A few weeks ago I hosted the @BeingHouston account on Twitter and ended up getting a tour of Amaya Roasting Company. I’ve been buying Amaya coffee beans for probably a year now and frequenting their coffee shop Catalina Coffee so I was stoked to see their bean roasting operation.
Amaya is located in the back of this building in East Downtown (EaDo) though the gallery is out of business:
Here’s Max outside entrance to @AmayaRoastingCo. It’s their coffee at Hugos Houston, Backstreet Cafe, CatalinaCoffee and a lot of other local establishments:
Green beans = unroasted coffee beans. They feed in 18 lbs into roaster, it comes out 15 lbs b/c water evaporation. The curve shows the temperature – time graph that they take the beans through when roasting them.
Bean moisture is very important. Too much could lead to fungus. Too little isn’t good either. Moisture testing machine.
They hand control temp over the 12-15 min it takes to roast a batch, but they log the actual temp curve in this software.
Cupping setup Amaya Roasting Co. Same beans but roasted light vs normal to show the difference roasting makes on taste (I was short on time so we didn’t do an actual cupping)
These decaf beans were roasted while I was at Amaya Roasting Co. The beans are being cooled off here:
This is @AmayaRoastingCo’s small batch roaster, made in USA. Same as big1 one but used test roast small batches.
And this is the big roaster:
Max doesn’t regularly give tours… Yet. They’re moving into a new space that’s a lot bigger in the next few months and when they do Max plans to do tours and cuppings on a regular basis.
Tip for fellow Houstonians: download the Houston 311 app. I used it to submit a ticket (with photographs and geolocation) about five really bad potholes near my office. And I circulated the link around my office to get the ticket upvoted. Less than two weeks later, no more potholes.
A few weeks ago, I happened to catch a Houston City Council meeting where a bunch of Houston limo operators spoke out against Uber (thanks to Evan Mintz tweeting about it). Their arguments (if they could be called that) were mostly protectionist and some were more vehement than others. But none of the remarks were more ridiculous than those of Joe Jordan, the President of the Houston Limousine Operators Networking Group. He somehow managed to compare Uber to child pornographers! Here’s a video clip of his remarks:
“The problem with a company like Uber, they only exist in cyberspace. They’re like people who do child pornography or people who do online gambling. They simply move their websites to South America or China.” -Joe Jordan, President, Houston Limo Operators Networking Group.
Like child pornographers? Move their servers to China??
Incredible how uninformed this guy is. Chris Sacca hit the nail on the head in a back and forth on twitter while this was happening:
After the news on Sunday that Tesla’s 1st supercharging station in Texas will be in San Marcos, Texas, some Tesla owners did some further sleuthing and here’s what the map looks like for the 1st 4 Tesla Superchargers in Texas:
This morning, just for fun, I drove down to the Outlet Mall at San Marcos to see if I could find the Superchargers. I did.
While taking the pix below I casually chatted up the workman. The spoke openly, answered all my “casual” question, and had apparently not been sworn to secrecy. Here’s what they said:
1. They are here from Florida and work for a Florida company that is the subcontractor for the six Texas SC stations.
2. Their company is also going to be installing Superchargers from Florida all the way to Maine. There are other subs for other parts of the country.
3. They will finish San Marcos this week, then move up to Waco to begin work there. That job should take 3-4 weeks. The guy wasn’t sure exactly where in Waco they would be (he already had the plans but hadn’t looked at them and didn’t have them at hand).
4. At about the time they start in Waco, another team should be starting the installation at Columbus at a “Comfort Suites or something like that.” I’m guessing it will be here: http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-columbus-texas-TXF22/Hotel-Map?maphotel=TXF22&country=US
5. Next installations after that will be Huntsville – after that he had no info except there are six total in the works.
About San Marcos:
The chargers are in a large parking lot to the east of the main mall buildings and Neiman-Marcus Last Call
Note that there are 5 chargers in place. Each of those two wood enclosures in the background contains 3 cabinets (6 in all), and each cabinet is capable of supporting two Superchargers eventually, total of twelve.
Those two green transformers in the background were just installed by the power company, one for each of the two groups of cabinets. That’s some SERIOUS power coming in!
Note that they’ve already re-sodded the lawn. You can see that everything has been dug up for the big underground conduits which also go under the street to the actual charging stations (after which they repaved the street).
If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering where Tesla’s Texas Supercharging Stations will be located. Well, from the Tesla Motors Club forums, we now know the location of Tesla’s first supercharging station in Texas… the Tanger Outlet Malls in San Marcos, TX, between Austin and San Antonio:
I did a quick check and here’s how far it is from other cities in Texas:
172 miles from Houston, TX (which makes it perfect for Houston-Austin and Houston-San Antonio trips)
232 miles from Dallas, TX (Dallas-Austin drivers will just barely make it?)
37 miles from Austin, TX
45 miles from San Antonio, TX
The Tesla Supercharging station appears to be behind the outlet malls — 5 chargers in all — the green arrow in this image from Google Maps shows the actual location:
As I wrote about in my detailed Tesla Model S, the Tesla’s in car computer is brilliant, one of the car’s greatest features. Second only to the fact that the car runs entirely on electricity.
So it got me thinking about the inevitable future where anyone can build apps on Tesla’s platform. What apps (or types of apps) would be useful in one’s car?
For example, slacker radio is already available as an app in the car and it proves the “music app” category of apps.
In contrast, I find the web browser app (which is also already there) to be pretty useless beyond being a novelty during demos… “Hey look you can even browse the web from the car! ”
So here are some of my ideas:
Flight status app: whether I’m going to pick someone up from the airport or I’m flying out of town myself, the status of a particular flight is a piece of information that’s uniquely valuable to me when I’m driving in my car to get to the airport in time.
Calendar app I want read only access to my calendar while I’m driving. I’m heading into the office. What’s on the sched for today? Make each meeting’s location something that I can use to drive a search (and/or navigate) in the car’s existing maps app.
Nest thermostat control. I’m headed home and I want to set my home thermostat on my– turn on my home heating or cooling.
Directory of locations: I drive to my daughter’s dance class in Sugarland. I eat out at a few restaurants on a frequent basis (Chuy’s, a hotel near the office, etc). I frequently travel to my offices. Like your phone has a phone book of numbers, my car needs a directory of locations. It should be able to build the skeleton for this without much user input– just using GPS data and location name information from google maps. Then I want to search nearby these places and navigate to these places.
Google Now: as @existentialism pointed out on twitter, Google Now would be absolutely perfect for use in the car. Requires almost no input after it’s been setup and delivers useful information on the go.
Other music apps: as I mentioned in my review, Slacker Radio is a huge hit in my car. My girls LOVE being able to listen to anything they can think of when we go places. There’s no reason Pandora and Rhapsody and iTunes shouldn’t be side by side with Slacker in my car.