Moccamaster, known by some to be the best autodrip coffee brewer you can buy for your home, has launched a new website called “The Search”. It’s a nicely designed site that hosts a series of videos about “three guys and a coffee expert, traveling the world looking for a better cup of coffee” (how do I join that team?). They begin their travels in Uganda looking for a pan roaster in a metal scrap warehouse before heading off to visit a farm and search for a “hidden island” that is told to have the best coffee in Rwanda.
The first three “episodes” have been posted already, as well as a couple videos in the Coffee Basics section. However, the basics are a bit too basic to really teach anyone anything. To say that a level cappuccino cup is the ideal amount of coffee per liter of water, doesn’t take into account that people have different sized cappuccino cups. The videos are well produced, with enough sparkling music to keep the drama high for anyone who enjoys their reality television dramatic.
If you follow their twitter, you’ll get updates when the new episodes are released and you can watch their story unfold. Enjoy!
I’ve posted great examples of coffee sack reuse before, and I’ve recently come across another with Ashley’s patio chairs. After tiring of the original seat covers, she decided to replace them with some of the coffee sacks she got for free from a local roaster. It sounds like we’re both drawn to the aesthetic of the screen printed type on burlap and she’s found a great way to integrate the look into her home (or atleast on the porch).
A complete how-to was posted on Ashley’s blog, Makin’ It.
This incredible short film, by French directors Stephanie Marguerite & Emilie Tarascou, follows a man whose coffee addiction leads him into a tragic downward spiral. The animation style is lovely and the music, by Oldelaf & Mr D, captures the mood of the story spectacularly. If only I could translate the dialogue. I can’t stop watching it. Enjoy!
Jess Giambroni has a habit of drawing on his coffee cups to pass the time during monthly design meetings at DDW. Here’s a look at some of the collection he’s created while multi-tasking at work. They immediately made me think of the styrofoam cups that Cheeming Boey transforms into works of art.
Have you ever discovered a great band only to find out they’ve broken up? That’s how I feel after coming across the Wave Commuter Mug. It seems to have been first discovered only two months ago, but the website that all searches link back too, no longer have a page up for it. I’ve written the company to inquire about its existence and it’s future and I’ll update accordingly.
The Wave is a 10oz, double walled porcelain mug, similar to the ceramic “paper cup” mugs, but with a bit of character designed into its shape. A more functional lid with a sliding cap screws into the mug, preventing spills and the experience of drinking through a rubber hole. It also comes with a pour-over adapter so you can brew a single cup right into it. While it carries a hefty price tag of $60, sometimes you’ll pay a lot of money for front row seats to see your new favorite band’s reunion show.
Apatternaday is a project of Rachael Beresh, a designer from Detroit who currently lives and works in Boston. Rachael loves patterns and coffee, so it made sense that she sprinkle a bit of her talent on us here at Dear Coffee, I Love You.
Each day, a new pattern is designed, paired with its color inspiration and posted for everyone to enjoy. For the 100th pattern, Rachael was kind enough to add new life to our brand while infusing her own sense of character into the experience and joy of coffee. If DCILY ever opens it’s own cafe, I know who I’ll be hiring to design the upholstery. I asked Rachael about her process and relationship with the creative fuel we call coffee.
So this is your 100th pattern, does it mark anything significant for the project? Are you going to continue making patterns?My 100th pattern simply marks 100 patterns; 100 days of patterning. For any project you have to set goals and time lines and allow it to grow to the next thing. I noted my 100th pattern as a goal, that when reached, I’d turn my favorite patterns into fabric, using a tool called Spoonflower that allows artists and designers like myself to turn digital designs into physical things. Through college and even now I’ve been searching for ways to do this, whether that be in fabric, products, environments etc.
Patterning for me will never be a task, so of course I will continue to make patterns. I might approach them differently now that I have a large collection. I want to take more time doing one pattern. Apatternaday is an excise in doing something every day, not necessarily making mind blowing patterns every day. Patterning takes time and planning, especially if you are doing something more intricate. So yes, I plan on still making apatternaday but possibly approaching it a little differently.
This pattern suggests that you’re a coffee lover, is coffee an important part of your process?Coffee is an important part of my daily process. But it’s not just about the coffee itself for me; I love to sit down with a cup of coffee in just the right mug. I always notice how mugs fit in my hands and the thickness of the mug. I have a love for diner mugs. I think it’s the weight of the mug that does it for me.
How long would you say, on average, it takes to make one of your patterns (measured by cups of coffee consumed)?Depending on the day it might take me a cup, although I never finish a cup of coffee all at once. I am a sipper and I like the occasional “heat me up.” Sometimes it’s more of a leisure and could take 3 slow cups. It’s not about how much or how little time I spend on the pattern. It’s about doing.
What’s next for Apatternaday?What’s next, what’s next. I’ve thought about this since the first day I started apatternaday. I have plans and ideas, like… printing yardage of my designs, starting a store to sell my yardage, making products with my patterns, selling packs of my designs for people to purchase and use, designing and producing a pattern book, plus many more ideas. Someone once said to me “It’s all about ideas,” and I don’t think I am short on those.
Which pattern is your favorite (besides #100, obviously)?Pattern 92 – CHICKEN FEATHER. It’s the most recent one that comes to mind. It’s simple and has an openness in the repeat that some of my other patterns don’t have. I also had fun naming this one.
