Eugene Cho

the barista champion

Last week, I was bored and wrote a short post asking people’s feedback about  Zoka’s or Stumptown Coffee as we change coffee roasters for Q Cafe 2.0.  I was lookingn for a few responses but the comments kinda went crazy.  I guess it speaks to the fact that people many people feel strongly about coffee and that Seattle/Northwest truly is the coffee capital of the world.  That or people in the Northwest really are coffee snobs.

One of the posters was someone named Dismas Smith and he also gave his opinion.  He later emailed and invited me to visit him at his cafe in Fremont, Seattle.  Initially, I didn’t even consider it because it seemed sort of random and well, I have a fear of the occasional blogger stalker…

Well, little did I know that Dismas Smith happens to be a superstar in the coffee industry world.  Why?  He was the 2002 North America Barista Champion!  He’s a legend here in Seattle…

Long story short, I trekked my wake to Dismas’ new coffee shop called Stickman Cafe.  He was generous enough to make me a complimentary champion caliber vanilla latte with smooth foam and beautiful artwork.  We had a chance to chat a little and he offered some great advice as we re:boot Q Cafe 2.0.  Thanks Dismas.  I really appreciate it.

If you’re in that part of Seattle, please visit his cafe – for your sake.  You’re really in for a treat.  It’s right next to the Lenin statue in Fremont [For those outside of Seattle…Yes, that Lenin].  Let him know that I sent you…

And for those who are wondering which coffee roaster we’ve chosen to go with…we’ve decided to just go with Folgers.  [NOTE:  This is a joke.  Please don’t freak out.]

folgers.jpg

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13 Responses

  1. timiekley says:

    depressing… Very depressing.

  2. chrismarlow says:

    dude I’m so jealous. the fruits of blogging 🙂

  3. Nathan says:

    Why not Sanka? Just curious.

  4. Pat says:

    My grandma will LOVE Q Cafe 2.0 😉

  5. Jeremy says:

    I think Stickman would be a good choice… still supporting local. I would like to say my comment on the earlier thread about Stickman and Dismas put you together (would feed my coffee geek ego), but I know that’s pushing it.

    I talked with the owner of Zoka’s the other day and told him about your thread. You may get a visit from him as well :). I think you should hold an open competition just to keep the thread alive… but you obvious choice of Folgers has closed the argument I suppose.

    It’s gotta feel nice to be loved :).

  6. e cho says:

    tim: sorry man. the folger’s thing was a joke. we’ve pushed back our open date to the 22nd so that we can visit the local roasters, talk to the owners, and do our due diligence. i would have contacted you but we made up our mind early that we wanted to stay local with folks that could respond to situations within an hour.

  7. e cho says:

    jeremy: we had a good chat with nathan from zoka’s and also folks from stumptown. many are correct: i think when you get to a certan level of espresso, “great” will be subjective. you really can’t go wrong with either one. but we’re wanting to see what would be the best partnership. if the owner of zoka’s has time to chat with us, that’ll be great. we’re making our decision at the latest by next tuesday.

  8. chad says:

    maxwell house….it has that, “tastes like it’s been sitting lukewarm in the pot for a week,” taste….

  9. Ben says:

    i finally had a doppio espresso at stumptown today – for sure the best espresso i’ve had in seattle period. much better than zokas. better than even vivace.

    i’ll have to visit stickman cafe.

  10. timiekley says:

    Its all good man. Glad you aren’t selling out for folgers… I have to admit I was a little bewildered when I saw it… Thanks for all your posts – I am a faithful reader!

  11. timiekley says:

    P.S. – You know my pastor (Todd Hiestand) – He is an alright guy…

  12. Andy says:

    Eugene,

    I think you initially scared ALOT of people with your weird humor by posting the Folgers thing. I wasn’t sure as well.

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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