Here’s a recent MSM feature on specialty coffee that doesn’t suck.

The Loot: “Up Your Coffee Vocabulary”, a feature which begs the question, “Do you speak coffee?”

The Warrant: CNN’s “Eatocracy” blog, which is actually kind of great sometimes – they ran a lovely set of features on New Orleans dining for the Katrina anniversary, and their trip to Texas BBQ country last summer was a slow-smoked fantasia. This is one of the first times they’ve broached the topic of specialty coffee, and to do so, they actually let a specialty coffee professional write the feature. Uncanny.

The Crook:
Sean Henry is an owner and barista at Houndstooth Coffee, in Austin, Texas. Mr. Henry’s PR firm did a great job placing him with CNN, or maybe he knows a cute girl who blogs there sometimes or something, but regardless, dude did a pretty okay job of sounding like a real person in the short space allotted. This is a great example of how to make the third wave NOT appear boring, tedious and inaccessible. Some excerpts:

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“Like any fruit, coffee shrubs have many different types. From low-yield to high yield, indigenous to hybrids, drought-tolerant to just plain finicky, varietals make a difference.

Types to look out for include Catuai, Caturra, Maragogype, SL-28 and SL-34, Ethiopian Heirloom and Bourbon. Check the label next time you pick up a bag.”


Probably your first image is a hipster who’s every bit as snooty as he is tattooed. But very quickly, the role is becoming more and more professional.

Modern baristas are true coffee professionals who marry a chef and a sommelier to become an ambassador for the joy of coffee. From technique to etiquette to palate training, a barista is a title to be earned. A true barista will cultivate a coffee experience unlike any you’ve come across. Before you know it, you’ll be tasting the ‘notes’ and slurping like a pro.”

Read the full feature here via CNN Eatocracy.

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