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Last Week With Ben Blake – Week Of September...

Last Week With Ben Blake – Week Of September 14th, 2013

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the last week glued to the Sprudge.com home page clicking “refresh.” It’s been a week packed full of incredible content from all over the world—from high-end coffee developments in Vietnam to a parade of photos of the brand new Stumptown LA. In case you missed it, here’s what’s happened in the last 7 days.

Chef

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James Beard award winner and Restauranteur Hugh Acheson sat down with Sprudge for a chat about the integration of Specialty Coffee and “Fine Dining.” Mr. Acheson spoke to the growing coffee movement within the restaurant industry, his close ties with Counter Culture, and gave his thoughts on what it takes for restaurants to stop thinking of coffee as an afterthought.

Also, be sure to check out this feature on Mr. Acheson’s recently re-opened 5&10 restaurant, featuring fantastic coffee service.

Cup

Alex Bernson gave an in-depth recap of all the goings-on at this year’s Nordic Barista Cup in Oslo, Norway. Not only did Mr. Bernson give a talk of his own at NBC, he was there alongside the likes of Scott Guglielmino (La Marzocco), Pontus Dahlström (Maaemo), and René Redzepi (Noma) capturing all the details for us, alongside the lovely photography of Kate Beard.

Coffee Cinema

Verve Coffee Roasters put out a beautiful short film about coffee production in Kenya. This video shows how coffee is harvested, milled, stored, cupped, and transported to the big city for export, and takes the viewer to “factories” (as green coffee production facilities are called in Kenya) at Karatina, Karatu, Tegu, Karindundu, Chorongi, Karogoto, Kiangoi, and Karimikui. Must watch!

Cool

We sat down with Will Frith (formerly of Batdorf & Bronson and Olympia Coffee Roasting) for an inside scoop on the specialty coffee industry in Vietnam. Mr. Frith moved to Vietnam early this year to focus on developing the country’s high quality coffee sector. Vietnam is the world’s second highest coffee producing country, but around 97% of it is Robusta. There’s a lot of work to be done in Vietnam, and this interview with Will Frith paints a pretty good picture of what’s going on and what could be in the future.

Cavalcade

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Stumptown LA officially opened to the public yesterday, September 10th, and our LA staff writer Julie Wolfson was among the very first through its doors. She brought along with her a photographer named Amparo Rios, of R.E. Photography, whose work has appeared previously in the LA Times, LA Canvas Magazine, LAist, Eater LA, and KCET. Rios is a lifestyle photographer known for her passion for documenting specialty coffee spaces and community; this is her first shoot for Sprudge, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

Café

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David Nigel Flynn gave us a run-down of five brand new coffee space build-outs in the City of Lights. Paris has been on the coffee radar over the last few years (thanks to the written work of Oliver Strand), but it’s not done growing yet. These great new spaces should be up and running for the Holidays.

Chesnut

Our friends at Joe Coffee are opening a new spot in Philadelphia, and they’re drawing inspiration from nearby Universities. The new space, located in University City (on Chesnut Street) will pull shots on a La Marzocco Strada EP and serve single origin coffees on a V60 Pourover Bar. Look for an opening later this month.

Champion

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The Barista Championship season is upon us, and kicking things off is the country of Hong Kong. Here’s an excerpt from our original coverage on that event:

“Just this week, Kapo Chiu from The Cupping Room successfully defended his title from last season at the Hong Kong Barista Championship. Mr. Chiu competed and won using coffee from the Idido Cooperative in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia, roasted by Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, North Carolina. This is Kapo Chiu’s second consecutive win at the HKBC, and now he plays the waiting game, while preparing to represent his country next year in Rimini.”

Kaffe

Joanna Han took us through Drop Coffee’s beautiful roastworks and cafe. Ms. Han spent some time with the folks at Drop Coffee sipping on kaffe, chatting, and getting a behind-the-scenes perspective of what exactly is going on at Drop.

Coffee Week

Meanwhile, as world is turning, Sprudge.com First Tiger and co-founder Zachary Carlsen has been in Brazil for International Coffee Week. His reportage from Brazil thus far includes a chat with Bruna Batista, Brazilian Barista, who’s overcome a recent severe bicycling accident to compete at her 7th consecutive Brazilian national coffee competition, as well as a look inside this double-decker doozy of a cafe pop-up by SEBRAE. He’s also been blowing it up on Instagram, where you should definitely follow us for even more daily @Sprudge content.

Cuppa

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Last but not least, staff writer Eileen P. Kenny took a look at Melbourne’s Duke Coffee Roasters in the Central Business District. It’s a gorgeous cafe, and only adds to the growing collection of great coffee spots in the city. Ms. Kenny’s feature has stunning photos of beautiful machinery and this truly one of a kind space.

Ben Blake is the genius behind Draw Coffee (@DrawCoffee), a working barista at Peregrine Espresso in Washington DC,  and a regular contributor to Sprudge.com. Read more Ben Blake here!

 


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