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The Occasional Barista

The Occasional Barista

By Christopher Pai
Curious to find out why that murky muddy water tastes so GOOD! Pour yourself another cup and hear all about coffee from the people behind the bar. Don't worry, behind those hipster mustaches and aprons are semi-normal human beings...
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TOB on James Hoffman's V60 Technique EP | 24
HE'S EVERYWHERE!!! In today's episode we touch upon James Hoffman's Hario V60 Technique this time and help break down some of the concepts that he references, but doesn't have the time to touch upon further. Moreover, comparing his own recipe to my own that I have landed on over the years and the importance of pushing ourselves to discover more about these magical little beans!
January 24, 2021
TOB The QUEST for the Holy Extraction (EVEN EXTRACTION) | EP 23
A word that often gets thrown around to new baristas during training or to interested home brewers who wonder if all the "techniques" and expensive equipment is worth it. In this episode we hope to answer some of the questions that surround us on our quest for the mystic Even Extraction, and emphasize why so many in the specialty coffee industry stress the importance of certain brewing practices.
January 21, 2021
TOB Coffee Blend EXPERIMENT w/ Surprise findings! EP | 22
On today's episode of TOB, I did a little experiment that honestly changed the way I looked at a bag of coffee. It all started when some of my Canadian friends gifted me a blend of a Medium and FRENCH DARK ROASTED coffee!!! WHAT IN THE WORLD! This led me to wonder, how would each of these two roasts taste on their own? Here it is everyone, I did the experiment so hopefully YOU try and recreate it at home! The video is coming out soon on youtube @theoccasionalbarista. 
January 14, 2021
TOB COFFEE SUPPORT w/ Chris McColl - Single vs Continuous Pours (Heat), Gifted Coffee, and Stale Coffee? | EP 21
Welcome back to another edition of COFFEE SUPPORT! Where we help YOU fix your coffee problems and answer some questions that will help improve your coffee game. In this episode we cover Single vs Continuous Pours and how you can combat heat loss, what to do with gifted coffee that is not quite your taste profile, and some troubling word about "Stale" coffee and Onyx's Advent Calendars.
January 10, 2021
TOB w/ Noah Poletiek (Director of Coffee) at Chapman Crafted | EP 20
Starting off this New Year STRONG with EXTRA special guest Noah Poletiek from Chapman Crafted Coffee! Former owner and head roaster at Bangarang Coffee, Noah sits down with us to chat about his day to day operations, Special Release of Cozy Patterns, and Chapman Crafted's first Snapchilled Coffee. Along with being the sole owner of Cool Roast Curves on instagram (@coolroastcurves), for all your coffee meme needs, he is also a rad dude with one heck of a sneaker collection. Check out if you are interested in picking up your own bag of Cozy Patterns or for your future coffee needs!
January 7, 2021
TOB OFF TOPIC w/ Tyler Rule EP | 19
Welcome to the first installment of OFF TOPIC, where we let you in to some of the conversations not quite about coffee. Nonetheless, coffee is still consumed and at the end of the day that is what matters! 
December 20, 2020
TOB w/ Tyler Rule from Daydream Surf Shop EP | 18
I brought in a good friend of mine Tyler Rule, who like many of you, is beginning his coffee journey as a home barista. He is currently working at one of  my favorite coffee spots in OC, Daydream Surf Shop, slinging some of the best espresso in Socal. Be on the lookout for our new segment of the podcast OFF TOPIC, which will feature Tyler's tutorial on the V60 and two buds just catching up!
December 19, 2020
TOB Bringing it back to Basics + Wacky ways to brew coffee! EP | 17
I ditched my expensive equipment and brought it back to basics on this episode of The Occasional Barista. After brewing the coffee it also inspired me to think of some wacky ways to brew coffee and go into some that actually exist. 
December 16, 2020
TOB on James Hoffman's French Press Technique | EP 16
A name that many of us have seen before, but in this episode we break down James Hoffman's French Press technique and answering what many of us are thinking. Can we trust it? 
December 10, 2020
TOB COFFEE SUPPORT w/ Chris McColl - Lack luster coffee, steamwand vs frother, when to brew fresh coffee | Episode 15
On this episode of COFFEE SUPPORT we are joined again by Little Lunch Coffee's Chris McColl where we answer YOUR questions! We also went live on instagram and answered any of your brewing and coffee needs. We hope you enjoy and Happy Holidays!
November 25, 2020
TOB It's time to appreciate Coffee | Episode 14
Hopefully this will make you appreciate your next cup of coffee just a little bit more. 
November 21, 2020
TOB So you want to become a Barista... | Episode 13
Today we go over what are some things we looked for as a Manager during interviews and what to expect during the onboarding process. No, you don't have to have prior barista experience, HOWEVER we are looking for this.
November 19, 2020
TOB COFFEE SUPPORT - Under Extraction, "Golden Ratio", Mistakenly bought Espresso Beans w/ no Espresso Machine | Episode 12
Introducing a new segment on the TOB Podcast, at Coffee Support we are here to try and help solve your coffee problems! Today we discuss why you might be experiencing those sour notes on your Ethiopian coffee, our thoughts on the Golden Ratio, and what to do with espresso beans if you have no espresso machine. Hope this helps!
