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Last Week With Ben Blake: Week Of August 31st, 201...

Last Week With Ben Blake: Week Of August 31st, 2013

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It was a pretty exciting week over at Sprudge HQ. We were thrilled to announce that our own Alex Bernson has been named Assistant Editor of Sprudge.com. Mr. Bernson is immensely talented and we’re happy to have him on board. He’ll be traveling to the Nordic Barista Cup this week. In case you missed it, here’s all the coffee news from the last week that’s fit to print.

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Changes: This week, the Specialty Coffee Association of America announced a new set of competition structure standards for the upcoming 2014 United States Barista Championship regional events. You may remember the previous announcement that the regional events schedule in the United States will take place over three large events – a Big Central, Big Eastern, and Big Western set of competition weekends.

This time, the changes take place within the structure All regional competitors will compete just once, meaning all three days of each “Big ____ Regional” will essentially be “Round One”.  At the end of the weekend, the top 6 scores will be announced, and your winners will be crowned. More on the changes from our Sprudge coverage.


Cinema: San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee is hosting a screening of a very special film on September 5th. Sarah Gerber’s “The Way Back to Yarasquin: A Coffee Pilgrimage” centers around Honduran coffee producer Mayra Orellana-Powell — someone whom the folks at Blue Bottle work very closely with. And, because the coffee world is so wonderful, guests will have the chance to chat with Sarah and Mayra after the film. Don’t miss this event if you’re in the Bay Area.

Olga's 2012 World Barista Champion t-shirt.

Olga’s 2012 World Barista Champion t-shirt.

Champion: LGBT rights are being crushed in Russia, protests against persecution are increasingly violent, and horrifying accounts of homophobia are running rampant. We had Olga Melik-Karakozova, a four-time Russian barista champion, owner of Double B Coffee & Tea in Moscow, and a lesbian—give her take on what it’s like to be gay in Russia. #yesequal #standwitholga

Celebrity BreakupAfter just eight months as the owner of Tully’s, Hollywood has-been bong toting actor Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey has pulled out as celebrity spokesperson at Tully’s. After loads of drama with Starbucks and a series of cryptic messages in Grey’s Anatomy (that totally predicted this breakup), the McDreamy-Tully relationship is no more.

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Comp Prepfest DCThis year’s USBC Prepfest is upon up—this September 12th in Washington DC at Canvas Co/Work, Colin Whitcomb of Madcap Coffee Company (and a seasoned competitor) will present a full mock competition. Guests are invited to stay for the September edition of TNT WDC, the District’s foremost nomadic latte art challenge.

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Crushin’: Let’s be honest here—chances are you’ve been given “crushtomer” status at some point of your life. But, if you’re not sure whether or not your local barista is crushing on you, we’ve got you covered with our “5 Sure Signs Your Barista Has a Crush On You.

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Chicago: Our Assistant Editor Alex Bernson wrote a beautiful piece on Intelligentsia’s new Logan Square location in Chicago filled with crisp descriptors and gorgeous photos.

Construction: We’re nearly through our “Buildouts of Summer” series here on Sprudge. It’s been a wild summer full of fantastic new coffee spots around the world. This week, we took you to the eastern edges of the U.S. in Portland (Maine!) and all the way out to Sunny So-Cal to LA for a glimpse behind the scenes of two new buildouts.

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Portland, MA: Coffee by Design’s Lindsay Heald chatted with us about their brand new roastworks, cafe, and company headquarters in the other Portland. The space is huge (and pretty), and features a dream list of equipment including two new roasters: a Loring Kestrel 35 Kilo, Loring Peregrine 70 Kilo, plus a San Franciscan sample roaster. More from Ms. Heald:

“The triangular shape of the coffee bar is designed to highlight different coffee brewing methods including a Rancilio Classe 9 Xcelsius 2 group, Rancilio Classe 7 LEVA 2 Group, Curtis Gold Cup single cup brewer, Modbar Pour-Over module, two Mahlkonig K30 Twin espresso grinders, Mahlkonig Kenia and Mahlkonig Guatemala grinders, four Baratza Vario grinders, Fetco CBS-2042 Extractor brewer, Fetco TOD Hot Water Dispenser, a three tap tower for two cold brew options and a sun-tea tap. A blending station will also be part of the coffee bar mix so customers have the opportunity to create their own blends from that roaster’s choice of origin coffees each week.”

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LA (Culver City): There’s a brand new roaster / retailer project called Bar Nine Collective in the City of Angels. Located in the Culver City neighborhood (already home to the highly excellent Cognoscenti Coffee), Bar Nine’s build-out is focused towards direct interaction between customers and baristas, sustainable energy practices, and community building. BNC’s Zayde Naquib gave us the scoop on the new space that includes the first Modbar in the city of LA.

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

 


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