06-17-15 Tasty Mistake Is Another Name For Happy Accident


Whoops, I just made another happy accident, and poured another “Tasty Mistake”…

I have spent most of my life studying coffee, watching coffee, drinking coffee. Words cannot express my connection to the drink, the sources, and by connection the earth from which it came. The alchemical drink gives me such a serene sense of happiness,

And yet, “Why ‘Tasty Mistake’?”

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Only recently did I realize just how profoundly did one person touch my life that it was his vision and philosophy that I channel when I view coffee, and why I choose to connect with my passion so deeply. That man was Bob Ross. He was a veteran, a father, and a remarkable artist. He innovated a painting style developed by William Alexander and gave the world a gift. His paintings were simply amazing. He was a remarkably talented artist, but his true gift was his ability to see mistakes happen (a “happy accident”), adjust so quickly and render a masterpiece in minutes.

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I watched Ross time and time again throughout my early teen years, soaking him in like a dry sponge, but still not realizing just how deep his psychology and philosophy had touched me.

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Coffee drinks are part science, art, passion, and love. There really is an alchemical quality about a finished latte, especially a design-topped drink. Yet, there is a perception that every drink is poured correctly, dare I say perfectly, every time.

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I make more than my fair share of Tasty Mistakes, or have a Happy Accident, and that is what I am here to share. These are my beautiful failures. We have 5 senses and sight is just one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I want to see just what a barista is capable of producing. It is the ultimate statement of their (our) expertise. A well-crafted drink will also tap into your other senses, and appeal to them, making you salivate in anticipation.

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So how does a happy accident happen when pouring lattes? It could be any number of variables: shot grind, shot tamp, milk frothing, milk pouring speed, milk pouring height, milk pouring angles, steady hands, and more. And if any one of these happy accidents happen, then your latte art will be off and you will end up with a Tasty Mistake.

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I love coffee too much not to appreciate all of it, both the supremely eye-catching and the Tasty Mistakes brought about by a happy accident. As I pour my heart into my passion and strive to make that perfect latte and latte art each and every time, I always do my best, and try to get better at my craft. To this day, I still here Bob Ross whispering in my ear about how easy it will be to fix and create something beautiful from that happy accident. That something beautiful is a Tasty Mistake.

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