I admit I was so wrapped up in getting John Pierre's roasts done and helping get him a good base for what will be a crazy experience, I only had a few moments to watch the zombie Jesus parade as it was on the way to Harvard Sq. I didn't really know what it was but wasn't the least bit fazed as is often the case when you live in a place like Cambridge for very long.
Highlights of the day were taking JP for lunch at what was his first try at Mexican food and then getting his reaction as we dropped into a couple of cafes. Much of the day was spent trying to get a firm idea on Rwandan cuisine, comparing roast styles, pulling shots, and the likes. On a personal level, it is great to work with people who want to learn and willing to absorb anything you can throw at them. So much of my time gets spent dealing with drama and non coffee stuff that it's refreshing to just work on the coffee.
The big lesson was that this is something we do enjoy doing. While Ben K. might occasionally risk burning down Hi-Rise for forgetting to turn off grills and be averse to mops, he is good at training for competitions. On the oddball notes, JP brought only a small amount of his competition coffee, Kivu with him so we had to arrange a little more coffee. Ben K. contacted his friend at Terroir and got a little of their current Rwanda for JP as a backup. I was not prepared for how difficult this coffee would be to roast. It was not anything in the behavior itself but the oddity was in coloration and the core of the roasted bean. It was hard not to burn and strangely difficult to roast. I have no real clue why but it was a bit like if Rod Serling wrote the script and we suddenly were having tipping and scorching when the roast should be too conservative as is. There is a lot of pressure when a last moment competition roast comes in for the World Barista Competition. We did get him a solid roast to work with and JP will have many other things to think about besides the coffee in the next few days.