Moby Duck

The holiday season has come and gone, but memories linger on. Something about the aromas that emanate from Bica help stoke the merriment engine. The BicaTeam was on fire, happy to have such a loyal group of regulars who lap up the various coffees on the menu. One stand out has been Four Barrel’s “Andino Especial” from southern Huila, Colombia. Andino is a co-operative of 200 small farmers; Four Barrel selected seven producers from this group after cupping hundreds of samples. These are some of the finest Caturra beans found in Colombia. While we’re very happy to have it on the BicaBrewBar, we were also fortunate to get some from 4B that was roasted as a Single Origin Espresso. Bica prides herself not only on having a huge array of beans that rotates regularly, but also on being able to offer one bean roasted and prepared in two different ways. Look for us to feature an SOE from Coava soon, which we will also have on the BrewBar.

Back in September at the time that “Breaking Bad” was sadly reaching its epic conclusion (where have you gone, Walter!?), there were two birthdays which yielded two meaningful gifts. Both play on the Bica concept: high quality food prepared with local ingredients. Jonah received a beer making kit, which was sourced at Oak Barrel Winecraft in Berkeley. Along with adult supervision (of course!), Jonah brewed up a Kolsch-styled brew which he called “White Whale Kolsch” in honor of one of everyone’s favorite Melville character; in honor of two Mr. Whites (Walter, who inspired Jonah to “cook” and Cameron, who helped him do it); and, in honor of the Big Fish who gobbled up Jonah’s namesake once upon a time.

It was also Cameron’s birthday in September. I found a book called, “In the Charcuterie” by famed SF butchers Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller (The Fatted Calf is their butchery). Have you ever bought something for someone and liked it so much that you kept it? Well, that nearly happened here. But, as good partners will do, Amanda noticed my passion for Cam’s gift, and she got it for me for Christmas. Yummy! When she asked me what I wanted for my birthday (after Christmas), I told her I wanted to make Cassoulet for family and friends. I spent quite a bit of time with a butcher named Aaron at The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley who walked me through all of the various elements like how to make duck confit, the stuff to save, the obligatory pitfalls. After an hour in his shop, my inspiration for Bica had been re-ignited: I would like to own quality coffee they way TLBS owns quality meat. Something that most of us experience daily, something that we can take for granted, and really do it right to find that perfect expression of the ingredient.

The new year has brought some changes to the BicaTeam. Please welcome Claire and Ryan the next time you’re in. They’re currently training with Cameron and are picking it all up quickly. Claire has been a Bica regular for some time, but developed her great palate in the specialty olive oil space. If you speak Arabic, engage Claire! Following what appears to be a trend, Ryan hails from the Northwest — Boise, Idaho and he will bring his artistic talents to the fore by finally filling in our menu board. Bryn and Taylor have each moved on to pursue other interests. Their contributions to Bica’s experience is impossible to quantify. They will be missed, please join me in wishing them the best of luck wherever their paths lead them.

The coffee is spouting at Bica! Come and enjoy.

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