Sunday, December 20, 2009

Backtrack to a Birthday

Back in August we had a birthday. We had a simple and very fun backyard party here in our very own backyard. As you can see, the birthday boy wore his superhero costume. Above, he has just opened what turned out to be the specialest present of all, a little paper mache box shaped like a cat, containing three guitar picks. Guitar picks are very special things to Ezra. He carries them around and benevolently dispenses them. He loves having this sweet box that looks like "his cat" to keep his picks in.
We had a puppet show, totally kid-run.
It was a costume party. I believe Gibbie was a pirate, Gabe a lion, Helen a queen, Natalie and Janine fairies, and Kaleb wore a dazzling white suit. Friends, neighbors, family, and cousin Fiona were also in attendance. Above we see the duck pond. Kids fished for plastic ducks with a net to win a cookie.

One of the real treats of Ezra's birthday was having our friend Kaleb with us. He knows Ezra well and gave him a special present which Ezra is opening in the last picture here. You can also see the hand-decorated birthday signage and wrapping paper.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cupping at Bull Run

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do some cupping at the new Bull Run / Rustica shop in Minneapolis. Some of my coffee friends have been heavily involved in the launching of this venture and it's exciting that good coffee has made it across the river to Minneapolis.

I'm trying to do as much cupping as possible these days because I will soon be a roaster! Amore Coffee is working on our new location in West St. Paul that has a roaster. I have a lot of learning to do about the craft of roasting, but I also want to get as much experience as I can tasting coffee so that I can keep evaluating the beans I select and the roasting I do. Yesterday we cupped coffees from Bull Run, Black Sheep, Stumptown, and one from Dunn Brothers. The selection from Dunn Brothers was so bad that we removed it from the cupping table. I, however, was excited to get to taste it because I want to know what different roasting defects taste like. My fellow cuppers thought I was crazy for lingering over the "bad" one!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I've been Yelped

I don't make a point of looking at online review sites very much, mostly because I don't trust them. (There are so many ways that a review can be biased: anything from ignorance to conflict of interest to personal vendetta, etc.) That being said, it's always nice to get a compliment.

My boss Cathy showed me this review today on that included the comment, "Paul, their groovy super-barista was working, and he does a great job. Coffee was really great today. I appreciate they have constantly tried to improve and it's obvious that they have put thought and consciousness into their product."

Thanks, Guya I., whoever you are.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

YouTube Star

I'm sure there are many of you who understand the mysteries of YouTube much better than I do. For some reason, this video I took a long time ago of Gibbie and Ezra climbing up a slide has gotten over 36,000 views. I have a little suspicion that some unfortunate misconstruing of the title may have generated some of the hits... but who knows. I guess it's kind of cute anyway.