Archive for Cafes
We have upgraded our blogging capability. This means that we had to get a new blog address. All of the posts here are on it already, and future posts will be put there. Thank you: www.bvroasteryblog.com.
ChannelBV just posted a news release about the new Global Cafe opening this weekend in Buena Vista. It’s always exciting to have a spat of entrepreneurship in town. The owners are also working on building a brownstone complex of some sort just off Main Street. Even with economic downturn in the country, this town is becoming more and more lively with quite a few people sticking their necks out to encourage smart growth and attentive development. Chef Eddie Sandoval has turned the Evergreen Cafe into the Asian Palate in the evenings, complete with Sushi on Wednesday. The Orpheum Lofts are incipient – a multimillion dollar mixed use project on E Main Street. Next weekend is the grand opening of True Value’s new 20,000 square foot building. Of course, last year we saw the arrival of Mother’s Bistro and more recently Real Subs and Salads. The list goes on and on. If you are in town, stop in the Buena Vista Roastery on E Main and ask about what’s happening. And check out the Global Cafe, just across from K’s Dairy Delight.A
A blurb in Fortune talks about Starbuck’s closing hundreds of stores, Starbuck’s has a Bitter Plan. It’s interesting to watch a transition away from the huge conglomerate into something less huge, both in terms of the drinks offered and the taste of an espresso.
There are times when I fancy a lungo and times when I favor the bitterness of a ristretto. Using our own machine, I’ll experiment with our High Country Espresso to explore the nuances of the long pull and the short pull. Of course I prefer the smooth character that we get with proper tamp and a proper grind – 25 seconds and one heck of a crema.
But why is it that I go into some coffee shops nearby, order an espresso, and am given only a ristretto or a lungo? There is no option. The barista has not played with the grinder settings, adjusted their tamp, nor allowed more or less water to pass through depending on the shot length. In most cases the barista doesn’t even know what a lungo or ristretto are, or so it seems. In one coffee shop that I have frequented, I have been given a nine second shot in the morning and a two minute shot in the afternoon. This happens regularly in this shop. I know the barista is aware of the length of pull, for I have seen them reject a ten second shot only to replace it with a 12 second shot.
The issues, as I see them:
- improper grind
- improper tamp
- improper barista training and follow up/accountability
- a non-discerning public who have grown accustomed to the Starbucks machiatto culture
The solution: Don’t order straight espresso, or move to Europe.
Rumor has it that we in Buena Vista will be seeing some new places to buy coffee. The 15 year old Bongo Billy’s Buena Vista Cafe has been the only place in town for more than a decade, located in the perfect spot to capture the rafters and high schoolers at break time. It has been a classic place to stop for many. Mother’s opened a year and a half ago, with a more refined atmosphere that caters to a different audience. Both of these are great hang outs, each with its own style, depending on what you’re looking for.
Now we hear the rumors of a couple additional places. First is the Global Cafe, across from K’s. This should be a good alternative for travelers wanting a cup of coffee or an espresso. Also, they will offer a dining component, picnics, shopping at the Global Garage Market next door, and the park across the street. The second is a cart or a drive through of some sort. There are couple of different places this may be put up, but should give the pedestrian on Main Street or the driver passing through town a reason to pull over for the quick, line-free latte. Both the Global Cafe and the coffee cart – name unknown at this time – are scheduled to open in June of this year. Next year, the brewery at South Main will open with coffee, and the Evergreen Cafe has recently started serving single origin Fair Trade Organic coffee that we roast. Many changes in our town of 2500. Keep your eyes peeled.
My friend Chris graduated from college yesterday, Colorado College. At the college, there are a few students working on a new coffee roastery led by similar values as we have at the Buena Vista Roastery. I was searching for a taste of their product while at the graduation in the heart of Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, all I could find was bad drip coffee from the caterer and a questionably legal ramshackle booth selling sample bags on behalf of a Honduran cooperative.
On to a new source of coffee. In Manitou Springs west of the Springs and on my way back to Buena Vista, we all went for lunch at Adam’s Mountain Cafe in their newly remodeled building. Here I tried Pikes Perk espresso for the second time. The first was in a small high-volume coffee house, the second here, in thisSlow Food restaurant. As I have experienced in other places, it is best not to judge a coffee bean merely by one cup. If I had only held onto my first experience, I probably would not have tried the espresso at this cafe. The espresso here was smooth, balanced and had a berry finish. Evidently Adam’s does take the time to ensure the shot pours appropriately, and ensured a pretty good crema. Since the barista can make all the difference, chalk this up to a good barista.