You are also part of a design collective with two other talented ladies, are they coffee drinkers as well? Who drinks the most?The ladies of ARM are both coffee drinkers as well. We all enjoy our coffee black….It’s a tough call of who drinks the most. I say it’s a close call between Megan and myself. I know Aubrey enjoys good cup of coffee but, also travels into the tea world a bit.
Who makes your favorite coffee, and how do you drink it? I know you would never approve of a drip coffee but, I enjoy a simple pot of drip coffee and just a morning blend no specific brand. I like to drink my coffee black and for me it’s the experience of the mug, the coffee and location that makes the cup enjoyable.
Thanks Rachael for taking the time to talk with us. Check out more pattern goodness while finishing your coffee over at apatternaday
I’ve recently been having conversations with friends about the ecological impact of drinking coffee. No matter how you brew your fair trade, organic, shade grown coffee—unless you live at origin—your coffee is still being shipped halfway across the globe. The environmental impact of that journey can’t be offset by simply using a filterless, non-electric brewer (eg. French press or Presso). While they are responsible options to minimizing our impact, it’s still a losing battle.
For those who love the Earth as much as their coffee—meet Tiny Footprint Coffee, the world’s first carbon-negative coffee roaster. In business for less than a year, this Minneapolis based roaster offers light, medium, and dark roast blends, as well as decaf and espresso. They also offer a selection of single origin beans for purists like myself. TFC sources organic, shade grown beans from a variety of countries around the world and roasts them in small batches on a vintage Probat.
What makes TFC so unique is their efforts to offset the carbon impact of their coffee. They’ve done the math and figured out that 4lbs of CO2 are emitted during the harvest, shipping, roasting and delivering of a single pound of coffee. So for every pound sold, TFC plants enough trees in the Mindo Cloudforest of Ecuador to suck up 54lb of CO2. This endeavor makes each pound of coffee’s footprint, net negative 50lbs. Aside from absorbing CO2, TFC’s reforestation efforts also provide jobs to local farmers, improves local infrastructure, rebuilds water tables, reinforces soil conservation techniques, and provides habitat for rare and endangered bird species in the cloudforest. So not only is this a great solution to the eco impact of coffee, it also tastes pretty damn good.
Aroma: While the beans were darker than what I normally consider a light roast, I wasn’t disappointed. The scent of the grind was pleasant with a sweet earthy smell. Once brewed the aroma transformed into a rich cocoa with hints of caramel and vanilla.
Taste: The first sip was very smooth with enough brightness to part the lips for more. After passing the initial spark of that first sip, the doors opened wide to a very unique mix of citrus, oak and pine, with a touch of clove. If there ever were a coffee that captured an early morning in the Minnesota (or Maine) woods, this would be the closest I’ve ever tried. The medium body brew brightened as it cooled and finished with a mellow taste of almonds.
Entertaining video about the “coffee wars” of San Francisco, beginning with Ritual and Blue Bottle coffee. Filmed in the style of Ken Burn’s Civil War, but easier to make it all the way through. Enjoy!
Although this is Fair Trade month, I’d like to take the opportunity to celebrate Direct Trade as well. Direct Trade has similar goals as Fair Trade, but with fewer middle men and without the expensive certification. Coffee roasters who employ the Direct Trade model also pay farmers at least 25% more than Fair Trade prices.
This week, Chicago based, Intelligentsia Coffee, launched a new site that features key elements of the Direct Trade buying model they created. The illustration above captures the journey from crop to cup while each stage is highlighted with more information when you visit the site and roll your cursor over the various segments.
Almost all coffee roasters claim that they “work with farmers” but few can back the promise. Intelligentsia travels to our coffee’s source each of the 12 months of the year. We visit farms, roll up our sleeves, and get to it. We take 24-hour redeye flights and 10-hour, high-altitude pick-up rides over serpentine roads. You pick up our coffee and we shake the hand of a farmer in Peru. Or Rwanda. Or Guatemala. And when you see the Intelligentsia Direct Trade logo on our bag, you know how much effort is invested in each bean. -Intelligentsia
On Intelligentsia’s main site you can even click through Geoff Watts passport (co-founder & green coffee buyer) to see all the places he’s visited to ensure the highest quality coffee and build great relationships with the farmers who supply it.
There has been a steady rise in the variety of new (old) brew methods being used in the last few years. While the hardcore have always played with multiple methods, the average coffee fan generally doesn’t wander far from the French press, percolator, or Mr. Coffee™. Recently, a sexier and less violent, Italian cousin to the french press was introduced to the world.
Meet the SoftBrew, designed by George Sowden, who has a distinguished career as an industrial designer for Olivetti, Alessi, and Pyrex. He knows his coffee and believes that making a good cup of it seems to have become complicated and violent. Now designing for himself for the first time, Sowden has created a line of housewares, this beautiful porcelain coffee maker being the first product.
The way the SoftBrew works is straightforward, but it’s Sowden’s application of a new technology that’s makes the method unique. Inside the porcelain pot, a stainless steel cylinder with half a million photo-etched holes contain the coffee grounds, while the hot water softly extracts the flavors of the bean. Let steep for 4-8 minutes and enjoy.
The only retailer in the US right now is Oren’s Daily Roast in NY and he seems to be sold out already. When the time comes, I’d love to try one out. And if it doesn’t brew the greatest cup I’ve ever had, at least it will look great on my kitchen counter.