Sirens Invade Scandinavia: That magical region of the world known as Scandinavia had managed to stay Starbucks-free for an impressively long time (Norway’s first Starbucks location opened just earlier this year at the Oslo Airport, and Sweden remained free of the chain until 2010), but those days are long gone. Starbucks plans to further its invasion of the Nordic region, beginning with a stand-alone store to open in Oslo next year, then continuing onto the streets of Stockholm.

The (New) Rules Of Extraction: Regional competitions leading up to USBC 2013 are coming up, and Sprudge staff writer Alex Bernson, who just so happens to be a certified USBC judge, explains the new and improved scoring rules. Major changes include the elimination of the 0 to 6 “Colour of Crema” score, the consolidation of the “clean working area at end” and “station management” categories, and a flavor descriptor requirement for the espresso portion of the competition. Meant to help competitors focus more on “making delicious drinks and relaying actually interesting information about their coffees,” the changes will very likely be reflected on the WBC scoresheet as well.

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Hüsker Brew: Your globe-trotting, exhausted Sprudge editors were in the Twin Cities last week to attend Hüsker Brew, a giant, totally free party we threw with our friends at Cafe Imports. We cupped some amazing coffees, feasted on a whole roast pig, and drank plenty of wine on what was all-in-all a fantastic night. Read our full recap of the event very, very soon.

Sprudge x AIDS Walk LA: is proud and honored to be official media sponsors for the 28th Annual AIDS Walk LA. The event, happening Sunday, October 14th, will gather together thousands of people to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles, which provides services to people living with HIV/AIDS and funds numerous prevention programs. So if you’re in the LA area, click here to register, lace up your sneakers, get an espresso at Handsome or Intelli (or both), and support an awesome cause that we’re super stoked to be a part of!

SprudgeTip #3: We show you how to turn a Strada EP into a nifty shirt steamer. Next time you head straight to the bar after closing the shop on a Saturday night, you can show up with a freshly-pressed and wrinkle-free shirt (though we can’t guarantee you won’t slightly of smell like steamed milk).

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