2013-11-08

Spro Ops

Sketching out a spreadsheet to do Monte Carlo simulations on customer orders, to estimate coffee grind costs. Taking into account various ways in which waste occurs, and modelling those... hmm.
Chilling an espresso without diluting it - cold stones, cold mug, or liquid n2. Hmm.

---

Actually I just thought of another way - get the group-head handle with the largest surface area - probably a double-spout handle... and dunk it in freezing water for 15 seconds before attaching an already-tamped basket of coffee grounds to it, then pulling the shot immediately. This should be interesting... we'll find out one day...

Modified group-head handle. Where did I put my sintering 3D printer...

Getting Sorted

Money work: I meddled with my colleague's coffee calibration right before we got six orders, and regretted it. So, my hypothesis that it's inefficient to mess with other people's calibration unless it has been lost due to bean-environment-interaction is, so far, upheld. Need to do less of that in the future. Even if encouraged to do so. Aside, cursory benefits of working in F&B include having your upstream vendor's CEO drop by to see what your ops are doing with his stuff, then have him start to argue that what is being tasted is not like grass... but like hay.

Pitching work: Didn't put anything on paper, but at least I readied the XLSX files for modelling the kopitiam2.0's finances. Also tried to rope in a local content specialist for a newsstand2.0 annexe to the kopitiam2.0. We'll see where that goes. I.e. today, grandstanding > financial planning.

Hobby work: reviewed the Haskell-MongoDB software pairing that I was working on a few months ago before taking time off from that to focus on the coffee shop client. Seems like not much has changed in the programming languages world, in six months, except that Scala's popularity seems to have popped - probably due to the TWTR's IPO... up 80% now, good for y'all who bought some. Things I should read, which I don't immediately have time to (perhaps time to get a tablet again):
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_single_assignment_form
(2) http://info.10gen.com/rs/10gen/images/MongoDB-Performance-Considerations_2.4.pdf

Reflection: time for !@#$%^&* bed... got an opening shift in the AM.

Realestate: I really need to get an update from my lawyer. :(

The next day:
9 hours at the farm.
Clock out on the dot.
See colleagues - delete.
See hot bod in pumps - delete.
Going home.
Pursuing open opportunities.
Fighting traffic.
Going home.
Relearning Vim, Ubuntu, Haskell, Cabal, GitHub, MongoDB after 6-7 months of inactivity. Sigh. And Markdown.

2013-11-07

Life: Good, Bad, Ugly

Ok, so after work today I had enough energy to clean my flat. Finally. Now I can sleep on the floor by the glass balcony door again - it's beautiful. I wanted to go straight onto Kaggle and have some fun relearning the Haskell-MongoDB stack that I was studying nine months ago. But something more straightforward is needling me to get it done - I need to hack out the financial model for a Kopitiam 2.0 idea now that an experienced F&B investor has actually asked me to produce one. Sigh. I guess I should do what's good for me, and get the latter done first...

Acidity

Third-wave pet peeve #1: they reinvented the definition of acidity to point to anything other than the fundamental cause of sourness. Unlike in wine and culinary practice where acidity refers to all forms of sourness, back of throat, tip of tongue, etc. But I could be mistaken in this belief.

I like that this article doesn't take the view "acidity = brightness, but acidity =/= sourness". So the article author uses more standardised language than many third-wave aficionados I've read-up/spoken-to.

Also, yay, QUINIC acid, the name of a common stinger. A pointer that I need to remember. I'm a bit more sensitive to stingy sensations, given that I don't drink booze much, it seems. But how about other acids in coffee?

Feely Thoughts

As far as feelings are concerned, I sure wish life didn't feel like a continuous paddle through an ocean of tribbles.

Feelings aside, I find it reasonable to believe that I sufficiently contain my feelings, in order to preserve the happiness of organisations around me.

2013-11-06

Coffee Cupping & Double-dipping

Someone needs to popularise a cupping protocol that doesn't allow double dipping.
it's considered "normal" for cuppings to involve the following (in a less orderly fashion):

Cycle 1.
1.1. Everyone has a spoon (or a few spoons).
1.2. Everyone's spoon goes into a cup for the first time, let's call it cup A.
1.3. Everyone's spoon touches their respective lips during sipping/slurping/sucking.
1.4. Everyone rinses their spoon in a common bowl of clear water.

Cycle 2.
2.1. Everyone's spoon goes into the next cup, let's call it cup B.
(continues until everyone has tasted all the coffee)

At step 1.3., each spoon has been in direct contain with thousands of bacteria, virii, etc.

At step 1.4., the common bowl's water now potentially contains the sum of all the germs above.

At step 2.1., we actually introduce trace particles of flavour from 1.4. along with all the above germs into cup B.

By the time we've reached step 2.4. everyone effectively has been exposed to everyone else's germs.

It's not rocket science. It's just normal in the coffee cupping community...

... anyway, if I were to stay in this industry, someday I'd like to be able to afford a cupping setup with zero double-contact situations for transmission of germs and/or particles. I suppose the short-term solution is just to have hundreds of spoons. LOL
Autoclaves. That is all. But my boss would laugh at me. Haha.

Off Day

OFF DAY. But I'll probably be back at ye'olde coffee shop leeching on the wi-fi. Math studies begin again!
Unit repaired. Nothing like 12 hours sleep after a good three day workout.
Later:

Ubuntu & miscellaneous software stacks updated. Miscellaneous charity work for ex-client completed - looking forward to final removal from DropBox tomorrow. Spending the rest of the evening consolidating thoughts on position and how to fit studies around the bartending routine.

2013-11-05

Thoughts in traffic

With ap's out to McKs, BCG, GOOG, and AAPL, I think I need to reduce my potential for rejection and do some math instead.

HOLD THE PLEBEIAN ASPIRATIONS. Let's, get, nerdy... back to studying! And no more applications until I collect this round of rejection notices. Or something like that.
Let's see... really long day, closed at 11:40pm (we were late), opened at 9:00am (I was late), trucked through Fed traffic from KL to Subang to buy food supplements, watched a movie, played Dota with the social gamers, trucked home to Kajang, and will be supposedly on site for work in KL at 8:00am in less than four hours.

But it's the first time since March 2009 that I'm not either (i) helping someone launch a business, (ii) in a relationship that requires constant maintenance, or (iii) inundated with studies and infrastructural concerns. Life is good, for a while. My responsibilities are trivial. Let's see how long I can keep this up.

Probably not too long since, if I start studying again tomorrow, I'll be chasing a syllabus, and that just puts an end to the carefree life... oh well, it's been a fun four days of "leave".

:P

The next day, we had a nice two hour rush and broke sales records with 110-120 orders. After my shift, I hung out and talked to friends, old and new.
Having the freedom to recreate to the point of exhaustion, such that uncommon weaknesses show themselves, is a luxury I currently enjoy. Whee. How long.

2013-11-03

Woman

There are days when I love her, while it's uncivil to tell her so. She's every pretty face on a body, and no one that needs to feel special.

Chinese Copywriting

So today I told the 24-hour-beef-noodle-stall guy that the (third-wave coffee) place where I work at is...
"美国咖啡店... 比 Starbucks 更有行..."
1. I'm not sure that's the best way to translate our value proposition to this audience.

2. Someone might shoot me in the face for this.

LOL

Meanwhile I'm proposing that they look into dealing with what seems to be the only company owning farms in Indonesia and a roaster in the Klang Valley. At least for greens. We can curate our roasters. It's totally in line with out branding and operations requirements.

I'm only happy when it slams. Come on weekend crowd. Show yourself. Zzzz.