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Thread: Coffee Yarns

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    Coffee Yarns

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Recently, at a city espresso bar, I ran into the American philosopher and bon-vivant B.V.McBride. Everyone just calls him Mac and I darent enquire after his first name just in case its Bon. He asked me the following question "What, he said, is the difference between the best cup of coffee in Australia and the worst cup?"
    Sensing a riddle, I replied "50 cents". For a moment he seemed taken aback but then observed that the difference in the best and worst glass of red hed had on his current visit was 40 dollars.
    I felt relieved....glad that I wasnt redwinejourneyman.
    As I prepared to leave, he looked up from his double ristretto which contained his preferred mix of Belgian couverture chocolate and pronounced. "You Australians, when you are out and about, over 95% of you know what brand of beer you are drinking, but less than one in five know brand of coffee is in front of you!"
    Unfortunately, he noticed my quick glance to the brand on my now empty cup of coffee and with a smug look he returned to reading the book God in a Cup.
    He had said he would stay on in the espresso bar until he finished the read. I wonder if he could still be there?
    Cheers, CJM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    CJM: the Damon Runyon of CoffeeSnobs

    This is meant as a compliment to your literary style which somehow reminds me of Runyon.

    Keep them coming.

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Remember that television commercial a long long time ago about the guy who so liked the shaver that he bought the company.
    Appears that Aussie Tour de France cycling legend Robbie McEwen so liked his coffee at Piccolo Espresso he bought the cafe.
    Ive been hanging around there lately, keeping an eye out for him. I know hell want to hear about the time I came 237th in the Nelson Bay Cycling Classic back in 1982.
    Cheers, CJM.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 39253537246F63560 link=1243981563/2#2 date=1244153863
    I know hell want to hear about the time I came 237th in the Nelson Bay Cycling Classic back in 1982.
    I hope there were more than 237 competitors!

    I wonder if cafes are a retirement or investment option for sportspeople. George Gregan started up his own coffee chain around 2005-06. Im sure Ive read of others

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 58524750505F4B4D3E0 link=1243981563/3#3 date=1244154998

    I wonder if cafes are a retirement or investment option for sportspeople. George Gregan started up his own coffee chain around 2005-06. Im sure Ive read of others

    Campese, Lucas Parsons for starters....

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 2129313B26420 link=1243981563/4#4 date=1244155647
    Lucas Parsons
    That one did come to mind. It looked as though he used the coffee machine pretty well when they showed him on the show. Hes doing pretty well and a really down to earth guy.

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    About 26 years ago after meeting young Luigi Colluzzi - OS -Tahiti I used to visit Colluzzi Bar every time I was traveling down from the North Coast to visit Mum in Kiama. One day I got in early and I had about 12 Short Blacks, made a mistake in walking out into the afternoon sun, not that there is much *sunshine in Darlinghurst..

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    You know, Ive had so many coffee misadventures, my wife once called me "Coffees Mr Bean".
    Sorry about that one.
    Last September we were staying in a town a little south-west of London. Checking out the local coffee scene, I spied a likely prospect-had an Italian barista too. Now unfortunately I am one of those 91.3% of Ausralians who prefer milk with their coffee and what does a man have to do to get a flat white over there? In the next few days I tried ordering everything from a latte in a cup to a cappuccino, no chocolate and dont pile that froth on top please. In frustration, I drew for him on a 6cm square yellow post-it a picture of what it should look like. Ill admit that he did try and when he asked if he could keep the picture, I agreed.
    This was my BIG mistake.
    The next day as I sat there sipping his only slightly improved version of a flat white, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him showing the picture to some customers and pointing in my direction. Their grins said it all.
    I can picture him there today, behind his machine,my picture somewhere handy, glacing to the door, waiting, hoping for me to arrive. With all that economic gloom and doom over there the Brits havent had a good laugh for a while.
    Cheers,CJM.

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Now I know I dont get over to Perth that often and last year was only for a few days but I have to say that one of the best things that Perth has going for it is an espresso bar (sorry I cant name it but I havent got my 50 posts yet). Entering the establishment after an epic walk down Hay St. from the central CBD, I noticed a sign at the end of the counter. It congratulated barista Vanessa on her recent competition success....I would have to try one of her coffees! Then, as I read on, a voice greeted me and asked for my order.
    Which of you, I inquired, is Vanessa?
    Back came the reply, "I am!" times three. As I turned to look, there, behind all of the coffee machinery on the counter were three male baristas.
    Interesting place that....two Synesso machines and three blokes called Vanessa!




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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    And the coffee?? //\///\/

    Or were you too surprised by the three guys called vanessa to even order one??

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Id describe the coffee as "epic".

