Yesterday, Jeff Sherman and I visited Starbucks in Red Arrow Park to get the "Starbucks Experience" from coffee master and district manager Julie LaFore.
The friendly, knowledgeable LaFore is passionate about coffee, but also about explaning how coffee gets from plant to cup. She walked us through tastings of three different coffees from around the globe and we talked about their various characteristics.
As kids skated on the rink outside, we discussed espresso, the perfect shot, the perfect steamed milk and the differences between caffe macchiato and caffe latte and cappuccino.
To become a coffee master, LaFore had to ace a test that involved identifying 50 or so coffees by smell and taste.
We also got confirmation (conflicting with a report from earlier this week) that a new Starbucks will make its home on the corner of Prospect and North in autumn, sharing a building with Bruegger's Bagels. Additionally, that new Starbucks on Mayfair Road, just north of Center Street -- which will boast a drive-through window -- will open next week. There will be a grand opening celebration on the evening of March 7.
The week of March 10, customers can also get the Starbucks Experience with a series of "Art of Espresso" events. Check the OnMilwaukee.com event calendar closer to the date for complete details.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.