Several years ago my daughter Macy was enthralled with Hamilton. She sang all the songs and studied the back story in depth. She was a bit obsessed. Hamilton inspired her to study history even more and to pursue a field of study that brings history, film and theater arts together in a way that will bring a deeper understanding of life.
I admired her for seeing the value art has to education and not just for entertainment alone.
So I began thinking of other important bits of history that could be brought to life thru the arts. Considering we had just started a theater I wondered if I could write a play.
I looked at many obscure periods of history and learned a lot but nothing jumped out at me. And then it occurred to me that not many people know about where rock and roll comes from. I collected a lot of records in my youth and it was a hobby to connect all the artists genres and music styles.
One over shadowed figure stood out from my recollection of mid 1950's music. I had a couple Gene Vincent records in my collection of vinyl and had always liked him better than Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Burnett etc... Something about his music was more real and more raw. It's the kind of music that makes you feel like dancing and yelling. It's the origins of Rock and Roll and Punk Rock.
So, I researched the heck out of his story. It's everyone's story. Happiness, joy, love, luck, tragedy, pain, friendship, downfall, torture, redemption and peace.
Once I knew what I wanted to share with people through a drama, it was pretty easy. I could hear the dialogue in my head and typed it as fast as I could. It's a pretty interesting journey with a lot of great music.
The other interesting thing is, I have met the cast of this show over the past couple years as we have put the cafe and theater together. The so very talented Parker Garman is Gene Vincent, looks and sounds like him. Preston Flamont is also a great musician and looks and sounds like Eddie Cochran. Aiden, Gavin, Will and Zack are rock musicians that already look like the Beatles. Before all these talents leave Brighton for college we just have to do this show.
The play is historically accurate, with some dialogue taken directly from recordings and interviews. Other scenes are from first person accounts. Getting the rights to the music and Gene's life story has been a big task.
I hope audiences will enjoy this musical drama about a time in history that shaped the decades to follow.
Opens April 24!
Have you ever noticed that soup, chili, cakes etc taste even better the next day? Why is that? When foods are a combination of ingredients, flavors combine and accent and enhance each other. A coffee bean is a seed that contains over 1700 compounds - oils, starches, alkaloids, cellulose, acids.... When coffee is roasted those compounds change and recombine. Starches become sugars, oils and alkaloids attach, acids and cellulose accent and flavor the bean.
If the coffee is roasted light the sugars don't caramelize as much and the acids are more pronounced giving rise to a more fruity flavor. When coffee is roasted dark the sugars become more chocolate, caramel and toffee accented by the bitter flavor with most of the acid neutralized.
Another by product of roasting are gases such as CO2 that are trapped in the lattice like organic cell structure of the un-ground bean. CO2 has a flavor that is only offset by a lot of sugars, otherwise it can have a soda like effect on the delicate brew.
It takes about 24-48 hours for the bean to release these gases depending on how dark it is roasted. A darker roast will gas off faster because the cell structure is so fractured. A light roast Ethiopia or Brazil may take three days to sweeten. And on dark roasts you will notice the oils are pushed out and the bean becomes shiny. But those oils will start to oxidize quickly and can mellow the flavor of the bean, or if left exposed, will dull quickly.
So the peak flavor of most coffees is 1-2 days after roasting and for about seven to ten days if kept airtight. The CO2 release creates a positive pressure in a closed container helping to slow oxidation.
For example an avacado or banana when picked is green and hard and lacks buttery sweetness. A week later the compounds transform and then another week and the fruit turns dark and loses flavor.
So the answer is you want to buy fresh right out of the roaster coffee, start enjoying the next day and use it up within seven days. That's why we sell half pounds and encourage you to buy what you need for the week.
If you buy grocery store coffee it may be 3-6 months out of the roaster and the flavors will be dull. The exception may be very dark roasts that have the main attribute of being bitter.
"To stain or mark"
Italians will order a Macchiato without defining what they mean. Here in America - in the land of big drinks with flavors, sprinkles and whipped cream it becomes a bit murky.
A macchiato in Italy would be a shot of espresso with a dollop of foamed milk in a small porcelain cup. Traditions are defined by where they emanate.
Starbucks knew a good sounding word - it's fun to say "Macchiato" - and applied it to a latte. Baristas went crazy as this threw tradition out the cafe door. However, it isn't wrong to make a Latte Macchiato. It just means it is a Caffe Latte marked or stained with something else. In the case of a Caramel Macchiato the white top of the Latte is marked with caramel (and of course the coffee is saturated with vanilla to make the teens happy)
It all comes down to what you like. A talented barista can make a drink the way you like it if you describe it and it may just be a traditional cafe drink, or be the next craze.
So, love your barista when you order a Macchiato and let them know if you want a Latte Macchiato or Espresso Macchiato.