It’s Competition Time Again!

Well, that special time of year is upon us again. No, I’m not talking about those chilly months with endless nights of cocoa, holiday coniferous trees and audacious light-shows. I’m talking about BARISTA COMP SEASON!

It all came a little sooner than any of us in the Southeast were expecting, but the field of barista competitors descending upon Atlanta in the coming week is phenomenal. There’s talent flying in from Washington DC, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia, not to mention Octane’s own three champions representing our fine hometown. Be ready to have your socks knocked off by some competitors that are at the very top of their games.

Also, in true #serbc fashion, look for plenty of awesome coffees to try and good times to have in the days surrounding the competition itself. Here are a couple events you don’t want to miss!

Thursday, Nov 29 – SERBC Thursday Night Throwdown

http://www.facebook.com/events/309101662529789/

Condesa Coffee, 7PM
480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave
Old 4th Ward

Be here with a couple tricks up your sleeves. I’ve seen a couple of these competitors in action, and their tulips make me shake in my boots. Sign-ups are $5, winner keeps the whole thing.

Friday, Nov 30 – SERBC PARTY!

http://www.facebook.com/events/432261070157170/

Ponce City Market
650 North Ave NE
Old 4th Ward

Hosted by Atlanta friends and SERBC-sponsors Batdorf & Bronson, this party is certainly not to be missed. Shmooze with the best in the biz and enjoy some good ole-fashioned Southern hospitality. Get down with a Southern tradition and sign up in the Cornhole tournament for some sweet prizes. I think they’re giving away grinders…

Saturday, Dec 01 – BGA Party
Octane Coffee at The Jane
437 Memorial Drive, suite A5
Grant Park

If you don’t have your BGA membership, you really should. Continued education, street cred, sleep-away camp… this organization has it all. So get your pin and head over to Grant Park on Saturday night for an evening of craft-cocktail-induced debauchery at the hands of the Southeasts’ Finest Spro-Slingers! If you don’t have a membership, just try to waddle in underneath someone’s coat or something. The spread will be worth the risk.

Sunday, Dec 02 – Finals!
Ponce City Market
650 North Ave NE
Old Fourth Ward

This is it! The six finalist competitors face off Sunday morning. You don’t want to miss this. These guys and girls are gonna go all out for you. They’ve got all their beans in one hopper and they’re ready to grind it out for the trophy. So come and see the fireworks, and then find that special someone in the crowd and ask them out to brunch. We have loads of good brunch places in the ATL. Just ask.

All right, that about does it for the competition recap. If you can’t make it out to show some love this weekend, stop by an Atlanta shop this week and show your support! Ask to taste a competition espresso. Ask for a cappuccino, but for the barista to split those shots and give you one on the side. Your barista will love you forever if you do this.

Can’t wait to see you all!

-Octane

Filling Station, vol. I

Hey All!

It’s seems like we’re always cooking up something new for you folks, here at Octane Coffee. If it isn’t a new coffee bean we’re losing our minds over, it’s a new seasonal small bite or a limited-run craft beer. We even began dabbling in the world of haute supper clubbery with our first-ever Beer Dinner, a five-course feast designed by our kitchen and paired with an oak-barrel-aged milk stout from New Holland Brewing.

All this to say that sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the mix. Never fear! The Filling Station is here to keep you headed on the right track. Did you ever want to know when the next cask night was happening? Or how many layers Stevie dropped into that tulip at the last latte art throwdown? Now you don’t have to wonder. It’s all gonna be right here. And he dropped 7 layers, by the way. It was absurd.

For now, however, let’s start simple. This month is already half over and we still have loads to accomplish at all three of our Atlanta shops, not to mention the newest edition to the Octane family, Octane Birmingham, which should be gracing the Homewood neighborhood of Birmingham early next year. Y’all be patient!

Over on the Westside, John’s got some great new coffee’s on the menu. If you haven’t tried that Cauca Timbio from Colombia, you really should. It comes hot out of the press with smoothe notes of peanut butter and cocoa and finishes sweetly and gently. This is a great all-day coffee that we know you’ll love.

The art on the walls is pretty spectacular, too. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the snake-wranglin’ preachers in West Virginia, but photographer Michael Donovan was able to capture the intensity of it quite remarkably in our current exhibition.

