coffee drink

Latte Art #4: Tulips

This was my first attempt at tulips. I did a total of about 6 or 7 tries today. Getting some slow and steady progress!


Sputnik Coffee Blog: Pour Over #2 (Failed)

Its Thursday! Almost there guys! The weekend is approaching but unfortunately for people in Raleigh, I believe theres also a little winter storm approaching tomorrow? We are all so sick of it.

So just like there’s good news and bad news mentioned above, there’s also good news and bad news concerning this pour over run. The bloom was good. I dialed my grind back a notch to 30 instead of 31/32 and got a bigger bloom. However, either the dripper or dripper stand was tilted, causing the coffee to run down the side of the dripper and the all the way to the dripper stand. What a mess!


Pour Over #1

Here’s my Thursday video! (New posts every Tue and Thur).

I used Counter Culture Rustico and set a grind at about 31/32 on my Gino Rossi RR45. Overall it was a good run. I was a little nervous since this is my first pour over video. My pre-infusion was sloppy and I could have gone about 30 secs more because my beans are about a week old. The goal of the pre-infusion is to get all the coffee evenly wet and to not let the water/coffee mix to flow out and over onto the edge of the filter. This will let the beans achieve its maximum potential.

Please leave comments and questions below! How could I have improved? Can’t wait to hear from everybody!

Music: Dive by Tycho

Camera: Canon 5D MII with Sigma 20mm 1.8
Canon T1i with 50mm 1.4

Latte Art #3

Here is my third latte art video. New posts every Tuesday and Friday!

So I’ve been watching pro barista videos where they pour milk in and out of pitchers to get the right consistency of milk. I sort of attempted this today, and it certainly looks a lot better than spooning out extra foam.

Latte Art #2

Today I practiced my latte art with a shot pulled from the De’longhi. I used old coffee with a course grind and pulled a crappy shot with no crema. Why? Well I have decided that I will focus on my milk foaming and latte art because the non-pressurized basket from Seattle Coffee Gear is out of stock. I’m going to wait until I receive it before doing full videos from grind, dosing, tamp, milk, to pour.

I poured high at first, with the milk pitcher tilted just enough to get a steady pour. This allows the less foamy milk to incorporate with the shot, giving it a nice thicker texture and giving the foam a nice rich color. When I’m ready for the rosetta to start forming, I tilt the pitcher at a greater angle towards my cup to allow foam to flow out.

Latte Art #1

Today I learned from watching my video that I wasn’t tilting my cup down enough to let the foam pour down to start my rosetta. The more the milk pitcher is tilted, the more foam comes out. Thats how you can control when to start the rosetta.

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!