Last Week With Ben Blake: February 9th, 2013

Last Week With Ben Blake: February 9th, 2013

Welcome to another edition of our weekly Saturday news magazine, “Last Week With Ben Blake”. Mr. Blake is’s trusty news intern, and a world-traveling illustration genius. Check out Draw Coffee for more of Ben’s work.

NWRBC Champs! Following three days of fierce competition, your NWRBC Barista and Brewer’s Cup Champs have been crowned! For the second straight year, Coava’s Devin Chapman took the top spot and was crowned Northwest Regional Barista Champion. Mr. Chapman used a coffee from producer David Mancia, grown at “Finca La Familia” in the Santa Barbara area of Honduras. For his signature beverage, he paired his David Mancia espresso with milk infused with cedar & honey comb, filtered into whey – “the essence of milk without the heaviness” – then added “carbonated strawberries”, which is to say, an actual strawberry charged with C02. Mr. Chapman edged Cole McBride of Visions Espresso by a single point. A job well done by Devin, Cole, and all the rest of the 2013 NWRBC competitors.

Check out our Sunday Sprudge Magazine feature starring Devin Chapman, inspired by a vintage David Cassidy cover shot for Tiger Beat Magazine.


This year’s Brewer’s Cup was earned by Brandon Paul Weaver of Slate Coffee Roasters. Mr. Weaver employed a crazy-complex Clever method, and a custom Ethiopian Yirgacheffe blend sourced from three cooperatives in the Limu Region. We sat down with BPW and learned a bit more about his process—needless to say, we’re excited about the opening of Slate Coffee Roasters.

Oh! And be sure to check out our video interviews with the all six of the 2013 NWRBC finalists. Their shout-outs. Their advice to budding competitors. Their indelible style, it’s all there!

Restaurant Week on Sprudge: All week, we’ve been taking a varied and voluminous look at the intersection of coffee and food. From Brooklyn to LA to Honolulu, we’ve teamed up with some of the best writers in coffee to take a look at top spots around the country. In case you’ve missed it…

Tyler Wells, Foodie: Handsome Co-Founder’s Nice Dining Pop-Up (Los Angeles) – Llewellyn Sinclair.

Brooklyn’s Unsinkable Fort DefianceLiz Clayton.

Oakland’s Duende, La Bodega For The PeopleKristen Crouse-Orser.

A Haole In Honolulu At Alan Wong’s Hanna Neuschwander.

Talking Coffee With Le Comptoir’s Gary Menes (Los Angeles) – Julie Wolfson.

Simon Ouderkirk Gives A Crepe (Upstate NY) – Simon Ouderkirk.

Why A Restaurant Is One Of New York’s Best Cafes (NYC) – Alex Bernson.

#XtremeKone Winner Is  Matt Dittemore, For “Kone With A View”: Our expert judging panel sat down this week to decide the winner of the Able Brewing #XtremeKone Challenge. The entries were outrageous and hilarious, and picking a winner was no easy feat. Matt Dittemore of Entimos Coffee took the cake (and lots of other amazing prizes) with his extreme, live-action, high-altitude photo. Congrats, Matt! Thanks to everyone who entered…these photos were a real treat. Check out a whole bunch more photos here! But here’s the big winner:


Rich British Barista Flunkeys are being recruited by the Houses of Parliament at a going rate of £20,173 ($31,865). According to this article from the “Metro”, London’s free Underground paper, these baristas will be earning more than the starting salaries of both police officers and soldiers. Other perks include “reduced gym membership fees, an interest-free season ticket loan and a child care voucher scheme, as well as the statutory 28 days of holiday a year” (and basically anything else that might seem outrageous to the general public).

Florida Couple Addicted to Coffee Enemas: We waited as long as we could to run a feature story on coffee enemas, but after four long years, and this upcoming TLC feature story on a couple who enjoy more than 100 coffee enemas a month, it was time. We sat down with Wikipedia to find out a little bit more about the whole process. Be careful, folks. There’s a lot of weirdos out there.





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