Friday, January 6, 2012

Barista Extraordinaire

Let me begin by saying Dave's "Roastmaster Brews" blog has been hijacked.  My name is Christy Chapman and I have something important to say.  So that my naturally scattered and somewhat rambling nature doesn't take over this piece, allow me to start from the beginning:

Jan 5 2012   2-4 pm

Quality checking our coffee and brew machines in various ways and by default consuming way too much caffeine.  Then trying one of our new bagels (which rocked btw).

Fast Forward                                                                                                                         

Jan 5 2012  10:30 pm                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                           Doing my nightly routine of Bean Traders paperwork while obsessing over new ideas and products for the shop---social media postings (ok yes I did update my personal FB status as well---although I blame that on the caffeine ingested earlier)---ordering things we needed yesterday----and just general obsessing about our business, I thought to myself  "I really need to get Dave to post on his blog".  That led me down a path of becoming annoyed that he hasn't posted in over a month---and although I know it is my job to gently remind people to get their tasks done---why can't he just do a post without my prod.  As I was thinking this and feeling the caffeine still pumping through my very awake body---I realized I was being somewhat irrational in my expectations since we just ended our busiest season in our retail and wholesale departments.  Both of which he works full-time. 

 Please stay with me---my point is right around the corner.

So as I am thinking about him working so much I fondly started picturing him behind the bar in the mornings- which naturally led me to start fantasizing about my morning latte.  Oh how I love that man's espresso beverages!  This fantasy then carried me to the Indy Best Of Award.  (if you know me well you totally get that my brain is in a constant stream of thought---if you do not know me that well, I think you may be starting to get the picture....and I am sorry)                                   

So yeah---the Indy Awards---why has Dave not won The Best Barista in the Triangle???

Look I am not one for ever campaigning----it actually makes me feel really uncomfortable to ask people to say our business is the best.  I know so many gracious and generous customers and friends who frequent our shop all the time and in 12 years I have never even asked them to give us a good review on the various review sites.  I believe that would not give us an honest assessment of our business, and frankly I would feel dishonest if we courted people into doing things that made us look good.  Do I secretly wish more would participate---I would be lying if I said no.  But I do believe the natural flow of that stuff is best.  When various contests come up I might post once...maybe even twice something like "if you love us don't forget us!"   That just feels best....and we feel more genuinely happy when we win something. However, this is not about Bean Traders, this is about the awesome Barista who makes my drink every morning! So now I really must get to my convoluted point....
I believe Dave Chapman, Barista Extraordinaire, is The Best Barista in the Triangle! We all know he makes a supreme beverage--he has personally made 3 out of my top 5 all time best espresso beverages (of course #1 was his)---and I have tried A LOT of espresso beverages from various places.  But aside from that, he has been a full-time Barista for 12 years.  Serving hundreds of people a day 6 or 7 days a week for 12 years and counting. 
                                                                                                                                                        However that is just the tip of the cappuccino's micro-froth.  This is the guy who gets the raw beans dropped to his door step----lugs the 10+ 130-150 pound bean bags into his warehouse every 2 weeks with only his bare hands and broken body----roasts those beans 3-4 times a week to perfection by himself---delivers them to our store and other wholesale clients---then gets up at 5am almost every morning to grind, brew, and serve said beans....for 12 years. With, might I add, a pretty mellow and sweet disposition. 

And to just come full-circle....he makes an absolutely delicious beverage.

So if you have had the honor (like I have) of being a customer of ---as one person put it---possibly the best Barista in the world Dave Chapman, please remember him when that contest comes up and take the time to vote for him.  He totally deserves it, and I know it would secretly make his year. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Wine is for aging, not coffee."

Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Filler

Am I the only one who can't get over the first 9 words of this article?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coffee Enema Anyone?

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of finding out exactly where my coffee was going once it left my shop.  After the volunteered info that the coffee I was roasting was actually being consumed by one of my customers through the "non-traditional end" for a colon cleanse, I began to wonder what the procedure entailed.  Colon cleansing was thought to have started with the Ancient Egyptians and has since been credited and dis-credited through the decades.  In the early 1900s coffee was added to the mix and has been used by some as a sub for the usual saline solution ever since. 