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Just to be serious for a moment, one of my daughters is working as a Vet just out of London and , like many of us who have been over there, hadnt been able to find a decent coffee. Using the coffee forums, I found a cafe for her and here is an extract from her email 12th June:
    Not a bad flat white here at "Flat White" in Soho. The interior is fairly plain, just a thin, long shop with a row of tables down one wall and a coffee machine on the other. The place is packed with Australians. I had 3 coffees to make the most of it.
    Not coffee related but just for those who are fans of James Herriot. She goes on to say;
    Had a dog come in the other day (from another surgery) which had a castration operation that had opened. I managed to temporarily skin-glue my fingers to the dogs p-n-s while gluing shut the wound, much to the mirth of the owners. Although I managed to pry my fingers from its skin, I had little dark hairs on my fingertips for the remainder of the day. Today, a rabbit we were examining, had a heart attack due to fright and its heart stopped. After 20 minutes of breathing for it through its nostrils, I managed to get it back. Im sure no other Vet would have bothered to breathe for it but Id feel bad if I didnt do I all I could.

    Im wondering if it had an out of bunny experience!


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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Once upon a time life was simple.
    There was just me and Nescafe blend 43.
    Then along came those Di B guys and their Dulci Sapori blend and now things arent so simple. This CJM character and his love of a coffee is taking over my life. Like, a Sunday drive down to Byron Bay and a random walk around the town precinct isnt so random for me anymore. Ive done my research on the coffee hotspots. I know EXACTLY where Im going!
    And we dont have normal holidays......just coffee holidays. Last year in Rome, I managed to neatly sandwich the Coliseum between two coffee outlets I had researched. This year, the wife (who doesnt drink coffee) wants to go to Milford Sound and Im saying "Why would you want to go there?" "You wont find a decent coffee anywhere." "Now how about Melbourne?" "Remember last time we did the tour of the top cafes and when we arrived at BBBs it was closed for the day and all we could do was stare in through the glass......those huge hoppers, the Synesso, the Clover......and besides, they say Melbourne is really nice this time of year!"
    Friendships forged on common interests of rugby, beer, AFL etc. seem to have waned. Matter of fact, it was probably about the time I started to use phrases around them like-"A good coffee is just as good as a beer." And when the boss puts on free drinks after work, I find myself slipping away ASAP, heading for my local espresso bar before they close and asking for a pint of that Dulci if you please. Besides, theyd be expecting me. She claims Ive no friends anymore but Ive got dozens of them. Its just that they are all baristas and I drop around to see at least a couple of them everyday but I cant always chat with them..........they might be serving other customers!

    Footnote: Please dont be concerned for me......after all its only a yarn and I hope that a few of you can identify with some of the points Ive made.

    You know, one of the things I enjoy about life on the Gold Coast this time of year is that at 6.30am the sun is rising over the ocean at the same time as this iconic cafe overlooking Miami Beach is opening. Usually I am just in shorts and T-shirt, but this Saturday morning the wind has blown the rain through the cafe so that, in the early dawn, there are about a dozen of us, mostly strangers, sitting or standing around the only dry lounge in the place and as usual, the coffee is excellent. These gen Xers are a good-humoured and sociable crowd and, as I reluctantly leave, they are laughing with a guy who has just noticed that he has been standing in several centimetres of water and he still has his slippers on-courtesy of his haste to get across for a coffee!
    But I have gleaned an important piece of information about a new French cafe with one of Melbournes top brands of coffee,a BFC Synchro machine and a chef direct from Palazzo Versace.....and its only a quarter hour drive from here in the hinterland. A bloke should get a good coffee there and a half decent brekkie. As I climb into my car, CJM is back in control and now I know EXACTLY where we are going!

  14. #14
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    CJM...your stories are great, love reading them and yes, can relate to a lot of what youre saying...

    Loved how you ended up with slippers on to get your coffee, nothing unusual there! A good cafe should appreciate that a local has made it their no 1 priority to get down first thing to get a hold of that first cup of coffee!

    And many a friendship has been formed over coffee, I feel...and will continue to! :)

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F3F3333283D033B3D305C0 link=1243981563/13#13 date=1245639983
    ended up with slippers on to get your coffee, nothing unusual there! *
    ...unless they were...



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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 77676B6B70655B636568040 link=1243981563/13#13 date=1245639983
    A good cafe should appreciate that a local has made it their no 1 priority to get down first thing to get a hold of that first cup of coffee!
    I have one who regularly comes in her jammies! ;D

    And agree, these are great yarns! :)


