Tag Archive 'coffee_chains'

It’s Epicurious’ turn for “America’s Best Coffee Shops”

Posted by TheShot on 01 Mar 2014 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Local Brew, Quality Issues

Surprisingly, Epicurious had yet to make a notable entry in the obligatory culinary-magazine-rates-national-coffee-shops department. But that all changed this week with the rather ambitious title of “America’s 25 Best Coffee Shops — The ultimate guide to the best coffee shops across the United States”: America’s Best Coffee Shops | Epicurious.com. We do have to give […]

Trip Report: Paris Baguette (Palo Alto, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 10 Oct 2011 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Local Brew, Quality Issues

Ever eat a hamburger at a 1950s-themed American diner? In Hong Kong? Maybe their waffles didn’t taste like fish sauce, but it’s not uncommon to discover something lost in translation. (E.g., “Why does my hamburger bun taste like rice vinegar?”) On the spectrum of authenticity, this is the culinary equivalent to finding luxury handbags in […]

San Francisco gets a disloyalty card, but we kinda still don’t

Posted by TheShot on 21 Jan 2011 | Filed under: Local Brew, Starbucks

If you’re not aware of the disloyalty card concept, it originated a couple years ago in the UK from former world barista champ, Gwilym Davies. The kicker is that it’s supposed to be the opposite of a customer loyalty card, where consumers are given financial incentives for repeat business. Like the kind you get from […]

Is America distorting coffee’s tradition?

Posted by TheShot on 15 Nov 2010 | Filed under: Barista, Fair Trade, Foreign Brew, Local Brew, Quality Issues

Today’s The Korea Herald published a thought-provoking (if not debatable) piece about one-time Korea Barista Champion, Jeon Yong: Barista bringing coffee back to basics. Internal divisions within the national barista association prevented him from representing South Korea at the 2007 WBC in Tokyo, and he dismisses the notion that a training course can make one […]

Trip Report: Vida e Caffè @ Wembley Square (Cape Town, South Africa)

Posted by TheShot on 16 Jul 2010 | Filed under: Add Milk, Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Quality Issues, Starbucks

One of the most important, and most tragic, stories of human history since the age of the Portuguese explorers is the story of Colonialism. Today the vestiges of Colonialism are apparent everywhere from globalization to the impact of slavery and race relations around the world. For example, to look at the history of Cape Town, […]

Yountville Espresso

Posted by TheShot on 19 Feb 2010 | Filed under: Beans, Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Restaurant Coffee

It’s the kind of statement sure to earn protests from many a New Yorker: some consider Yountville, CA to be the culinary capital of America. An outrageous assertion? Not necessarily. At the heart of the Napa Valley wine country, Yountville is home to what many call the nation’s greatest restaurant in The French Laundry. It […]

Vancouver’s Caffè Artigiano tackles expansion conundrum

Posted by TheShot on 03 Feb 2010 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Quality Issues, Starbucks

Today’s The Globe and Mail (Toronto) featured an article on the coming growing pains for Vancouver’s Caffè Artigiano: Coffee chain tackles expansion conundrum – The Globe and Mail. For those unfamiliar, Caffè Artigiano still represents the best espresso shot we’ve ever had — produced by the hands of barista savant, Sammy Piccolo. Pulled in 2003, […]

Trip Report: Cibo (Sausalito, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 04 Jan 2010 | Filed under: Beans, Foreign Brew

This spacious café, oddly decorated with bike frames, lies on the north end of the Sausalito strip. Its name is pronounced “CHEE-bo”, Italian for “food.” (Though we did find an amusing online reference where someone suggested it is pronounced “SHEE-Bow” — which sounds more like M&M-Mars for “decommissioned cat food“.) There are a few outdoor […]

Does the growth in high-quality independent cafés mean the mom-and-pops are making a comeback?

Posted by TheShot on 28 Dec 2009 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Quality Issues, Starbucks

Has it really been a couple weeks since our last third wave rant? A few years after we thought this topic was dead and buried, lately newbie third wave coffee articles have been cropping up in local newspapers like teenage vampire profiteers. London, Oakland, and now Vancouver: Indie cafés perfectly poised to quench coffee aficionados’ […]

Breaking the Chains: Dispelling the Myth of Consistency at the Big Coffee Chains

Posted by TheShot on 15 Aug 2009 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Quality Issues, Starbucks

One of the things that the big coffee chains do well is consistency. Or at least that’s the conventional wisdom, lifted straight from the fast food chain playbook. A McDonald’s french fry is pretty much the same everywhere, and the coffee served at a big chain is little different. Or so we’ve all been told. […]

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