Carl Mundy is the field office manager for the Waterbed Warehouse in Twin Falls, Idaho, and an occasional Sprudge.com contributor. Past coverage from Mr. Mundy includes the Able Brewing split from Coava, Starbucks’ unveiling of the 31 oz. Trenta drink size, and his seminal essay on North California organic food politics, “The GFA’s And My Fifth Wife: A Crisis Of Phenom-o-Knowledgy“. He writes today on The Juggler milk tap system from Six Simple Machines, as previously profiled by Bean Scene Magazine, What’s In The Hopper, and DCILY.
So there I was over at the Jigglin’ Bare, having a 2pm dirty-tap draught with a frozen margarita float alongside my old buddy Dean. Dean was my right hand man when I was runnin’ that chain of bikini barista bars up and down Route 89 back in 2010, and he’s been with me through thick and thin (as I like to call my first 2 wives). I was in the middle of explain’ my situation with the new old lady when Dean got up to answer the call of nature. That’s when all of a sudden the swirlin’ margarita granita machine started sputterin’ all over the bar, spurtin’ on Brandy the barmaid, and sloppin’ sugar booze on top of poor Dean’s newly thrifted Tommy Bahamas.
Bobby the Cook came burstin’ through the kitchen doors, screamin’ and cussin’ “WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU FLUSHED THE LINE, BRANDY?”
Sittin’ there, watching that granita machine shake, spit, and smoke at the Jigglin’ Bare, drinkin’ down some queer beer-float – well, it got me thinkin’ about that Bean Scene Magazine, and Brian W. Jones and that new-fangled Juggler he done gone endorsed. And since I got me an opinion worth sharing, them Sprudge boys ponied up the dough to buy this here article from your ol’ pal Carl.
See, this milk tap contraption tain’t nothin’ new. The whole idea goes back to the days at them frilly New York automats in the 1920s, when milk would come delivered out of a gilded cherub statue. Me and Dean had our own under-the-counter system back at The Naked Portafilter. Our system weren’t no big shakes, but Dair-Easy-Does-It would come deliverin’ big old bags of fresh 10 gallon bladders every week, replete with freshly sanitized hoses and nozzles, and we’d hook her up and pump it out.
Problem was, them baristas I hired were only good at two things: pullin’ shots and breakin’ hearts. They weren’t real big on cleanin’ the steam wand. They’d use it and abuse it. Even though Dair-Easy-Does-It would deliver brand new unrecyclable plastic baggies and long tubes and nozzles, my milk lines weren’t gettin’ flushed out at night.
When I got the call at 3 in the morning that the old girl had gone belly up, I took the whole thing apart, and the residue and crust that built up in that system was enough to make me get back in the water bed business.
Anyway, my buddy Dean cleaned up his shoes, came out of the bathroom, and I asked him if he’d heard of this Australian Juggler. He said he had – he’s a Bean Scene subscriber, life-long – but hadn’t got a chance to really look into it, though he was optimistic. The way Dean sees it, the folks behind the Juggler may have addressed all the crust, gunk, and waste problems of the system that formerly graced our bikini bars. Maybe the bags of milk are reusable, maybe the milk lines make for easy sanitizing…
All I know is, if a cafe can’t take the time to grip the tip of the steam wand after each froth, they ain’t takin’ the time to clear out the hoses at night. And all the blog coverage in the world ain’t gonna change that.