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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Dads a crusty old WW2 veteran, a coffee is just a coffee sort of guy. He once banned me from the only coffee shop in our suburb in the early 60s because hed heard that beatniks hung out there. But that was in the inner-city coffee shops and all I ever saw in our local was a couple of guys with guitars who played folk......a sort of Peter, Paul sans Mary sort of group. Of course now, I can go anywhere I want as Im not banned in any establishment......except that Australiana store in Cologne that has coffee.....and it wasnt my fault....they didnt know what a flat white was and besides, the coffee was neither sourced nor roasted in OZ.
    Recently, I had to drive dad to an appointment with a Vet Affairs doctor and while he was in the consulting room I checked out the coffee in the cafe under the stairs and when asked what she thought of the Faema/Vittoria combo, the staff member replied that she preferred a nice Nescafe at home, hence we wouldnt be stopping here. Of course when dad comes out, he wants to go in there, but Im in control now, Ive got the car keys and Ive got something better in mind for him! I had toyed with the idea of saying he was banned from there as I considered the background music (Seal) inappropriate for him but hes probably forgotten our past.
    So in a cafe precinct, using lingo learnt from various coffee forums, I gave him the options. "Here, I said, you can experience an own roast/Synesso/Mazzer combo, or around the next corner, a Guatamalen/LaMarzocco combo". He didnt say anything, just stared at me in disbelief.....no, disappointment.....I recognise that look....the same look he gave me back in 1967 when I announced that my birthday marble wasnt drawn out in the national service/free holiday to Vietnam lottery. Seems he lacks a passion for coffee.
    So in we go to try the own roast and a little later out comes two flat whites each with a sheen like polished marble(love that Synesso). Dad wondered where his chocolate on top got to but its time for him to move up in the coffee sub-culture. Immediately into his cup went two sugars and the crema was stirred into oblivion. "In the circles in which I move, I said (looking straight down my nose at him), just as the horse racing industry has its mug-punters, you would be called a coffee-punter".
    "Why not call them coffee-mug-punters", he replies and his day gets even better when the waitress brings him a free muffin. I think better not to remind him that Paul Bassett says that a good coffee doesnt need sugar and dad makes no comment on whether he enjoyed the coffee.
    A few weeks later I was around his place and offered to make him a coffee. "Yes, you can use the Black and Decker electric jug/Maxwell House combo", he said with a triumphant note to his voice. You know, he is always gaining these little victories over me but I get one back as Im leaving.
    "How about we go to that place with the Morrocan machine.....your shout of course" he says. "You know what this means, I reply. "Wed be going out for the sole purpose of drinking coffee!"
    Maybe Ill make a coffee-nomad out of him yet!

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    I was only wondering this morning when CJMs next installment would be. Your ears mustve been burning :)

    You going to turn these in to a little coffee table book of your coffee journey CJM?

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    I was beginning to miss his stories too, Acog...just like caffeine, Im just a little bit addicted to them! ;)

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Me too - keep up the great work and extremely interesting stories, CJM!

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    ;D ;D ;D
    Great stories cjm, I can relate to your travels revolving around good coffee, before I go on holidays I get online and do my research.
    Ive been trying to educate my family and friends to the joys of great espresso/milk coffees but its a hard battle, one can only press on regardless and try to educate the masses!!
    Keep the yarns coming.............................gm

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Early last year I was on the Central Coast just north of Sydney for a few weeks and at night driving south on the highway, I noticed a sign made up of flashing lights way across to my left, about where youd expect Wyong to be. The sign read Eternity and it was written just as Id seen Arthur Stace chalk it on the pavements of the Sydney CBD back in the 60s. It beckoned to the CJM side of me....maybe it was Eternity Espresso. The next morning I drove around there and found the place just south of Wyong on the old Pacific Highway and would you believe it was a coffee shop/ antiques business. As I stood outside, I looked up at the sign and was reminded of the old saying "like moths to a porch light".
    Inside, the guy told me that the coffee was free but as you know, in life , not everything is for free........this coffee came with a salvation prayer attached to it! Now I dont remember much about the prayer but the coffee, although not quite God in a cup (Esmeralda special) was good.....better than Id expect from that Nemox/Piazza DOro combo. I had to have another one.
    "Got any more prayers back there?" I inquired.
    "Yes my son, I just might have." he replied, and a slight smile creased his face as he began to prepare my next coffee.
    Good grief CJM , what have you gotten me in to now!

