Please be aware: this is not about coffee.
Dear people who hire people,
Hiring people is not easy. Hiring the right people even less so. This is only compounded by the salesy nature of job hunting. Resumés and cover letters start to sound like pitches. Hiring becomes more about finding the best way to cut through this bullshit and figure out which of these people are actually worth talking to. (Sidenote: resumés are useless and you should stop asking for them.)
If you’re lucky – or more likely if you’re dedicated and thorough – you’ll end up with someone who is awesome. Someone who can do the work that you need to be done and totally gets you as a person and as an organization. That’s living the dream, right there.
If you’re even more lucky, this person strives for success: personally, professionally, and of the organization overall. This is just tops. You’ve just found someone that is going to do the work (without you needing to spend your time managing them into doing it) and also has an understanding of what you do and a head full of ideas regarding how to go about doing it. This person has a lot to offer.
Think twice before you get rid of this person.
Can you believe it? All this love for coffee, all this love for the NY coffee community, and up until last week I had not once set foot in Brooklyn in search of good coffee. Shocking, I know. It’s not that I don’t like Brooklyn. Remember that I live in the suburbs of NJ. It’s a boring, white-picket-fence life that’s not entirely unpleasant*. Working in midtown NYC affords me the luxury of access to amazing coffee, but venturing to Brooklyn can be kind of a pain.
But no more excuses. The list of coffee bars in Brooklyn is just plain to long to ignore.
Cascara isn’t really coffee. It’s often called tea, but it’s not really tea, either. It’s preparation is akin to tea, what with the steeping and all. But so is press pot and Clever brewed coffee, and that’s certainly not tea. I guess cascara is an herbal tea, which some might argue is not actually a tea either, as it does not contain tea leaves.
If you’ve been following along here or on twitter you know I’ve been talking about OQ Coffee quite a bit. They’re a roaster here in NJ that spent the last few months setting up their new shop, which opened just a few weeks ago. I was there, and later went to a small cupping to they put together. In short, the shop is cool, the coffee is good, the people are neat.
But today I’m here to talk about one of their coffees.
No, this is not a New Year post. But seriously, it’s 2013. And I’m a product of the digital age. I like to think that technology and I grew up together. So the question is, why am I taking notes in a notebook?
I’m not generally one to compile end-of-year lists, or write out my resolutions. It’s all a bit too forced-emotional for me. I prefer the path of self reflection and introspection. Further, the New Year has always seemed to me to be an arbitrarily selected date on our marginally arbitrary calendar. I feel much the same about birthdays as well, if you’re curious.
But on the other hand, I do realize that part of blogging is writing about things that are going on in my life and in my head, and allowing strangers to read about it. (Which at this point is basically just this guy and this guy.) So in the interest of full* internet blogging disclosure, here are some reflections on 2012 and hopes/dreams/goals for 2013.
New Jersey – unfortunately – isn’t the best place to find really good coffee. It’s a sad fact. There are a scant few roasters and cafes scattered throughout the state that provide the fine residents with delicious coffee. OQ Coffee is one of them. They are a roaster/retailer/wholesaler based in New Brunswick, NJ. They’ve spent the last few months securing and building out a new location in Highland Park where they not only roast, but serve delicious coffee. The shop opened very recently and just recently they put word out that they would be having a public cupping.
It was this morning.
Pardon the intrusion. You’ll likely start to see the old content creeping back in. Don’t forget about me.
Our biggest enemies are air, moisture, and light, so keep us stored in this one-way valve bag in a cool, dark place. Refrigeration and freezing are not recommended since they expose us to extreme temperatures, moisture and other food odors. For optimal enjoyment, grind us just before brewing as we lose important flavor elements the moment we are ground.
I get asked a lot from friends, family, and acquaintances about how to properly store coffee. It’s hard to convince them to just keep it in the bag in a cool, dry cabinet. Especially when I’ve just told them that it should ideally be brewed within just a couple weeks of roasting. If they might not go through 12 ounces of beans in 2 weeks, they’re instinct tells them to put it in a sealed container in the freezer to tease out some more longevity from their beans.
Nevertheless, the words above are from the good people of Joe New York. This delicious morsel of knowledge is written on the back of all of their bagged coffee. I know all of my coffee friends already have this knowledge. Still, I thought I would post it here for posterity.
I love Thanksgiving.
I realize this is a rather common thing for people to say. I don’t care. I usually don’t like holidays, including birthdays. It’s all forced emotions and dramatic dinners.
But not Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving IS the dramatic dinner. In my family, that means getting together with people you can barely tolerate solely because everyone has something delicious to offer. My parents provide the location, my brother supplies the smoker, my brother-in-law provides his ability to smoke things in that smoker, and my sister provides a hilarious toddler for comic relief.
Me? Well here’s what I provide.
It wasn’t easy to cart this whole setup across town, but it was totally worth it. Mostly because it meant I didn’t have to settle for sub-par coffee all Thanksgiving weekend. Unless it was MY sub-par coffee. So here’s the itemized list.
It was quite a success. I hope you were following along on instagram (#levineturkeyday). We may have half-assed the social media aspect as we were preoccupied with smoked meats and coffee.
Also, here’s a photo of the turkey.
Here’s to the next holiday, when we will likely do the same thing.