Today is the first day of the GLRBC and Coffee Fest Chicago. I'm stoked. Mr. Scott Lucey flies into the city tonight, straight up and outta El Salvador. Chris Baca and Co. are here representing Ritual. The only sad story is that Nick *AKA* PureArabica... Couldn't make it. Not enough out of region spots for this one... Nick we'll miss you!
We left the cities around 9:15 yesterday and headed first to Cedarburg, WI to drop off some coffee to a wholesale account. The place, The Java House, is awesome! David, the owner, buys both green and some roasted coffee from us. What green he buys he roasts in this tiny space in a local music store. It's literally a closet that he has his roaster in. Anyway, the espresso was surprisingly good... It was actually the first shot I had pulled using a swift, so I was very skeptical. But, the results were great. Heavy chocolate presented in a totally balanced and unoffensive way. Well done Kevin. We would love to have more wholesale accounts like this place.
From Cedarburg, we headed down to visit Alterra. We stopped, first, at the main store. The one with the roasters... yes, it is awesome. Justin Tiesel was there and gave me a quick tour around the space. It's awesome and they're expanding... It's cool to see such good coffee in Milwaukee. I lived in Wisconsin for a few years back in the day, and coffee was the last thing I remember about Milwaukee... but not anymore. We rolled over to the Lakeview store, and I was blown away. Alterra knows how to market themselves in ways we dream of. I could have purchased enough Alterra clothing to where I would never have to wear anything else again. They've got it all. Cups, clothing, teas, chocolate. And the store itself is beautiful. Oh, and the food we had at the Alterra stores was awesome. Well, done kids.
We finally, after a short detour looking for some other cafe, got into Chicago. Out hotel... Hotel 71, is beautiful and makes me smile. We're a short distance from some sweet bars and the venue. Aaron and I spent an awesome night with some great cigars. Well, we're about roll over to the competiton. Much love to everyone! I'll do my best to keep everyone updated!