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    If I havent been on C.S. forum much lately its because my wife, a tea drinker (doesnt drink coffee), thought that I needed a change of focus. "We need to pursue other interests", she says, which means that Ive been sort of been coffee-grounded. This is why,together, we have joined TeaSnobs forum. I briefly toyed with the idea of having my displayed name as Teajourneyman, which sounded a bit limp-wristed, but the decision was taken out of my hands when my wife had the romantic notion of Tfor2 (hers) and 2forT (mine). She claims we first met all those years ago when we danced the Tea for Two cha cha. Remember, it goes like this: Tea for two and two for tea, me for you and you for me.....etc, but my recollection is that we met at the iconic Casablanca Cafe on the Esplanade at Mooloolaba opposite the Loo with a View. As she entered the cafe, I used that chat-up line Of all the coffee joints in all the towns in all the world, you walk into mine. But I digress.
    On TeaSnobs forum, I tried to get Tfor2 started on a thread Tea Yarns, but in all the forty odd years shed been drinking tea,nothing interesting had ever happened. Ill admit that the Tea related injuries thread did get going for a while but ended in farce with members arguing about what direction to point your little finger when holding a teacup. And dont say that TeaSnobs lack passion. A simple thread I started as: ICED-TEA SUX
    ICED-TEA SUX etc. is still going strong with over 50 replies and hundreds of views. Researching old threads in their forum indicated similarities with C.S. forum e.g. it seems that water buffalo in Indonesia are apparently quite partial to the most tender young leaves at the top of the plant. Along come the dung beatles, the villagers collect the dung beatles and you dont want to know the rest! Like us, they also have cafe meet-ups and Tea- crawls and we assembled last Saturday for one such event. Nice bunch of people but one guy I didnt take to was a rather aggressive gentleman whose displayed name was MrTea, a when I want your opinion Ill give it to you sort of a guy. He had the temerity to call me a Teapunter and look, Ill let you be the judge;
    At the first cafe stop, for me, out came a jug with just hot water and a cup and saucer. While everyone else sipped tea, I waited and waited and, finally asked the waitress who pointed out that the tea was already in my cup.........a tea stick that you just pour hot water over and I thought it was the sugar! How was I supposed to know?
    At the end of the crawl, we all went across to the park for a boiling of the billy. A billy of tea was placed on an open fire and tea-leaves dropped in after it had boiled. Then followed a little ritual where they grabbed the handle of the billy and whirled it at arms length in a vertical plane. I guess the centrifugal force probably pushed the tea-leaves to the base. Sensing that MrTea was eager to try, I jumped in ahead and at maximum angular momentum, let go of the handle. A brain-snap I admit, but you know I really nailed that release, a 9.5, and the billy soared away into the scrub. The look on MrTeas face.......priceless. Couple this with my last post on T.S. forum where I wrote something like"you tea drinkers, all you are doing is just pouring hot water over dried leaves" and it was the last post for me.......my membership suspended.
    Tfor2 says that I have embarrassed her, but as I tried to explain; "Look, this TeaSnobs thing is really not my cup of tea and besides, this suspension incident is just a storm in a tea-cup!

    O.K. now, hands up all those who DIDNT see that last one coming!

  24. #24
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F332321327975400 link=1243981563/22#22 date=1248908019
    O.K. now, hands up all those who DIDNT see that last one coming!
    I didnt see any of that coming. Great story (as usual).

    But, after that experience, you havent now resorted to extending your pinky while sipping your coffee, have you.

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    CJMs stories are going to get me in trouble one day, laughing out loud at my desk at work.

    Welcome back 2forT...err I mean Coffeejourneyman

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Tea Snobs, eh? Whos have thunk it. (Actually, some of my friends hadnt thunk of Coffee Snobs either, but thats their problem.)

    Good to have you back where you belong, CJM.

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 0C100002115A56630 link=1243981563/22#22 date=1248908019
    Couple this with my last post on T.S. forum where I wrote something like"you tea drinkers, all you are doing is just pouring hot water over dried leaves"
    Surely this is the icing on the cake and "royal" icing at that.
    Again pure magic to read.

