The Slayer

13 12 2010

Barista with tweed attitude and a lesson in pre-infusing the fusion

A draft about the time I spent with a Slayer. Espresso with citrus notes. Which required another. The follow-up was raspberries. If this sounds like hogs wash to you as all you have ever tasted in your coffee is… coffee, then I’m sorry for you. Find a Slayer. Get it made properly.

Wow these are bad photos to publish, should go back to Melbourne to drink, I mean shoot some more...

There can’t be that many Slayer’s around. They will cost the cafe $40,000. The barista running the thing probably therefore knows a thing or two as well. I watched the second pour. I took him two goes, I like to think he would have thrown the first pour if even I wasn’t watching, it took too long, either way he didn’t bluff and threw it in front of me, a little embarrassed that he didn’t get it right first time. I was just happy that he wasn’t complacent and looked even more forward to my second cup. I didn’t waste their or the machine’s time with milk. Espresso with a little hot water. The initial step of  the espresso dripped like thick caramel over the back of a spoon before flowing onto the water.

The choice is yours

Now there is a reason to like Melbourne. The Sensory Lab, Little Bourke Street. I know there are more out there, next visit will be wondering the alleys and hunting them down.


One Track Mind

8 09 2010

There’s no wind. Rain is on the forecast but that’s not a problem either. The road ahead is polished, and if you continue riding in a straight line for 20 seconds or so you’ll end up back in the same place. Que? Ahhh Le Velodrome! An ovalised tracked with two banked corners that send you into a 180 degree about-face with gravity defying magic. Indeed riding it is so surreal and exciting it could easily be described as magical. Of the dozen intrepid Wanaka journeymen and women to venture onto Invercargill’s community asset only one had previous experience. None other than ex-National Sprint Champion John Andrews, our leading light and the man to follow, that was until he slipped off on his first turn on the ‘boards’; damn there goes my confidence, thanks John…

Jamie riding 6 ft off the ground

I cruise a lap around the infield getting used to the direct non-stop fixed gear. Stop adjust seat, try again. Repeat. Finally comfortable I slowly build my speed. Time to try riding the gently slopping blue boards; ah that’s not so bad. Next corner I’m going to go on the 30 degree banking… whoa that was weird… OK next corner let’s go a little faster and another line higher… yeah this is fun… what if I go full gas around here? Yeeaaahhh! G-Forces push you to the wall, there is even a strain on your neck as you seemingly look up-hill/around the corner. Damn, this is a blast! Next corner faster again, nothing but smooth wood and the faint rumble of the eiry hollow underneath, ecstasy. Down the back straight keep going, keep pushing. Ooooh hang on this is starting hurt, how fast am I going? How many laps have I done? Maybe I’ll just back off a fraction before that foyer coffee has had enough of my stomach.

Bruce Ross - he's seen a Dernie or two in his day

Kilometers of Latvian Hardwood handlaid by zee German's

For us track virgin’s we had the previledge of being hosted and coached by none other than Mr. Bruce Ross. Infamous in Southland and nation wide in cycling circles. Bruce has for the past 25 years been the driving force behind the Tour of Southland and the Cycling center. Without him most of our great junior and developing athletes would have had nowhere to stay when visiting and it seems unlikely that the very track we enjoyed on our excursion would have come to fruition. Bruce took us from nervous roadies to ‘Flying’ 250 meter TT riders and Team Sprinters; well beyond the progression I believed our motley crew would make. His encouragement and instruction had us all lapping around without drama and with lasting grins. Before too long our 2 hour booking had come to an end. It had been a great taste and tease, yet Bruce wanted us to have a more lasting impression. With typical Southland hospitably he took us behind the scenes into the belly below. Showing and describing the expertise, craftsmanship and expense went into this extraordinary structure. 

The very one and only - Zoopkeepers

OK what next? Lunch time, and when in Rome… Zookeepers, another for those in the know. Zookeepers Cafe has long been an advocate for cycling and through its long running sponsorship of racing teams it has helped many Kiwi riders step up to greatness, including Hayden Roulston, Jeremy Yates, Heath Blackgrove and Gordon McCauley to name a few. Winning countless Tours of Southland AND Wellington the memorabilia and photo gallery is entertainment in itself, let alone other art and sculpture that turns this local coffee haunt into an almost cartoon like must visit for anyone looking for a reason to escape a wintry day.

It had been an early start and a bit of a drive but that was quickly forgotten. This trip will certainly be a regular pilgrimage in the colder months for us up in Wanaka, next thing we’ll be transforming ourselves into sprinters instead of climbers…

2 wrongs make a right

5 07 2010

Thanks Bialetti you make waking up affordable

There is something very disturbing about this photo; 1 x Cream in my Black coffee + 1 x that “cream” is Cool Whip tm = some fine early morning goodness. So wrong it’s right.

we all decide.

3 07 2010

There's two side to every story...

OK so it’s easy to make sweeping generalisations and jokes at the expense of the American public. But with so many of them (americans) it shouldn’t take too long to figure out that they are surely the most diverse of thinkers there are on this funny earth. Freedom of speech is almost taken to the point of abuse; and because their not all the same, finding a like-minded friend is easy. 

One of the easiest assumptions for us on the outside looking in is the food thing. Fast Drive-Thru’s and Football field Wal-Mart’s the daily diet for their massive census right? Not if you care. In the State’s there is a growing (I love my pun’s) awareness, in this land of the free, that there is a better way. Buying from the little guy has gained enough considerable weight on the veggie scale that in just the Watauga county alone ‘Farmers Markets’ can be shopped at every day of the week. This means that even if you are a modern once-a-day convenient shopper you can still obtain fresh locally grown and mostly organic produce on any given day.

Old School never tasted so good

This is the USA that I think has big things to offer us all. Since when did we forget that good fresh food makes life better for us all. Yes, there are now Farmers Markets in NZ, Australia and most other ‘side-tracked’ parts of the world; but when was the last time you visited and supported the concept. The argument that they are too small and without enough variety. Well, without us they wont be getting any bigger either. Next time your off to grab your groceries, pedal via your local market en route and support the soul rebels so they can bring back more for you next time. Talk to the growers – because you can – learn about the love in your food and let them know what you like. The power of the little guy’s grouping together can be much more rewarding than what you’ll get out of trying to change a Multi-National supermarket chain’s profit margin priorities. Most of all, listen to your body. If you do love the bike, what would you rather fuel up with? 

It's not all Carrot's and "normal" grass raised Beef