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

Kjartansson Mugs

Designed by friend and designer Stefán Kjartansson, our new mugs feature Stefan’s fonts Cumulus and Foam and Black Slabbath, which is featured on our wall in our Westside location. Pick up a pair while they last!

$10 ea.

Photo by Stefan Kjartansson

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