Coffee
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Fat Nancys coffee competition

gon·zo

adj. Slang

 2. (Communication Arts / Journalism & Publishing) (of journalism) explicitly including the writer’s feelings at the time of witnessing the events or undergoing the experiences written about.

A few years ago, The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson has been made into a film with the help of Mr Johnny Depp, and, being a fan of both Mr Thompson and Mr Depp, Fat Nancy decided on a foray into some coffee related Gonzo Journalism. So, entered into the UK Coffee in Good Spirits competition – How hard can it be? I mean, I roast the coffee, I taste the coffee, Fat Nance has an unhealthy penchant for booze – all things that qualify her for being the next UK Coffee in Good Spirits champion or C.I.G.S. for short.

Err…. well …. no – maybe these guys just aren’t ready for the infamous ‘Beanacolada’ just yet.

Well, she thought she was in with a good chance;

Fat Nancy settled on a single origin espresso made from a Guatemala Cobahue coffee, giving a sweet, complex espresso with a lovely layer of caramel, apricot, praline and a hint of vanilla on the tail end.

then it was time to start on the booze – a pretty inexpensive (and not poncey) bottle of Appleton estate V/X. Pretty basic flavours – some spices, vanilla and loads of butterscotch aroma.

The rum paired really well the espresso, so the next step was to contact a good friend from the bar industry Mr. Giles Looker of Soulshakers. He soon came over to Fat Nancy HQ armed with his trusty bartenders kit and fat Nance and Giles set to work in inventing a revelation, a drink of such magnitude that it would set the world on fire, a drink more addictive than crack, more flavoursome than Samtex, more exciting than cowboys vs. aliens, yet smoother than Dapper Dan eating French toast to the sounds of Lionel Richie… Five hours later, she was drunk, he was caffeinated to within an inch of his life and they were no closer to the drink of their dreams – plus they had a fateful hangover traveling towards them at speed.

It was concluded that they should reconvene as soon as medically up to it, so, the following week they met back at the HQ and set to work on round two – This time bringing success.

Now don’t laugh til you try it – it’s actually a fantastically dazzling drink – a combination of the classic Pina Colada and coffee. Stop it, just stop I tell you. I know what you’re thinking but you haven’t tried it yet. Ok, so its not as flavoursome as samtex but this drink is some killer dynamite… a hollowed out pineapple (using Giles’s nifty tool courtesy of Mahiki) filled will a concoction of flesh from the pineapple, crushed ice, Coco Lopez, Appleton rum and the Guatemalan espresso, all Blended and neatly decanted in the frozen hollow pineapple.

Bring on the competition with their poncey glass wear and severe lack of disco drinks with neon straws.

Fast forward two weeks, it’s the day of the competition and Fat Nancy is getting some confused looks from the car hire guy watching her load half a dozen frozen hollow pineapples into a ice packed cool box in the boot of the car. she picked up friend and fellow competitor Victor Frankowski and left Dalston for the windswept, exotic area of Exeter.

Upon arriving, Mr. Frankowski and Fat Nancy are informed that some of the competitors have dropped out, Ha! Suckers! Chances of winning have greatly increased, only five competitors now. Nancy is gonna nail this – She’s even brought theme tunes to play – subtle, evocative, yet philosophical and whimsical tunes. Not really, its Rum and Coca-Cola by the Andrews Sisters and Coconut Woman by Harry Belafonte.

She went back stage and caught a glimpse of the judges – loads of them – all armed to the gills with hawk eyes and clipboards. This competition is not one to be sniffed at; it’s a serious business.

Each competitor has eight minutes to set up their work area and then eight minutes to prepare two perfect Irish Coffees and two of their own signature hot or cold coffee cocktail.
Contestants are judged on their technical skills, the visual appeal of the drinks and, most importantly, on the flavour.

I’m third on stage, I get miked up and I cue the sound guy to start my tracks. I start my performance – explaining the beautifully aromatic coffee and describing at great length the excellent rum distillation process in traditional Jamaican copper stills and aged in small oak casks – amongst other useless gems of overly informing information – Although I felt it was perceived that I could have been talking about the pros and cons of upper layer pile, polypropylene carpet tiles with a tight heat treated weave.

I got somewhat carried away and forgot that at some point in the strictly eight minutes and no more, I have to make the drinks too!

A massive panic came over me as I hurriedly tried to create my addictively dazzling, drink based, works of art in a ridiculously short period of time .

I finished pouring my “perfect Irish coffees” and ran with them across the navy blue carpet to the judging table.

Unfortunately in my rush, I had managed to spill the drinks in a hopelessly impressive way – I looked back and my eyes followed a creamy white snail trail along the navy blue carpet, about six feet across the stage, up and over the judging table too.

I’m not going to describe to you what happened next, because the less you know the more self-respect I retain. Lets just say that the good news is – I came fourth. Not bad for my first go, I’m fourth best. Fourth best. Thats how I see it – I don’t care that another competitor dropped out at the last minute making the total number of competitors four – I’m still fourth best, and as long as no one knows how many people were in that competition that day, then I’m the fourth best in the UK – so just keep your mouth shut, OK.

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