We’re having fun here playing with the weekend links format, while continuing to present original art by Ben Blake of Draw Coffee fame. This week the coffee internet was a little slow moving, and some people were rather disgruntled. Some with good reason, some less so. We compiled the detritus, ran it through our own disgruntle-ionizing snark filter (a deceptively simple apparatus that filters out stray subsnark particulates by binding them to our own active snark cations), and arrived at this pure stream of properly gruntled links.
Ben Blake's art commemorates “social justice cobbler” Toms entry into coffee roasting, which we may someday look back on as a watershed moment in the Coffee x #Brands movement.
Jordan Weissmann, Slate's senior business and economics correspondent, begins his article on “how do e-payments affect tipping?” by saying “personally, I never tip the baristas when I go to a coffee shop. But plenty of people do.” Kind of an odd thing to lead with, and not something to be so proud of?
The body of the article is actually a good rundown of some studies that have been done on the effects of e-payment systems like Square on tipping (they raise tips generally), but the end gets twisted into a polemic:
There then is the crux of his proudness: he thinks that in his benighted whim against tipping, he is helping move (North American) service people towards a brave new world where they aren't at the whims of customers when it comes to paying their rent. Unfortunately, a silent individual signal like not tipping doesn't actually affect any positive change…it just makes it harder to pay said rent.
Tipping in North America: very complicated.
Maddie Oatman writes a good piece on the rather open, but still underappreciated fact that disposable coffee pods are TERRIBLE for the environment.
Luckily Green Mountain is dedicating all of their R&D resources to fixing this glaring problem. Well, they probably are, now that they've developed DRM locks to force you to only use their non-recyclable products.
Now that is a cool coffee tattoo. Via.
Designer Khoi Vinh goes on quite the rant against coffee, especially fancy coffee in this blog post. It's based on some of the standard premises, such as:
Definitely not the first person to make that gripe, and there may even be some truth in it, inasmuch as we as an industry still have a long way to go on effectively educating our customers. That being said, there are quite large flavor distinctions between different coffees, easily discernable to people who spend a modicum of time learning about coffee.
Also on the learning about coffee tip:
Not sure what the dregs of a crystalline powder are, but if that was literally what coffee was, yeah, that sounds like it'd be gross.
Vinh also brings up some of the usual gripes about performative lifestyle-branded consumer culture, which is totes worth talking about–but coffee is only the easiest strawman for said issues, not the root problem.
Vinh does end with a quite accurate and worthwhile gripe:
That's pretty much all there is to that one...
Fast Company manages to put out some quite interesting, outside the box coffee coverage from time to time. Their piece looking at the inner-workings of the Starbucks green coffee department was full of interesting tidbits.
This piece tells the story behind the design and manufacture of the Lido coffee hand-grinders. Precision hand-grinders are a booming product niche, though there's not always tons of information available on them, especially from the manufacturers. A niche within a niche to be sure, but an interesting read nonetheless.
Our own Zachary Carlsen, in a moment of headline genius.
Alex Bernson is the assistant editor at Sprudge.com. Read more Bernson here.