At the Pocket Bar, Keelan has been in high gear prepping for the big barista competition later this month. If you catch him on bar, which you probably will, sweet-talk him into a shot of his competition espresso. It’s incredible. It’s got body, it’s got depth, and it’s got swagger.

Over in Grant Park, we’ve just launched a series of dinners paired with seasonal, craft brews. We’re calling them Octane Beer Dinners, and they’re going to help you get through the winter. Each month, we’ll present to you a multi-course feast curated around one of those craft brews we keep mentioning. This month, we paired spicy pumpkin soup, sweet potato gnocchi and sauerbraten with an oak-aged milk stout. Genius, we know. Just wait til you see you next months’ menu…

So, last but not least, the Southeast Regional Barista Competition, or #serbc if you speak hash-tag, is just around the corner. On November 30th, the best baristas all over the Southeastern United States will converge upon Atlanta to throw down in epic, caffeine-laden battle. The competition pits barista against barista in a battle of wits, and of technique. At the end of it all, the spro-slinger in that top spot get’s to represent for his or her city in the National competition next year.

For some of us in the coffee biz, this is our moment to really let our coffees shine. If ever you wanted to experience the pinnacle of our craft and enjoy lots of free brown drink in the process, you should definitely make your way to Ponce City Market on November 30th and check out the circus. If you’re having trouble finding it, just get to Ponce City Market and start sniffing. You’ll find it sooner than you think.

All right, everyone, this sort of brings us to a close. Make sure to hop over to our blog around the same time next month for your next fill-up!

-Octane

Octane at The Jane

You’ve asked for it, you’ve waited for it, and finally, we’re here to deliver!

The Eastside of Atlanta will finally get their very own Octane Coffee, when we open shop in Grant Park within a few weeks.  We are sharing the space with The Little Tart Bakeshop. You probably know them from the many farmers markets that they participate in.  If you don’t know them, you should and we’re excited to collaborate with them on this new space.

This spot at the historic Jane will be a brand new concept featuring many exciting things such as:

-Manually brewed single-origin coffee featuring our classic french press style, as well as a slick new pourover rail for custom filter brews

-Cutting edge espresso technology, for more tastier espresso shots

-beautiful inside and outside café seating space

Last but not least, we will be launching full table service after 5PM.  This will be combined with not just our coffee offerings, but craft and local beers, wine,  a new and improved cocktail menu, and an open kitchen which will be pumping out a seasonal small plate menu for those who need great munchies to go along with great beverages.  Oh, did we mention the return of Wiener Wednesdays?

This is something not done in your typical coffeeshop, but we’ve never strived for being typical.  We’re here for you Atlanta, and we want to be your morning and night hangout spot, no matter what you imbibe!

Wanna stay updated?  You can follow us on Twitter @octaneatthejane for updates, news, plans for opening.  It’s coming fast!

Coming Soon…Octane Pocket Bar

This Spring, Octane will open a new ‘Pocket Bar’ location in the Bank of America Plaza located at 600 Peachtree Street NE., in downtown Atlanta.

 

Situated on the ground floor of the tallest building in the city, this walk up location will feature our hand crafted espresso based classics, with the addition of a pour over coffee bar. Additionally we will offer tasty pastries, select house made sandwiches and snacks + premium sodas and juices.

Patrons will be able to conveniently access this location by foot or by taking MARTA to the North Avenue station, which is located across the street from the BoA Plaza. By car, customers may utilize the building parking deck with entrances located off North Avenue & Peachtree Street.

We are very excited about this new, unique location, and look forward to serving you here very soon!

Here to serve you more…

Starting…NOW! Octane Westside is now open until 11pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet…

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet….

..shall keep Ben Helfin from the Nuova Simonelli.

Today, January 11th, 2011, despite all the crazy ice and snow we here in Atlanta are frozen under, Octane will be open (Thanks Ben!), starting around now (10 am) until TBD. So please walk up and allow Ben to craft you an exceptional coffee based beverage, a cocktail, or a beer. No driving!

Be safe everyone!

Espresso + Coca-Cola

Espresso + coca-cola on ice. We call it the Ameri-cola, a true atlanta coffee drink. Only available at octane.

Image by Ted Ullrich

Slabbath Wall

The Slabbath Wall goes up at Westside.

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