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Makin’ biscotti with Gilda

11 Dec

starbarista catches up with Gilda Doganiero of Gilda’s Biscotti. She has been dedicated to the art of baking traditional biscotti for the last 13 years since leaving her job as a pastry chef at Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel. In this podcast Gilda tells us about the origins of this noble Italian cookie as well as the story of how she started her company. (In the photo to the left Gilda is holding a tray of her lemon fig biscotti.) I would love to hear what you think of this podcast – so please leave your comments below.

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Jenni Bryant from Gimme! Coffee

15 Sep

Starbarista recently caught up with Gimme! Coffee‘s Jenni Bryant at their recently-opened espresso bar in NYC’s NoLiTa neighbourhood. Gimme! started up in 2000 with a single espresso bar in Ithaca, upstate New York. They now have four shops in the Ithaca area as well as a roastery. In 2003 Gimme! made their first foray into NYC when they opened a location in Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg neighbourhood. In this podcast, Jenni talks about coffee and how it brings people together.

Taste of New Zealand Espresso at Square Mile

14 Sep

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I am lucky to live in London’s Bethnal Green neighbourhood on a multitude of counts – that number has increased with the recent opening of Square Mile Coffee roasters less than a five minute walk from my flat.

One evening last week they hosted a tasting of espressos from New Zealand. The event was attended by 45 people and all proceeds were donated to charity. In just over an hour barista James Hoffman (pictured above) pulled more than 160 shots of the four espressos. You can read more about it on Square Mile Coffee’s own blog here.

Square Mile was started up earlier this year by James Hoffmann (World Barista Champion 2007), Anette Moldvaer (World Coffee Cup Tasting Champion 2007) and Stephen Morrissey (World Barista Champion 2008). These people bring a wealth of experience with them and it shows in their coffees – over the last couple of months I’ve been drinking their espresso at a few coffee carts around town and I look forward to it being more widely available as they convince more cafes and restaurants to pull their espresso.

Visit flickr to see more of my photos from the New Zealand espresso evening.

Barista Profile: Doug Wolfe of La Colombe

12 Sep


Starbarista recently caught up with Doug Wolfe, a prominent barista who works at the La Colombe cafe in New York City’s Tribeca, a place where you might see a Hollywood star rubbing shoulders with Senagalese street vendors. This podcast also features the voice of Todd Carmichael, who founded La Colombe along with his business partner Jean-Philippe Iberti in 1993 in Philadelphia.

Bedouin Jerry Can Band

11 Sep

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This summer my photography work took me to the Larmer Tree Festival in Dorset, England where the Bedouin Jerry Can Band (BJB) were playing. Being interested in music from other cultures I had long known about this band but knew little about them or their connection to coffee. When I read the following in the festival programme I knew I had to check them out: The BJB are a collective of semi-nomadic musicians, poets, storytellers, and coffee grinders. There is also an olfactory dimension to their act as a coffee grinder brews and serves coffee for the audience . . . Even though their ‘coffee grinder’ really only went throught the motions, bringing out ready made filtered coffee from backstage, their performance was true to the grand tradition of the starbarista: engaging and entertaining an audience while making coffee. (If you are not seeing the photos click here for the full post.)

First he roasted the coffee . . .

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Then he ground the coffee . . .
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He then returned the ground coffee to the pan to either roast it again (surely not) or to brew the coffee . . .

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Then out came the coffee pot which promptly went back stage. . .

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Then seconds later out came a tray of BJB branded styrofoam cups (please guys have some paper ones printed up) full of what seemed like a very light roast filtered coffee . . .

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. . . which was enjoyed by all . . .

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After their performance I spotted them and asked if they wouldn’t mind posing for a group photo . . .

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Here a few close ups of band members . . .
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starbarista does Philly, NYC, and South Jersey

21 May

starbarista has just returned to London after a whirlwind caffeinated tour of the Mid-Atlantic coffee scene in the USA. I have gathered tons of audio for future episodes of the starbarista podcast series. These will be coming out over the next few months, so be sure to sign up via iTunes or using an RSS feed reader via the buttons to the right to make sure you don’t miss them.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the baristi, roasters, cuppers, suppliers, wholesalers, coffee shop owners, customers and the baker who were generous in giving their time, coffee and biscotti to me.

In the next episodes of the podcast we will hear from the following people and companies:

Jean-Phillipe Iberti and Todd Carmichael the owners of La Colombe Torrefaction in Philadelphia
Doug Wolf a veteran barista at the La Colombe cafe in Tribeca, Manhattan
Jenni Bryant a barista and manager of Gimme! Coffee at her cafe in NYC’s NoLiTa
Daniel Humphries and Daniel Mulu of Boot Coffee Consulting and Training who hosted a cupping of fine Ethiopeans at the Bodum showroom in Chelsea. (See picture above)
Gilda Doganeiro of Gilda’s Biscotti in Salem, NJ
Sharron and Ron Vacarello the owners of Crescent Moon Coffee and Tea in Mullica Hill, NJ

Gwilym: It’s All About The Coffee.

14 Apr

Welcome to the first episode of the starbarista podcasts. This time around we hear from Gwilym, a veteran barista with loads of experience under his belt. Having first worked in the burgeoning coffee scene in New Zealand ten years ago, he can now be found pulling espressos using Square Mile coffee at two popular London markets. starbarista recently caught up with him on Whitecross Market where his cart is open for business Monday to Friday. He is also at the Columbia Road Flower Market every Sunday. (Note: At the time of recording Gwilym was using beans from a different London roastery.)