Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done

A picture of Katie O'Shea
Photo by Matthew Staver.

Katie O'Shea

Barista, bike fanatic

Who are you, and what do you do?

Katie O'Shea: barista at Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea in Venice, CA; bike dork.

What hardware do you use?

Coffee hardware: Espresso: Custom-built Synesso Hydra (two-group) espresso machine with wood & glass panelling. Coffee: Hario V60 ceramic dripper with paper filters; Chemex 6-cup glass woodneck with paper filters/Coava Kone metal filter; Bodum 8-cup French Press. Grinders: Mazzer Robur E & Mazzer Super Jolly (in the shop), Rancilio Rocky & Red Rooster Camano hand grinder (at home).

Bike hardware: Puch Olympia 53cm cyclocross frame, stripped of paint to showcase the gunmetal-grey frame & the lovely brass brazing at the lugs; Motobecane Mirage 50cm road frame, powder blue with white components. Steel is real.

And what software?

Coffee software: Black Cat Classic Espresso (a blend that aims for a baker's-chocolate-&-black-cherry flavor profile throughout the year, though its components change based on what is in season & what is currently in stock, usually at least 80% Brazilian espresso & coffee from one other country, often from East Africa); a seasonal espresso blend (right now it's the Honey Badger espresso, which is comprised of two Brazilian micro-lots & one Kenyan micro-lot to create a caramelly, dried-apricot, tamarind flavor); rotating single-origin espresso like such as Los Inmortales El Salvador: El Pino, La Tortuga Honduras, Cruz del Sur Peru.

Bike software: Too many to easily list here, but the mains are: Brooks saddles, Sugino cranksets (the Motobecane is single-speed, the Puch is fixed), Dia-Compe (cyclocross-style) brake levers. Matching toe straps, saddles, & handlebar tape (dark brown on the paint-stripped Puch, white on the blue Motobecane). The Motobecane is still, & forever, in progress, but the Puch is mostly built up the way I like it.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream set-up would be a bike/coffee shop that offers fully-built frames, parts, & service for randonneur-style touring bikes as well as specialty coffee & home brewing equipment. No cream or sugar.