USBC signature drinks

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USBC signature drinks

Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:03 pm

I haven't seen much talk about this anywhere else, but what did attendees or judges see or hear (or taste) - of the sig drinks of the competitors?

was is it the traditional espresso-as-dessert approach, or was it something edgier, that pushed espresso forward?

how about Jon's drink?
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Postby James Hoffmann on Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:29 am

Ben has some video online here

As always Jon Lewis was inspiring, I love his style and the ideas behind his drinks.
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Postby Klaus on Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:51 am

It's really cool to watch those videos over here on the other side of the pond so shortly after the competition. All the signature drinks looked really creative.
I really liked Billy's approach to his signature drink - to accentuate the flavours that are allready in the Hair Bender. Seems like most people had found their own, personal approach this year.

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Postby sarahdelilah on Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:33 am

we'll have a rundown including photos and ingredients of many of the drinks from the usbc in the june/july issue of barista mag. there were some really amazing drinks and inspired technique on display!
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Postby )on on Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:02 pm

I guess the videos tell the stories of the signature drinks better than any medium short of tasting them ourselves. While I had the flavor components I wanted for my drink, I struggled with its concept and construction right up to the competition... until I deconstructed it.

I was esctatic to find unique glassware to create an interesting relationship of separation and integration of the blood orange juice and the creme anglaise (tempted to call it a vertical layer, but I think that's been trademarked). But serving the straight shot in a separate vessel (nods to Billy, the purist) allows the judges to create their own taste balance according to how much of each they'd like to drink.

Outside of the competition, I thought it would be a good introductory drink for espresso virgins and an indulgent drink for espresso lovers. The creme anglaise is a universal recipe any barista can recreate, and the herb, spice, fruit is utterly open to interpretation - add what you think enhances the espresso experience.

It's so difficult to create a drink that you hope the judges will like - but I guess a signature should be a signature. If I were a judge I'd want to be surprised.
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Postby onocoffee on Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:39 am

Creme Anglaise and Blood Oranges....

I'm just a hack compared to this.
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Postby xristrettox on Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:32 am

the most expensive blood oranges known to man
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Postby James Hoffmann on Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:53 pm

onocoffee wrote:Creme Anglaise and Blood Oranges....

I'm just a hack compared to this.


Nah - I loved the idea of your drink, I'm a big fan of tobacco in sig drinks, I think it can taste amazing.

If ever you feel like posting up the recipe....

(that goes for everyone actually, though feel free to wait til after Bern, as I wouldn't want to seem like I am stealing anyone's ideas!)
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Postby onocoffee on Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:09 pm

Jim-

Actually, I am writing an article for my blog that will delve into detail the process of developing my sig drink and a simple How-To. Probably be ready next week.
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Postby bz on Fri Apr 14, 2006 3:52 pm

mark prince thinks jon's delivery was the stuff of wbc action. the more i think about it, the more i tend to agree. it took me awhile to get into it. but it was very high-concept. very cool.

billy's sig ... man. i'd love to see some exact specs for that one (maybe on the near-forgotten blog?).

glad the video could jump-start some global chat. don't miss jay's show-stealer (here).

saw a claim on CG that judges had trouble with billy's egg whites (to which i say: travel some). any other judge reax out there?
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Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:02 pm

It looks like Jon must have lost some points on technical details and possibly billy too; do the judges still hit you hard for thwapping the dose lever too much? I wonder too how the judges reacted to billy's sig drink. I remember in the past WBC judges tend to frown upon semi-liquid drink concoctions. Jon's drink seemed to be reminiscient of Troels drink last year. I liked ellie's use of frozen grapes - one could do some really amazing things with wine grapes.

just my 3 cents...
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Postby xristrettox on Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:57 pm

bz wrote:saw a claim on CG that judges had trouble with billy's egg whites (to which i say: travel some). any other judge reax out there?


hey, you got a link to that?

thanks!
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Postby )on on Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:25 pm

Was so wiped I didn't even take time to look at the judges breakdown - had my dosing (at least the number of thwacks) dialed in - actual dose a different story. I challange a judge to count Billy's thwacks - average of 45 per. The stage is definitely set for timed grinding and no doser as we know it.

I definitely borrowed a page from Troels' book.

Blood orange juice - worth every cent.
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Postby Mark Prince on Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:15 pm

Billy - there was some voiced concern about *warm* egg whites (ie, warm, or room temp before being used) in the beverage, IIRC the discussion correctly.

I'm not any way a chef or an expert on egg whites and whether or not cold is less salmonella (sp?) susceptible or not.

If I had to guess, I'd equate it with chicken. Raw chicken can go bad VERY fast if left on the counter.

Neway, some concern about that was expressed at the show. I don't remember reading about it on CG myself.

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Postby Alistair Durie on Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:42 pm

MarkP wrote:Billy - there was some voiced concern about *warm* egg whites (ie, warm, or room temp before being used) in the beverage, IIRC the discussion correctly.

I'm not any way a chef or an expert on egg whites and whether or not cold is less salmonella (sp?) susceptible or not.

If I had to guess, I'd equate it with chicken. Raw chicken can go bad VERY fast if left on the counter.


very low risk. in most eggs, if salmonella bacteria exists it would be found on the shell. while it is possible for raw eggs to contain salmonella, it would usually be due to improper handling or old eggs. if you're really freaked out you can scald your eggs in boiling water for 5 seconds before cracking.

raw egg whites do not readily support bacterial growth. raw eggs are used in tons of deserts, mousse and chiffon for examples.

i consider them totally safe for eating. as for chicken there is no comparison.
lets hope the judges are not misinformed.

some more info:
http://www.mercola.com/2003/feb/5/eggs_salmonella.htm
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Postby Mike Paras on Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:40 am

xristrettox wrote:
bz wrote:saw a claim on CG that judges had trouble with billy's egg whites (to which i say: travel some). any other judge reax out there?


hey, you got a link to that?

thanks!


