Saturday, November 13, 2010

Taming The Shrewsbury

Holding Court - Tony teaches Cannoli.

Ask the potentially thousands of commuters if Shrewsbury is "that far" from Baltimore and they'll tell you: "it's not too bad."

Well, I'll tell you: It is that bad.

Okay, perhaps not bad like driving the DC Beltway or attempting a leisurely drive up the 405 Freeway at 5:15pm, but it's no picnic either. And it's far away.

We're up in Shrewsbury tonight for Tony's annual bonfire party. A gathering of friends, food and fire. Kids and adults and parents.

A nice time with a big fire, cigars and drinks.

"I crush you!!!!"

Now that's a fire!

Testing 1, 2, 3

The Sensory Practical Test at Spro.

It's been a year since the people who became the baristas of Spro Hampden started and a new group of recruits is working to join their ranks. Time for a little barista testing to see just how everyone is doing and to ensure their sensory taste skills are still up to scratch.

Borrowing elements from the Q Grader and WBC Judges Certification programs, the new battery of tests pits the baristas (and candidates) against an array of written and sensory tests. A 50 question, multiple choice, fill in the blank and True/False tests starts off the day with coffee triangulation and coffee identification following.

From there, it's back to practical evaluations. Shot pulling, milk steaming, waste monitoring and even latte art design all come into review. For some it may seem tough, but while the tests are designed to be challenging, they should be relatively easy for the workaday barista at Spro who is constantly tasting and evaluating coffee as part of their daily routine.

Market Report