New TampTamp Post!

•July 26, 2009 • 1 Comment

Just wanted to let everyone know we’ve posted about the Berkshire Barista Jam over on our other blog:

The Jam:

Is Here.

The Throwdown:

Is Here.

Carry on.


Berkshires Barista Jam!

•July 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Berkshires Barista Jam!

Barista Jam Schedule

check-in: 9:30-10:30am
Introduction and Welcome From Dottie’s Coffee Lounge and TampTamp Inc.: 10:30-11:30

(Color) Group A 11:30-12:30 CLASS 1 Top 5 Ways to Become a Better Barista – Right Now! by Benjamin Wilkinson, Blue State Coffee, NE BGA Chapter Rep
  12:30-1:30 CLASS 2 The Good, The Bad, and The Really Ugly: Why Espresso Maintenance Will Set You Apart By Michael Dejesus, Espresso Technician from Dallis Coffee

(Color) Group B 11:30-12:30 CLASS 2 The Good, The Bad, and The Really Ugly: Why Espresso Maintenance Will Set You Apart by Michael Dejesus, Espresso Technician from Dallis Coffee
12:30-1:30 CLASS 1 Top 5 Ways to Become a Better Barista – Right Now! by Benjamin Wilkinson, Blue State Coffee, NE BGA Chapter Rep

1:30-2:30 Lunch Break 

Group A 2:30-4 Special Event with Chemex Coffee with Liz Grassi, owner of Chemex Coffee Corp.
4-5:30 CLASS 4 Coffee Cupping lead by
Group B 2:30-4 Special Event with Chemex Coffee with Liz Grassi, owner of Chemex Coffee Corp.
4-5:30 CLASS 3 Coffee Cupping lead by Gerra Herrigan

5:30-8 Dinner Break

8pm Milk Steaming & Latte Art Demo – by Anne Nylander, President & head trainer at TampTamp Inc.
8pm – 8:45 p.m. Signups for Throwdown. $5 to enter, winner takes all! Plus trophies and additional prizes.
9pm Latte Art throwdown & party!


Class Descriptions & Instructor Bios

AM CLASSES (11:30am-12:30pm – check your packet for which group you are in to determine your class schedule)
Top 5 Ways to Become a Better Barista – Right Now! by Benjamin Wilkinson, Blue State Coffee, NE BGA Chapter Rep

Ever feel like you’re stranded on a desert island in a world of bad coffee and are thirsty for more information about making it better? Benjamin will go over some easy, cheap, and free ways to stay in the loop and get inspired about coffee all over again. Ben will also briefly discuss his experience competing at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s North East Regional Barista Competition this year, where he placed 5th place overall.

The Good, The Bad, and The Really Ugly: Why Espresso Maintenance Will Set You Apart By Michael Dejesus, Espresso Technician from Dallis Coffee
Michael Dejesus, or “Mike D the tech guy” from Dallis Coffee will cover the good, the bad, and the ugly side of espresso and coffee equipment maintenance. From his years of experience servicing coffee equipment in all kinds of businesses, Mike will show us exactly why cleanliness and regular maintenance sets specialty cafes apart from the competition.

PM Classes (2:30-4:00 – check your packet for which group you are in to determine your class schedule)
Special Event with Chemex Coffee Chemex President Liz Grassi will share information about Chemex coffee’s origins and history. We are thrilled to have Chemex as a guest due to both its rise in popularity as a brewing method and its proximity to our event: the Chemex headquarters are located in Pittsfield, MA!

Coffee Cupping Learn how the pros evaluate coffee on a daily basis, while experiencing coffee in an entirely new way. We will cover the major terms used to describe coffees in the industry (Aroma, Brightness, Flavor, Body, and Aftertaste) and help you use those terms to discover new things about coffee. Instructor Gerra Herrigan from New Harvest Coffee Roasters will walk you through the process and show you how much you have in common with other cuppers!

8pm Milk Steaming & Latte Art Demo – Anne Nylander of TampTamp Inc. will show you how to improve your latte art’s game at any level – from none at all to ultimate pours. Her experience teaching latte art at SCAA conference and competing in the national Millrock Latte Art Competition has taught her exactly how to pour and how to show you.

9pm Latte Art Throwdown
Anne Nylander, President of TampTamp Inc., will host the main event: a Thursday Night Throwdown. Find out who pours the best latte art in the region. $5 in. 1 Pull. 1 Pour. Winner takes all. Anne will provide a latte art demo before the competition begins so baristas of all levels can participate! The winner of the throwdown wins a custom made Reg Barber tamp in addition to the prize pool.
Welcome to Dottie’s Coffee Lounge! Anne Nylander and Jessica Rufo have come together to establish a fun, informative day of coffee education in Shire City, aka Pittsfield Mass!

The goal of the days’ events is to provide education and inspiration about coffee at little to no cost, as well as invigorate the coffee community that exists throughout the Berkshires. TampTamp has sought to incorporate expert speakers to host our courses for the event, while Dottie’s has reached out to include several local businesses in the event, such as Barrington Coffee Company, High Lawn Dairy, and the Chemex company. We have coffee arriving from companies across the country so you also have a chance to experience some of the best coffees currently available in the U.S – for FREE!  

The courses are geared for professionals but the public is welcome to come and learn tricks they can use on their home espresso equipment, or how to make a great cup of drip coffee, or simply how much work truly goes into your morning cup of coffee.

So come in, grab a seat, and try some delicious coffee.

Donations will be welcome to help offset the costs, any additional income will be donated to Coffee Kids. This free event would not have been possible without our generous sponsors.