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Back in the 70s, working in southern capitals in the depth of winter wed look forward to our cup of International Roast at morning tea and on the coldest days, conversation would always turn to the weather. "Did you see Byron Bay yesterday, 24 degrees C and Mullimbimby 25!" So I had a dream, and a trivial one at that. One day, I would visit these places, and often.......particularly in winter, but if youd told me back then it would be for a good coffee, Id not have believed you. so here I am on a Saturday morning at 7am at Lennox Head for a meet-up and crawl. No, not the ubiquitous pub crawl but the coffee crawl! But how did I get here at this moment in time? Let me rewind two days.
    Now Im always up before 6am and Tfor2 (the wife) after 8am, but this morning, shes already up at 7am and scolds me as I return. "Youve already been out for a coffee," she says. "Dont blame me, its that CJM side of me," I reply. What follows then is a discussion about displayed names and whether we can separate ourselves from them in normal life. "Look, I say, consider that guy whose displayed name is Herbie. He just might own an old V.W. and if so then they would be as one. Hence if he slipped out for a coffee in the V Dub then hed say we (rather than I), went for a coffee. But Tfor2 will have none of this. She is adamant....offline, I have to separate myself from my displayed name, so on Saturday, while Tfor2 heads off for a Devonshire TeaSnobs event, the boys and I pile into the car for a south coast coffee crawl....CJM in the front with me and 2forT in the back. You know, theres nothing like that feeling of exhilaration at the beginning of a coffee crawl....unfamiliar cafes and old favourites, so, as I cruise past the rolling green hills of Byron Bay, Im reminded of that famous line from the movie The Mask. What the heck, I wind down the window and at the top of my lungs yell..."SOMEBODY STOP ME".
    So at Lennox, we choose a cafe next to the surf and inside, because Im fussy about who is making my coffee (Genovese here), I ask the lady what brand of grinder she is using. Its a.....a....thing-a-me" is the reply.She obviously knows as much about grinders as I do, but the situation is saved when a guy from out the back drifts in. Hes heard the discourse and gives me a rundown on all of the coffee machinery. He can make my coffee. Then its off to Bangalow and you know, those Bangalownians are a happy bunch....maybe its all the cafes there. But Im up for the cafe with the Di Bs Dulci Sappori blend. Ah, just the mention of that blend brings a tear to the eye.....that and watching replays of the Momma Mia movie with Tfor2. However, inside, the coffee doesnt taste like D.S. and the manager explains that this morning is the baristas first day on the machine...any machine.....and its still early morning! It must be me....I seem to be a barista in training magnet, a coffee guinea pig. There are millions of coffeepunters out there to practise on....why does it always have to be me? But the manager quickly rectifies the situation and her skill gets us all smiling again....just like the townsfolk. Then its off to Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads for more coffee and the crawl finishes at Piccolo Espresso in Miami. Now if YOU ordered yoghurt and honey to accompany your banana bread it would come out in a flat dish with the honey just drizzled on top. But not CJMs.....the honey makes a perfect rosetta on the yoghurt....he expects nothing less!
    Back home, Tfor2 hands me a letter from the president of TeaSnobs regarding my suspension. Heres a couple of lines from the letter;
    ....and your assiduous efforts to pinpoint certain anomalies in........you have modelled a distain towards recidivism.....and no more palpably was it manifested than in the context of our affable outing.....blah, blah....pax vobiscum.
    Strewth!, hows a bloke supposed to figure whether hes in trouble or not?
    Maybe all is forgiven. Maybe they even want me back!

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    If I didnt comment on the coffee at Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay in my last yarn it was because of a point of contention between Tfor2 and myself. I wanted to write the following:
    I had a good coffee at Byron Bay, but had a better coffee at Brunswick Heads where the barista was exposed to superior training.
    Tfor2 claimed that I needed an extra had in there. e.g.
    I had a good coffee at Byron Bay but had had a better coffee at Brunswick Heads where the barista was exposed to superior training.
    So when I ran into B.V.McBride at a downtown espresso bar this weekend, I thought Id get him to decide which one of us was correct. B.V. just wrote a short string of words on a piece of paper, handed it to me saying "here is my adjudication, a summary if you like", and went back to sipping his double ristretto with preferred mix of Belgian couverture chocolate.
    To me, the string of words didnt make any sense. e.g.
    Tfor2 while CJM had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on me.
    I returned home with the note to show Tfor2 who studied it for a while and then claimed triumphantly that he agreed with her! "But how can you have eleven hads in a row?" I say, but she says it just needs punctuating.
    As she proceeded to punctuate the note, I realised that, once again, she was right.
    But I had had enough. It was time for my coffee break.

  30. #30
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    ;D As always, I was excited to see another Coffeejourneyman post and was not disappointed. (or was it CJM? or 2forT? Now Im confused... ;D)


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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    That B.Vs a crafty character isnt he? Whod have thought, those eleven consecutive hads? Heres the punctuated version:
    Tfor2, while CJM had had had, had had had had. Had had, had had a better effect on me.
    Took me a while to get my head around it , but worthwhile to experience one of the greatest bits of trivia in the English language!
    P.S. and no more trivia from me!

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    This past weekend was Tfor2s birthday, so I had a special treat for her.....an abbreviated version of the coffee road trip.....the one-stop overnight coffee getaway. Its easy, just leave work shortly after lunch on a Friday, an eighty minute drive to Ballina, a sixth floor riverview suite and the important bit.....Friday afternoon and Saturday morning in an adjacent cafe which ticks all the boxes. Turning into Martin St, my keen eyesight spots a vacant lounge in Evolution Espresso with a view over the river.....check-in can wait! Once inside, I notice a Mirage on the counter and soon come face to face with the barista who arrives from out the back. He sees me leaning over the counter, my eyes searching for something at floor level and he just smiles.....he knows exactly what I am looking for! As we return to our lounge after placing our order, I tell Tfor2 that the barista is a CoffeeSnob. "How could you possibly know that?" she asks and I say,"Masons identify themselves to each other with a special handshake but for we CoffeeSnobs its a lot more subtle......we just know. Besides, he saw me looking for the Mirages foot-operated steam pedal. The barista brings out our order and identifies himself as LukeG.....he hangs out in the Coffee Equipment section of C.S. forum and Id have to say his coffee is excellent.....particularly his Affogato. So out comes the Canon and I photograph it from different directions, one with Tfor2 in the background.....she would want a photographic momento of her birthday!
    Now for me, Saturday afternoon is football, but Saturday morning is always devoted to coffee, so next morning Ive got my game-day face on and, in the cafe it looks as though LukeG has his on as well. Hes come to make coffee and Ive come to enjoy and enjoy I certainly do!
    Later that morning as we drive up the highway I muse out loud, "What about that Mirage then, a triplette with E61 group heads and one boiler/group......all the technologies of a traditional LaMarzocco and designed by .........." But I sense that she is not listening, and, looking across to the passenger seat I see her fiddling with her own bit of machinery, a new Nokia2630.
    Will she ever get her priorities right?

