Try a Tasting at Trabant Coffee

Back on track

That’s more like it.

Whatever was keeping the Washington men’s basketball team from doing nearly anything right in the past three games seemed to vanish yesterday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, as the Huskies cruised to a 109-77 win behind suffocating man-to-man defense, hot 3-point shooting and an Isaiah Thomas second-half clinic.

“The main focus was to come out and play hard, no matter who was scoring, who was getting the assists, we just wanted to come out and play hard, and we did that,” said Thomas, who finished with a team-high 23 points and nine assists.

With the win, the Huskies (16-7, 8-4 Pac-10) put a halt to their three-game losing streak that saw them lose at Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon in this past week. They are now 1.5 games behind Pac-10 leader Arizona.

It seemed that a conference game at home was just what the doctor ordered, and yesterday night, it was evident from the beginning.

Within just the first five minutes, the Huskies quickly jumped out to a 21-8 lead after Thomas knocked down two 3-pointers in just over one minute.

The onslaught continued from there, punctuated by a play midway through the half that exemplified the UW effort all night. Senior Justin Holiday chased down a loose ball in front of the Cal bench, dove and poked the ball to Thomas, who found a wide open Terrence Ross. The freshman drained a 3-pointer from the right elbow — he finished with 11 points and six assists — to give the UW a 40-17 lead, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

“This is what I expect every day when we go out to play,” Holiday said of Thursday’s effort. “We need to be able to come out with energy and forget about [those losses] and really just get stops.”

The Huskies kept the accelerator all the way down after halftime, in large part due to Thomas. The junior made three 3-pointers within just four minutes, and scored 12 second-half points, all but cementing the UW’s big win.

Thomas seems to have Cal’s number this year. One month ago in Berkeley, Calif., the junior torched the Bears for 27 points and 13 assists. He’s scored 50 points in two games against the Bears this season.

And it’s not just Thomas who enjoys playing against the Bears. The UW has scored 201 points in two games against Cal, which is a program-record for a regular season home-and-away series.

It wasn’t the only record set yesterday night. The Huskies were on fire from downtown, knocking down 17-of-31 from beyond the arc and matching a program record. The UW’s 30 assists and 11 blocks on the night also set season-highs. And finally, the Huskies won their 13th-straight home game by at least 10 points, another program-record.

Head coach Lorenzo Romar repeated afterward that the key to the UW offense playing so well yesterday night was all about getting stops on the other end.

“Well for us, it all starts on the defensive end,” the ninth-year head coach said. “Defensive energy, focus and concentration allow us to be a better basketball team … Hopefully our team was able to see that tonight and have kind of a reminder of what can happen when you come and you are intense defensively.”

That defensive intensity was put in place from the beginning of this week in practice. Before any offensive schemes or game plans were worked out, Romar made sure his team knew what was most important.

“This week in practice coach said, ‘We’re going to play defense and whoever doesn’t is going to sit next to me,’” Thomas recalled. “You know guys don’t want to sit, so they played some defense today.”

Senior Matthew Bryan-Amaning finished 9-for-13 from the field with 18 points and nine rebounds. Cal was led by junior Jorge Gutierrez, who had a quiet 24 points and seven rebounds.

The Huskies will try to start a new winning streak tomorrow against Stanford at 5:30 p.m.

Reach Sports Editor Taylor Soper at sports@dailyuw.com.

Trabant is for lovers — coffee lovers, that is. Conveniently located on 45th and the Ave, this little coffee place offers some of the best service and coffee in Seattle.

The flavor wheel

Intelligentsia Web site

Trabant Web site

The Trabant Coffee and Chai staff is extremely knowledgeable in all areas coffee. They began holding coffee tastings about a year ago and are hoping to increase these events to at least once a month.

The goals of these tastings are to educate customers on the process of making coffee and to help them develop a taste for different flavors, so they know why they like a certain type of coffee and can choose it again later.

By letting the coffee cool, you can taste the different flavors better. Drinking coffee is like drinking wine — you develop palates for specific tastes, Trabant co-owner Michael Gregory said.

At the April 13 tasting, the coffees were brought out in French presses and poured into small shots for tasting. The day's theme was varying levels of acidity, also called brightness.

Adam Stacey, the barista leading the tasting, explained that the acidity in coffee plays an important role in the flavors, with a higher acidity leading to the potential for more flavors.

