My Java Journal

What A Week! Driving Hard Towards My Dream

This past week started with the devastating tornadoes in Ottawa. I fared better than most; only losing power for a few hours. I lost the Internet completely though. Consequently, this denied you last Sunday’s morning coffee companion – your My Java Journal post. Seems like my street was the only one in my community that maintained power, while those around us weren’t so lucky. For me, the Internet was the only persistent loss. I know how lucky I was. The devastation that fellow Ottawanians suffered was heart-wrenching. In contrast though, was once again seeing the community pull together to help those less fortunate.

On Saturday I had to leave this destruction behind and headed for Kingston. I met up with my friend, and business mentor, Kaoru from Cha Cha Tea. On Sunday, Kaoru’s husband joined us as we headed to the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show in Toronto. We wandered the trade show floor the rest of the day, and Monday too.  With many exhibitors peddling their wares, it was education, experience and exposure I was after. The show offered several workshops and panels; I participated in four.

The first was a ‘cupping’ session. This proved an awkward first introduction. It was interesting for certain, and something I will follow up on, but there were protocols and etiquette for which I was not properly initiated.

In contrast, the Barista 101 workshop proved very helpful. It focused on getting the espresso right, nailing the consistency of the milk, and then bringing it all together.

The Fundamentals of Latte Art took milk steaming skills to the next level. You can see in the picture (right) the results of this workshop.

Finally, the Dialing in the Perfect Espresso Shot workshop was the most advanced and detailed. Focused in large part on the scientific aspects of the coffee bean, it was very interesting and provided a great learning foundation for future study.

Above all, it was a great introduction to the wider coffee industry and associated skills.

The next stop was Hamilton. I did this leg of the trip alone. My objective in Hamilton was to visit and meet the owner of a new coffeehouse there.

Emerald Coffee Company is a recently opened gem – pun intended. It is owned by a friend’s brother and is a beautiful and well laid out coffeehouse. A simple menu and two notable (and trending) items are the Kombucha and Nitro brew taps. They round out a direct and concise presentation. It was an insightful visit and well worth the drive.

I stayed ahead of weather and pressed straight home on Tuesday. On Thursday, Kaoru and I once again joined forces; this time in Ottawa. It was Tony Robbins’ The Power of Success event that we next attended. Twelve hours with Tony Robbins and friends. I walked away with a book filled with notes and am now better oriented to achieving my objectives. Despite cramped calves from all the jumping, I am very grateful for a couple of gifted tickets, which I was very happy to share with Kaoru.

Hell, I was also able to apply some aspects of it almost immediately. The next night I hosted my first acoustic open mic night at Anabia Cupcakery Cafe.  I found myself doing jumping jacks and some (conservative) primal screams to get into the right ‘state‘ before kicking off the night. It went well. I look forward to the next one.


So how does one cap off such a great week? A classic fundraiser of course.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride takes place today – 30 September 2018. I will don my best suit and saddle my Triumph Bonneville to raise awareness and money in support to men’s health programs globally, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and it’s charity partner ,The Movember Foundation are tackling prostate cancer and mental health issues.

I have been able to raise over$600 USD ($800 CDN) of a $1000 USD (~$1300 CDN) goal as of this writing. There may still be time to support <here>. What started as a spontaneous effort to ‘do something’ resulted in my meeting initial goals almost immediately. I decided then to push harder and the result has seen me almost triple the donations and I am bearing down on my goal of quadrupling that initial goal of $250 USD. This won’t be the last time I fund-raise for this charity, but if you can spare even $20 today, every bit helps.

A big thank you to those that have already donated.

Now, how do I top this past week? Well, it’s time to focus in and push harder to find a location for this coffeehouse is how …

Happy Sunday and have a great week.