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Last Week With Ben Blake – Week Of October 6...

Last Week With Ben Blake – Week Of October 6th, 2013

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Ben Blake here, with another weekly recap served up fresh and at a comfortable drinking temperature. Let me just say wow—it’s hard to believe it’s already been six whole days since the Federal Government shutdown here in the United States. Cafes around Washington D.C. have seemed busier than normal this week, lending their spaces to furloughed federal employees. I’m based in DC, and I had a chance earlier this week to walk around town and document some of my very favorite “Shutdown Specials” around town – take a look at that here.

Embarrassing government shutdown or not, one thing’s for sure—the Sprudge News train just keeps chugging along. Here’s all the specialty coffee news you might have missed over the last seven days.

Urban Outfitters + Kickapoo

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Sprudge.com’s Alex Bernson was the first to report that Urban Outfitters are preparing to open their first-ever specialty coffee bar, located at the 5th Avenue store in New York City. Starting October 7th, you’ll be able to sip on a cup from Kickapoo Coffee Roasters out of Viroqua, Wisconsin. The coffee bar, tucked into the back corner of Urban Outfitters’ shop at 5th Ave & E 43rd, is the first in a line of planned New York City service concepts, which include a bar/restaurant in their upcoming Williamsburg shop, and a café in their planned Herald Square retail fantasia.

Sprudge.com’s original reportage for this feature was later excerpted by Gothamist and New York Magazine’s Grub Street.

Coffee Variety or Star Wars Character?

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Coffee icon Peter Giuliano has been playing “Star Wars Or Coffee” on his blog recently, and we thought we’d play along too. How many can you get right? How big of a dork are you, really? And how much do you guys love Star Wars .gifs, because we really, really love them.

Top 25 Moments at #BNLA

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Barista Nation Los Angeles – known far and wide on various social media platforms as #BNLA – went down this past weekend in Montebello, California, and was by all rights a smashing success for all involved. Your Sprudge Editors were on hand and put together this list of the top 25 moments from the event.

Top 10 Busiest Cafes in the U.S.

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Foursquare, the popular Social Media/Location Tracker/Creeper Tool, compiled a list of the top ten busiest cafes in America based on highest concentration of Foursquare users. Did your cafe make the list? Were you upset, and did you perhaps complain to Sprudge about where your cafe placed, or why your cafe wasn’t there, or why we’d decide to publish something like this list in the first place, since Foursquare is only kind of “cool” anymore? Whatever your reaction was, let’s relive it all right here.

Bernson & Beard Tour Mazzer

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After speaking at the 2013 Nordic Barista Cup, Sprudge Assistant Editor Alex Bernson and photographer Kate Beard traveled to Italy with our partners at La Marzocco. Their virtual tour of the La Marzocco factory is here, and this week, we presented a similar glimpse inside the Mazzer factory in Gardigiano, Italy. We recommend a visit, especially if you’re going to be in Italy for La Marzocco’s Out of The Box event October 17-19th.

Menotti’s Coffee Stop

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Barista stud Christopher Nicely Abel Alameda opened his much anticipated new project this week, and we’ve got an inside look from our LA desk chief, Julie Wolfson. It’s called Menotti’s Coffee Stop and it’s gorgeous.

Starbucks to Roast in Seattle’s Capitol Hill

Starbucks have signed lease papers on a 15,000 square foot building at 1124 Pike, on the western slope of Seattle’s achingly hip Pike / Pine corridor. Plans call for a roaster / retailer cafe, the very first of its kind for Starbucks, who until now has roasted their beans in massive unseen roastworks. The world collectively yawns for now, but when that cafe starts getting built out, expect an armada of mainstream media coverage, because Starbucks.

Joanna Han in Copenhagen

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Our own Joanna Han recently spent time in Scandinavia touring some of the greatest coffee spots around—in this, her third feature from the trip, Ms. Han takes us through 10 places to eat, drink, and hangout in Copenhagen.

Portland’s Din Din Is Adorbs

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Your Sprudge Editors took time to check out Din Din, a lovely new multi-use restaurant, cocktail bar, and cafe space in Portland’s emerging NE industrial neighborhood, nestled in among the warehouses, photo studios, and all-weather outdoor hanging deer antlers. Totes adorbs.

Counter Culture Variety Show!

Our friends and partners at Counter Culture Coffee are taking World Brewers Champion Erin McCarthy and teaming him up with the owners of Finca El Puente for an epic eight city RV cross-country thrill ride. It’s a continuation of the company’s successful Works In Progress series, for which we were on hand as part of the Fruitbombs and Fermentation tour last year. This year, they’re calling this WIP tour “The Variety Show“, and there are eight free and open to the public events taking place around the US.

Human Poop Coffee: “The deed has been done.”

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In a worldwide exclusive feature and interview, your Sprudge editors detail their experience visiting Randy Goldman, producer of “Human Kopi Luwak” coffee. I don’t have much else to say about this, other than it’s a must read, and the folks at Willamette Week, Digg, and Eater PDX seem to agree. I may never look at my editors the same way again.

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

 


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