BT Barista Tunes, December 2016


When you grab your morning cup, it’s important for us to create a cozy feeling, from our staff to the music that plays over our speakers. So, we asked our baristas to list some of their favorite tunes that keep them going through the day. Here’s some of their recent favorites…

Tim M., BT Lakeview:
Tame Impala – Eventually
Dave Brubeck – Blue Rondo ala Turk
Japandroids – The Night Of Wine and Roses
Future – Move That Dope (not really, but it’s been stuck in my head for a week)
Pup – Reservoir
The Orwells – Who Needs You
Bass Drum Of Death – Crawling After You
Ryan C., BT Lakeview:
Na Boca Do Sol, Arthur Verocai
Desireé, Blood Orange
Spirit, The Other Song
Closer, 6th Borough Project
Won’t Do, J Dilla
Intimate Friends, Eddie Kendricks
Nx Worries, Droogs
Cranes in the Sky, (Kaytranada Dj edit)
I’m broken Hearted, James Brown
Rio Sinal Verde, Junior Mendes
Dale, BT Lakeview:
Anderson Paak, all of his songs
Jim James new album
Nick W., BT River North:
Françoise Hardy – Voilà

Jack Kerouac (w/ Steve Allen) – October in the Railroad Earth
Hiatus Kaiyote – The Lung
Toots and the Maytals – 54-36 Was My Number
Vince Staples – Birds & Bees
Bryce, BT Chicago Loop:
‘Destroyed by Hippie Powers’ by Carseat Headrest
‘Asthmatic’ by PAWS
And All of that new Radiohead album, but let’s say ‘Ful Stop’.
‘In a Black Out’ by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam.
“The Rat” by the Walkmen
Parry, BT Beverly Hills:
Artist – The Growlers
Song – I’ll Be Around
Alfonso, BT Near West Side:
Visions – Wiz Kalifah from Kush & OJ

Connor, BT Near West Side: 
16 Shots by Vic Mensa
Alcatraz by Oliver Riot
Tired and Awake by Oliver Riot
Silhouette by Mark Diamond

Suggested Reading: The Long History of the Espresso Machine

Have you ever wondered who invented the portafilter, or when and where exactly espresso as we know it today came into existence? The answer to these questions and more can be found as you read on!
Today’s article comes to you from design writer Jimmy Stamp, courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine. Typical to the Smithsonian, this article has some great diagrams, figures, and photographs of espresso machines through the ages, providing insights along the way as to why certain developments took place when and where they did. The article does a great job of walking you through the history of espresso, and how its history informed today’s “starbucksified” world.

Happy reading!

P.S. In case you haven’t already, GO VOTE!

The Article:
The Long History of the Espresso Machine, written for the Smithsonian Magazine in 2012, showcases the development of the Espresso Machine. You will embark on a journey from Moriondo’s early patent for “new steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage” to Achille Gaggia‘s advent of the lever-driven machine and beyond, to modern espresso glory.

What you can learn:

This article offers so many great name drops, equipment details, and some good, old-fashioned historical exploration of a particular element of design through the ages — the Espresso Machine. By reading this article, you can learn who, according to the author, were “the Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs of espresso”. By reading this article, can easily surmise why the “single shot” became the standard for espresso early on in its lifetime. By reading this article, you may unlock the key to life itself. By reading this article, you may get your next design idea for a steampunk-espresso party.

Why the article matters:

Becoming familiar with the history of anything, particularly of something that almost all of us interact with daily, allows us to more profoundly appreciate our present circumstances. A historical mindset also informs our next move — in order to progress in anything, we must understand where we’ve come from.

This article is written from an observational vantage point outside of the specialty coffee industry. From the author’s perspective, espresso preparation was invented as a solution to long wait times at made-to-order coffee houses. As you watch the espresso machine develop throughout time, you begin to understand how people who worked in the industry everyday were unsatisfied with the current state of machinery, and made strides to develop the next great thing.

Coffee & Lake Tahoe

We asked Adam Raymaker, a commercial photographer in San Francisco to share some images of how he enjoys coffee. 

Words & Photos by Adam Raymaker.

“For whatever reason, it took me a long time to think of something to write about to accompany these photos (just ask Jon from Bowtruss). Maybe it’s because that for me, when I’m having coffee, I’m not really thinking about anything else. Having the time to prepare and enjoy coffee is valuable because you can just sit, relax, and be in the moment. For that time, you can ignore any stress you may have and enjoy where you are. It also doesn’t hurt if where you are is the shore of Lake Tahoe.”






