Gettin’ Paid: The Results From Our International Barista Income Survey


You may have heard a thing or two about how people work in coffee for the love of it. But we all gotta get paid too. You may also have heard a bit about this whole “professional jobs in coffee” thing, which is definitely happening, but the truth is the vast majority of people working in coffee are still doing so as a barista. Last month, in the … [Read more...]

From The Brain of Bernson: Black Blood of the Earth

Caffeine is freaking awesome. Sure, the health effects of extreme caffeine intake are a little unclear, and a lifetime spent working with the stuff is most probably bad for you, but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun in the meantime! Enter Phillip Broughton, founder of Funranium Labs, who has created an intense vacuum-extracted coldbrew … [Read more...]

Ehrmahgerd Caffeine: A Study of the Studious Studies


UPDATE on 3/4/2013: The original version of this feature stated incorrect facts about the caffeine content in a canned alcoholic beverage called "Four Loko", which has not contained caffeine since November 2010. Caffeine: coffee has it. Do you love it? Are you hooked on it? Does your daily constant physical interaction with this substance kind … [Read more...]

Restaurant Week: Why Maialino Is One Of New York’s Best Cafes


Maialino is Danny Meyer’s take on a Roman trattoria, but it's much more than that. You could argue that Maialino makes a better café than most dedicated coffee establishments in New York. What follows is said argument. Maialino employs six full-time baristas - six! -  meaning you can get an expertly prepared Counter Culture Coffee cappuccino at … [Read more...]

Want To Work In Coffee? Move To New York City!


Unemployed? Underemployed? Not entirely happy with the status of your employment? Then you should probably move to New York City. This place is chockablock, brimming, absolutely lousy with available coffee jobs, and only the barest familiarity with coffee is seemingly required. Like seriously, if you know what a portafilter is, or even have just … [Read more...]

True Tales Of The New York City Knockbox Classic


Alex Bernson recently attended the maiden voyage of the Knockbox Classic, a new kind of barista competition based in New York City. Mr. Bernson is a staff writer for It was in the low 20s outside on Sunday, but the Joe Pro Shop was boiling. The atmosphere for the first Empire City Knockbox Classic was giddy, with upwards of 150 … [Read more...]

5 Toy Coffee Machines For Your Budding Baby Barista


Fact: there is nothing cuter than watching very small children make coffee. Our friends at Clive Coffee have produced video evidence, and I can empirically state that watching these little tykes operate thousands of dollars worth of home espresso equipment is alllllllmost enough to make me want to have kids. If I did have kids, I’m sure they’d … [Read more...]

Real Talk: Barista Health In The Workplace – Part 3


As Alex Bernson's landmark three-part series on barista health reaches its denouement, we invite you to look back at Part 1 and Part 2. Mr. Bernson is a staff writer for In this third and last article in our series on the health effects of working in coffee, I want to question established notions of both what we know about coffee … [Read more...]

Real Talk: Barista Health In The Workplace – Part Two


Our three-part series on barista health continues. In this second installment, Sprudge staff writer Alex Bernson explores the physical and emotional demands placed on coffee professionals. Read part one here. In part one of our series on the health effects of working in coffee, we established a baseline understanding of the scope of these … [Read more...]

Real Talk: Barista Health In The Workplace – Part One


After months of interviews, public polling, private polling, and data collection, staff writer Alex Bernson presents to you a landmark comprehensive overview of the health risks involved with professional coffee service. This is part one of a three part series. Working in specialty coffee can be a rewarding, creatively stimulating … [Read more...]

Bernson’s Favorite Coffees Of 2012


Our staff writer Alex Bernson greets the new year with a look back at his favorite coffees of 2012. Looking back on 2012, it was definitely a great year to be a coffee nerd / enthusiast / professional / what-have-you. The industry keeps growing, shops and roasters keep popping up or expanding, and there's pretty much more information on the … [Read more...]

10 Christmas B-Sides Worth Bumping In Your Coffee Shop


Christmas is four days away, and shoppers everywhere are running around to snag those last-minute gifts and stopping into their favorite cafes for refueling. Christmas music is everywhere, but girl, that Elvis Christmas album is tired. We’ve put together a list of our favorite alternative Christmas deep cuts to round out the last few days of the … [Read more...]

7 Hot Designer Mugs – The Ultimate Gift Guide


Holiday gift shopping can be a real grind, especially for those coffee geeks in your life who already own every single piece of obscure Scandinavian brewing technology known to man. We’ve put together this guide on just the right cups to get for every type of coffee lover, to help you get some ideas percolating in time for the holidays! 7. … [Read more...]

Confidential: Coffee and Cataclysm At The Carlyle Hotel


Welcome to Sprudge Confidential, a new series of long-form essays from the very best writers in coffee. This first feature comes to you from Alex Bernson, professional barista and staff writer for Watch for more Sprudge Confidential features in the coming months.  There is something peculiar about most of the coffee one finds in … [Read more...]

The Schomer Approach To Customer Service


Coffee has a very unique service model, particularly in the length and frequency of transactions. Baristas usually get around 15 seconds to three minutes of interaction time with each customer, but if they're a regular one might see them most of the days they're alive. In total, a working barista interacts with between 100 and 600 customers a day. … [Read more...]

MANE Recap Realness: Five Takeaways


Ahh, glorious MANE, a three day pleasure trip of education, bonhomie, and world-class speaking engagements. Your editors were in full attendance, running around like loony toons getting ready to host and produce not one, but two well-received panel discussions, one of which featured more of our evolving live performance late night TV … [Read more...]