So why coffee?  Well aside from you being extra hip because you used coffee instead of totally un-hip saline, people do believe coffee is a better alternative.  Supposedly coffee goes right to the liver and creates a strong toxin avenger.  It then helps the liver to create more bile which carries most of the toxins to the small intestines and out of your body.  This cleans the liver and allows it to process the incoming toxins faster so they do not sit there just being toxic in your body.  Sounds pretty cool right?

But wait....before you run to Bean Traders to get that half bag of low-acidity Brazil must understand there is also a big risk with any colon cleanse especially coffee.  Do I need to mention the coffee should be completely cooled before you start?

Here are some more risks.

Still interested in using our coffee in more than one way?  This is a good article to start you on that journey.

When I looked up "Coffee Enema"!
 Really TMI in that picture category...but I liked this one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

“The morning cup of CafĂ© Noir is an integral part of the life of a Creole household. The Creoles hold as a physiological fact that this custom contributes to longevity, and point, day after day, to examples of old men and women of fourscore, and over, who attest to the powerful aid they have received through life from a good, fragrant cup of coffee in the early morning.”

The Picayune Creole Cook Book (1901)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thoughts about SB closing

When we opened 11 years ago September, we were the only coffee shop in Southeast Durham.  It's crazy to think about how different this area was at that time....loads of huge mall....about 3 less strip get the idea.  The SoDu community was pretty happy we were giving them a coffeeshop, and we were happy to do it (selfishly we were really happy just to be able to drink a decent cup of coffee ourselves). 

Now.....years later.....there are 4 Starbucks....1 Dunkin Donuts.....and at least 3 local cafe/coffee shops that have come and gone.  This is all within a mile of us! 

6 months after we opened, Starbucks opened its first location right across the street from us and a lot of our customers were angry and nervous that we would not survive.  That first month they opened we were inundated with the never ending question "Are you guys scared you will go out of business?".  Each time we answered the standard: "no...not so much".  Most of the time this sufficed...the remaining times we had to listen to all the reasons we should be nervous and all the reasons why said customer felt awful for us.  It really was coming from a good place, but it was hard to hear a list of reasons why someone might think your business will tank....and even harder that people didn't have more faith in our survival.

Our thought was, still is, and always will be: 

1) Never look at the guy(gal) next to you to measure your success
2) Keep focused on your vision and do not let people or other companies scare you into changing it
3) Keep on the pulse of your industry and be flexible and progressive while staying true to what made people love you
4) No matter how great everyone says you are or how many awards you receive, the minute you stop striving to be the best, you suck
5) Your customers are the heartbeat of your business......always take care of your heart!

So now, all these years later, the place across the street is closing its doors for good this Sunday.  And while you may think we are doing cartwheels in the back room...a part of us will  always ache at the closing of a business.  It is hard to explain, but it doesn't necessarily feel good to rejoice in someone elses downfall...major chain store or not.

With all of that said, we were surprised, but not so much so about the closing.  We had heard about a year ago from a pretty reliable source that the SB across the street was one of their smallest volume stores in the area.  We joked at the time that we probably played a big part in that and it's hard to compete with our delicious bean!  Honestly though, we don't care to speculate about the closing or why.

 Our hope going forward is that we can turn some people on to our product.  Do we think we will get everyone?  NO...not even close.  We will get a small amount of people that may have heard we were across the street but never bothered to try us....who now try us because they do not want to change their morning routine drastically so they just come across the street...and then like our atmosphere/product so they stay.  The rest of the people who know that we are here and never tried us will most likely do McDonalds or Dunkin, because they just like Chain Store coffee and the atmosphere that caters to that...which is totally fine, we are not trying to fit square pegs into round holes...people should go where they are comfortable so there is no friction. 

Then there are the people who have no idea we are even here. We have never had visibility from the road (we love our strip with all the trees..but it definitely lets NO ONE know we are here) and you can see the Starbucks loud and clear.  Again, some of them won't care because they like a different genre....but we are most excited about the people who had no idea we are here...thought they were stuck with a certain coffee and then now that said coffee is gone they are forced to investigate other options...find us... and feel blessed to find the perfect coffee shop for them.

And lastly, if you happen to hear your moaning about their go-to coffee shop closing, tell them to drink some bean!

You might change their life as they know it :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

So that's what Petey did after The Little Rascals ended.........