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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Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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