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Last Week With Ben Blake – Week of August 24...

Last Week With Ben Blake – Week of August 24th, 2013

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I’ll level with you: My last week has been pretty awesome. I started working my first set of shifts at Peregrine Espresso in Washington D.C., and some of my illustrations (including the one you see above) appeared in this article published by The Atlantic online. That’s a pretty good week.

Call it Srpoodg, or Sprooj, or whatever you want; just don’t call it boring. We broke heaps of stories in the last 7 days, ran some really beautiful original writing from our talented team of contributors, and visited a few gorgeous new cafes in Portland and San Francisco. Here’s a look back at the week that was.

Shell and All:

The gifted Kristen Orser-Crouse penned a masterful piece for us this past week, all about coffee and its role in the immigrant experience. This piece touches on tradition, culture, and what it means to talk about coffee as something that brings people together. Probably one of the best features ever published on Sprudge. Required reading!

Stumptown LA:

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You saw it here first! On Thursday of this last week, Sprudge.com brought you The World’s First Look inside Stumptown’s brand new LA location. A little bit of inside baseball for you guys: every last food & culture publication in Los Angeles would have loved to have this story first. But we got it, little old Sprudge, thanks largely to the dogged reportorial providence of our LA staff writer Julie Wilson. She is literally the best, my editors tell me.

Stumptown will fill their 7,000 square new space with a training lab, full service cafe, retail coffee brewing and whole bean sales. There’s a 60 kilo Probat with state of the art custom afterburners. This new space is going to make a big splash. Read more here! 

Build-Outs Of Summer:

Another week, another set of entries in our Build-Outs of Summer series, where we bring you the latest behind-the-scenes photos and details of coffee spots being built around the world. Summer may be nearing an end, but coffee shop construction shows no signs of slowing. Here are some brand new works-in-progress:

Washington, D.C. —  The District’s historic Takoma neighborhood is upping its coffee game this September with the opening of La Mano Coffee Bar. La Mano will feature a 2-group La Marzocco Linea, Compak espresso grinders, Mahlkonig grinder for filter coffee, Hario v60 drippers, Chemex, and electric gooseneck kettles for individual pour overs. They’ve also pulled together local artists for custom welded pour over stands, bar furniture, signage, and interior design—including this masterful wall mural by artist Mei Mei Chang.

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Philadelphia, PA — Philly’s Old City District will be home to Menagerie Coffee, a brand new coffee space just down the road from the historic Liberty Bell. The espresso bar will feature a custom color 3-group La Marzocco GB5 and a Mahlkonig K30 Vario grinder, while coffee service will run through a Fetco and Hario V60s. This lovely space will be serving Ceremony Coffee of Annapolis, MD and Dogwood Coffee Co. of Minneapolis, MN.

Portland, OR — Portland Roasting Coffee are adding on to their already big year by building out their first self-staffed retail space, called ‘The Cupping Room”. Your Sprudge Editors got to check out this build-out personally, were particularly wooed by the custom La Marzocco Strada with side panels by Clive Coffee. Check it out below.

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Savannah, GA — The charming and historical city of Savannah will soon be home to PERC Coffee Roasters’ brand new warehouse roasting space.  They’ll feature a brand new Diedrich CR25 Roaster, a La Marzocco GB/5 finished in matte black to match the new custom roaster along with Mazzer Robur E grinders along with “loads of manual brew devices.”

CDExD: Sprudge.com was the first set of journalists through the door at Christopher David Experience Design, a brand new coffee bar, florist, and interior design showroom in Portland’s Pearl District. Christopher David opened on August 20th, and is a partnership between interior designer Chris Giovarelli, florist Cosmin Bisorca, and coffee professional Kevin Nichols, formerly of Water Avenue Coffee. This space opened pretty quietly, but wow, is it gorgeous.

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Symposium(s):

On Thursday morning we turned back the clock and compiled some fantastic videos from the SCAA Symposium. Grab a coffee and some free time and just push play. Here’s a preview clip for a new talk that’ll drop next week, starring SCAA President Ric Rhinehart:

Then late Thursday afternoon (UTC -7), we announced the full list of speakers for the 2013 New Zealand Speciality Coffee Association Symposium, which happens this November in Auckland. The list of speakers includes folks like Sal Malatesta (St. Ali), Peter Giuliano (SCAA Symposium), Nick Clark (Flight Coffee), and our own co-founder and editor at Sprudge.com, Jordan Michelman. Look for lots more from us on this event in the coming weeks and months.

Ben Blake is the genius behind Draw Coffee (@DrawCoffee) and a regular weekly news recapper for Sprudge. Though briefly a resident of Italy and Seattle, Ben now resides in Washington DC. Read more Ben Blake here!

 


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