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My progress over the last year

I always made sure to take an Instagram photo of  my “latte art.”

As I’m creating this post, it feels really good to reflect back on the progress I’ve made in the past year. I made good progress on the texture of my milk/foam in just a month. The trick was taking off the panarello wand.

If you want to made acceptable foam, toss your panarello wands in the trash! DO IT!

Another thing I can tell that I did wrong from looking at my photos is I had way too much foam.

And it starts here…

I don’t think that I’m a particularly good writer. I just hope that my passion for what I’m doing will prevail in this blog.

My love for coffee started in a not so exciting or noteworthy way. During my freshman year in high school, I worked at my parent’s restaurant and on my down time I would walk a few stores over to the Barnes & Nobles to read(escape) and on that particular day, I purchased my first adult beverage. An adult beverage usually consists of alcohol and some kind of overly sweet syrup, but for me, it was a Starbucks Frapuccino.

Coffee is so much more accepted as a routine part of our lives now, especially in the US. At shopping malls, I often see teenagers ordering coffee drinks at Starbucks. As a kid and into my early teens, coffee was a forbidden thing. I was taught that it was a naughty, evil drink that will stunt my growth and being shorter than everyone in class made me too paranoid to test my luck. This is a quintessential “can you believe what my parents made me believe as a kid?” story that probably any Asian could tell, so I won’t bore you by elaborating on this aspect.

Back to my first coffee drink… The sound of the slushy moving through the straw and the feeling of the refreshingly cold grainy textured blended ice followed by the taste of syrupy sweet nutty and delightfully TASTY? coffee? I felt instantly energized, or so I thought at the time! Perhaps the little bit of caffeine did work on me then.

That Frappucino was life changing.

Don’t get me wrong though. I dislike the Starbucks Coffee Corporation because they have indoctrinated the world into thinking that their coffee is the best. They have brainwashed the public into making their sub-par coffee into the standard of good coffee! For example, my mother thinks that acidity is a big NO NO and burnt is a big YES YES. However, I still understand that with a big corporate business, money is #1 and they are doing just fine, more than fine, selling their burnt tasting coffee with awfully foamed milk. I will still have a soft spot for them because they are responsible for bringing coffee to the mainstream public through their ingenious Frappucinos. At least that is my take on it.

That Frappucino was life changing because it introduced me to coffee.

SO what am I doing here? I have a mission. I have just finished writing a business plan for my mobile cafe business in the 20 minutes before starting this blog. It has been a dream of mine for the past decade to own my own coffee shop business. With the rising popularity of food trucks and mobile businesses in general, I just see it as the perfect opportunity for me to started on owning a brick and mortar coffee shop. With the low start up cost of a mobile business, I can build my clientele and gain invaluable experience at a lower risk.

I don’t have any experience as a coffee shop barista, only a home barista. When I start my business, I know that there will be a lot of doubts as to whether or not I will be able to handle the volume of orders with speed and accuracy. However, anyone who really knows me knows that if anyone can pull it off, it would be me.

I want to use this blog to document my journey over the next couple of years. I want to show my investors, stakeholders and future customers that coffee is my passion and hard work is the norm.

So back to the mission. What is my mission and what is involved?

My mission is to be a world class barista and successful business owner with the most humble background.

Humble means that I will be starting with De’longhi EC702 semi-automatic crappy machine and a Rossi RR45 grinder (that I purchased from eBay for $169 and Jimmy and I spent three days restoring). 

My goal is to make:

1) lattes that a Starbucks customer would prefer over Starbucks

2)lattes that are indistinguishable as homemade to a high-end third-wave coffeeshop customer.

I know this sounds crazy and that there is a low chance of succeeding in the second part of my goal, but I think that at the end of it, its the journey that really counts! Let’s do this!