I’m sure by now, most of you have heard about the horrific news coming out of Oslo and are just as saddened or disgusted by it as most people. Even if you’ve never been, the thought of something like this happening anywhere is heart breaking. I just wanted to send my condolences to the people of Norway. Though I know that little can be said to change the reality of things.
When I visited Norway for my first time last fall, I immediately fell in love with it. Of all the cities I’ve been to in Scandinavia, Oslo was the one I was looking forward to visiting again the most. I admire so much about the culture, the architecture, and the natural landscapes—not to mention the pockets of exceptional coffee. One reason I was so eager to move to Gothenburg, is how close it is to Norway. I’ll be back in a few weeks and I’m looking forward to visiting a country that won’t let terrorism define who it is.
Today is the one year anniversary of Coava’s coffee bar and roastery in Portland and they’ve released photos of the new Able Disk (AeroPress filter) packaging just in time for the celebration. As I’ve mentioned before, I totally love Coava. Their continued innovation, attention to design, stellar baristas—not to mention great coffee—make them a truly inspiring company in the world of coffee.
Since opening the doors of their shop a year ago, they swept the Northwest Regional Barista and Brewers Cup competitions, released a new and improved version of their popular Kone filter and spawned a second company, Able, which will focus solely on creating quality, sustainable coffee brewing equipment that’s made in the USA.
The packaging itself mirrors the thoughtfulness that exists throughout both companies. The package doubles as an envelope for easy shipping and the custom designed postage stamp nicely illustrates an adept attention to detail. The generous use of white space, simple color palette and solid typography make it lovely all around. Who wouldn’t want to pull this from their mailbox?
There’s a new coffee doctor in town, Dr.Drip, whose medicinal looking product aims to combat the virus of instant brew across the land. Each pack comes with five “pop-up” pour over stands and five packs of pre-ground coffee—available in four mediocre sounding blends: Organic Blend, Premium Signature Blend, Dark Sumatran Blend, and Decaffeinated Premium.
The product was created by Gordon Grade Coffee, a father/son company who wanted to develop a simple and portable single-cup brewing device that didn’t need any fancy equipment. Its a good looking product. Sadly, they’ve chosen to market their product in the most trite sounding terms available, using every catchphrase of the moment:
All of our Gordon Grade Coffee is made from 100% superior quality Arabica beans, carefully selected from the world’s best growing regions. Artisan roasters escort the beans through the roasting process, crafting rich, flavorful all natural, fair-trade or organically grown blends before the beans go on to receive a precision grind.
I haven’t personally tried these, and won’t have time to before leaving the country, but they piqued my interest for two reasons. First, I think the design, although very pharmaceutical, is kind of nice. I’m a sucker for simple geometric illustrations. However, the perpetuation of marketing coffee as a drug is rather annoying. Second, they reminded me of the Kalita Katan disposable drippers that Wrecking Ball Coffee sells (and for much less). A pack of five Dr.Drip pouches costs $9, while a pack of 30 Kalita drippers costs only $8—but you must supply your own questionable pre-ground coffee.
I think the drippers are a great idea for travelers, and they look sturdier than the Kalitas, though I’m not sure how they compare brewing wise. My suggestion to Gordon Grade Coffee would be to start selling just the drippers (at a more competitive price) and let the customer provide their own coffee. If the product performs, I bet they’d have a bigger market in Specialty Coffee than they realize.
DCILY Update: I’ve been having conversations with people in passing on Twitter recently, so I figured I would just do a quick post to announce some DCILY changes. The DCILY HQ will be upending itself from the coast of Maine and leaving the US of A (Happy 4th!). After traveling to the UK for Coffee Common next week, I will be traveling most of the summer in Europe before landing in Göteborg, Sweden.
I travel a lot, but I’ve never officially lived abroad and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I don’t plan on changing much in terms of content, other than I won’t be talking about US roasters as much. I’m excited to have access to some of the great Swedish roasters like Da Matteo, Koppi, Drop, Johan & Nyström, Love—and discovering others along the way. I’ll also be a short train ride from Oslo & Tim Wendelboe.
