Ben Blake is our news intern, but he’s also a heckuva doodler. Isn’t that little Hobbit up above just the cutest? Check out more of Ben’s work via Draw Coffee.

‘Hobbit’ Crew Spends $380,000 on Coffee – In an attempt to get to the bottom of a recent report by Forbes, our correspondent Joe Marrocco sat down with Elorendora the Elf to talk about why the crew of ‘The Hobbit’ spent an Ent-ish $380,000 on coffee. In what became nothing short of a long-winded lecture, Ellie not only justified the expense, but dropped an info bomb in the process— Hobbits are basically made from coffee.

Real Talk: Barista Health Part II – Sprudge staff-writer Alex Bernson released the second installment in his important “Barista Health In The Workplace” series. This week, Mr. Bernson explored some of the causes behind barista health issues, approaching them from both a physical and (oft-neglected) emotional aspect. Bernson uses interviews with industry experts to discuss how the industry as a whole can create low-stress, high quality service-centered environments. These are important issues to discuss, and we hope the conversation remains fluid and open.

Oddly Opens New Space – KC-Based Roaster Oddly Correct started 2013 off in a big way and ovine into an all new cafe space in the Midtown area. We chatted with Oddly’s Tyler Rovenstine about the company in advance of our upcoming KCMO trip and can’t wait to visit. Congrats!

Coffee in Cars Continues – Funnyman Jerry Seinfeld signed on to do a second season of his Crackle-based web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” The series centers around conversations between Seinfeld and his funny friends, and offers an intimate glimpse into, well, their conversations—it’s a real gem. We just hope next season’s budget includes enough for some new coffee footage.

Intelligentsia Expands – Intelligentsia made a splash this week by announcing it will open an amazing five (5!) new retail coffee bars this year, including an expansion into NYC. In addition, Intelli will be opening three new Chicago locations, as well as a previously reported San Francisco cafe. Intelligentsia is now hiring—be sure to check out the postings on our all new “SprudgeJobs” page.

Barista Hero – A Spokane, Washington barista deserves a raise after she successfully fended off two wannabe robbers this week. In response to the men’s demands, and with a gun in her face, barista Ashley Berto was all like “No! You’re not taking our money! I don’t think so.” Thankfully, her defiance was enough to scare the men off. Props to Ms. Berto for being so awesome.

Exploding Coffee Filters – We knew something wasn’t right about airline coffee. The FAA has recently released an official alert, warning Airline Attendants of exploding coffee pod filters. According to the FAA, “the coffee filter containing the hot coffee grounds can burst causing burns to the face, neck, hands, arms and torso in varying degrees of severity.” Scary stuff!

Look for this scene in an upcoming episode of “Dangerous Grounds.”

TED + SCAA – The SCAA recently announced it would be providing coffee services for this Year’s TED conference in Long Beach, CA. Both the Barista Guild and the Roaster’s Guild will team up to provide coffee services and farm-to-cup education for the more-than 3,000 attendees, through 7 state-of-the-art coffee stations. Baristas will be hand-selected from the best and brightest!