  33. #33
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Ahhhh, its so hard to live with people that just dont understand our passion!

    ::)

    Great work again, CJM!

    Cheers
    Di

  34. #34
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Hey CJM! im extremely glad you enjoyed your time in Ballina :)

    Your welcome back anytime... send me a PM the next time you plan a trip down the road to me and ill make sure im in on that day for you and Tfor2 8-)

    If only you were in today CJM, Toby from Tobys estate personally sent me some Ethiopian Yirga to try. As we had run out of decafe the day b4 i slapped some straight into the Mazzer and went about pulling shots for anyone that was interested. The only problem is..i only left work with 300g :-[

    Anyway ... Thanks for the good wrap and tell your friends to drop in if they come down this way.

    Luke G

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Thanks for the invite Luke. Before Saturday, my favourite coffee was a flat white, but my new favourite is your specialty.....the nowtrythis!

  36. #36
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Hahahahah!

    I just figured while you were taking photos you might want to see some of the latte art i could do.

    But i have seen the look on Tfor2s face before... its the "pleas dont give him anymore coffee! your only encouraging him" look :)
    She got one of the bosses new tea pots though..glad she didnt break it as i am told i will be jobless if any of them go missing. I had a laugh

    Keep up the good posts CJM! they make for a great read :)

  37. #37
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    *happy sigh*

    Ah...another great CJM read...and to think that another CSr got to star in this story! Awesome! :)

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Well Scoota Gal, you never know, one of these days Tfor2 and I might just slip quietly into your cafe. Theres bound to be a yarn or three for me there to post!

  39. #39
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    I am sure of that, CJM!

    Like the yarn about the two blokes who rocked in, wearing bike riding gear, their bikes black from the black mud that they had never experienced the like of before...and are impressed no end to find that their coffee is actually good and proceed to shout out to the entire shop..."Theres even a rosetta on the coffee!" As it turns out, one of the riders is a pro coffee roaster himself...

    Or the yarn about the couple who I have completely stuffed up their order...I made a double shot flat white instead of a double shot long black and a flat white (my misread of an order) and as I apologise and take out the correct drink plus extra milk for the now extreme flat white, I discover that these people are travelling through to visit the hot bore baths that litter this area. A quick chat and Ive convinced them to take a different route, visit another great and interesting part of our district and they finish up the conversation with "but we might just be back here for the great coffee!"

    And finally, the two ladies who clearly (to me) are not from our town or even our district. They even make a joke with me about their Dutch accents as I deliver their coffees. As they had a map out on the table, I ask them where they are going and find out that they have, in fact, made a wrong turn and ended up in our town! They were from Melbourne on their way to the Sunshine coast in QLD and were trying to take some different route off the main highway. One look at them told me that they were not ladies who should be travelling on our extremely lonely and often treacherous back dirt roads. I tell them that they really have come the wrong way and should head back to the next major town that is on the highway to make their destination. They were thankful for the advice and help and made a point of saying goodbye to me when they left...

    Wow, *Ive just realised that all of those stories have only occured this week!

    But, Ill stop hijacking your thread now, CJM and let you discover the Outback for yourself! *;)

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Just thought Id let you guys know about my experience at Evolution Espresso yesterday morning. After reading the write-up here, my wife and I decided to venture out to Ballina (only 15 minutes south from us) to try it out.

    The place looks good. The staff is friendly, but....

    The coffee was average. We both got a long black. The crema was extremely bitter and had a burnt taste to it. Secondly, when my wife ordered a second coffee, a soy latte. They brought out two more long blacks instead. We had to wait more than 40 minutes for our food order (a brekky roll and eggs Benedict).

    The place was not overly busy, with some tables vacant. Looking at the kitchen, the chef seemed to just stuff around without really doing much.

    My gripe with these cafes is that they often perform great one day and fail miserably the next. Consistency folks. Thats all I ask for. Id prefer a consistently good, if not great coffee over a sometimes brilliant, sometimes rubbish shot.

  41. #41
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Quote Originally Posted by 716A71666370756B6C020 link=1243981563/39#39 date=1254630685
    The place looks good. The staff is friendly, but....
    Hi Sebba,

    If you take some time and read through the rest of this thread, youll find that its a coffee stories thread. There are also good coffee where threads http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?catselect=GoodCoffeeWhere: that you can post to if youve been around for long enough.

