Saturday, March 31, 2007

"Stumpjumpers" Chess Club a couple nights ago

The Manitowoc/Two Rivers Chess Club seems to be growing every week. Nice group of players and a few watchers took over part of the house this past Thursday. Jeff is determined to build it into a strong club...personally, I think the membership would explode if they changed the name to, oh...say...something like the "Stumpjumpers Chess Club." But hey, that's just me... The club is open to anyone and everyone, and meets here every Thursday at 6:00 p.m..

John and Dan beginning a game

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Live Music with Happenstance

The acoustic duo Happenstance will be playing again this month at the Stumpjack Coffee Company, on Saturday, March 31st at 7:00 pm. Be here or feel bad when all your buds tell you what a good time they had...

Chess Club

Looking for members for a new Manitowoc/Two Rivers Chess Club to meet here at the Stumpjack on Thursday nights from 6:00 to 9:00. All players are welcome. USCF rated games, tournaments and open play. Jeff is the guy to talk to when you come.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

SAIL meeting at the Stump

Last Thursday, March 8th, the local "young professionals" group met here the Stumpjack Coffee Company. As outlined on the SAIL website their Mission Statement reads thus: "Provide a vehicle for the attraction, development and retention of young professionals in Manitowoc County" and their Vision Statement: "Creating and fostering a social network to enhance professional development and community involvement among young professionals in Manitowoc County."

This is a great organization...very worthwhile and fun.

I gave a brief talk on the history and mission of the Stumpjack and offered the group a sampling of three coffees we are featuring this month: Sumatra, Organic Columbian and Puerto Rican. The Puerto Rican seemed to be the majority favorite, which was not unexpected.

Here's a few pics sent to us by SAIL member Andrew Krajnek...thanks Andrew!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Don't forget the camera..."

Kerry Michaels, Saturday night at Stumpjack Coffee Co.

This past Friday and Saturday nights were a lot of fun. Friday's wine tasting with Brad and Shaun Schmiling of Von Stiehl Winery was a great time, with several new faces coming into the Stump to sample the wonderful wines of Von Stiehl and try our coffee...huge thumbs up reviews on both (we know because we always ask!). We were comfortably busy, with time to chat with everyone and do a bit of wine inspection ourselves. The only thing that went wrong was that I got so involved with chatting and hanging out that I forgot to take any pictures! Oy!

Brad and Shaun have also recently opened a new B&B in Algoma just a couple blocks from the winery, the Havenly Inn. I think we're going to take advantage of this place sometime in the next month or so...a beautiful B&B next to a great winery, what more could you need?

Sandy and Terry, Kim, Dana and Paul enjoying Kerry's music.

Last night (Saturday) Kerry did a brief show for an appreciative crowd (some of who reported feeling a little morning "slowness" from the wine party the night before...ha!). He's become something of the official Stumpjack House Band since we opened, always ready to step in if we need him, with a long list of tunes that include very original versions of familiar songs as well as his own excellent material. It is unfortunate that that he recently suffered an injury to his hand (hence the short show this night) and had to cancel several gigs with us, but he's on the mend and will be back soon I'm sure. I'm tellin' you all now, this guy has talent and a warm stage presence that gets people involved with the performance. His own songs are as good as anything you might hear on the radio and he has an ability to make other people's music his own. Here's the Kerry Michaels myspace site. I did manage to remember to take a few pics last's a couple.

Friday, March 9, 2007

CoffeeFest Chicago 2007 part II

Man, has it truly been a week since that initial post on CoffeeFest? Well, it may almost seem like old news now but I'm still pondering many of the things we gleaned from the trip. The cupping session we had with Phil Beattie from Dillanos was great fun. We cupped four origins including a Brazil, Sumatra, Columbian and one I can't recall just now. My main reason for participating in this session was to learn the format for running a cupping session for a small group. We are going to begin doing some cuppings and tastings here at the Stump sometime soon. I liked the way Phil set the stage for the group to begin experiencing the coffees, with a brief PowerPoint presentation and discussion of the procedure and techniques, as well a couple of good tips for educating one's palate.

I met a couple during the session who were home roasting enthusiasts and the fellow (I'm sorry I can't recall his name) intrigued us with his description of a home-made roaster he devised. He took a small rotisserie oven, had a metal drum crafted and attached to the spindle to hold the seeds and turn while an attached amped-up hair dryer provided the heat. Really kind of ingenious and fun. He said it did, in fact, do the job...of roasting around a quarter-pound of seeds at a time. I imagine that for many this set-up would seem like too much effort for the end result, but I just loved this guy's inventiveness and passion.

We stopped by one booth that had La Pavoni espresso machines of the bar style we have at the Stumpjack. The sales person showing us their machine was a little surprised that we had the model that we do, saying that we might be the first ones to have this machine in the states. Cool.

We spent a pretty fair amount of time checking out the vendors who supply gelato, which we're planning on adding to our menu this summer. Kim learned some things about smoothie prep and is amping up that part of our menu as well. We also watched parts of the Latte Art competition and the Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition. Matt Riddle, who took 3rd in the world last year in Switzerland (the highest any American has placed up to this point), took the gold with a very polished and smooth presentation. Several folks have placed pics of and video (not the best quality, but worthwhile nonetheless) online and you can check some of them out here: pics and pics and video. And here's a Chicago Trib article on the event. We're definitely planning on attending next year's CoffeeFest event and, who knows, we may even have someone take a shot at competing in the barista competition.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wine Tasting Tomorrow Night!

I'll get to updating the blog from CoffeeFest in the next day or so, I hope. So many things on the plate since I got back I just haven't gotten to it yet.

Like tomorrow night's Wine Tasting here or be square.