Last Week With Ben Blake – Week of July 27th, 2013

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Here’s all the coffee news you missed in the last 7 days —all in one spot. It’s like a really wonderful vanilla latte at Sterling Coffee in PDX on a cool summer morning.

B4B Update: We caught up with Joe NYC manager and longtime specialty coffee person Carrie Webster to find out how she’s doing since she was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2012. You may recall way back in 2012, her colleagues at Joe New York and friends back in Portland created fundraising events under the banner of “Baristas For Boobs” to help her pay for costly medical bills.

Big Ol’ Regional Shakeup: The Specialty Coffee Association of America announced a major overhaul of the United States Barista Champion Regional events this week.  More from SCAA:

“Based on the overwhelming success of the “Big Central” regional competition, which has combined the North and South Central regions over the past two years, the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has confirmed that the six-region barista competition program will officially be held in 3 regionally-combined events beginning with the 2014 cycle.

This is a long rumored switch and we’re excited to see it play out—stay tuned for more information.

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LA: The ever-impressive Julie Wolfson chatted with With Tyler Stonebreaker, Real Estate Mogul To The Coffee Stars. Mr. Stonebreaker has helped such coffee folk as the men from Handsome Coffee find their amazing space in the LA Arts District.

Dublin: Our own Elyse Bouvier sat down with 3FE’s Colin Harmon and got the latest scoop on Mr. Harmon’s plans to develop 3FE into a stand alone business with its own proprietary roasting operation, with continued green sourcing and quality control support from HasBean.

This was way more than a breaking news story, though. Mr. Harmon shares candid and can’t-miss thoughts on his business and on the coffee industry as a whole.

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San FranciscoWe broke the news that De La Paz Coffee Roasters will be opening a brand new cafe later this week at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, in a partnership with Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen. The cafe will feature a two-group Synesso espresso machine pulling shots of DLP’s Big City Blend, and will offer batch brewed filter coffee. Pour over coffees as well as custom blends for the space will come later. This will be the first De La Paz cafe since the Four Barrel acquisition and closing of their temporary roastworks coffee cart.

Just look at that packaging. *Swoon* It’s like the Intelligentsia Silver Lake floor and bar tiles crawled up onto a coffee bag.

We’re continuing our Build Outs of Summer series here on Sprudge.com, where we take you behind the scenes, during the construction phase, at brand new cafes and roasteries around the world. There are coffee spots popping up ev-ry-where.

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Hong Kong: We took a look at The Cupping Room’s second location, and interviewed Ms. Betty Liu to find out a bit more. We first learned about this cafe through our coverage of the 2013 World Barista Championship in Melbourne, where The Cupping Room’s owner, Derek Chiu, represented Hong Kong and placed 15th internationally. Mr. Chiu’s new shop will be the first independent cafe in all of Asia to serve Counter Culture Coffee exclusively.

Dallas: The folks at Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters have spent much of the last two years converting a 1940′s autobody shop into a beautiful new cafe space. This brand new space (4 years in the making!) will primarily be used for roasting, but will feature a 1300 sq ft cafe in the front. Exciting for Dallas Coffee. We found out more from Shannon Neffendorf.

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Philadelphia: The folks at ReAnimator are already up and roasting in nearby Kensington, but this cafe will be their first, and a chance to bring locally owned roasting and cafe culture to the very hip neighborhoods north of Philly’s Center City downtown. ReAnimator’s Mark Corpus filled us in on what’s next.

From the Boston Herald: Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer announced he’d be Rockin’ & Roastin’ his way into the coffee world starting next month—good news for anyone anxiously awaiting the next big celebrity coffee roaster with totally awesome awesome packaging.

Ben Blake is the genius behind Draw Coffee (@DrawCoffee) and a regular contributor to Sprudge. Read more Ben Blake here!