Tag Archive 'fair_trade'

Coffee, Academically — and announcing the Stanford University Coffee Symposium

Posted by TheShot on 08 Mar 2014 | Filed under: Barista, Consumer Trends, Local Brew, Quality Issues

I’ve had a long, strange history with academics. Before succumbing to the dark side of money-plundering dot-com entrepreneurs, I worked in scientific research labs at The Johns Hopkins University and at Stanford University. It was also a joint graduate PhD program in bioengineering at UC Berkeley/UCSF, with a focus on neuroscience, that first brought me […]

Where Coffee is not Food and Transparency is not Quality

Posted by TheShot on 20 Jan 2014 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Fair Trade, Quality Issues

Words can mean a lot. When it comes to coffee, that can mean words like “food” or “transparency”. We’ve noticed both of these words coming up a lot in recent public discussions about coffee quality, and yet neither word really belongs in the conversation. Today’s Daily Coffee News from Roast Magazine registered examples of each […]

Trip Report: Toby’s Coffee Bar (Point Reyes Station, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 02 Jan 2012 | Filed under: Fair Trade, Foreign Brew

A New Year’s Non-Resolution? First, a Happy New Year to everyone. I may be in the camp that believes celebrating January 1 is about as arbitrary as celebrating March 6 as “New Year’s Day,” but I can still appreciate much of the sentiment behind it. Namely: leaving the past behind and trying to set a […]

Are we really still fussing over coffee prices?

Posted by TheShot on 13 Oct 2011 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Consumer Trends

Nobody enjoys paying 83% more for something than they paid for it last year. That is, unless you’re living in Zimbabwe under a 89.7 sextillion percent inflation rate. Earlier this year, the media were hot and heavy with news stories about surging coffee prices. However, some such stories are still trickling in — such as […]

Andrea Illy on Fair Trade, barista training, and coffee pricing

Posted by TheShot on 22 Sep 2011 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Fair Trade, Quality Issues, Restaurant Coffee

Media profiles of Illycaffè‘s Andrea Illy are commonplace. But this one from today’s The Guardian (UK) is better than most: Andrea Illy: family businessman who’s raising the bar for premium coffee | Business | The Guardian. For one, Mr. Illy talks about the importance of pricing and brand positioning. Regardless of what you think of […]

Police bust Italian espresso gang

Posted by TheShot on 11 May 2011 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Fair Trade, Foreign Brew

Here in SF, we’re sometimes way too busy holding our noses because a coffee shop doesn’t use Blue Bottle or Fair Trade certified coffee. (In our personal case, sometimes it’s just too few places that use Barefoot.) To put things a little in perspective, here’s a story today from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Police bust […]

The 10 Types of Commenters on Coffee Articles

Posted by TheShot on 02 Mar 2011 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Consumer Trends, Fair Trade, Home Brew, Machine, Roasting, Starbucks

Over the years we’ve read a lot of coffee articles. And ever since feedback forms became commonplace on the Internet, we’ve also read a lot of user comments on these posts. At least enough for us to identify 10 common archetypes among coffee article commenters on the Internet — analogous to the ever-popular coffee shop […]

Kona coffee gets an article worthy of its pedigree

Posted by TheShot on 03 Oct 2010 | Filed under: Beans, Fair Trade

A friend of this Web site, Andrew Hetzel, called it the best article about Kona coffee ever written. That’s a pretty tall order. But this piece, which came out a couple days ago, makes a compelling argument: Hana Hou: The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines – Adventures in Coffeeland. It’s at least good enough to make […]

Trip Report: Origin Coffee Roasting (Cape Town, South Africa)

Posted by TheShot on 12 Jul 2010 | Filed under: Add Milk, Barista, Café Society, Consumer Trends, Fair Trade, Foreign Brew, Quality Issues, Roasting

Among coffee aficionados in town, quality artisan coffee originates with Origin. Opening in 2006 in a more modest space, this place changed the face of coffee in Cape Town if not South Africa. Since its expansion, it is now three transparent levels of coffee, café, roasting, regional Synesso distributor, and barista training labs. If that […]

The social politics and economics of coffee prices

Posted by TheShot on 07 May 2010 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Fair Trade

What is it about coffee today that makes it such a lightning rod for consumer indignation and class warfare? Nobody expresses outrage over a $400 bottle of wine, a $110,000 MSRP Mercedes-Benz, or even a $300,000 diamond-encrusted smart phone. But should someone dare sell a cup of coffee for $12, the world is coming to […]

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