…at the other end of the spectrum in a group of 1,281 coffees, the word sweet was used 1,195 times. Its near ubiquity makes it in essence redundant. Although 88 times it was accompanied by the adverb very. Does this mean the other 1,107 times it was used, were just referring to averagely sweet coffees? Chocolate was the second most popular word, used 821 times. Here’s a pretty word cloud generated from all descriptors collected, showing the most popular words.

Amazing graphic of coffee cupping descriptors from the latest article on The Other Black Stuff.

posted by on 01.29.2010, under Design



Beanhunter is esentially a Yelp for coffee shops; specifically independent coffee shops (no chains!). It has a really nice interface, with photos, maps, and information incuding hours, website, and contact information. All of the cafe’s are submited by users and approved by Beanhunter before being posted. You can add your own reviews to cafes that have alreay been added as well as your own photos for a location, creating different perspectives of each spot.

Complimenting the main website is a great Beanhunter iPhone app. It searches cafe’s nearsest your location, provides contact information and reviews, allows you to seach, add new, and even mark cafes as a favorite.

I’m not sure when Beanhunter launched, but most of the cafe’s seem to be in Australia and the UK right now, however its US cafe presence is steadily growing! Up to this Sunday(Jan 31), for every cafe you submit or review posted, you will be entered to win an iRoast 2 home roaster and 6kg of green beans. So if you haven’t joined yet, now’s as good a time as ever.

posted by on 01.28.2010, under Misc.

I take my coffee black (& white)


Loving my new wallpaper, courtesy of cleanhotdry.

posted by on 01.27.2010, under Misc.

Forget the world


posted by on 01.27.2010, under Misc.

Learning to love quality


You can’t take an awful coffee and brew it into a beautiful cup, but you can take a beautiful coffee and ruin it completely.

Great video talking about consumer awareness of higher quality coffee.


posted by on 01.26.2010, under Misc.

Stupid design won’t improve your coffee


Slip our HandiSleeve by Umbra® around your to-go cup of coffee and you’ve got a convenient, comfortable handle! It’s cleverly designed so that it fits around disposable cups and in most automobile cupholders. It’s a great gift for commuters and coffee aficionados alike.

You’ve also got a really dumb, unnecessary product. It’s a mug without a bottom! If you’re going to carry that thing with you, you might as well just bring a mug. I’ve seen this highlighted on a few design blogs and I’ve got to say that this kind of irresponsible design shouldn’t be praised. Love your coffee all you want, but seriously? There’s nothing clever about this.

posted by on 01.26.2010, under Design, Products

Espresso by Intelligentsia


A Dpt4D (F.P.S.) Original Series — An ongoing series that documents our search for the ultimate tastemakers. We begin in Venice, California over a coffee grinder…

Great video by the design studio Dpt4D, looking forward to the rest of the series showcasing my personal favorite roaster, Intelligentsia.

posted by on 01.25.2010, under Misc.



While I’m no fan of McDonald’s coffee—though it has improved some since the inception of McCafe—I do love this ad.

posted by on 01.23.2010, under Design, Misc.

Save the cups!


Save the Cups is a new campaign targeting the wasteful use of disposable cups. Any effort targeting this problem gets my attention and this one uses the power of social media, driven by the narcissism of self-congratulation, to create some good spirited competition. Once you log in, you can give yourself a pat on the back each time you reuse a cup rather than a disposable one, adding to the overall count of cups saved this year.

I haven’t figured out how to add my own cafes and the design, while nice, leans a little too far on the cute side. But I’m curious to see how the team at Save the Cups will grow and reach out to its community of users. Will there be awards for each month’s highest saver? The current design is based on the honor system, so it may be hard to regulate how many cups a person really saves, but it would be a nice incentive if they can figure out the technicalities.

This, like BetaCup, is another attempt to get people to voluntarily change their behavior without any incentive to break the habit of convenience. While noble in its attempt, I still blame cafes for not trying hard enough to persuade their customers to forgo disposable cups. It would be much more admirable if the cafe’s self-regulated rather than waiting for the day that the government enevitably does it for them (à la plastic shopping bags). By either charging more for a paper cup, giving more than a measly 10 cent discount for bringing your own, or saying, “if you want your coffee to-go, bring your own mug.”

posted by on 01.22.2010, under Design, Misc.

What I’d rather be doing


Every time I have a meeting with a bad client I wish I were still a barista. Life was much less stressful back then.

(Designed by: Adam Brackney aka Workerman)

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posted by on 01.22.2010, under Design