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Last Week With Ben Blake – Week of August 10...

Last Week With Ben Blake – Week of August 10th, 2013

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Maybe you spent the last week dialing in your trendy new batch brewer, or maybe you were just trying to figure out why your coffee tasted like spicy tacos. Whatever the case may be, here’s the latest coffee news you missed in the last 7 days —all in one spot. It’s like a week’s worth of Sprudge articles, only with way less reading.

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Systems: We took a look at the first Modbar Modular Espresso units we’ve seen out in the wild. You may remember way back in April of this year, Sprudge.com was the first publication on the planet to bring you details, photos, and insight on the Modbar modular espresso system. This is just a first look, with many more expected— Modbar’s spot at the Counter Culture Coffee booth at SCAA fully sold out their available 2013 production run of Modbar products.

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Sams: We sat down and chatted with the Sams of NYC’s Everyman Espresso – Sam Penix, owner, and Sam Lewontin, manager and NERBC champion– on the redesign of Everyman’s original cafe space, located in the lobby of the Classic Stage Company at 136 East 13th Street. They went in depth on everything design, and filled us in on the though process behind rethinking one of New York City’s best cafes.

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Should-Be’s: As coffee bar menus continue to shrink across the globe we couldn’t help but feel that there are some items that should be added. So, we came up with sixteen coffee drinks that aren’t on menus yet – but should be. Me-ow.

Suggestions: We introduced a new voice to Sprudge.com: D.J. Tanner, an advice specialist who is ready to answer your burning coffee questions. I will reiterate on Sprudge’s behalf that this new columnist is 100% a real person, and bears no relation to the character from “Full House”. This week, the Deej touches on espresso shots, sexy shift baristas, sad assistant managers, and coffee tourists.

Turns out we weren’t the only ones with suggestions…

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A suggested production roast for Cafe Imports’ Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Konga natural.

We chatted with the gang at Cafe Imports, who have teamed up with Cropster to add roast profile charts to their “Beanologies” listings for select green coffees. These charts were developed using Cropster’s roasting software, but dialed in and achieved in-house by Cafe Imports roasting guru Joe Marrocco. Most folks on Twitter thought this sounded really cool, but a select few other folks didn’t cotton to the concept. Our guess is that we’ll hear heaps more about it in the coming days, so stay tuned.

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Announcement night, with Colectivo’s ownership on stage.

Switcheroos: Sprudge contributor and citizen of the world Liz Clayton was actually there in Milwaukee on behalf of Sprudge when the Colectivo announcement went down. The inside story of how this all happened – how Liz came to be in that private staff meeting, and how Liz & Sprudge fought valiantly against local MKE news outfits with no respect for embargo timing – could make for a juicy column in its own right. But trust us, the subterfuge and info holding was worth it: Liz Clayton produce two awesome features from Milwaukee, one as the name change story was breaking, and another early this week that followed up on the news with context and insight. We’re enormously proud to be home to this feature, that we think is the definitive document on the Alterra name change, Alterra’s curious relationship with Mars, and the future of Colectivo.

When Alterra Became Colectivo: What Exactly Just Happened Here?

Summer Build-Outs:

We’re continuing our Build-Outs of Summer Series, and this week, we’ve the inside scoop on two new cafes in Waco, Texas and Winnipeg.

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Dicohotomy Coffee & Spirits, Waco, TX

Little Sister Coffee Maker, Exterior

Little Sister Coffee Maker, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Shrubbery: The folks over at Oakland’s Coffee Shrub released this definitive guide to the coffees of Rwanda and Burundi. This is highly recommended reading, and we feel the same way about the bulk of resources over at Coffee Shrub’s website. 

Science of Scents & Satisfaction: Our fabulous science column returned this week, finally, with the second installment of Talk To The Han. LA-based writer Juliet Han explores science, taste, and why both are fun, and this latest edition of Talk To The Han is all about aromas. It’s like a Bill Nye for coffee lovers!

Ben Blake is the genius behind Draw Coffee (@DrawCoffee) and a regular weekly news recapper for Sprudge. Read more Ben Blake here!


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