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

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

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

Get Aspirational

At last month's Rainforest Alliance gala reception I spoke briefly with Rainforest President Tensie Whelan for a few articles for Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. This is her response to my question of "how can behind-the-scenes intermediaries, as well as consumer facing brands, can help close the disparaging differential gap between the available volumes of … Continue reading Get Aspirational

Tired Words

It's already like 10 days into lent; I can't remember how many years it’s been since made a decision and truly gave up something for 40 days. Being in grad school and teaching and coffee-ing simultaneously for the past month has meant that I've been doing more writing than normal. Because I'm writing so much, … Continue reading Tired Words

Crop to Cup gets Roasty

When I travel, coffeepeople often give me samples of green coffee as a gesture of sharing the bounty of their farm. The only problem is, I am not a coffee roaster, so it takes some doing for me to do transform the little half pound bags of green beans they give me into anything useful. … Continue reading Crop to Cup gets Roasty

There’s an App for That: Angels’ Cup, Coffee Tasting for All

It takes many long, grueling hours to become a Q Grader, the technical name for a "coffee sommelier," or professional coffee taster. Earning the title, which only a few hundred people in the world hold, involves sniffing vials of concentrated scents, blindly slurping thousands of coffee samples, and memorizing a vocabulary of hundreds of terms … Continue reading There’s an App for That: Angels’ Cup, Coffee Tasting for All

Ink Spotlight

This internet thing is cool, but there is something about ink on paper that—for me at least—will never go out of style. The internet is an endless feed, but books and magazines are finite and discrete objects, and somehow inked words set on paper put things in a spotlight that is fundamentally different from an … Continue reading Ink Spotlight

Nobletree Coffee Launches in Brooklyn

Get ready coffeepeople; there’s a new tree in town, and it is dressed for success. The coffee industry has gone through many identity crises as different roasters, brands, and shops dub themselves “specialty,” “third wave,” “artisan,” and “craft.” Nobletree Coffee need not subscribe to any wriggling category because it effortlessly demonstrates that it is something … Continue reading Nobletree Coffee Launches in Brooklyn