Last Sunday was my last day working for Bewley’s Coffee Co. I have worked for the company for close to three years now, during which, I have gained invaluable experience and made some great friends. They are easily the pioneers of specialty coffee in Ireland, and I have no doubt they will continue to bring exciting innovations to the market here. I wish them the very best in the future and hope to maintain strong ties with all the fantastic people working there.
I’ve spent my last few days helping prepare our National Champion Andrius Valiauga for Tokyo. He’s now well under way, with only a few final tweaks of the blend needed and he’s now experimenting with the extraction ratios to tease the most out of it. Its been very interesting seeing Andrius change throughout this competition. Before he entered he was quite skeptical, and seemed quite content with his skills on the bar. However, once we began developing the blend and taking apart his distribution, and leveling method, using the naked to highlight any issues, he’s really begun to appreciate the extra levels to the craft. Its something James has said before, that entering competition is a sure fire way to improve your skills as a barista, and I think its really true. I hope to keep in touch with Andrius as he practices and look forward to seeing him compete in Tokyo.
I on the other hand, am now preparing for my final exam on Wednesday morning, after which I’ll consume large quantities or alcohol, and will probably fall asleep at around 7 pm. As some of you probably already know, I will then be getting ready for my trip down the west coast of North America with James and Anette. This is something I’m really looking forward to as not only do I get a chance to catch up with old friends from Vancouver, but I get to visit a whole rack of new places and faces in towns like Portland, San Francisco and our final stop of LA. It’ll be great to have such good company on the trip too.
Between James and myself, I’m sure we can give ample amount coverage of the trip.
Check my latest flickr pages if you wanna see some of Andrius’ handywork done in the training lab in Bewleys over the weekend.