My Heart Goes Out

•February 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

My friends the Martinez’s at Finca Vista Hermosa have suffered a terrible loss. I can only say that my heart goes out the Martin family, the Martinez family, and everyone effected by this tragedy. I thank Edwin, Aaron, and M’Lissa for expressing my feelings and sentiments better than I could.


My Taste Buds Are Sad

•February 12, 2008 • 1 Comment

I guess this means I should give up on all that cupping.

I’m very proud!

•February 3, 2008 • 12 Comments

I just want to say that I’m extremely proud of M’Lissa. She is smart, talented, a great person, very beautiful and completely deserving. Ok, I may be slightly biased but it’s still true.


I was honored to be the photographer for her cover. I think it turned out quite nice considering I’m a complete novice.

A New Wall

•January 18, 2008 • 1 Comment

The walls are no longer bare at Octane.


The typeface, called Black Slabbath, was designed by Stefán Kjartansson a good friend of the shop.

Here is a great video of the install.

Pretty sweet.

Stearns Coffee

•December 19, 2007 • 2 Comments

Daniel and Marisa Stearns, formerly of the infamous Murky Coffee, have recently opened their own shop. They are bringing great coffee to the lucky folks of Huntsville, AL. Check them out at

On our most recent visit, Daniel tells us he’s made a television commercial. Uh oh. We all know how bad those cable company produce, local business TV commercials can be. But, Stearns Commercial is great! They were smart and DID NOT let the cable company do it. The video is an homage to the awesome Goodrow Video. (Don’t worry, Daniel knows the filmmaker and asked permission first).

People and Importance

•December 15, 2007 • 6 Comments

Thank you for all of those who chose to weigh in on my post “What’s that Flavor”. That is the kind of feedback I am hoping for as I move forward. You have to love learning.

I do, however, want to say a few things about the comments as well as other musings on the subject. The discussion seemed to go in two directions, people and importance.

1. People – I have to say that I never intended to, nor would I ever want to, actually place value on the people involved in the life of the coffee “bean”. We should all have pride in what we do. We are all “vital”. I feel it is counter productive to discuss who is most vital and certainly who is least. Not to be too sappy about it but, to me we are all a team. We must always strive to continue to learn and grow. To consider how our actions will impact everyone else’s, as well as the coffee, and in turn the customer. Who, we can’t forget make it all possible. One could argue THEY are the most vital.

2. Importance – It has been stated elsewhere that my question presupposes that one factor (of the pre-barista life of coffee) is “more important” than another. I disagree with that assertion and nowhere in the post did I ever ask which was more important. Just like the people involved, they are all interrelated. They are all important. No matter how large or small the influence on flavor may be.

To continue with the ever tired chain analogy, I just wanted to explore if maybe some links were bigger than others.

Maybe Geoff Watts will show up with those Venn diagrams.

I believe I’ve abused and misused the comma enough for today.

Barista Exchange

•December 12, 2007 • 2 Comments


I love the idea of true and open information exchange. I think it is crucial for us to grow and learn.

To that effort, Matt Milletto has launched a website for baristas interested in participating in exchanges with cafes around the world.

This site is open to all coffee professionals and it is set up as a social network. You know, like MySpace or Facebook but just for us coffee people. It has resources for baristas, roasters, retailers, and such. I think this will be a great resource. Check it out!