In the meantime, I have some things I need to get rid of:
Behmor 1600 Coffee Roaster (Sold)
1lb capacity home roaster, with 5lbs green coffee included. Owned for 1 year. Used for less than a dozen roasts—cleaned after each one. More info at Behmor
Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Electric Kettle (Sold)
1.7 liter kettle w/ temperature settings & 30 minute “keep warm” function. More info.
DCILY 10oz Coffee Mugs ($10 each)
I’ve got a number of these left. If you want these in bulk for a café or store, I will cut you a very good deal, just get in touch. See them here.
“No X in Espresso” Shirts/Stickers ($25/$1)
I still have a few of these left in various sizes. Last chance to get them for the time being. Will be looking into future distribution in the US. See them here.
The money raised from selling this stuff will help me buy more of the same (only more expensive and with funnier looking plugs) once I settle in Sweden. Thanks for the continued readership and support. Looking forward to bringing you more coffee love from new parts of the world.
Doma Coffee is the first coffee roaster I’ve tried from Idaho. It may actually be the first thing I’ve tried from Idaho that isn’t a potato. Idaho is one of those places that never seems to come up in conversation and I’ve never had a specific reason to go there. However, I hear that part of the county is beautiful and if it’s filled with more people like the good folks at Doma Coffee, I won’t write off a future visit.
Doma sent some Idaho love my way and it was much appreciated. They’ve been roasting since 2000 and made it clear from the start that principles of social and environmental responsibility would be reflected by their business. From focusing solely on Fair Trade and relationship-based organic coffees, to roasting in a Loring Smart Roast—which is more efficient with its use of natural gas—the company has created a strong foundation for doing business right.
The design of Doma’s packaging and collateral all have a very tactile feel. The bags are biodegradable and letterpressed with veggie ink by Dreyer Press (who’s also responsible for the rad looking La Bicicletta illustration), and it all just looks and feels really nice in your hands. It’s the kind of bag you don’t want to throw out (or even compost), because they are individual pieces of art.
Aside from supporting coffee growers, the company also supports a variety of non-profit organizations as well as cycling advocacy—and after coffee and design, bikes are next on my list of things I love. Proceeds from their La Bicicletta blend go towards supporting competitive women’s cycling and the company often sponsors local cycling events.
Of the three coffees I received, the La Bicicletta blend was my favorite, a good balance of sugar and spice. Although all of them were roasted slightly darker than I prefer. I often found my palate contending with roast flavors while trying to discern the true essence of the coffee. This is not to say they were dark by any means, I know there are many people who would really enjoy them. The Colombia was comfortable, balanced, and would make for a fantastic “everyday” coffee for my parents.
Coffee can be very subjective and everyone will always debate what tastes “good” and what doesn’t. The industry continues to learn, experiment and evolve. However, coffee tastes aside, it’s clear that Doma’s heart for building a responsible company focused on supporting its community and providing a product that makes them and their customers feel good is honorable and much appreciated. Some coffee company’s principles are worth praising, while others most certainly aren’t.
When I first saw this video I thought it was from The Onion. But it’s real. And for just $89.99 you can lug the most absurd coffee maker with you on your next camping trip! In just 18 minutes, this propane powered monstrosity will brew up to 10 cups of the same terrible drip coffee you love at home! The reviews are raving:
Way cool piezoelectric push button lite. Fast, modern, safe homestyle coffee. Almost as easy as carrying a thermos bottle of coffee. Keep it in the trunk with your lantern for coffee anywhere, anytime, no stove necessary. –Lloyd
Almost as easy—except for it being twice the size of a thermos, needing a propane tank, and taking 18 minutes to brew your coffee. I’m honestly baffled that something like this not only left the idea phase of the product development department, but was actually produced and found its way to market.
If you’re a big outdoor person, camper, hiker, picnicer—try a stainless steel French press, an AeroPress, a Melitta. While these won’t make 10 cups of coffee at once, I’m sure you could come close with 18 minutes to compete with.