Maybe it was barry's comment in this Home-Barista thread: HB regarding the taste of uncooked egg white.

I referenced the uncooked egg in a CG thread about Matt Riddle's appearance on Fox&Friends just because one of the hosts was being a bit prissy about trying his drink.

FWIW, when I saw that 4 egg whites were used in the drink it reminded me of an article I read in Discover about molecular gastronomy which mentioned making large volumes of meringue from a single egg white. The technique used might not be adaptable to the temperatures of the signature beverage, tho.
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Postby bz on Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:11 am

my bad, billy. it was indeed this HB comment from barry to which i was referring -- not CG.

i dunno if salmonella was what the fear was. when i make eggnog (the real way) every christmas, i always get people scrunch up their noses at just the idea of raw eggs, even though they know there's really an incredibly small chance of anything "bad" happening.

i still say to travel a bit. there are a lot of places in europe and tony joints in urban areas of the u.s. where egg whites are a favorite ingredient and such a drink would be considered high-concept. the "ewww" factor seems more of a mental block of the general populace. judges should be able to get past that, IMO.
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Postby Mark Prince on Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:57 am

Billy, talk to Andrew Barnett about the egg whites and judges. I think he can give you the full scoop on the finals. Again, IIRC, there was some minor concern, but I saw no indication that the judges let it affect the score one way or another.

Suggestion though - if you use that in the future, dropping in a "totally safe ingredient" into your barista talkin wouldn't be a bad idea - same goes for any competitor using an ingredient that may raise concerns.

If I were judging, I can tell you I wouldn't have any concerns at all, but that's only because I have an iron stomach. ;)

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Postby aaronblanco on Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:11 am

Suggestion though - if you use that in the future, dropping in a "totally safe ingredient" into your barista talkin wouldn't be a bad idea - same goes for any competitor using an ingredient that may raise concerns.


on whom is the onus, the barista to explain the ingredients' safeness or the judge(s) to 'travel a bit' as bz says? one would think that as baristas continue to try different ingredients/techniques with prep that this issue may surface again.
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Postby Mark Prince on Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:28 am

I would say that if the barista is using non conventional ingredients in a drink (for eg, egg whites, or kangaroo meat, or cayenne pepper, etc. etc.) that they not only inform the judges, but tell them what to expect and if there are any health concerns.

In my case, I'm allergic to certain mushrooms. I'd certainly want to know if they were in a beverage.

Mark
PS. A barista will never lose out in a comp by fully explaining the obscure or unusual - I think HP proved that. But there is the potential to lose if they don't. I'm not saying that Billy lost anything this time around by that. But the onus should be on the performer to fully explain, and in ways, anticipate any potential concern judges may have.
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Postby bz on Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:52 am

the onus should be on the performer to fully explain


kangaroo meat? yes. egg whites? i disagree. like i said ... this is a common high-end ingredient in many classy places around the world (and the u.s.). and high-end beverages are what competitors are purporting to create. he told them what the ingredient was ... if anyone was allergic, they had their notice.
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Postby Steve on Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:23 pm

Playing devils advocate a little here but should the onus be on the judge to make aware any things they are allergic to, in case the performer doesn't want the Judge to be biased towards ingredients in their drink? Kind of sucks as an argument reading it back but I've typed it now :)

But most importantly you put your self up to be a judge you should be open minded about any ingredient and unless there is an allergic/ medical reason I think you should try what ever as part of your duties.
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Postby malachi on Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:27 pm

MarkP wrote:Billy - there was some voiced concern about *warm* egg whites (ie, warm, or room temp before being used) in the beverage, IIRC the discussion correctly.

I'm not any way a chef or an expert on egg whites and whether or not cold is less salmonella (sp?) susceptible or not.

If I had to guess, I'd equate it with chicken. Raw chicken can go bad VERY fast if left on the counter.

Neway, some concern about that was expressed at the show. I don't remember reading about it on CG myself.

Mark


Little to no health risks.
If judges were seriously concerned about this and it affected their scoring than that is more an indication of the weakness of current judging than anything about Billy's drink.

There is no comparison with chicken. Chicken is an incredibly risky food product to be blunt. Not in the same league as raw shellfish - but far, far higher risk than egg whites.
Actually... organic ground fruits (strawberries for example) are far higher risk than egg whites.
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Postby Mark Prince on Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:46 pm

malachi wrote:Little to no health risks.
If judges were seriously concerned about this and it affected their scoring than that is more an indication of the weakness of current judging than anything about Billy's drink.


Sorry, but that is a complete bullshit statement.

There's no weakness. If you expect the judging pool to know everything about every culinary aspect of every single food item on the planet, I would say the weakness is your over expectations of the judges. For someone who's expertise is coffee and espresso, and not how to make a soufle, I wouldn't discredit any judge from wondering if a raw egg vs. something cooked into food has any health concerns.

As I mentioned to Billy, check in with Andrew B. on this. The only thing I know is a concern was raised; it's quite possible someone who did know more about eggs would have set the record straight at the time.

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Postby aaronblanco on Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:08 pm

well, it probably goes without saying that if a judge has a history if food allergies or the like, she/he may not be the most solid candidate to be trying foods or beverages that may exacerbate those allergies.

that may be an overreaching example, but steve's post just above, an open mind is key--on both sides of the table

and that's probably the way it is at least 99.9% of the time.
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