Are signature drinks necessary? - Page 2

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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Marshall

#11: Post by Marshall »

toma wrote:I didn't mean that signature drinks taste boring. I meant that to me watching the preparation of the sig drinks in competitions is boring whereas I love to watch the espresso pulls.
Uh, huh.

Marshall
Los Angeles

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another_jim
Team HB

#12: Post by another_jim »

toma wrote:Are signature drinks necessary in competitions? I guess the idea is that it makes it is easier to sell the competition to the public or the inclusion of the sig drink makes the barista look more creative. But what I'm interested in and of what I can learn a lot is this: who makes the best espresso/cappa and how. I find sig drinks boring. Am I the only one?
I think the baristas would be a lot less interested in competing if there were no signature drink.

The top competitors tend to bring more and more advanced culinary skills to their preparation, even though such high tech efforts are not directly rewarded (at most, they're worth a few points in the originality and appearance sections). So why do they do this?

I think there is a fairly direct path from coming up with killer specialty drinks to learning more about the culinary contexts of coffee making. The cash value of such skills is hard to assess, but I think they do a lot to develop the overall taste of the barista. Taste is what distinguishes a great chef from a merely skillful one; and my guess is that the same applies for coffee people. The best competing baristas are smart and ambitious, so they know the long run payoff of using the specialty drink to develop these skills. They might go somewhere else if the specialty drink weren't part of the competition; and the competition would lose a good deal of its sparkle as a result.
Jim Schulman

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sweaner
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#13: Post by sweaner »

I wish I could get some of the signature drinks to try.

I have been trying to come up with my own using my favorite things. Can't seem to come up with a good combo using espresso, pizza and beer though.
Scott
LMWDP #248

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RegulatorJohnson

#14: Post by RegulatorJohnson »

ok i need more information on the photo above..

plastic frat party kegger cups?
the helmets on the sensory judges?
halter top and short skirt and high heels?

i need to know more about it.

please post more pictures if you have them.

thanks.

jon
2012 BGA SW region rep. Roaster@cognoscenti LA

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Marshall

#15: Post by Marshall »

That photo taken at the USBC in Long Beach, CA in 2007. You may recognize one of the judges. The barista was Tatiana Becker, co-owner of Brabant Coffee, who decided to do her signature drink as performance art: the "Kappa Kappa Chino" frat house. She said it was inspired by her customers on Fraternity Row at the U. of Washington. It was quite controversial at the time.
http://trabant.cocollage.com/people/tat ... ems/page4/
Marshall
Los Angeles

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cafeIKE
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#16: Post by cafeIKE »

Perhaps the larger question should be "Are Barista Championships necessary?"

There is no doubt that these people are committed, but does making frou-frou for a handful of judges translate in the slightest to the probability of obtaining decent espresso in the shop.
Experience says not.

Perhaps I'm too old* and too plebeian, but Barista Championship is about as interesting as Best Petrol Pumper.

*"I have no idea of knowing for sure, but I think I am dealing with an older generation here"
- Rybolt in Information organization within Threads

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Marshall

#17: Post by Marshall »

cafeIKE wrote:Perhaps the larger question should be "Are Barista Championships necessary?"

There is no doubt that these people are committed, but does making frou-frou for a handful of judges translate in the slightest to the probability of obtaining decent espresso in the shop.
Yup. I'll assume you weren't there. You would have heard the enthusiasm of new competitors, shop owners praising the coffee and training provided by their roasters, owners in the audience vowing to have their own baristas compete next year. One of the finalists came from a shop in Santa Cruz that's only been open for 6 months and whose whole crew was there to support her.

Even formerly desolate old Spring Street, where the WRBC was held will have two artisan shops open by next month. Lot 44 has been open for almost a year and a new "wine bar for coffee" was announced at the competition, opening next month as "Spring for Coffee."
http://www.lot44coffee.com/index.html
http://www.foodgps.com/review/in-februa ... wntown-la/
Marshall
Los Angeles

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cafeIKE
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#18: Post by cafeIKE »

I was at the 2007 SCAA in LA. I had to leave the Championship area because I was laughing too hard.

I've driven hundreds of miles to sample espresso from "Champions." It was a waste.

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Marshall

#19: Post by Marshall replying to cafeIKE »

Don't spend much time at Intelligentsia, do you?
Marshall
Los Angeles

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cafeIKE
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#20: Post by cafeIKE »

No, because I don't rate their coffee very highly. Just had some Kid'O a cupla week back and I still don't get it. Unlike a steak that's over done, I can't send espresso back for a lighter roast.