I have been sitting in LAX since 5 pm and it is now 8.45. My flight doesn’t depart till ten. Its delayed, so I’ll miss my connection in London to Dublin and will have to get the next flight, resulting in me not getting home till around 9 pm tomorrow night. Despite that, I’m oddly not in a bad mood.
I’ve been going through all my photos from the last few weeks; those from the road trip down the west coast and the more recent shots taken over the last few weeks that I’ve been working for Intelligentsia here in LA. With the opening of the cafe and roastery moments away(interpret moments as you wish), its not easy leaving.
I’d say the best thing I took from working here was the chance to cup every day, sometimes twice. If you know me, then you know this is realy all I wanna do these days. Not to suggest that I’ve mastered espresso, or that I ever will, but I just find it boring now and again. I’m not sure if I’m having trouble nailing that God Shot, or whether I just don’t like espresso. I think the most I ever enjoy a coffee is on a cupping table.
Take today for an example; The best coffee I tasted on this trip so far was a Kenya Mamuto from George Howell in the Clover Lab. I’ve never gotten so much berry before in such an articulate, exciting cup. But over the last few days, a lot of new crops have been coming into the works, and sweet jesus they’re tasty. If you can get your hands on the new tres santos micro lots, then do, oh and you should also try their Papa New Guinea, which is just so wonderfully not a typical Indonesian. But today was probably the best table I’ve done so far. There was a number of pre ship samples in the flight as well as a few production roasts of a few new fresh crops. Its always tough to properly access with a table of sample roasts up against production roasts but I scored everything 86+. But the best coffee by far, scoring and 95 from me, and an 97 from Doug, was a sample roast of their new Yirgacheffe which has just landed at Chicago.
What made this different for me, was that it was super chuggable, and not just the weird exciting cup I usually go for. It was like marmalade and chocolate but it was so clean, and so articulate in its nuances that I just couldn’t stop slurping. I loved that todays cupping, the last of my trip was the most enjoyable so far. I’m not a great cupper but I want to be. I know where my skill level is at and I love that I can set myself a clear challenge of improving such a particular skill set over the next few years, and presumably for the rest of my life.
I’ll try to more of a recap in a day or two when I recover, or perhaps on the flight to Tokyo, although I suspect I’ll have my head buried in the new harry potter book during that.
I’d like to say a quick but sincere thanks to all the crew at Intelligentsia LA for making me feel so welcome and teaching me so much over the last while. I’ll stay in touch.
Oh, and I just vomited an awful lot of pics up onto flickr, some you may or may not find interesting.