Village Voice: A few weeks ago, barista/tortured writer/accidental “Shit Barista’s Say” impression Shane Barnes sounded off about customers in an editorial published in the Village Voice, entitled “How Not To Order An Espresso.” Sprudge.com was not shy about voicing our disdain for his rant, even generously offering him $100 to leave the coffee industry forever. Mr. Barnes’ editor somehow approved his request to spill several hundred jars of digital ink with a follow-up, much to the delight of your Sprudge.com staff. Truly it was a historic low for the Village Voice, and that’s saying something.
Reading Rainbrew: If you’re looking for some semi-heavy but fascinating end-of-summer reading, check out Coffee Life in Japan, a new book on Japanese coffee culture by academician Merry White. Part-ethnography, part-memoir, the book comes highly recommended by fellow coffee bloggers James Hoffmann and Liz Clayton (both of whom are much more than mere “coffee bloggers,” but ours is a life spent limited by context, no?). Now someone just needs to write Coffee Life in South Korea, because we’d totally be into that. Until then, more coffee books, new and old: Left Coast Roast and Coffee with Tim Wendelboe.
The Week In Mugs: The New York Times has published “A History of New York in 50 Objects” list, and the iconic blue Greek coffee cup made the list at #39. The Greek cups, which seem to have been taken over by white paper hand-stamped cups, aren’t quite as ubiquitous as they used to be, but you can invest in a ceramic version that’s probably better than the disposable one anyway. (We also dig designer Tigere Chiriga’s retro video game mug and floating mug, as well as Photojojo’s Nikon camera lens mug.)
Direct Trade In Leighton’s Terms: The feature of the week this week came from Has Bean Coffee founder Stephen Leighton, who stirred up a whole lot of sentiment with his controversial editorial, “Direct Trade Sucks.” Leighton discusses the negative experience he’s had chasing the Direct Trade dragon, and explains why the DT logo will no longer be used at Has Bean.
A lot of insightful discussion followed – good on you, coffee internet! – which lead Leighton to post a clarification follow-up. We highlighted some of the thoughtful commentary, but still recommend you spare some time to read the fascinating entire discussion yourself, both on Leighton’s original blog post as well as in the comments of this Sprudge post, which features insight from Geoff Watts, Steve Mierisch, and others.
Meet The Makers: Did you know that Stumptown Coffee Roasters sells more La Marzocco espresso machines than any other company in the world? Click here for four other fun facts about La Marzocco that we learned at last week’s Meet The Makers events in Seattle and Portland. Hosted at each city’s Stumptown roasting facilities by guests from the La Marzocco factory in Florence, the three-city tour concluded last night in New York and provided a whole heap of info to the curious baristas, technicians, and coffee pros in attendance.
On The Road With CCC: In a few weeks, the folks at Counter Culture Coffee are kicking off “Work In Progress,” a new “twice-yearly showcase for ongoing projects and collaborations” by the CCC staff. The inaugural tour, titled “Fruit Bombs And Fermentation,” begins on September 17th in their new Boston training center and concludes in their home city, Durham, NC. Stayed tuned for exclusive live coverage from the road by Sprudge.com!
Coffee Videos From Around The Web: Tonx.com’s Nick Griffith is dressed to impress with an Aeropress; Capital Espresso barista Damien Zielinski shares a clip from a day in the life of a milk pitcher; 2012 World Brewer’s Cup Champion Matt Perger taps dat with his Hario V60 pour over method (old news, we know, but that song is damn catchy and we can’t help rewatching it).
There Is A Huge Block Party Tonight In San Francisco: There’s going to be a rib cook-off, and a latte art competition, and a biergarten, and DJ’s, and they’re shutting down a whole block of Potrero Hill to make it happen. Brought to you by Scout Mob, Coffee Bar SF, Mr. Espresso, Straus Dairy, Fair Trade USA, and your very own Sprudge.com. Read more here!