    We dont really care about bad coffee and theres no need to waste your time at the keyboard griping about it. If you have a bad time, make your concerns known to the staff (or not) and then dont go back.

    We now return this thread to normal service ;)

    2mcm
    mod team

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Fair enough. Point taken. I shall mend my ways. Must have had to much caffeine in my bloodstream. Made me feisty.

    cheers
    :o

  43. #43
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Sorry Sebba!

    What started as a great week with a visit from Sean from Cafe Culture magazine and then Rob Forsythe from the AASCA ended poorly with an exploding Mirage and Grinder on Friday morning :(

    PM sent!

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Recently, at a sea-side cafe, I spotted the young Cambridge mathematician (Ill call him I.M.G.), back in Australia for the Christmas break. He beckoned me over to his table and as I cleared a space for my coffee cup amongst the usual pile of napkins covered in his mathematical hieroglyphics, I.M.G. was already explaining to me how maths can be used to choose the optimal marriage partner. "The task is easily stated," he said. Faced with a choice among n candidates who present themselves for evaluation in random order,how to choose the best among them, keeping in mind that there is never any point in accepting a prospective spouse if they are not as good as one previously rejected, because then the probability of choosing the best would be zero."
    At this point, I was still following his argument but then I was quickly lost in a maze of sums to infinity and x minus logxs until he mercifully exclaimed: "And there you have it, with calculus, the choice is maximised when x=1/e or 0.368." Hence the step by step rule, I.M.G. told me, is quite simple.
    1. Allocate a time period, at the end of which you want the marriage question to be resolved.
    2. Multiply this period by 0.368 and do not get married, no matter how tempting, during this period.
    3. After this period of time, propose to the next prospect who is better than all of the previous prospects.
    "But how does this apply to me?" I asked, but he replied: "The method of solution uses elements from the theory of optimal stopping, a sequential decision-making process with applications in many areas including your Christmas shopping."
    And now the penny dropped...it was as though he had added mind-reading to his list of talents. How could he have known that I was considering a new grinder present to Tfor2 for Christmas? Time was awasting, so, taking my leave, I hurried to the car , my mind awash with figures. How did it go?.......time to Christmas 25 days....times by 0.368 equals 9.2......add 9.2 to 30th Nov....cant buy the grinder until 11am 9th Dec, then buy the next grinder which is better than all in this period....
    Ah, the trouble we go to for our partners.....but theyre worth it!

  45. #45
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    hahahaha your a funny man CJM!

    Im sure Tfor2 will really appreciate her new coffee grinder ;D

    Im going to use your new found calculation thingy though...thanks m8 :)

  46. #46
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    *digs up thread...cups hands to mouth and yells out at the top of her voice*

    "CJM! Where are you!? We havent heard from you in ages and are wondering what adventures you have been having!"

    Itd be good to hear them! ;)

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Recently, while holidaying on the Sunshine Coast, we decided to catch up with Tim Adams at the Pioneer Roastery and on the way, dropped into Sunshine Beach to pick up Professor of Surgery, Prof D.C. (Bezzera/Mini-Mazzer), who was just finishing a service on his espresso machine. The deft hands of a surgeon who has trained a generation of young surgeons in the art of key-hole surgery was using an orthopedic drill on what looked to be a circular brass plate above the showerscreen on the grouphead. He probably has the only surgically enhanced machine in Australia!
    After settling in at the roastery, I looked across to my left to see Tim preparing our next round of coffees with that distinctive style of his....high right elbow and his face a mask of concentration. Seated on my right is Prof D.C. and he is talking coffee. Does life get any better than this! The Prof is talking about coffee-related neuroses (CRNs) and is saying that the number of patients presenting with these conditions is up by over 70% in the last three years. He then went on to explain a few of these conditions.

    1. CME (coffee machine envy)
    In this condition, he explained, an inferiority complex develops when an individual finds that someone he knows has a larger, more expensive coffee machine (or grinder) than he has. The Professor outlined a disturbing but typical case: "A fellow, say "Dave", thought he had an adequate coffee machine. On visiting a friend, say "Rick", he perceived that Rick had a better one. This weighed on Daves mind, causing him to lose sleep and suffer a general loss of self esteem and physical well-being, making sleep difficult. Then, to compound the situation, Daves coffee mates began to make fun of his entry-level machine, which sent him on a downward spiral of depression. Daves reaction was to purchase a bigger machine, but this was soon countered by Rick going for an even more expensive model. So you can see how this cycle can get out of hand." the Prof explained.
    "So how can this be dealt with?" I enquired.
    "Early recognition of this syndrome is crucial." explained the Prof. " Treatment is straight forward and can usually be accomplished in a few counselling sessions. The aim is to convince the sufferer of CME that its not the size of the machine that matters but the quality of the coffee it produces that counts."
    "Sounds like sage advice," I retorted.

