“We want to make coffee cocktails the new Vodka Red Bull,” says Cora Lambert, now surely in recovery mode after slanging drinks at last week’s Tales of the Cocktail, the week-long booze-fueled New Orleans extravaganza we sorely missed this year. Playing along from home, we feverishly followed along the #totc hashtag, especially for updates from Ms. Lambert’s panel discussion, “Coffee: The Missing Ingredient”, featuring MadCap’s Trevor Corlett and Handsome Coffee Roaster’s Mike Phillips. There’s a nice feature summing up the event that ran on NOLA.COM:

Mixologists must view coffee as more than a simple ingredient, but as a complex component as nuanced – or more so – as any cocktail.

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A good recipe usually builds around the coffee, with ingredients selected to show off the brew’s particular character, panelists said.

Baristas like to compare coffee to wine and other alcohol in its nuances, but actually, coffee is tougher to control than alcohol, said Michael Phillips, who leads education and training forHandsome Coffee and in 2010 became the only American to win the World Barista Championship. Each step in the route taken by coffee, from farm to cup, involves variables that can significantly affect the taste.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole damn thing at NOLA.COM. Ooh, and check out these custom TOTC demitasse, designed exclusively for the panel event by our friends at Espresso Parts.

TOTC was also an exciting week for our friends at Brigade Coffee, who launched some sweet new t-shirts. Brigade leader Anderson Stockdale also turned heads by dint of her collaboration with Bittermens Spirits, with whom she’s helped develop a new coffee liquor and a limited edition coffee bitters. All of which just makes us want to go to New Orleans really bad.

Can we go next year?

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