It was a wild week what once was, Dear Readers, but that’s nothing to prepare for the week whence impending, as we’re in bunker mode here at Sprudge HQ in preparation for the upcoming 2014 Speciality Coffee Association of America Event, 2014 United States Barista Championshi, 2014 US Latte Art Championships, 2014 SCAA Symposium, and so, so much more. It’s all happening in Seattle this year, which is the source of inspiration for this week’s doodle from the ever-creative Ben Blake, of Draw Coffee fame.
Look forward to our industry-leading in-depth coverage of the 2014 United States Barista Championship, plus plenty of inside looks at new products launching at the SCAA show floor, and much more, including a few fabulous surprises. But you can’t look forward to the future before putting the past to bed.
Jenny Neill Writes *The* Story On Coffee Flour
In her second feature for Sprudge, Jenny Neill goes deep into hours of interview with Dan Belliveau, the inventor of a new product called Coffee Flour. The product is backed by Intellectual Ventures, the unintentionally (or perhaps quite intentionally) Batman-sounding R&D firm developed by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold. A lot of features have been written about Coffee Flour in the weeks since IV made their backing announcement; Neill’s piece goes far beyond the press release surface, delving into the product’s development and and current implementation by chef Jason Wilson in Seattle and the Intellectual Ventures team.
You kind of can’t help but be gobsmacked by the utilitarian beauty of Taylor St Baristas‘ new pop-up at Tower 42, a towering skyscraper in London. We visited on opening day, snapped some photos, and got filled in on the project by Andrew Tolley, co-founder at TSB. This is the brand’s impressive 9th coffee bar in London, serving a proprietary Union Hand Roasted blend as well as coffee’s from Koppi, a noted Swedish roaster.
Sprudge.com co-founder spent last weekend in Milan, embedded as part of the DC Campus experience hosted by Dalla Corte, Urnex, and Mahlkoenig. Cocktails stole the show, but Carlsen also found time to sit with coffee luminaries like Sonja Björk Grant and Bruno Dalla Corte, plus explore Milan’s thriving barista culture. Expect much more to come from DC Campus in the coming weeks.
Like a snowflake disappearing on your tongue, so too came and went a brief pop-up for Houndstooth Coffee at Transit Bicycle Company in Dallas’ Lower Greenville neighborhood. Houndstooth have planned a Dallas expansion for some time, and they’re already roasting in the city for their Tweed line of coffees, but the brick and mortar won’t arrive ’til later this summer. Cadwalader’s feature on the pop-up was greatly supported by the really-very-good photography of Cara Michelle Smith.
“What Nespresso means by “revolution of coffee” is pretty literal/a hilarious pun: the VertuΦline machine literally spins the little coffee pods with New CENTRIFUSION™ TECHNOLOGY (for coffee brewing). I didn’t get an answer out of any of the baristas working the machines about exactly what the advantages are of spinning the coffee. Even the hyperbolic brochure doesn’t offer any argument for why your coffee needs CENTRIFUSION™, only that the VertuΦline does indeed have it.”
Corretto opened last week on E. Broadway in Seattle, yet another den of iniquity in the teeming urban Gehenna known as Capitol Hill. But with good coffee cocktails! The program here is stewarded by Brandon Paul Weaver of Slate Coffee, who spent a little time with us for an interview. We ourselves curated that interview experience with the artisanal photography of Vickie Miao, a Seattle photographer who 1. attended Corretto’s opening night, and 2. is currently killing the photo game.
It really, really was. Look back at the event with us, including quotes from talks and plenty of photos. Next up for Barista Nation, we’re headed to Denver on July 26th.
The music, the events, the people–Sprudge co-founder Jordan Michelman got plugged in to the wildly creative Houston scene for a whirlwind 72 hours. We’re talking James Beard Award finalist chefs taking over a coffee bar; city-wide cuppings at a Houston green coffee importer; international roasters kicking in for an open house; wildly modified espresso equipment; hours and hours of Houston hip-hop; Indian barbecue, Mexican barbecue, unnecessarily good General Tso’s Chicken and multiple trips to Pho Binh By Night. It happened, we went there, and thank you.
This week’s recap has been certified by Inspector 12.