Back again from the brink of tragedy! This very special, long-overdue installment of our Asprological Sprudgoscopes concludes your celestial readings of the grounds for 2010. Sit back, enjoy, don’t get mad if we’re mean to you, and we’ll see you in 2011.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

You’re up first, Aries, and as the first sign of the first house of Zodiac, I guess that’s how it has to be. Ram-horned head butts to the front of line, or first pick of shifts on next month’s schedule, or maybe a new invention, a new first, a new blend…consider yourself Christopher Columbus for the next few months, Aries. Get out in front of everything you can. You know that saying, “stop and smell the roses”? I say to you, ‘take that shot before the demitasse cools”, and hurry on to be first in whatever comes next.

Recommended beans: Terroir Coffee, Konga Co-Op Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia pioneer George Howell’s offering from the First Nation of coffee.

Taurus

I’m always on and on about the struggles, trials and trib’lations of the Taurus sign – especially Taurus women, who, in my experience, are required to put up with an inordinate amount of BS in their lives. You’re an earth sign, yet tied to the celestial body of Venus…how’s that for push and pull? So this means your flighty yet grounded? Head in the clouds, feet on the ground? Don’t take a ton of stock in that. Find your own way, your own mantra, your own favorite brew method. You’re an introvert sign, and that’s fine. It’s better than fine. Be yourself and deflect the onslaught; the morning rush, the hungover assistant manager, the grouphead spraying hot water everywhere. Deal with it, Taurus, because that’s what you do best, and you’re beautiful for it.

Recommended beans: Rusty’s Hawaiian Yellow Caturra, Natural Dried MethodSurviving borer beetle adversity and producing the perfect coffee for you.

Gemini (May 21- June 20)

The most dominant characteristic of the Gemini is versatility. That’s why, at times, you seem twinned, or of a split personality, and capable of doing things seemingly impossible even to those who know you well. That Gemini friend of yours on bar could secretly be the best roaster you’ve ever seen; your Gemini spouse could be leading a secret double life. Versatility is another way to say “endless possibilities”, and my advice to Gemini in the coming months is to marry that side of yourself with delusions, illusions, and assertions of grandeur. You pull the best shots, so of course you make the best capps, so obviously there’s nobody better suited to write about this stuff, and you know your way around a Kone, a V60, a Bee House, a Chemex…hell, you could get decent extraction out of a gym sock. Versatile and immune to adversity, there’s good things coming your way, Gemini. Own it.

Recommended beans: Stumptown Kenya NgunguruUnstoppable, much like yourself.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

No crab jokes this time, Cancer, we’ve got serious business to discuss. A water sign that’s ruled by the moon can’t help but be tidal, and these days, it feels like your tide is always low. Your cup is half-empty, and at least 1/3rd of the way filled with sediment. Shots taste briny, like salty seawater, and the waves don’t seem to lap quite as sweetly as they once had. I want to tell you everything is gonna be cool, Cancer, but I’m not totally sure of that. I’ll say, in your defense, that we’re in the 4th quarter of the year, and your sign is in the 4th house of the Zodiac, so perhaps there are larger forces conspiring against you. You’re the only one who really knows. Keep in touch, Cancer, we’ll talk more next year, and remember, even when the world is getting you down, that you know your stuff when it comes to coffee and you’re a really great person deep down.

Recommended beans: Square Mile La Loma Don Mayo, Costa Rica Honey Pulped There are good things in our world, and this coffee is proof.

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Leo (July 23-August 22)

Brass tacks, Leo. No bones about it. You’re the best barista we know, you’re profoundly gifted, and you’ll do great things with yourself. It can’t be said enough. Championships, regional or otherwise, are coming down the pike and will be more than deserved. Take care of yourself.

Recommended beans – Roast your own, kid. You’ve got the gift.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

An earth sign ruled by mercurial Mercury, you’re an ever-changing element, from grass to soil to mud and back again; from cherry to bean, grounds to cup. I can’t peg you this time around, Virgo, but I guess that’s kind of the point? I’m not the important one here, Virgo, you are. Have you figured yourself out? Is there a brew method to your madness? Maybe that’s the best part about you, because it  doesn’t really matter. You’re flighty, a bouncing super ball prone to wild swings, someone for whom the first shot is never enough, a varietal not even the most thorough agronomic audit can determine, and wonderfully special because of it.

