Things Craft Coffee Can Teach Us About Forever Young America

I recently watched the Netflix docu series Chef’s Table for the first time, and suddenly everything about craft coffee trends and tendencies made sense. The main things that annoy me about smallscale artisan craft coffee and that have never really made any sense are explained not by the series per se, but by how the … Continue reading Things Craft Coffee Can Teach Us About Forever Young America

About that $18 Cup of Coffee

About that $18 cup of coffee in Brooklyn that went viral. What’s up with it? Why does it cost $18 and why did everyone have something to say about it? Let's break this down. 0. This coffee is not actually available yet. When it is, it will cost $18/cup. Two weeks ago, Alpha Dominche, a … Continue reading About that $18 Cup of Coffee

The Importance of Inefficiency and the Danger of Detail

  Specialty coffee is overwhelmingly inefficient. This inefficiency might be the one unilateral criterion that makes certain coffee special and also the one unilateral virtue—or opportunity for positive impact—that circumscribes specialty coffee as a category. Between 275-320 bags (total varies depending on country of export and their standard bag weight) of coffee are packed into … Continue reading The Importance of Inefficiency and the Danger of Detail

Southdown: A Place You Want to Be

Southdown: A Place You Want to Be   One of the unexpected benefits of working for an importer is that I’m able to explore coffee shops beyond my normal MTA-bound radius and get to know roasters who are not maybe not the flashiest social media magnates but are busy making great coffee for the people … Continue reading Southdown: A Place You Want to Be

Fat Neighbors

Some people have more money, resources, good looks, connections, and formative educational training than others. That’s life. In the case of coffee, life’s inherent unfairness doesn’t have to be a bad thing and it doesn’t take a mammoth international organization like Fairtrade to help restore some balance to life’s inherently imbalanced scales; it just takes … Continue reading Fat Neighbors

Celebrate the Good

Coffee, like everything else, is not perfect. Coffee regularly gets negative press of being exploitive on one end and elitist on the other. (For some thoughts on the complexities of making trade fair, see my second guest post for Angels' Cup.) It's nice to take a moment to recognize that coffee is also very inclusive … Continue reading Celebrate the Good

Celebrity Farmers

Way back in the post Division of Decision I suggested that we don't always know what me mean by the words that we use. When we say "farmer" who are we actually talking about? The romantic, idyllic image of a lone man toiling in harmony with the land that we associate with the word is … Continue reading Celebrity Farmers

When Coffee Connects

  Vague generalisms like "coffee connects people" or "coffee shops are a third space that builds community" are tired clichés. What's not tired--what's quite refreshing, actually--is unexpectedly experiencing third space coffee community connections in ways that are concrete and real and not at all vague. Case in point: I almost always make my coffee at … Continue reading When Coffee Connects

The Coffeepeople Event: SCAA 2015

Seattle, Take 2 From April 8th-12th the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) held its 27th annual Event, and for the second consecutive year the world's best coffee makers gathered in Seattle. "Make" is a broad term, and the SCAA Event (Expo, lecture sessions, competitive drink preparation) lures producers, processors, exporters, importers, government delegations, trade guilds, … Continue reading The Coffeepeople Event: SCAA 2015