After weeks of banging, drilling, painting and clouds of dust, our new cafe is finally finished and it looks fantastic!!! As of Monday next week you will be able to drop in for a coffee and check out our shiney new digs!! The crew at Atomic couldn’t wait that long so we decided to crack open the champagne and celebrate this morning. Just for today, this bunch of hardcore coffee fanatics traded their morning fix for a glass of the good stuff and a celebratory toast over breakfast.
Make sure you come down to check out our brand new Coffee Brew Bar and some of the delicious treats that Donna and the team have been whipping up in the kitchen. We will be opening the café for dinner on selected nights during world cup so stay tuned for more details!
For the whole month of September, Atomic will be sending you a bag of Free Veloce coffee with every purchase over $50 at Toggle! We love their cool stationary, accessories, jewellery and homeware - all by New Zealand designers!
If you need a few great gift ideas this is definitely the place. Best of all, they offer free shipping throughout New Zealand!!
Last weekend the team at Atomic all dragged themselves out of bed at unspeakably early hours of the morning to pull off a 5am setup for We Can Create. Thank god we had some awesome coffee on hand!!! We had a great time keeping all the creative types caffeinated and even got to check out a few of the amazing speakers!
The highlight of the whole weekend was announcing the winner of our Logo Remix Competition. Tim Denee took out the prize after receiving the most votes for his very cool purple logo design. An awesome one-of-a-kind Rocket Espresso machine covered in a wallpaper of the best design entries is headed his way!! Big thanks must go to the boys at Syrup DPI for pulling it all together so quickly. That is definitely the slickest looking Rocket we have ever seen!!
This Friday is your last chance to enjoy a coffee at our Atomic Kingsland Café before we knock out the wall and start doing some serious demolition. We are currently renovating and expanding into the space next door so it’s time to say goodbye to the iconic café we know and love.
We would love for you to join us on Friday to help us send out our Kingsland Café in style. Come by in our final hour of operation from 2-3pm for free coffee and then stick around for a few beers with the Atomic crew.
You won’t be missing us for long as we will only be closed for a few days from Saturday 13th until Monday 15th August. On Tuesday our little pop-up café will be appearing right outside the Kingsland Roastery so you will still be able to grab your beans and daily fix of Atomic Espresso. While you are there you can take a sneak peek at the progress on our brand spanking new café!! We can’t wait to open the doors a few weeks from now!!
Atomic Coffee is pleased to announce the winner of the Real Groovy ‘Art This Space’ competition. Congratulations to Chris Leskovsek whose cool graphic print will soon be brightening up the main wall of our Queen Street Espresso bar! We received heaps of fantastic entries and the choice was certainly a tough one but in the end, Chris Leskovsek’s design stood out as encapsulating what Atomic Real Groovy is all about.
Pretty soon you will be able to pop in and check out his design, live, in living colour! You might even catch Chris hanging about as he has won a whole year of Free Atomic Coffee!!!
Rather than post a long and exhaustive blog of my recent trip to see farmers in the southern Colombian region of Huila I am posting a link to some photos on Flickr. The pictures are captioned and tell the story of this trip in a bit of detail. In summation though, this trip was a truly special experience made so by the generosity and welcome of all those Colombian farmers we met.
Check put the pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/brydonprice/sets/72157626870599871
If you've been hanging out at Atomic Espresso bar at Real Groovy then you are obviously a person who appreciates good music and damn good coffee. We think the only thing missing now is some good art! We want you to create an awesome design for our main wall based on coffee and music.
The winner will have their design printed, painted or hung on our wall and will receive FREE COFFEE FOR A YEAR at Atomic Espresso Real Groovy!!
So yesterday I had the biggest day of my professional career, selected to judge the final top 6 round of the World Barista Championships. It was a huge honor and gratefully recieved recognition of judging abilities at the highest level. Sitting in the international spotlight, plus a cauldron of atmosphere here in Bogota, being served coffee from 6 of the world's best baristas was certainly a little nerve wracking but a huge privilege.
