We finally got home about 2 hours ago after a truly wonderful experience.
Two things right off the bat:
1) Thank you very, very much to Mike and Debbie for hosting the get
together and going through so much work to have it happen.
2) The few pictures I took are viewable at:http://www.slal.net/po/album.php?albumAnita and I walked away at the end of the gathering last night, looked
at each other with big grins on our faces commenting that it was the
most fun we had had in a long time. I think the term we used was
"insanely fun" which is not a reflection on the attendees. Not all the
It was almost like meeting celebrities when I showed up. There was "Mike
mcKoffee" whirling around in the kitchen. Les showed up and I got to see
a couple of his tampers, and many of his pens in person. Alchemist John
was there and brought chocolate. Mike (just plain) was in attendance
along with his uber popper. The person that surprised me the most was
Dennis True being in attendance. This fellow was sort of mythical in
that he was in the middle of nowhere half way around the world, roasting
coffee and converting many on his ship to roasting as well. I guess I
missed his posts where he said he was going to be in town at this time.
There were many more people as well. I tried to remember everyone's name
as best I could but, unfortunately, some slipped through the holes in my
Tom (missed his last name) was there with his La Spaziale Vivaldi S1. He
pulled me a shot out of it, mentioning that it was a Bugisu blend, that
was well rounded, clean and entirely enjoyable. Mike also fired up his
wounded Bricoletta and pulled a number of shots of a blend that he
lovingly crafted with the greatest of attention to detail. Handful of
aged java (I think) for the bottom, few handfuls of Yellow Bourbon,
some Misty valley all plunked into a plastic container, mixed up and
doled out to Tom's Mazzer mini and his own Rocky.
Sometime later, a cupping of the smoked coffee was undertaken. There
were four different levels of smoked Idido Misty valley. One was a
control and not smoked at all. One was only smoked prior to roasting,
one smoked after roasting and one smoked both before and after roasting.
The control (no smoke) seemed to have the consensus as the favourite.
The smoking process does something strange to the green beans and the
two coffee's that were smoked prior to roasting were rather "weird". The
post roasted coffee was actually pretty good. You could taste the smokey
flavour and it still had the majority of the lovely fruitiness of the
Misty valley. Mike commented, and I have to agree, that there really
isn't any point to smoking. If you want a smokey flavour, use an aged
coffee. If you want a new and different flavour, there are how many
different coffees available to try?
The last bit of caffeine for me was a Wet Processed Yirgacheffe
americano pulled on the Bric by Mike. This was an eye opening experience
for me. (and not just because of the caffeine). It was a splendid coffee
that had the flavour of a good espresso but I could enjoy for a much
longer period of time. I have had americano's before but this was the
first one that made me consider giving up my aeropress. I think my plans
to acquire an espresso machine have just been accelerated.
I will close this email by commenting on the chocolates that Alchemist
John brought. In particular the chocolate cups with the chocolate
mousse inside that someone else mentioned. These were truly the best
chocolate "thing" that I have ever tasted. The base chocolate was 83%
chocolate so very strong on the chocolate and light on any sweetness.
The mousse was just a tad sweeter and added a light clean taste to the
treat. It really highlighted the chocolate taste.
I look forward to meeting many of you again and chatting more about
coffee on this list.