Day 121 - Steele Tasting Coffee

August 6th, 2015

The days keep starting later and later. Chicken and rice for lunch, scramble to edit stuff because today is a busy day! Pharmacy, gym, coffee tasting, dinner, AND hanging out with Ricardo back at ye olde share house. Let’s get down to it!

So damn sore from yesterday, I can hardly move. I love it. For anyone getting into working out, realize that the first time back into the gym after a week or more off will lead to a soreness for 3-4 days. Even though I worked out every day leading up to Bali, that doesn’t save me. On the bright side, this is one way I've heard people getting around plateauing.

'Dem Beans
I stop over at Tran’s Emporium for some post-workout chocolate milk. It’s supposed to be a good post-workout, and Im feeling shaky, drained. I've wanted to try the Mint-Chocolate milk. Shimou is catching public transit from school to where I am, then off to the coffee tasting together. It looks like it’s not going to work out for us to be on time if I wait for her. German Pascale, the cross-fitter, appeared out of nowhere, appearing more tanned than I recall. She’s apparently just come back from a trip to LA for.. you guessed it, cross fit. We shoot the shit while I wait a little longer for Shimou’s bus before calling it. We exchange Facebook details, and I text Shimou that I’ll be sure to save her a spot.

Addison and Steele is one of my favourite cafes in all of Perth. It’s on a corner between a side and main street. I think it’s counted as West Perth. The door is facing the corner, sliding glass doors with their very cleanly designed logo. Both walls facing the streets are openable glass with small, round tables outside. They have all sorts of strange coffee devices and equipment on display, most of which serves an unknown function. I've never been here at night before. Feels like a secret club.

Though I usually avoid this level of pretentiousness, I actually took notes, and recorded the event. I won’t be posting the audio clip, but I will be posting the notes. The presenter leading the event carried around a long, thin, wooden platter, supporting a row of ceramic espresso cups. The cups were chilled, with steam flowing from the freshly brewed espresso. He said the flavour of the coffees deepened when cooled, the cups were cooled for this end. It's supposed to be a sweeter brew, though I've been told in my barista days that rapid cooling causes a sour flavour in espresso. I brought the coffee to my lips and took the plunge.

Love the Simplicity
First round - Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Strangest tasting coffee I've ever had. Started normal, moved into a full-bodied, sour flavour, and a sweeter finish. Didn't quite like it, but it changed my perspective that all coffee is just coffee.

Around the room sat a handful of other participants, all shapes and sizes.  We sat, sipping thoughtfully in silence, broken only with the odd murmuring, and the hiss of the machines working in the background. Shimou arrive around now, taking her seat. This didn't seem to be her scene, especially asking if there was any sugar or milk to add. Me, I'm just glad I finally made it to see what it was all about before missing the opportunity.

Second round - Colombian Noe Quinayas
Thinner, more 2-dimensional profile. Hints of elderberry and my uncle's farts. But seriously, it was more straight forward. Thinner, slightly more acidic, and bitter.

Final round - Colombian Guamanga
Thinner still, weak flavour, which might be interpreted as sweeter for the lack of bitterness after the second tasting. About the thickness of water, very subtle flavour, low acidity.

Shimou preferred the last taste, though I'd probably go between it and the second round. Probably wouldn't go for the first one, but I'd like to try it without the cold cup to see if it was less sour. We catch the bus to Taka for dinner. One last time for old time’s sake!

Giant Grinder? Beats me.
After dinner, we parted ways, Shimou going shopping, and me going to the share house. I arrive to hang out with Colombian Ricardo and Taiwanese Sandra. Japanese Bobo is too sick, so she’s mostly in her room. Sandra played the good host, constantly offering me food and drink. Too full, yet she went about making stuff on her own. The three of us started watching a movie she had burned from her laptop, “The Big Game,” which was absolutely awful. So horribly cliche’d about President Samuel L. Jackson and terrorists hunting people. We had a good laugh at how terrible it was before changing it to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I actually thought this movie was stupid before the first time I watched it. I don’t know what possessed me to put it on, but it pleasantly surprised me. When we switched movies, Bobo joined us.

Somewhere along, Ricardo had to go to bed because his work was moved even earlier than usual, landing him with a “leaving the house” time of 5am. We watched the rest of the movie until the 80% mark when the House DVD was so scratched that we couldn’t finish. Damn. I took this as my time to take a bow, said my goodbyes, and walked to the train station.

Editing Music: "Old Time Religion" by Parker Millsap

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