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It was a time to celebrate so many things.

For some reason, I woke up to my wandering mind taking me back to May 31st, 2012. It was one month after opening EVOKE in Downtown Edmond and was the day of our official “Grand Opening”.

We had planned for weeks and came up with a day full of all the good things we had been working towards for nearly 1o years actually happening. It was day one but also day 1,000. It was for us. The community. The crew that helped us open. It was for me as I sit here now.

This party was going to be special and one I knew I wouldn’t forget. We had my pals from the Sugar Free Allstars set to play a kids show over lunch and hourly giveaways ALL DAY.

Then, at night, a party I knew would be incredible featuring a life DJ and a new to me competition for the bar called an Iron Tamper Competition. My great friend Jason Dominy (who was with Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters at the time) came down to host this cool event. It is part creative sorcery. Part coffee. Part crazy fun. All party!

Here is how these things work:

  • The teams are built randomly and are formed with two baristas.
  • Each team has ten minutes to create an espresso based drink using at least one of three secret ingredients which you’ll find out when the competition starts. You know.. Iron Chef style!
  • Baristas are free to bring their own ingredients to help with their drinks, but no alcohol, and drinks must include at least one of the three ingredients.
  • The drink can be hot or iced.
  • Drinks will be judged by three judges on overall flavor, creative use of ingredients, and balance.
  • Winning team takes all the money!

You talk about fun. We have seen latte art competitions (we called them Pour Downs at EVOKE) but nothing like this and I was so so stoked that Dominy brought this to Edmond.

Watching each team reach into the brown paper sack to look at the secret ingredients was awesome. The drinks folks came up with were intense and it was all around shinanagins.

I wish I had filmed it or had a stack of pictures on my desk to look back at. Maybe we did and I just can’t find anything from that night but I feel like it was filed away in my mind. As I write this, I remember more and more about that day. How load it was with the band and all the kids over lunch. How I sat in my office in the back of the shop talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook about their experience at EVOKE and reading about all the good times people were having up front.

It was a day I had dreamed about for so long and it felt like a day to just smile. Feel happy. Let your guard down for just a few minutes. To breath and feel like it was all ok. It was. It was the perfect place for coffee, people and great hang time.

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