    2. BPA (barista performance anxiety)
    In this troubling condition, the sufferer has encountered, unexpectedly, a new and unfamiliar barista at his/her favourite cafe. The Prof explained it this way: "He/she is about to experience the baristas coffee for the first time. Fear of disappointment with the performance becomes almost overwhelming, accompanied by a terrible feeling of helplessness."
    "How can this be overcome?" I queried.
    "Again, counselling is the key," the Prof explained. "The sufferer needs to understand that a good and satisfying coffee takes two. He/she must try to develop the skill of effective communication with their barista, and be able to vocalise their particular needs. Then, a mutually satisfying coffee will result, and the relationship is much more likely to be a long-term one."
    "So people with these conditions can be helped." I concluded
    "Yes indeed," replied the Prof. "We must all be vigilant and act early!"

    Later, as we left the Pioneer Roastery, I wondered whether Prof D.C. was having a lend of me......it wouldnt be the first time!

  48. #48
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    ^^^ nice one cjm... and could this first point be a step in the right direction for eradicating upgraditis? Scientists continue to bend over their microscope-augmented, massively oversized, supershiney brewing equipment and ponder.

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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    You know, that James St. precinct in Brisbane is a great place for a coffee or three.....all you need to do is find a carpark.
    And who do I run into at the Torrefazione there on Saturday but Prof D.C. again....he certainly gets around. After getting our complimentary coffees, we are seated at the benches in front of the twin Wegas and I ask the Prof about his introduction to good coffee. As near as I can remember, this is what he said and Ill write it in the first person as Prof D.C.

    It was the summer of 77 when I got my first experience of real coffee. A fresh-faced intern, I now had complete 24/7 access to full Hospital Grade International Roast. My then mentor, Dr Mickey P was of European descent, a renowned violinist and of course with that background I was soon to find, a coffee connoisseur. Anyway, one day we were stopped in our tracks by a puzzling case: a Grand Old Lady with a collection of unusual symptoms was encountered on our ward round. Always eager to help, I confidently announced "this is clearly a case of cerebral aneurysm with a touch of heart failure!"
    "Not so fast young D.C." retorted Dr Mickey. "That would be too obvious; we need a coffee break in which to find the answer we seek."
    "But we are extremely busy and behind time," I protested.
    "Just the point." said Dr Mickey P, through a wry smile.
    We hastened to the Doctors Mess where I retrieved the International Roast.
    "Not so fast young D.C," said Dr M.P. He then produced some coffee beans, a small spice grinder, and an odd but attractive contraption he called his "Atomic". Thus armed, he proceded to brew a heavenly dark coffee that to me was a revelation. He sank deep into a leather chair, took a long draw of his coffee, and closed his eyes. After what seemed to be an inordinately long period of time, which I was hesitant to interrupt, he suddenly sat forward, bright-eyed, and exclaimed "Histiocytosis X!" Bingo, the Grand Old Ladys diagnosis was in the bag.
    "Wow, I exclaimed!"
    And that was his lesson: in a busy day, you can be too busy to think, so now, every day in my medical practice, I take time, and a coffee, to think.

    Back to the present now and I remind the Prof that, yes , he is taking the time today to have a coffee but this time hell have to think quickly as, right outside the Torrefazione a parking inspector is eying his vehicle. Showing surprising agility, the not so slow Prof is up and gone and I didnt get to ask him whether he still uses International Roast in his consulting rooms!

  50. #50
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    Re: Coffee Yarns

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Have you ever been heading into your favourite coffee haunt and spy somebody inside that you dont really want to talk to? Well this happened to me the other day in the C.B.D. and the guy inside was B.V. McBride........youve met him before and hes always playing mind games with me......always getting one up on me. So I loiter outside for a moment but he has spotted me and motions me to join him inside.
    "Angelo (the barista) has just asked about you and I told him that youd be in in a minute", he says to me. After ordering the coffee and cake special, I join B.V. at his table where I notice, as usual, he is drinking a double ristretto with his preferred mix of Belgian couverture chocolate.
    B.V. points to the blackboard specials of the day meu where appears:
    Coffee And Cake $5
    "The question is, is the gap between the words Coffee and And differerent to the gap between the words And and Cake?" he says. Glancing across, I nod my agreement, wondering where this is heading.
    "Its strange, the way we do do such things," he muses. Then for me a brainwave, a chance to finally get one up on him.
    "Yes, the gaps between Coffee and And and And and Coffee are different," I reply.....got him at last I am thinking. B.V. produces a piece of paper and I am happy to write down my sentence. Of course I should have realised that he was just setting me up.
    "Youve missed the inverted commas he says, correcting my work thus:
    Coffee and And and And and Cake
    "You see, there should be inverted commas between Coffee and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Cake," he says, with a more than satisfied look on his face.
    Next day as I enter the coffee shop, Angelo says, "Coffee and cake as usual?"
    "No," I reply. "Just coffee from now on."




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