The acidity in coffee should not be confused with pH levels. It comes from the sugars in the coffee bean, which are influenced by the type of bean and where and how it was grown.

There are two main species of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffees are usually bought by specialty roasters, like Intelligentsia, and are prized for their higher levels of acidity.

"Altitude and humidity are huge factors in the amount of sugar that needs to be used in coffee ... Arabicas generally have twice the amount of sugar than the Robusta," Stacey said. "Robusta would be the weed of the coffee industry — [it] can grow [almost] everywhere."

With every increase in 300 meters of altitude, there is a 10 percent increase in sugar production, which in turn produces a higher level of acidity.

Trabant co-owner Tatiana Becker explained that higher altitudes usually produce better coffee because the beans grow slower and acquire more flavors.

With a sweet aroma and strong body, Kenya coffee is a favorite among coffee aficionados and one of the four offered during the tasting.

"This is one of those coffees that can leave one speechless with wonder," Intelligentsia Director of Coffee and Green Coffee Purchaser Geoff Watts said.

The other coffees at the tasting included the Flor Azul from Nicaragua and two Bolivian coffees, Anjilanaka and Anjilanaka Micro-Lot Angelita. All four are from Trabant's roaster Intelligentsia.

"Kenyan coffees have very high acidity and are kind of prized for that," Gregory said. "The Flor Azul is named after a blue flower that grows all over Nicaragua. It's very mild."

The Flor Azul was the first to be passed around.

"For drinking a whole cup, [the Flor Azul] stood out to me because the flavor profile changed quite a bit," coffee aficionado and Trabant regular Troy Davis said. "If I was drinking a cup over [an extended period of time] there'd be a change in the acidity and flavor ... which makes it like having several types of coffee all in one cup; it evolves in your cup as you drink it."

Next was the Bolivian Anjilanaka, an organic direct trade coffee. The Intelligentsia Web site describes the coffee as having "a crisp aroma of citrus zest [that] greets the nose and then leads your senses into a sparkling potpourri of nuts, vanilla, cherries and nutmeg."

This coffee has moderate levels of acidity and medium body.

"This is the first direct trade coffee from Bolivia," Gregory said. "The price they pay [for the coffee] is directly linked to the quality of the coffee [and] ... gives farmers an incentive to make better coffee."

The Intelligentsia direct trade model requires that the farmers are environmentally and socially conscious before they will work with them. It takes farmers about three years to receive this approval.

Direct trade pays farmers 25 percent more per pound than Fair Trade.

The other Bolivian Micro-Lot was next. This coffee also had moderate levels of acidity and a strong aroma.

"I like the micro-lot best," UW junior Mikey Levine, who studies computer science, said. "It's light and has a nice aftertaste."

The last and most acidic coffee offered was the Kenya — one of the best-produced coffees in the world.

"The Kenya is now possible, but [was] historically impossible, to buy. [It] all went through an auction system," Gregory said. "So when you [buy] any Kenya coffee, nobody has assisted the farmer in producing the coffee. Every other coffee on this table is a result of [Intelligentsia] forming relationships with the farmer in a specific country and helping the farmer develop their farming equipment, ... helping them grow different varieties of coffee."

Trabant receives four to five different coffees a week and can offer up to eight different types at a time.

"Every time I get drip, it's something different, and it's always great," UW junior Reese Parrett said. "Last time I was there, I had Bolivian ... then later it was Kenyan. Totally different flavors, from like medium, mild smooth taste to a much stronger, sharp taste. But both were excellent."

Trabant also offers convenient hours and a perfect studying environment for students.

"I go to Trabant when I need to study, or my Internet is down," Parrett said. "It's open till midnight, which is really great for students who work and go to school. They have good computers to get on the Internet [and] free wi-fi. They [also] make awesome hot apple cider. Seriously, try it next time, it's delicious."

Becker recommended the Idido Misty Valley's Natural Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, and Gregory recommended Kenya's Gatina Auction Lot.

If you have trouble deciding what to get, there's a surprise button on the register.

The coffee shop was thinking about getting a dart for customers to throw, but then there might be a lot of one-eyed baristas, Becker said.

For those who aren't risk-takers, just ask a barista, and they can help you determine what blend is right for you.

"It's fun," Gregory said. "You'll see. You'll be back."

Reach reporter Doris Wu at features@thedaily.washington.edu

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