Tag Archive 'scaa'

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 […]

CoffeeCON 2013

Posted by TheShot on 10 May 2013 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Consumer Trends, Home Brew, Machine, Quality Issues, Roasting

Perhaps the biggest irony is that nobody should ever need a CoffeeCON. As we posted last year, on the same day as the inaugural CoffeeCON 2012, we were instead attending the Grand Tasting of La Paulée de San Francisco: a $300-per-person consumer Burgundy appreciation event backed by a tremendous amount of wine industry support and […]

Trip Report: La Colombe (West Loop, Chicago, IL)

Posted by TheShot on 09 May 2013 | Filed under: Foreign Brew, Machine, Roasting, Starbucks

La Colombe continues to play an interesting role in the modern evolution of consumer coffee tastes. Starting in 1985 in Seattle, co-founders Todd Carmichael and Jean Philippe (JP) Iberti joined forces and decided to set up their idea for a great American roaster in Philadelphia. Which was no small risk, given that Philadelphia isn’t the […]

Trip Report: Barrington Coffee Company (Boston, MA)

Posted by TheShot on 25 Apr 2013 | Filed under: Beans, Foreign Brew, Machine

Of the coffeehouses in Boston I visited this month, this was my favorite. Sure, I didn’t make it over to Barismo or Voltage, but that was somewhat deliberate. Of all the times I’ve come to Boston, I’ve always stayed in the ‘burbs like Cambridge and Somerville but never Boston proper. This time I never left […]

On Boston, and Little of It About Coffee

Posted by TheShot on 17 Apr 2013 | Filed under: Barista, Beans, Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Quality Issues

For the past couple of days, I’ve resisted writing about this topic: the recent SCAA conference and the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon the following day. But I can’t escape it. Apologies in advance for adding little on the subject of coffee, but to do so exclusively would seem both disrespectful and inappropriate. This […]

The most important public face of specialty coffee today

Posted by TheShot on 26 Dec 2012 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Consumer Trends

The specialty coffee industry has a strangely ambivalent, love/hate relationship with the mainstream. On the one hand, it thrives on an independent spirit rooted in independent businesses, an artisinal “craftsman” approach, an often bristling indifference to its customers, and it eschews much of anything that smells like the status quo (the stereotypes about things like […]

Are we at the end of a coffee Golden Age?

Posted by TheShot on 03 May 2011 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Quality Issues

A couple weeks ago, a regular reader made a very relevant comment on our last post: “You have become very negative. When was the last positive post?” They were completely on target, and we have noticed this trend in ourselves for months now. (See: Coffee Commenter Archetype #10.) The reasons are worth a post here. […]

America will never make good restaurant coffee

Posted by TheShot on 03 Apr 2011 | Filed under: Barista, Café Society, Quality Issues, Restaurant Coffee

We’ve been lamenting the sorry state of restaurant coffee in these pages since 2005. But let it be known that, as of this moment forward, we have officially given up on the possibility of ever being reliably served good coffee in American restaurants. Sure, there have been a few successes and battles won along the […]

The gadgetization of coffee: coffee’s real fourth wave?

Posted by TheShot on 10 Jun 2010 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Machine

Two curious, seemingly unrelated posts appeared simultaneously in the news yesterday. One on La Marzocco‘s new Strada machine and all its variable-pressure-control glory: Ristretto | Strada – T Magazine Blog – NYTimes.com. The other, Esquire installment #3 from Todd Carmichael, about the ridiculous MSRP/retail prices for professional espresso machines and what most people in the […]

The next coffee crisis

Posted by TheShot on 21 Apr 2010 | Filed under: Beans, Consumer Trends, Fair Trade, Robusta

One of the long running jokes among the (these days: masochistic) fans who follow Italian soccer is that — at least according to the Italian sports media — teams tend to go from “crisis” to “crisis” several times in a given season. If a top-caliber team doesn’t win for two straight matches, sono in crisi […]

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