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Chicago Coffee: A New Friend

Kenny and Kane were gracious enough to invite me to come along for their little latte art competition in Chicago, and I, being the coffee geek that I am, was more than happy to take them up on their offer. A small entourage of those of us from the 'Ville took in the sites and sounds of the Windy City this past weekend, but I think it safe to say that Kenny, Kane and I were far more appreciative of -- and geeked-out by -- the coffee aspects of our little jaunt north. Over the next several days, I'll share a few of my thoughts about our coffee experience, starting with this post.

When we visited Intelligentsia on Sunday, our last day there, Kenny and I were able to meet and talk with Intelligentsia's Charles Babinski, who turned out to be the Director of Coffee for their Millennium Park location. While at the counter, he asked us if we were in the city for Coffee Fest, and we told him that we were, and that Kenny had competed in Millrock's latte art competition. Later, he came around to our table to chat with us and ask us what we thought of the coffees we had been drinking. That led to a very honest, insightful and enjoyable conversation. I told Charles that I was a little underwhelmed by the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kurimi I was sipping down, and that I'd had it the day before at their booth at Coffee Fest and had concluded much the same. Without going into too much detail here, the sentiments I relayed to him were that the Kurimi seemed a little muted for a Yirg, and that it didn't pop out with the lemons and florals I had been expecting. It wasn't a bad cup at all, just not what I would have looked for, and therefore would have thought it more of a Central American coffee if I'd sipped it blindly. Charles told us that the latest lot they've gotten of this coffee seemed somewhat different, and that some of the cup characteristics present in the earlier batches weren't really there. I told Kenny later on that that made me feel better, as I definitely didn't want to be rude, but I also wanted to be forthright and honest. I think, however, that our conversation was quite wonderful and educational. The bottom line? Kenny and I had a great conversation with a very knowledgeable and passionate coffee connoisseur, and I hope that he enjoyed his interaction with us as much as we enjoyed our interaction with him. Much thanks to Charles and Intelligentsia!

posted by Bolo | 12:26 PM
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