2 Progressives and an Old Standby in Boston

•July 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Recently, I found myself in Boston with a few hours to kill, so what else did I do but go on a coffee tour of Arlington, Harvard, and Cambridge?

Barismo, Boston, MA Barismo, Boston, MA
is this sign too ostentatious?, jamie pulls a shot
Continue reading ‘2 Progressives and an Old Standby in Boston’

New Blog!

•July 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So perhaps you’ve seen that The Road to Epiphany blog has become a bit more TampTamp related in the past year and a bit less of the fun, coffee-related, adventuring that you’ve come to expect from Anne and me.

screen capture of TampTamp Blog

While that is an indicator of the way our lives have been going, and we’re really excited by our lives right now, we think our business deserves its own blog. So we decided to create a new one just for TampTamp.

We hope to make it a bit more hard-hitting than our current one, to talk about issues, and promote discussion, as well as talk about interesting things happening in the TampTamp universe.

But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean Road to Epiphany is going away, we hope we’ll be able to get back to talking about new coffee shops, non-commercial events, and the places we go on this one, with renewed energy and vigor.

So go to our new blog,, and add it to your rss reader. We’ve already seeded it with a couple of past posts from here and a few new things.

Berkshires Jam!

•July 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Come one, come all. We’re going to talk about coffee, cup some coffee, do a latte art demo and have a Thursday Night Throwdown! This is going to be held in the town of Pittsfield, MA. The flyer to be displayed prominently in your cafe is below. Please fill out the survey we made if you plan to attend so we can help you coordinate travel and logistics. As a bonus this event is 100% FREE so come by and learn some new stuff about coffee and make some new coffee friends! You can also check our facebook page for the exact location and more details as they are released.

Dotties & TampTamp B-Jam!
Yay coffee yay,

Open letter to some coffee educators

•June 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

(Warning: Neil has proofed this and observed that it is “mushy”.)

To Peter, mark, rob, ellie, troy, jay, gerra, & everyone who positively influenced my coffee education in the past week.

I really can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for me.

Professor Peter Giuliano
Professor Peter Giuliano.

This letter began as a note to Peter Giuliano after spending the day with him on Monday and attending the “Origins, History and Trade” class at the new Counter Culture Lab in NYC. We talked about coffee all day, and really, Peter was nowhere close to stopping. The depth and quality of the education I received, was, to put it simply, priceless.

Its not only the content from his class that was shocking in both its depth and clarity, but also the way in which it was presented: Peter constantly danced between being a coffee business man, economist, agrarian, sandanista, politician, and perhaps most importantly, a coffee ambassador. The way he speaks and writes with both a confident authority and a hospitable humility is why I find Peter to be the most resonant voice in the specialty coffee industry. This really isn’t meant to bolster Peter’s ego, in fact, it comes as kind of a counter-argument to egos: with an ego in the coffee business you can get yourself into trouble really fast. Thinking you know everything about coffee, to me at least, is a red flag that you really know almost nothing about coffee.

A speaker like Peter, who happily gets in front of people and says, “theres a lot of information out there, and this is my experience. My experience gets me to these general beliefs but by no means will I say they are the hard and fast rule” actually helps change the perception of what coffee, and the specialty coffee business, is really all about. It’s a constant game of “it’s really simple, and at the same time it’s very, very complicated.” And to have someone articulate that point clearly, without losing his audience, is something we need more desperately in the industry than I think we even realize.

Something that’s so special about the way Peter teaches people is that he will engage with everyone that is around him, he doesn’t pick and choose his favorite students, he is the epitome of a “there are no bad questions” kind of guy. I’d seen it in small doses with him before, with people asking him about griding coffee, or even in one of my first questions that I asked Peter about a fermentation tank experiment he was working on (which probably wasn’t the first question he expected out of a relatively young barista).

So that said, I think that everyone gets that Peter is one of my favorite coffee people in the industry. If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak or attend his courses, take it. No matter how much you know about coffee, you will learn something new.

pourover bar makin' a drink
Phil & Kim make cups of coffee in Easton. Ellie waves as David Latourell makes a small cup of coffee (espresso).

Then, I hopped on a bus and headed to Easton PA on Tuesday for the Barista Jam and to visit with my friend Ellie from Coffee Solutions. As a bonus, I got even more great education. Mark Inman gave a great talk about the crucial importance of independent small businesses and businesses at the regional level. Ellie gave a really simple talk about the 12 steps of espresso extraction, which turned into a fun exercise and a spirited debate. You can also read my tweets from other talks. And maybe my brain was just really open because of Peter’s class on Monday, but I was once again inspired to keep up my work, and hope that my courses and events hold a candle to these other great educators in the industry.

Most importantly, it’s finally really squarely hit me on the head that we are not competitors – not by a long shot – there is just too much bad coffee and bad information about coffee out there to worry about other people in the specialty industry. We are all fighting the good fight, and the more we get along and provide a collective voice, the more we will all succeed.

Ah, but more on that later, as I tackle specialty coffee and the press.

Culture Cafe

•June 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Culture Sign

This great new cafe opened up on 38th st this week. You should check it out. By part of the team that brought you Variety, Culture Cafe is going to be great. And they are in the same building where Project Runway is currently being filmed, so that’s exciting.

Anne pours milk FB-70 circa Intelly Broadway

Also, Team TempTamp will be making Black Cat there for the next 2 weeks! So come by and say hi. Also so hi to the espresso machine, which comes all the way from Intelly Broadway.

Culture Cafe
72 W. 38th St.
near 6th Ave

cappa coffee and a muffin please