So, it's nearly 2009...and therefore nearly time for competition heats...crap...so, to date I've had one real practice run through, and used the San Remo machine for twenty minutes...I've done fe'k all on my Sig drink except buy glasses and screw up my one attempt at them. So, tonight ladies and gentlemen, you find me brewing up all manner of concoctions...grinding up cinnamon sticks by hand while trying to boil a syrup without burning the cinnamon already in there...and type this at the same time.
So what is my sig drink? Why do I need syrups? Why don't I brew them there and then? Simple; one less thing to do. The reason I'll give though is that in order not to burn the spices they need to be simmered over a long period rather than boiled quickly. Sounds alright...doesn't it? As for what my sig drink is, it's a spiced mocha. The base of this is Union's Revelation espresso blend, with it's cherry opening, zesty acidity and spicy chocolate/caramel finish, combined with a cinnamon and a cardamom syrup. The theory is that the cinnamon will give the sweet spice flavour as well as a wonderful aroma, while the cardamom adds the middle note while contributing to the aroma. This is how it is working out in my head. No doubt tomorrow it'll all go tits up and I'll cry.
To make my drink a mocha, I am obviously using chocolate as well. This will be based on a chocolate I already know goes well with the Revelation; a single source chocolate from Hotel Chocolat. It has a fantastic dark chocolate taste, with a hint of caramel; exactly what my spiced mocha needs...again, this is in my head.
As an aside, I'm very sorry that my Christmas post is taking so long to get out. I've been very busy lately so I hope you'll forgive me. However, by ways of an apology, tomorrow night I'll post a series of tastings of the Hasbean coffees I got for Christmas, as well as a review of the Gaggia Classic-Starbucks Barista Grinder combo I was using on Christmas day.
Back to the work at hand. I'm going to be honest, I am no cook. I've been making this syrup now for half an hour, and I'm scared to take it off the heat in case it's not quite ready and I bollocks up all this time. But, who dares wins, so off it has come.
Anyway, rather than bore you with a play-by-play account of me screwing up a simple syrup, I'll just take you through the rest of my comp. stuff.
My coffee is, as said before, Revelation. I use this every day at work and know it inside out. Or at least I thought I did until I took the producer notes and actually tasted the coffee. Be it stress, or a new-found palatte, but the coffee really came to life. I now have a full page of notes on it that I need to condense into a 30 second speech. My milk, well, I'm cheap so it's gonna be Cravendale. Besides, I love the creamy heaven that is a Cravendale-made capp. And I know from past experience it works wonderfully with Revelation. Music? Well, this one's been the thing I've really focussed on. I wanted something I love to work to, which the crowd could get into, and which made me feel confident.
When it comes to competition music, Steven Morrissey really stands out. His music had EVERYONE on their feet. I even spent three months trying to find out what it was. I aimed for that with my music. My first instinct was to use The Go! Team. They're the official band of Coolaboola, and I love them to bits. Great to work to. I had a playlist together, and was listening to it non-stop, running through my presentation in my head. Then, last week, my iPod cracked out a fantastic tune by a band called the Players. Imagine modern, funky jazz. They remind me of my Mod tendencies, and make me feel more relaxed and confident. It's also something I can really get into a groove to, and I hope the crowd share my enthusiasm for them.
So, this post is already very long. I'll let you get back to your lives. See you tomorrow!
A very scared Seamus.