November 17, 2020
TOB on What your coffee order says about YOU | Episode 11
We are back at it with another episode this time focusing on what baristas might be thinking based on what you ordered. In addition, we go over what other signs baristas are looking for and what we actually are thinking about when taking an order. If you have any worries or concerns about what we are saying behind your back, you are going to want to hear this. 
November 15, 2020
TOB on Which Coffee Grinder YOU should buy just starting out in coffee | Episode 10
I am constantly getting asked by friends, family, and customers, which coffee grinder they should buy if they are just getting into coffee. In this episode I break down a few recommendations that I have personally used in my shop, at home, and as a contractor for events. If you're in the market for a grinder I promise you will be able to make a more informed decision after listening in.
November 12, 2020
TOB w/ AoSA Coffee's Cory Pittman | Episode 9 (Part III)
To finish off our series with AoSA Coffee's Cory Pittman, we discuss what a roaster's purpose is in the story from farm to cup and how that has been influenced with the further development of specialty coffee. In addition, we talk about some big named brands that are here to stay and their adaptations to stay relevant in the ever changing coffee industry. We conclude with Cory's final words of advice for those of you who are embarking on your specialty coffee journey and hope you continue to push yourself forward. 
November 9, 2020
TOB w/ AoSA Coffee's Cory Pittman | Episode 8 (Part II)
We continue the discussion with AoSA Coffee's Cory Pittman, as we begin to dive into his career in specialty coffee and some of the perks as well as intimidation he felt checking out possible partnerships. Cory proves that the age old Macchiato misconception gets the best of us, as he gives us an insight how Baristas used to educate mistaken customers. To finish off part two of the three part series, Cory gives us his definition of what a Barista's purpose is, in his eyes.
November 9, 2020
TOB w/ AoSA Coffee's Cory Pittman | Episode 7 (Part I)
We are back at it with our next fantastic guest speaker Cory Pittman from AoSA Coffee! A friend, ex-coworker, and now Director of AoSA's coffee program, Cory talks on this episode about his journey in discovering coffee. Starting off like many dousing vanilla creamer in his coffee as a child to experiencing his first cupping at Starbucks, Cory has continued to push his understanding of coffee as he begins to embark on his new adventure in Roasting!
November 7, 2020
TOB on Buying a Bag of Coffee | Episode 6
Today we go over 5 questions that you should ask yourself before buying your next bag of coffee. These 5 questions are the same questions that I asked personally to YOU the buyer and it ensured the customer left happy with their decision. Through these questions will you feel more confident and reap the benefits of being an informed consumer. 
November 3, 2020
TOB w/ Little Lunch Coffee's Chris McColl and Jordan Rabé + Seven Seas Roasting's Diem Duong | Episode 5 (Part IV)
Finishing off the series with Chris McColl and Jordan Rabé from Little Lunch Coffee and Diem Duong from Seven Seas Roasting. We begin this episode talking about the Waves of Coffee and how the industry can work on creating a better appreciation of coffee overall. Moreover, we talk about some great questions to ask your local barista and answer some of the questions you may be asking yourself before your first specialty coffee shop visit. To end we leave you with some advice for those trying to get into coffee and hopes this motivates you to start your specialty coffee journey today!
October 28, 2020
TOB w/ Little Lunch Coffee's Chris McColl and Jordan Rabé + Seven Seas Roasting's Diem Duong | Episode 4 (Part III)
Moving on in our discussion with Chris McColl and Jordan Rabé from Little Lunch Coffee as well as Diem Duong from Seven Seas Roasting. In this episode we touch upon some mistakes that many people run into when opening a new shop and give some helpful advice from firsthand experiences to help avoid making the same ones. We also go into what we see being the gap between specialty coffee and the public's general understanding of our industry, as well as some ways we see will help bridge this gap.
October 28, 2020
TOB w/ Little Lunch Coffee's Chris McColl and Jordan Rabé + Seven Seas Roasting's Diem Duong | Episode 3 (Part II)
We continue our discussion with Chris McColl and are joined by fellow Little Lunch Coffee Manager Jordan Rabé and recent Seven Seas Roasting Manager Diem Duong. In this episode do we cover our new friends journey into coffee as well as how to overcome some of the obstacles and intimidation some of us experienced getting into specialty coffee. In addition, we get to hear perspectives on the definition of a Barista ranging from someone just starting off in the industry to someone with over 10 years of experience.
October 28, 2020
TOB w/ Little Lunch Coffee's Chris McColl | Episode 2 (Part I)
Today we are lucky enough to sit down with Chris McColl from Little Lunch Coffee in Venice Beach, CA. Starting off working at Whittier Law School as a student worker, to beginning his career in coffee at Peet's; Chris tells his story of what pushed him into pursuing a career in coffee and what has led to his success managing shops from AoSA Coffee, Coffee Dose, and now opening his own shop Little Lunch Coffee.
October 28, 2020
TOB Introduction | Episode 1
Welcome to The Occasional Barista! This episode covers what we are all about and aim to achieve through this podcast. It also goes into what to expect in future episodes, as well as, a brief story of how our founder Chris got into coffee. Hope you enjoy!
October 23, 2020