Archive for February, 2013

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

sitting at our bar, after hours, listening to two new excellent records purchased at Jackpot (around the corner). Sometimes we visit nights to play records.

dreaming about summer. The coffee bar on Hawthorne. New seating for the current bar, and new bicycle parts. Thinking about why we serve coffee, in a city made of coffee roasters and beer brewers.

since we are mechanics, we maintain.

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

The bench knife, or pastry scraper, is dull with a purpose (our favorite is entirely SS and made in Japan, no plastic or wood for us). We have one SS knife that is shiny and probably has a little carbon, this is also not-so-sharp, but dainty and beautiful and we use to check the muffins with (stabbing them to see if batter clings). Then there is the antler handled honing steel, for aligning the electrons in our sharp knives (grandma may be dead, but geez her knives were razors when she moved on- serious, and very memorable). A large carbon high carbon blade Alex found on the street, this is one of our best. A small carbon blade for the customers who want to share their pastry. The Japanese Takeda Sakichan gave me does not stay on bar but travels with me at all times. Made of Aogami super steel from Hitachi, carbon sandwiches stainless, in a super thin eastern edge. This knife is very sharp, yet also brittle and delicate. With such a knife only the force necessary for the cut is made. Certain appreciation for well kept edges we picked up via Evan and Ali courtesy of their friends- the Hot Knives. “sharp knives save lives.”

While making our way to the pizza shop today, we fell in with a gang of street kids. One interesting thing was their belt knives, very large, as if for deer hunting. Deer hunting in the SW hills? the knife that Rambo carried, that size. We think about this when making pastry.

At the roastery we have a Benchmade Tanto mini-Griptilian, used for label adhesive cutting every day (this is a knife).

all of the knives that want, get sharpened. Two stones float back and forth between roastery and bar, our Naniwa 5000 superstone (japan), and combination 500/1000 stone. some of our friends even bring their knives in for us to sharpen.

we hope this thoughtfulness extends into all things (wu-tang, the last samuri, code of the samuri reference, and by extension Liquid Swords).

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Old Dominion semi truck arrived as we were almost leaving 4019 SE Hawthorne. The truck is noticeable because of the three stripes of color, and we the only destination on the block. We look for the bi-directional pallet, original strapping, breakage and signs of liquid before signing. Alex and I run our hands over several of the bags feeling for moisture, and discuss the visual signs of an intact shipment. We also make sure we are receiving the coffee that has been ordered, then sign the manifest.

We exchange the pallet from a previous delivery and wave goodbye to Matt of OD, before loading coffee to the cellar. Then its off to run the morning deliveries.

Two new lots have just come in…..

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Sparkling Portland Tap Water now on bar. Carbonation refilling is work, since we bike the 20 pound alloy tank to the Welding Supply store on Martin Luther King. This has put us mythically closer to our goal of having milk on tap as well, with the one thing holding us back being the purchase of an argon tank. We are proud to serve tap water. Each morning we run the water for some time, getting fresh water into the system. The same goes for the water that is served on bar. We filter our water with a loose fibre filter only to remove chunks of iron and sediment, same with espresso machine water.

The water we wash with is unfiltered. The water we sanitize our dishes with is mixed with quatro- ammonium, which has a PH of 7, unlike bleach, which is very basic. The neutral PH does not dry out ones hands. Quatro-ammonium is cool because it kills a lot of things, and when it dries leaves no residue (which is why our coffee cups and glasses are “beer clean”)

the water we do our pourover coffee with is 198.6F +/-.4F leading to a quicker desired brew time. (more on this later).

since its pouring rain, and we are low on photos, we thought we would talk about water.
Right this second BT Livermore has a fantastic artshow up at Courier’s bar. Friend and Illustrator BT is a great person to dream about signage with. Please take a look around next time on bar at the trunk show.