Our Scandinavia-obsessed, Portland-based intern Joanna Han publishes this gorgeous photo blog and tweets as @joannakarenina. Don’t just compliment us on her weekly recap posts; share the love with her on Twitter. Think of it as Direct Trade.
Nordic Roaster Forum: The sold-out Nordic Roaster Forum is happening this weekend in Stockholm, Sweden. An adjunct event of the annual Nordic Barista Cup, NRF sees Scandinavian roasters of all stripes gathered together for the 2-day seminar at the Johan & Nyström Konceptbutik Pavillion and Auditorium. Guests will learn about processing, sourcing, direct trading, and roasting through a mix of lectures, conversations, and cuppings led by Morten Wennersgaard, Graciano Cruz, Felipe Croce, and João Hamilton dos Santos, among others. They’ll also going all out with fancy feasts at a welcome dinner and goodbye party — fun! Follow Nordic Barista Cup on Twitter for event updates.
Blue Bottle Sells Equity For $20m: Quite a bit of media frenzy followed the news of the $20 million sale of Blue Bottle Coffee to a fellow named Bryan Meehan, but we don’t think it’s anything to go crazy over, really. Founder James Freeman told Oliver Strand that he’ll still be in charge of decisions about opening or not opening new shops, what shops look and feel like, what kind of coffee to buy, etc., and it seems to us that none of the things that really matter will actually change. We congratulate Mr. Freeman and the Blue Bottle team for their continued success – their coffee just gets better and better.
New Grinder Requirements For USBC Competitors: The SCAA has announced official WBC rule changes requiring competitors to use official sponsor-provided grinders at national-level competitions, and you heard about it here first on Sprudge. Personal grinders may be used, as long as they’re by the same manufacturer as the official USBC grinder sponsor, and while competitors can’t alter grinders internally, they may adjust grind particle size and doze externally. What do you think? Love it/hate it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section — looks like so far, reactions have been positive, or at least understanding.
Pop Up, Stay Put: San Francisco pop-up shop Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters is officially staying put inside gallery and event space Firehouse 8 in SF’s Nob Hill neighborhood. The shop currently serves Kalita filter brew coffee and espresso drinks using a La Marzocco GS3, and owners Trish Rothgeb and Nick Cho plan to start serving pastries and tea, install a Strada EP, and add a three-seat slow bar inspired by the Brewers Cup Competition and South Korean “Top Barista” Youngmin Lee. Just one more chip in the argument for San Francisco as the world’s fancy coffee capital. Also, they’re hiring.
Kenya Dig It?: Sprudge’s sixth public cupping party is next Thursday, October 25 in the Windy City! We’ll be hosting it at Intelligentsia (222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza Suite 1212) and featuring a refined selection of around 25 Kenyan coffees, along with a chance to get some serious knowledge dropped on you Intelligentsia’s green buying visionary, Geoff Watts . The event is from 4pm-7pm and is free and open to the public. If you’re in the area, come by – you will still have time to do other stuff that night.