hoffmann gets lost, stumbles into CI‘s living room

March 14, 2008 – 12:29 am

the world champion endures this blog’s home espresso bar.

when this blog snorks that much spro it takes about 30 minutes, and then it’s like having hot-air balloons in the midriff and sandbags on the shoulders. we don’t know whether to start flapping around in the air or dig a hole and die. but then, none other than hoffmann was manning our home bar — an act of blog-inflicted torture so merciless that it came replete with tiny psychological annoyances for the poor fellow: the junkie-like closeness of all the apparatus, the lack of “professional” swaths of counter space, an unfamiliar blend that tasted not unlike british yeast spread, the very retro clunkiness of the mazzer major grinder, etc.

welcome to amateur junkie-ism, james. some rest day for the world barista champion. still, he got free baguette sandwiches and a bit of fermented booch out of the deal. and this blog … well, this blog was deeply moved to converse meaningfully with an espresso dignitary and a regular person. his pants tend to sag just like ours! his mouth is not immune from espresso brown-ness! he wears ironic t-shirts! he stole our favorite espresso spoon!

yes, well. it’s not the biggest scandal to envelop a Person of Great Public Repute, but we might as well just come out and say it: james hoffmann is a kleptomaniac. our espresso spoon has, at this very moment, crossed state lines in the man’s possession, due supposedly to a “completely routine” habit of stirring the spro, then depositing the soiled utensil in his blazer pocket. which bodes badly for the string of east coast hotels he’s just left in his wake, as well as anyone serving coffee beverages in vessels smaller than a melon. frankly, we feel fortunate to have hung onto the blogchildren.

the alterra organic espresso gave us fits, and the champeen did not share our fascination with the metropolis redline. that left a counter culture stash of single origin espresso options, valiantly imported from the van by East Coast Hoffmann Talent Manager cindy chang. it may be just this blog, but … isn’t cindy chang, like, the savior of everything? sure seems that way to us.

so, the ethiopia biloya it was. dark berries. a wee bit of rosemary. enjoyable. almost as much as watching an emissary patiently do his work — offering tips, gamely debating old topics, listening to us rant and agreeably answering an assortment of both burning and absurd blogquestions … on video tape. these people at the top of the heap, it seems, must find the fewest things at which to be wowed, and the most things by which to be annoyed. or at least bored. honestly, we can’t think of a more genial champeen to handle the rigors of the job.

so mad props to the casino-man-come-coffee-legend. interview video to be posted shortly.