For the coffee lover on your list.
For a coffee company, creating a new blend is rare treat. Not as rare as pitching a perfect game in baseball, but at least as rare as those years where Christmas falls on a Thursday and you get a 5 day weekend out of it.… With so much of the focus in specialty coffee on […]
You’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it… the barista in your favorite coffee shop weighs out a small volume of fresh beans, takes them to an overly large (and probably white) grinder and fiddles with a nob or dial before grinding the microscopic amount of coffee into some sort of cup made out of surgical […]
In explaining coffee to the general public, us industry-folk go to a lot of trouble to compare it to other foods products. I often compare dark roasts to over-cooked meat, talk about the body of a cup in relation to different varietals of wine, explain roasting by likening it to popping popcorn, and we […]
For all of the different ways to make coffee (espresso, pour-over, immersion, electric brewers, etc) there are seemingly countless pieces of equipment to get the job done. And while each has its own idiosyncrasies, benefits and affects on the final cup of coffee you end up with, there is one particular piece of equipment […]
When we talk about coffee freshness, most of the discussion is around how to store it, when to grind it and how quickly to consume it. Often summed up neatly on the side of your bag of beans, there are actually some incredibly interesting implications to freshness of roasted coffee that I’m looking forward […]
For a drink that so many of us consume on a daily basis, there are countless myths about coffee. First and foremost, I’d like to tackle some misunderstandings around “dark roast” coffee. In no way, shape or form, is dark roast coffee “stronger” than lighter roasted coffee. Heavier on the palate, perhaps, but certainly […]
Washed Processing Generally, coffees identified as “washed” are coffees which undergo de-pulping, washing, and fermentation. The key to this process is fermentation. In this controlled process, coffee (still encased in parchment and mucilage) remains under water for a length of time determined by local practices. During this time, the sugars from the mucilage left on […]
I’ve been thinking about travel a lot lately – specifically travel to origin. A few months back while in Guatemala, I got to looking at some old photos from past trips, and found a photo I took in Costa Rica last year. It was a photograph of my signature in the guest book of Finca […]
In the wake of this year’s national barista championship – a grouping of words I once thought silly and senseless – I find myself, once again, looking at coffee in a different light. I’ve been around coffee literally my entire life, born into it as it was, and have spent time in all facets of the […]
After listening to this week’s terrific This American Life episode, “Origin Stories 2014”, I found myself considering the origin story of Reunion Island Coffee. Along with questions about where the name comes from (“Is there actually a Reunion island?”), people always seem to want to know how we got started. The first, of hopefully many, […]
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I witnessed a “revolution,” though thankfully not the kind that culminates in a coup d’état. What I saw was the so-called “micro-mill revolution” — a new way in which coffee is processed and sold, that could help transform the way specialty coffee is traded, to the betterment of all involved.
Originally posted on the Huffington Post on October 2, 2013. Sustainability in coffee means different things to different people, but at its heart, it’s about a healthy succession of the industry — from farmers to consumers, and everyone in between. To this end, coffee and capitalism are seemingly at odds with one another. High school […]
Originally posted on the Huffington Post on June 13, 2013. For those of us living outside of the tropics, coffee will never truly be ‘local.’ We don’t have the heat or altitude to grow coffee, and if we do down the line, something has gone dangerously wrong in the fight against global warming. So instead […]
Originally posted on the Huffington Post on February 26, 2013. Coffee’s capacity to create social equality and alleviate poverty is based on two key factors — its ability to connect developing (producers) and developed (consumers) countries, and the sheer volume of people who are employed by it. Conservative estimates show that number to be around […]
Originally posted to the Huffington Post on November 29, 2012. In the current age of going green and sustainability permeating every facet of our daily routine, the coffee industry is one that has taken the mission to heart, incorporating the concept into every aspect of the supply chain, from seed to cup. But for all […]