Today I finished my nearly four month stint as a barista at Bumpy's Cafe. This was really my first time working full time in a high-volume cafe and it seemed to work well. I'm pretty sure I could go head-to-head with a La Marzocco Swift and be pretty close in speed and consistency even though I would be fully manual. I head back to Vancouver in a week to start school and tentatively start another stretch as a barista too!

In other news, everyone should pick up Chad VanGaalen's new album, Skelliconnection. It's out on Flemish Eye in Canada and Sub Pop in the States. His music emerges from his Calgary basement studio on a wide variety of instruments, some homemade, and all played by himself. I cannot get enough of any of his releases. (I even got the special pre-order low run EP with hand drawn art by Chad himself.) Here's his video for his opening track (self-animated too!)


Taste of Calgary

Yesterday involved going to one of my favorite festivals held in the city of Calgary, the Taste of Calgary. For all of you not in the know, this is where many local restaurants (or breweries/wine merchants) pitch tents and provide samples of their food and the attendees buy tickets to acquire their food or drink. It's a fun and crowded place to be on a Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, there was nothing that particularly wowed my taste buds, except getting to taste one of my favorite brews from Tree Brewery in Kelowna, the Hophead India Pale Ale. Wild Rose Brewery was also there, and their Industrial Park Pale Ale was pretty good too. But for food I was kind of disappointed. Maybe we didn't select our stalls properly...

There was a definite absence of local cafe culture there. Only Starbucks represented from the coffee industry. If only someone set up a little espresso shack... a high profile festival like Taste of Calgary paired with high quality coffee would be a sure seller that would continue past the dates of the four day festival. I guess I am making a call for submissions all you coffee shop owners!

Also, I move back to Vancouver at the beginning of September where I hope to acquire a job again as a barista.

Rate My Rosetta

Alright, so it's fun but it's harmless (unless your ego gets hurt by a bad rating...), and as I mentioned to the site's creator, you don't have to navigate the great plains of coffeegeek's forums to get to the good latte art. It's the hot or not of the latte art world, Rate My Rosetta.


Coffee in the Calgary Herald

The reputable John Gilchrist, Calgary's top restaurant critic for both the Calgary Herald and CBC Radio 1, unleashed his top picks for an espresso in Calgary in the Herald (sorry, no online link!). There were no big surprises this year, with Bumpy's in the top spot and Java Jamboree of Cochrane in second. Cadence, the shop I believe to have a ton of potential if they just worked a bit on their shots (maybe they have, but I haven't been in awhile), placed third. After that, I'm not going to pay attention if he lists Beano with their 6 oz shots.

Hopefully there will be a day when all of the shops listed can really provide the city with quality espresso, but we have a ways to go yet.


Latte art silliness

Today at work I was trying to have some fun. Or, I was trying to pull off multiple art pours in small volumes. Surprisingly counter to prior attempts, it worked out for me. These photos were taken very quickly and are thus a bit blurry. I promise that the drinks were much more impressive in person. My true thoughts on multi art pours are actually against it. I think almost any day, a pure, well poured single rosetta is much more beautfiul than a crazy 4 rosetta pour in a 6 oz cup!

Also, Bumpy's now has a website here where you can see the daily specials and such. And for you Calgarians, check out the Herald food section on Sunday!

This is an eight ounce latte

Same as the above but from a better angle

12 oz latte

12 oz decaf latte

4 oz macchiato

16 oz latte in a to go cup!