So, now that I have 99% of what I need to make espresso that I am happy with, and spent plenty of time understanding how finicky our machine is when it comes to steaming... I've finally managed a couple of pours that are WAY better than anything I ever did while working at delicious:
This is a heart from a couple of days ago. I was really happy with this one!
Here's a sort of failed tulip. I didn't make it tall enough, but I still think that it looks cool.
The most interesting aspect of all this latte pouring is that once I scored some proper cups, it all became much easier! For whatever reason, the shallow bowl shape of a demitasse cup really encourages the correct action in the cup. I guess that means all the time I spent struggling with regular shaped coffee cups paid off after all! The best part about all of this is that not only are these coffees nice-looking, they are extremely tasty :)
I've also managed to find some really decent local-ish beans, which is nice. These guys started their business in Wilmington, NC and have since branched out with a bunch of franchises. I don't really trust the people that work at the shops to make me anything drinkable, but at $10/pound, I'll buy my beans from them any day. There is a new shop opening a few miles from our house as well, so it will even be a convenient place to stop. Their beans are certainly not much when compared to the ones that I ordered from Counter Culture a few weeks ago, but I'd say for half the price, Port City Java is doing a pretty bang-up job.