Last week I closed my professional chapter in the specialty coffee industry and set my sails back to publishing/communications (focusing on Pacific NW sailing/maritime and with the NICEST TEAM! ~ more details to come). This is a change I needed to make, and moving into such a wonderful new situation helped make the transition easier; however, I feel like I need to take a moment to reflect and bring closure to what was a great two+ years. I didn’t have much of a chance to reflect with my colleagues since I was based over 60 miles south of the main office and roasting facilities, and the “going away party” I threw for myself (I brought pizzas into the office) was cut short by a last-minute meeting back in Seattle. To make up for that lost time with them, I thought I would share some of it here in installments. Feel free to chime in, coffee family!
The Day I Brewed Coffee in the Northgate Mall Parking Lot in Subfreezing Temps
One of the things we did was partner with KING 5 and Northwest Harvest for the
annual Home Team Harvest food drive. December 2013 Seattle was experiencing an extreme cold snap, and our job was to set up and man hot coffee stations at all of the drop-off locations around Puget Sound. I was stationed at my “home mall” (Northgate). Piece of cake, right? Except the temp gauge in the truck indicated it was 16 degrees when I pulled into the parking lot at 5:30 am (or was it 6:30 am? I can’t remember). My gallon jugs of water were solid ice. The pour-over coffee brewer was hot for brewing (but I pre-warmed it at home), so I had to set each jug on the top of the brewer with the hope of it melting just enough to slush so I could pour it… only to have the water refreeze on contact with the air as I poured it. Water was freezing around the base of the airpots. Water was freezing around the lids so I had to force them shut once the coffee was brewed. I could only get about half of the water out of each jug, leaving the rest to ice. No, it never warmed up that day. Miserable, but funny. But miserable, but funny.
I also managed to get some crazy good “marketing” shots of various Seattle-area mascots holding my branded airpots, I think mainly because they couldn’t see outside of their giant heads and so didn’t realize what I forced into their giant furry mascot-gloved hands.
My job was really, truly strange sometimes. Just take a look at this scene: