Archive for September, 2008

Milualkie? Milwalkie? ggrrrr…..Milwaulkie! WTF, man. Anyway….

Friday, March 14th (The Action)

The Agenda:
Tour Alterra….
Drive to Chicago……

Volunteering at the Coffee competition was A B.L.A.S.T, Blast. The Shiz’, super fun, a grand old time, however you need to hear it to understand that we had fun. Boat loads of fun. I didn’t actaully expect to have so much fun, and don’t really know why or what about it was so fun. It just was. Maybe its because Sara+Melanie+Katie Weid+COFFEE = fun. Maybe.

Maybe it was because we got to meet some crazy cool coffee people from all over the mid-west (and beyond).

Maybe it was because someone recognized us FROM OUR BLOG! Do you know how famous I felt when somone looked at me, cocked his head sideways and said “Wait, are you one of the coffee in action girls?” Why yes, yes I am and I. AM. FAMOUS.

Maybe it was because I am an espresso cleaning machine and I derive such sick satisfaction out of leaving a perfectly spotless, shiny, streak-free, grind-free, beaufitul machine for people to make the best damn espresso they can. Maybe I became a little OCD as the day went on. Maybe.

The Judges Discuss....

Maybe it was because I got to see people being passionate together about something so many people take for granted. In friends, lovers, teachers, family, students, humans I look for 3 things – passion, compassion and laughter. The competition was filled with all of these. In that crazy (waterless) factory space were hundreds of people milling around geeking out about espresso, water, crema, reputations, beans, sources, music, cups, you name it there was a conversation somewhere about it.

Sara and I got to take part in making that happen. *Que sappy background music* It also reminded me of why I love volunteering so much. Its one thing to get paid for a day of work, to wake up and say I am doing x and reaping Y as my reward. Even if x is something you love, there is a reward for your effort. When I

Mine and Sara's view of the competition - over the pretty clean machines.

volunteer I’m saying “yes, this is something I care about. This is something I think is important and worth while.” While, yes, all we did was spend a day cleaning espresso machine and talking with self-professed coffee nerds, we were also part of building a community for that day.

We gave these baristas who had worked and trained for so long a fair and honest workspace to do their best. We offered words of encourangment as they walked on stage; hugs, high fives or “hells yeah, that was awesome”s as they came off. When volunteering for anything, you can look at what you are doing (cleaning machines) or the impact you can have (a well run day, a fair competition, a kind word to nervous-over-caffeinated baristas). *End sappy music playing in the background*

So, you remember that guy who recognized us? His name is Chad (Hi Chad!!). He is a filmmaker and he is making a doccumentary all about Barista competitions. In doing his research he had found this website (FAMOUS!) and had been tryingto meet up with us on our journey (FAY-MUSS!). After the competiton we all stepped outside and Chad interviewed Sara and I for little while (FUH-AY-MOOOSE), and we might end up in a doccumentary.

Then we walked across the street and joined the Baristas for a celebratory beverage (but only one because we had to drive – you see that, famous and STILL responsible).

Katie offered to give us a tour of the Alterra roasting facilties and of course we said yes. We are roaster junkies at this point – nothing makes us purr like a pretty Probat. The offices and roasters had the feel of a young fun company thats growing comfortably. We had fun goofing around with some of the later night staff and then hit the road for our drive to Chicago. Oh! I almost forgot – we had dinner at this super fun restaurant/grocery store and took some funshots while we were there. Never understimate the power of Melanie+Sara+Camera = FUN.

Maybe its because we love coffee, maybe its because we love people, maybe its because we love Kaite Weid, and maybe its because we are movie stars, but for one reason or another – M-town (notice me not having to spell its name again) will go down in my book as one heck of a city!

Peace out!

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