Training

So I’m sitting in Square Mile Coffee Roastery, drinking VB and waiting for a dominos. James and Anette are home getting ready for their US trip, and I’ve just finished training for the day. I’ve been darting back and forth from Dublin to London as this is my training space. Not a cheap addition to the already steep costs of competition.  I’ve just done around 6 run throughs in front of James who managed to overhaul whole parts of the performance I hadn’t considered. I’ve got Tim Styles (formerly of Climpsons and Sons in Hackney, Flat White, as well as soon to be operating a slick new London espresso bar whose name and location is secret), to help me out with preparing. Tim will fly over to Ireland next Wednesday and along with Jen (the gf for those of you who don’t know), will be my sounding board for shots as well as the extra muscle for carrying the heavy parts of my comp gear……( the chimp, the 17 tampers,etc)

My confidence keeps changing as I train each day. I love every time I find a mistake as I think its one more I won’t make on stage. But in saying that, I wish they’d stop happening. The biggest challenge left is simply bring all my gear over from London. Shipping 6 grinders ain’t cheap. (ha ha)

Watching Hugo win the UK comp last week instilled me with a focus perhaps previously lacking. His performance was polished, and though I couldn’t taste anything, I found his manner on stage refreshingly relaxed and fierce charming. I think he well be a great representative for the UK, and I look forward to seeing him up his game for Copenhagen.  

Occasionally I let myself daydream about a situation where I win the Irish, and then I worry how I’ll manage to up my game for the World’s. I can think of a few things I’d love to do, things the time wasn’t available in preparing for the Irish, but I certainly haven’t held back on any level. I tried to develop a performance ready for the Worlds and I suppose my success or lack of in the Irish will give the appropiate feedback.As I sit here,

I’m now stuffing my hairy round face (I have a girlfriend) with a greasy but wonderfully satisfying pepperoni pizza that oddly reminds me of my sig drink. I need to get another beer, but I’m slightly terrified of who may be outside. We currently have no doorbell here, we rely instead on a good rap on the shutters to get our attention. The problem is, the significant level of wind outside seems to imitate a good rap every 2 minutes which means it unlikely I’ll get much sleep in my make shift bed upstairs. 

But i digress, this is meant to be a coffee blog (I know, why start now). I’ll be here till Monday practicing, and will no doubt have free time where I’ll hopefully share my thoughts on my final preparations. I apologise for never getting that NY cafe review done, but I’m sure James will fill that already well documented gap some of you may be wanting.

But now though, I must download prison break, or lost, as I hear they’re apparently worth watching. I’m tempted to look at Dexter first though. I wish I was watching Heroes for the first time instead though, perhaps leaving out all the boring parts though with the split personality girl. Just don’t get how thats a power, beyond being a bit tough.

Oh and I’m now sort of an uncle, Jen’s sister had a baby today. On a leap year too, so hopefully I’ll save money on presents. Go on and leave a comment, they make me feel wanted. Liz? Dan? Tony? Cornelius? Godfrey?     

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14 thoughts on “Training

  1. I’m feelin’ with you, man!
    I recall those days training in a dull room full of coffee gear for the championships. Long days with just focusing on the shots, the presentation, the signauture drink and so on. Not always a laugh, and sometimes quite the opposite. But when it’s all over you really cherish those moments when you discover something entirely new about the taste of coffee, your drink or your own technique.

    Give my best to the gang. And of course you are always wanted. Now sleep tight!

  2. Agree with both the above (on training and on Lost!)

    You’ve got a great routine, great coffee and a cracking sig drink. Your goal is just to do each of them justice on the day, and I think you will.

    Hope the phantom door knocker doesn’t keep you up too long! Speak soon.

  3. If you’ve got any brilliant sig drink ideas left, send em’ my way. I’m still racking my brain on something for the Western. I feel you on the training, as my life looks somewhat the same. Only, it’s added to our already crazy bar shifts.

    Best of luck though, son. Although, you won’t make Irish baristas look any better by being the Irish Cupping Champion and Irish Barista Champion, while living and working in London. I mean, your barista guild was founded by an Aussie, and that’s bad enough…

  4. Wait, 6 grinders? I cant think of what you would do with 3!(I’m really gullible.) Best of luck to you, stephen, I imagine we’ll be congratulating you on a win soon enough (no pressure).

    As far as tv goes, I find dexter and the wire to be great, heroes and prison break are both a wash in my opinion and that most recent episode of lost is probably the best one in the past season or two. Congrats on becoming a uncle (sort of).

  5. I once asked Neli was she ready and she replied “I need new shoes! You don’t understand Sé, it’s all about the shoes” in a way she was right.. she had the performance and the coffee sorted.. what she needed was to feel good and to enjoy it! Need i say more.
    Good luck , see you on friday.

  6. You’re drinking VB???
    Lost is worth every second 🙂 and a great way to relax.
    Best of luck with it all.

  7. Congratulations on the Latte Art!
    Best of luck in the barista championships over the next couple of days. It would be an honour to compete with you in Copenhagen, I can’t wait.

    Don’t stuff up!

    Hugo

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