Gordon Webster is a much celebrated swing bandleader based in New Jersey who travels the world sharing his unique take on swing jazz, to the delight of dancers from Australia to Brazil to Sweden. Several hundred lindy hoppers had the pleasure of dancing to him last night in San Francisco as part of the SF Lindy Exchange going on this weekend. I can't remember the last time I had such an awesome time swinging to a live band!
Here's Gordon performing with Meschiya Lake of New Orleans and awesome rendition of "When I Get Low, I Get High."
What I didn't know was that Gordon Webster was such a huge coffee geek. Apparently he spent most of Friday going from one high-end coffee joint to the next, looking for the perfect espresso. San Francisco, of course, is one of the meccas of coffee nerdery in the US, so he had a lot of spots to choose from.
After playing for us dancers from 9 to midnight, Gordon and some of us ended up hanging out my friends' Kirk and Iris' pad in the Castro. As Gordon recounted his coffee adventures of the day, Kirk offered to show Gordon the cafe that Kirk and Iris run across the street, Cafe Sophie.
So that's how at 2am, Kirk, Gordon and I ended up making double-shots on Cafe Sophie's beautiful vintage espresso machine. Kirk knows his business, so Gordon and Kirk geeked out on everything from grind quality, tamping technique, PSI and temperature of the water, and timing of the pour. Even if it wasn't the middle of the night, not sure I could follow their conversation.
Gordon made an espresso shot like a champ, and bought some coffee to bring back to the East Coast with him. He's now officially the coolest swing bandleader I know.
More pics of Gordon at Cafe Sophie below.