Coffee Science and My Octane Barista Certification

I regularly find myself explaining to people about my experiences working at the most forward-thinking coffee shop in the city. To paraphrase my usual explanation: “Octane Coffee is dedicated to a continual evolution toward providing the best coffee possible by endlessly educating its employees and customers about the many facets of coffee cultivation, production, and preparation.” This education is founded on both technical training and technical knowledge of coffee. I’ve done an extensive amount of exploring through my exposure to the coffee world. Several of these experiences are documented here.

Pulling two shots during my barista certification. Photo by John Cole.
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NYC: Bike Punks and Coffee Geeks

© demon cat

Back in February, I traveled to New York City to participate in Monstertrack and investigate the 3rd wave coffee shop scene. I drove up with my friends Seth, Gregg, and Chris. We left Atlanta at 4pm on Thursday and drove throughout the night, arriving in Manhattan about 10 am Friday morning. As soon as we pulled into the parking garage, we assembled our bikes and took off to explore the city. We had plans to stay with NY messengers Pablo and Victor, who were organizing the race, so first we dropped off most of our gear at Pablo’s house in the Lower East Side.

The race, which wouldn’t be until the next day, consisted of eleven checkpoints. Five of them were released on the internet several weeks prior, so the four of us decided to pinpoint their exact locations. Furthermore, I knew that I would need a bike helmet for the race so our next stop was one of the checkpoints: a track bike-only shop called Trackstar.
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