Thursday and Friday I judged 7 baristas in the qualifying round, this was then trimmed to the top 12 on Saturday and top 6 on Sunday. So by the time our top 6 competed in the finals it was their third performance, though I am sure their most nervous. The six finalists were from Spain, UK, Japan, USA, Australia and El Salvador. This meant many judges had conflicts judging their home nation, fortunately New Zealand had a depth of skill to lean on with myself at one end of the 4 strong sensory panel and Stuart Hargie of Bell Tea and Coffee at the other. New Zealand having 2 seats at the finals table plus David Green judging semi's speaks volumes for the quality of our own national competition.
Stepping out to judge, with rarely seen tie and tucked in shirt, the atmosphere in the stadium was immense. The stands were completely jammed with support teams, fellow competitors and coffee geeks from the world over. Despite a few nerves I just had to remember that it was fundamentally what I've done dozens of times before with the same scoresheet and scoring quantifiers. It did though require just an extra concentration on my protocol to allow these baristas to shine and score without obstacle or incident. The six finalists below.
The packed stadium watched the performances on a giant screen as we were presented six top class 15 minute performances. The performances this year were more creative than ever asking the judges to focus on very specific information and descriptors plus new and interesting ways to taste their chosen coffee. Miki of Japan for instance used a set of cards with tick boxes for the judges to taste blind then later in the routine see how much we got matched her taste notes. Alejandro of El Salvador had a signature drink built from all parts of the coffee plant including a mucilage tea plus took a risk and asked us to filter off the crema from his espresso before scoring it for taste. These new approaches to competition coffee are a challenge to judge but exactly what makes the WBC event so exciting, taking specialty coffee in new directions. I recommend checking out these routines on http://www.livestream.com/worldbaristachampionshiplive
As we finished our judging calibration behind the stage we could hear the stadium going crazy, chanting and clapping enough to make the room shake. The competitors then had a nervous wait through sponsor gratitudes before the final placings were announced.
6. John Gordon - UK
5. Miki Suzuki - Japan
4. Javier Garcia - Spain
3. Matt Perger - Australia
2. Pete Licata - USA
1. Alejandro Mendez - El Salvador
With Alejandro winning, the WBC had it's first winner from a major producer nation and was understandably given our Sth American location, a hugely popular result. His routine was really amazing and he a deserved WBC 2011 Champion.
Today was spent at a very incomplete exhibition centre conducting mock judging routines to ensure standards are as high from tomorrow on, as expected at the world level. Aymon from NZ had the task of performing 6 times in 1 day doing both himself and NZ very proud, showing why NZ is such a force in the coffee comp world.
The big show kicks off tomorrow morning, Thurs 8.15am local time. Singapore leads off the competition with 52 further nations competing over the next 2 days. Day 3 sees the top 12 compete and Sunday the elite top 6. The event is live streamed and commentated for those coffee geeks wanting a piece of the action, see the World Barista Championship website. Hideyoko from NZ competes 51st 3.15pm Friday local time.
Tomorrow will see me judging Sweden, Guatemala and Brazil, from 2.15 pm. Should be a strong flight of competitors. Brydon.
Tomorrow brings the first day of Judging duties here in Bogota, it's calibration day.All the judges,sensory and technical, will be put through our paces to make sure we are on the same page as to what deserves a 1 and what may deserve the elusive 6. We'll be judging non competing baristas all day and hauled into line if altitude sickness has us scoring whack. Team NZ is represented tomorrow with Amon,2nd palce national barista of Bell Tea and Coffee, throwing down a routine using El Salvador coffee roasted at the source a week ago whilst visiting farms. This stuff is pretty magic apparently and we're all keen to taste it.
Below is a pic of the roastery we visited here in Bogota today, Amore Perfecto Coffee. They have a great set up using three roasters to provide fine Colombian coffee to the local market, something we've generally struggled to find on the ground here in the city. It's Cauca being roasted here in the pic but they also use a lot of Huila coffee from southern Colombia, an area I am lucky enough to be visiting next week.Thanks to Amore for being great hosts to yet another team of foreigners traipsing through their business, mucho gracias.
Will report from a half built convention centre, they don't rush anything in Bogota, tomorrow. Brydon.