all worth watching!

You can also download an iphone app which is a great way to subscribe to the talks as they’re released in the future.

A few videos worth watching

You may well have seen these videos – but just in case I thought I’d post a few up that I’ve enjoyed recently:

First up a fun video from the Norwegian crew who came to visit London and did the whole Disloyalty Card in a day.  Epic, heroic quantities of caffeine consumed!  Quite how they managed to cup with us halfway through the day remains a mystery.  I’m almost jealous of their coffee constitutions: Continue reading “A few videos worth watching”

Mypressi Twist

At the London Gastronomy Seminars I was given a Mypressi Twist to play with by the UK distributor.  I had been toying with buying one having seen the hype online, so this was a rather pleasant surprise.

I didn’t really get a chance to play with it til yesterday afternoon.  I’ve played with it some more today and this is just a quick summary of my thoughts and what I think is particularly interesting about it.

First off – it makes pretty good espresso.  I know I am hardly the first person to make this observation, but I think everyone who tries it is pleasantly surprised.  I think with a few adjustments to technique then you can get something better than any espresso machine in its price bracket, or up to two or three times its price.  If you like milk drinks though – then this may not appeal to you. Continue reading “Mypressi Twist”

UBF 6 Video

I think the most exciting thing about Christmas for me has been time off.  Part of that has been having a little spare time to look through the bits of video I shot at the last UBF that Gwilym hosted at Columbia Road.  We were all a bit gutted when that morning’s snowfall turned into heavy rain.  Cold, cold, heavy rain.

The footage was shot inbetween me making coffee and trying to run things so isn’t very cohesive.  I thought I’d add a noisy, messy soundtrack and just leave it quite silly.  Thanks again to all who get involved!

UBF 6 – Let’s take it outside Santa from James Hoffmann.

Hope you all have a great Christmas.

Introduction to the Uber

Meant to cross post this on here after posting on SQM blog but forgot.  Notes I should now add:

1.  My initial offset opinion could be wrong, by about 0.5C closer to display. This doesn’t affect findings on stability or repeatability – it is just numbers.

2.  I will brew coffee in the next video.

3.  The video isn’t 13:20 long, it is about 7 minutes.  No idea why vimeo thinks differently!

Continue reading “Introduction to the Uber”