You can see more of Adam Raymaker’s work at

New Hours in Roscoe Village

Happy Halloween Coffee Lovers!
Today, Oct. 31st marks the First day of our new hours of operation for our Roscoe Village cafe (2004 w. Roscoe St.).  Going forward, from MondayFriday we will be opening at 7am and Closing at 1pm.  Our Saturday and Sunday will still be operating from 7am-6pm.
The reason for the change in our operating hours is be provide our Team with a Training Lab to ensure our quality is always at its highest, and we can keep growing and providing you with the Best coffee every time you come into our stores!
John Petrenko
Director of Education

Suggested Reading: You Want A Bold Coffee? Great! by Alex Bernson

Thoughts by: David Mays, Director of Continous Education
The Article:
You Want A Bold Coffee? Great!: This brief article was written for Matt Perger’s publication Barista Hustle by guest author Alex Bernson, the assistant editor for another popular coffee publication, Sprudge. (A quick aside: check out Alex’s speech at the SCAA Symposium 2014 about the overall coffee consumer experience — it’s very illuminating and thought-provoking!) This article focuses on coffee qualities and vocabulary, which are essential to the approachable service aspect of what we do at Bow Truss!
What you can learn:
When a guest comes in and asks for a coffee with some particular quality, using a catch-all term like bold, or bright, or strong, how can you both (a) figure out exactly what they mean and what they are looking for in their coffee, and (b) provide efficient, personable and approachable service without talking down to them? Alex discusses this question and offers some tips on how to bridge the gap between the limited vocabulary most consumers have about coffee and the insular, overly technical vocabulary most coffee professionals use to describe coffee.
Why the article matters:
In Alex’s speech at the SCAA Symposium 2014, he states, “Every social interaction is accomplished through acting, even if you’re not always conscious of that acting. But service work is a very conscious form of acting. You need to give a performance that is going to convince a guest that you care about them, and are doing everything you can to make them happy, even if, internally, you might be having a hard day, and finding it hard to feel the love yourself.”
Alex’s position is not a new one in the service industry, and it can be the most personally challenging and often most rewarding aspect of our work. I have been in food service for nearly 6 years now, and some of the hardest days of those 6 years were spent trying to put on a good face to strangers while experiencing hardship in my personal life. It can feel degrading to submit your emotional self to the service of others. Why should we be expected to “turn ourselves off”, so to speak, and put on a mask in order to make someone else’s day marginally better?
Shutting yourself off from hard experiences and feelings is obviously not healthy. Because of the mentally and emotionally taxing nature of service work, there is an infinite set of circumstances when taking a day off to reflect is much more constructive and beneficial than coming into work and trying to put on an emotional mask. Giving great service should never be a motivation to repress your emotions — but it can be a real, profound opportunity to transform them.
By taking a slightly different perspective in the middle of those hard days, giving positive service can actually have a net positive experience on both the server and the served. Giving service, like any act of generosity, can lead directly to joy if the server is open and willing to receive that joy! In my own history of service work, focusing on giving great service has, on several occasions, given me a purpose for that day beyond resolving my personal issues, and it has opened me up to feeding off of the positivity and enthusiasm of others! I have many memories of leaving a shift feeling much more drained, but in a much more positive headspace, with a deeper and more positive view of human warmth and kindness, than when I started.
In order to provide that caliber of great service effectively, it is critical to choose our words with as much care and understanding as possible. This article provides a great perspective on how and why we choose to use the words we do when describing coffee and flavor. It also showcases how every conversation, even when just about someone’s morning drink order, is an enormous opportunity for learning and genuine connection for both the server and the served.

Bow Truss Master Roaster, Dennis Jackson Elected to ACE Board of Directors

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The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) is a nonprofit, global membership organization that upholds the highest standards in specialty coffee through our program Cup of Excellence. COE entails 1) rigorous juried coffee competitions in coffee origin countries and 2) online auctions of winning coffees, with the vast majority of proceeds going back to the farmers.

Through the span of more than fifty countries, ACE is dedicated to the empowerment farmers and uniting coffee professionals.

Dennis Jackson, has over 17 years of experience in the Specialty Coffee Industry and is the Master Roaster and Chief Coffee Buyer for Bow Truss Coffee Roasters. Certified Instructor for the SCAA and SCAE and he is a past member of the Roaster’s Guild Executive Committee. Dennis earned his Q Grade Cupper accreditation from the Coffee Quality Institute in 2008 while in Colombia. He has served six times as a Cup of Excellence judge and three times as a judge for the “Taste of Harvest” in East Africa.

Dennis’ dedication to the coffee industry and to farmers around the world continues to be an inspiration to our entire Bow Truss family. We are truly honored to have him as part of our team.