Welcome to another edition of our weekly Saturday news magazine, “Last Week With Ben Blake”. Mr. Blake is Sprudge.com’s trusty news intern, and a world-traveling illustration genius. This week, Ben submitted seven filter drawings (above). Check out Draw Coffee for more of Ben’s work.

A Primer On The Colombian Coffee Grower’s Strike – Things went from bad to worse in coffee growing areas of Colombia, as thousands of coffee growers began protests on Monday. Strike organizers rallied growers, claiming that the government has not been doing enough to protect their livelihoods from things like low coffee prices, the rising peso,increasing costs of production, and bad weather. Things escalated later in the week, as police used stun grenades and tear grass on the growers.

This is a developing situation—for great coverage, head over to Al Jazeera for the latest.


Olympia’s Best is Michael Elvin – Our friend Michael Elvin was named “Best Barista” as part of the 2013 Weekly Volcano Best of Olympia” award series. Mr. Elvin operates Bar Francis inside an all-ages music menu in downtown Olympia, serves up Four Barrel Coffee on a 2009 WBC Nuova Simonelli, and he considers his job pretty much like “hanging out.” Congratulations to Mr. Elvin, and props to the folks at Weekly Volcano for having a “Best Barista” category. We wish more alt-weekly’s had ways of honoring their cities best baristas. Does yours!? If so, we want to hear about it.

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PDX: An Evening Hoffmann and Nuova Simonelli – Great news for you folks in the Pacific Northwest—2007 WBC Champion and Sprudgey Award winner James Hoffmann is taking his talents to Southeast Water Street in PDX for one night and one night only. Mr. Hoffmann will take over the American Barista and Coffee School to talk up Nuova Simonelli’s Official World Barista Championship espresso machine, the Aurelia II T3, and to take questions from you, the crowd. The event is free and is a no-brainier for anyone who can make it. More to come in the near future. Stay tuned!

Who: Nuova Simonelli & James Hoffmann
What: Exclusive West Coast Engagement
Where: The American Barista & Coffee School (1028 SE Water Ave)
When: April 17th, 5-7PM

Camera: Travis Beckett (Instagram)
Camera: Travis Beckett (Instagram)

2013 TED Coffee – TED 2013 just wrapped up. The annual conference pulls together some of the brightest minds in the world for a few days of awesome inspiration and education. We wrote earlier about the amazing lineup of baristas that worked the event—but we recently got ahold of the coffee menu, and wow…let’s just say we were salivating. This Year’s TED Coffee set up was put on by the SCAA and featured a little something like this:

“Africa takes the spotlight at this year’s coffee service. Colorado’s Allegro has their Kenya Kirinyaga. New York’s Irving Farm selected their Rwanda Lake Kivu. There are plenty of Ethiopian coffees on bar, with British Columbia roaster Salt Spring‘s Amaro Gayo, Blue Bottle’s Chalalacktu and Oromia, Chicago-based Metropolis‘ Suke Quto, and Verve Coffee‘s Yirgacheffe from the Konga Cooperative. Cincinnati’s Deeper Roots offers the one of two Latin American coffees on bar, with their Guatemala Santa Maria La Aromonia Hermosa. MadCap Coffee brings Colombia La Plata.”

Throw in coffees like that, and baristas like this, and this becomes arguably the best coffee pop-up in the world.

London Coffee – Your fearless, intrepid, and globe-trotting intern recently spent some time up in merry old Londontown scoping out coffee spots and meeting great people. The trip was outstanding, and further proved that the London Coffee Scene is thriving, and has to be counted among the best in the world. In case you find yourself begrudgingly headed to London, take heart—there’s plenty of good coffee to keep you warm. Here are Five Great Shops (That Aren’t Prufrock) for you to visit. But be sure to visit Prufrock, too.

The same fantastic and studly intern spent some time with the boys at Protein by DunneFrankowski—a great, quaint coffee spot in London’s Shoreditch area. Rob and Vic constantly have their hands in this and that, and are pumping out some of the best coffee in London in one of the most unique spots.


Dormans Coffee: Since 1950 from Dormans Coffee on Vimeo.

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