Recommended beans: De La Paz Rwanda COOPACLittle lightning in a bottle, ever changing, delightful. Virgo in a cup.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

You don’t know what you want, Libra. Nobody else can balance your scales, and half the time you don’t want them balanced in the first place. Figure it out? Roll with it? Do either of those things sound fun to you right now? Maybe just take a nap and see where your brain is at in a couple of hours, but wait, whatever, you can’t sleep, you just made a pour over, and it feels like you are the one being poured all over the place. There’s a 75% chance this all makes you irresistible to others, a 50% chance you’re well aware of it, and 2/3rds odds that you’re completely full of shit.

Recommended beans – Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso – Roast balance? The search for neutrality? A Libra craves not these things. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sweetness of fleeting harmony…from time to time…

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

In the past I have given you a hard time, Scorpio, and this time around I want to talk a little bit about your positive qualities. It seems like the world only needs you in a crisis. You’re who the universe calls to pick up a 5am Saturday shift, at 9:30 the night before. I have this dear Scorpio friend who manages to be simultaneously caustic and nurturing, often within the same turn of phrase, and it got me to wondering… what defines Scorpio? Are you a shot that starts ashy but gets sugar sweet in the last sip? Maybe a single cup that bops you on the nose floral at first, but cools to taste like brown bread at the end? Whatever you are, you aren’t perfect, but neither is anyone, and maybe that’s why we get along. You’re very special, and a total pain in the ass, and it’s honestly hard to keep up sometimes. I promise not to only call when life is hard if you’ll promise me this: take that leap you’ve been pondering. It might smooth out some of your rough edges, and I know that’s scary for you, but who knows, sometimes there’s something perfect about a nice clean cup.

Recommended beans: Water Avenue Coffee, No. 7 House BlendFor an example of that nice, clean cup.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Due to personal disruption, malaise and ennui, Asprological analysis of Sagittarius is currently unavailable.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Continuing a personally beloved Sprudgoscope tradition, here’s yet another haiku for Capricorn:

Stars shine like crema / flit, flirt, tease, you cool to room / temperature, sweet

Recommended beans: Bear Pond Espresso “Flower Child”Embrace the Eastern simplicity.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Water-bearer of the Zodiac, you’re the Uber Boiler of the Asprological Sprudgoscope. Consequently, you’re known for “making it rain”, though since sign is fixed, you’re as likely as anyone else to get stuck doing the dishes. The water from your vessel washes away the past, pre-rinsing away the paper flavor from your unused filter. WHAT I’M SAYING IS, you need to get out there and have some experiences beyond the bar. You’re so concerned with the welfare of others, but what about yourself? You can re-pull that first shot of the shift if you’re not into it, it’s okay, you deserve deliciousness as much as anyone else. Try new things! Take a chance! A lesser known yet wholly brilliant future awaits you.

Recommended beans: Flying Goat, Sumatra Blue Batak Tabarita Peaberry Not your usual Sumatra, the perfect new experience for you Aquarians

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

The last shall be first, little ol’ Pisces. You may be at the bottom of this list, but I predict you’ll be first up when it comes to a number of things through the end of this year: first through the line at the cupping table, first one out the door at the end of a slow shift, and the no-doubt first choice of someone very special. Aside from this great news, I do have a crucial piece of advice for you, something I suggest you follow very carefully, for it is advice grounded in your Pisces nature: I beseech of you, stay humble in the coming months. As a mutable, ever-moving, feminine introvert sign, dominated by Neptune and imbued with a longing to wander, your upward trajectory could very well sweep your good nature and humility upwards and out to the stars. Don’t let this happen; we’ve all heard of pride before the fall, but yours could wind up going from god shot to blonde ashtray in the blink of an eye.

Recommended beans: Coava Coffee Roasters, Kenya KieniLet your cup do the stargazing for you.

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