Splitting a shot of espresso isn’t exactly on the same level as splitting the atom, but in the specialty coffee world, where change is measured incrementally, by degrees, it’s still pretty exciting.
Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters has shown a commitment to innovation since Colby Barr and Ryan O’Donovan founded the company in 2007. Part of that comes through competition. Verve baristas always show up strong at the United States Barista Championship. Verve coffee pro Jared Truby recently took gold at the Southwest Regional Barista Competition. He also created the one and one, a split shot that appears in twin demitasse cups, with a single-shot espresso balancing a single-shot macchiato on a plate, typically with one cup balancing the other on the edge. The one and one simultaneously showcases espresso with milk and without, and is available for $3 at the three Verve Coffee Roasters locations in Santa Cruz. Don’t look for the one and one on the menu, since it’s only available to spro junkies in the know. We spoke with Truby and his co-worker Chris Baca to learn more about the one and one’s creation and inspiration.
“The one in one is a simple yet important way to see how your coffee will taste in a cappuccino as well as an espresso,” says Truby. “A single shot macchiato is close to the same ratio as a cappuccino and so this works perfectly. You can taste your espresso and then have it in milk assuring, as long as you did a good job, that your coffee will taste optimally in all ways!”
Baca recalls the inception of the one and one, saying, “We had an event where we were making our competition beverages and competition espressos in here for the public…Jared had it. He’s like, ‘Try this.’ He had a single espresso, and a single macchiato…He didn’t have another saucer, so he stacked them together on the fly and put it out. I’m like, ‘What the fuck is that dude? Fucking brilliant. That’s like the best thing I’ve ever seen.’ He’s like, ‘Pretty tight, right?’ I was like, ‘Wow.’”
Truby added, “The plating was just a balancing act I put together for a presentation:) I remember putting it in the counter and seeing Chris’ eyes light up, he said, ‘That’s genius, I can’t believe I didn’t come up with it first!'”
Baca’s seen the one and one on the menu at the Intelligentsia Venice slow bar, and at a couple other venues around the country. Could Truby’s one and one become the next cult favorite in specialty coffee?