SCAA/USBC: really, chicago is an island

April 12, 2006 – 1:07 am

bitter dregs:

* how does one make off with “bags” of coffee? all i got was a vac-packed two-pound brick of mass-produced italian poo from the isomac booth-lackey who was trying to atone for his total lack of functional english.

* heard from several people: chris coffee will soon venture into roasting. wonder if he’ll alternate blends as prolifically as he’s switched the $1,500-range e61 prosumer machines. not that there’s anything wrong with that!

* mark prince thinks finalist jon lewis is better suited to world barista competition. i see his point — the drink building and verbal delivery was extremely high-concept, very developed. he made other presentations look far more nuts-and-bolts by comparison. it was a little overwrought for this cynic, but a scintillating show nonetheless. (video of jon’s sigs just added below.)

* a blogger and usbc attendee i’d never heard from before offers an interesting take in the comments here — that some east coast competitors are still trying to figure out what the usbc judges are looking for. i had been marvelling that none of this year’s finalists hailed from seattle (though billy wilson is close enough), but came from places as obscure as nebraska and idaho. (what? no potato sigs?) but i wonder what other east-coast shop owners would think about this opinion. the anticipated murky coffee baristi did well enough at the southeast regionals, but i heard little after that.

clearly, competitors from chicago should be handicapped. maybe force them to pull singles. use straight malabar. tamp star anise seeds in the portafilter for the cappuccino round. use the usbc’s actual sponsor equipment. i dunno…