Everyday is worth celebrating coffee, but September 29th was dubbed “National Coffee Day” in the US back in 2005 (though Google can’t find the specific reference). A few years later, in 2009, the day was declared “International Coffee Day” in a press release announcing the first New Orleans Coffee Festival. So from Sweden to San Francisco—and everywhere in between—take a friend out for fika, or buy a stranger their morning cup and celebrate our love of coffee.
Most importantly think about how far those beans have come, from the farmers who laboriously grew it, the roasters who skillfully roasted it and the baristas who artfully brewed it (and don’t forget to tip). Cheers!
Tomorrow is “National Coffee Day” in the US and CNBC is premiering a one-hour documentary called, The Coffee Addiction. I won’t be able to see it, but it should be interesting to watch. The previews suggest it will follow coffee from farm to cup, which is great for people to learn about, with a heavy focus on coffee as a tradable commodity.
There will be interviews with Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultz (plugging his book) and the founder of Green Mountain Coffee, who shares the moment he realized great coffee would be an upcoming market (before cutting to footage of a k-cup factory).
The producers of the show did research the more progressive quality-driven segment of coffee, including a lesson in latte art from David Schomer at Vivace and chatting with M’lissa Owens at Intelligentsia. However, that footage was relegated to “web extra” clips.
A new website has launched to create the first ever social network at origin. The Colombian Coffee Hub is not only one of the nicest designed and well produced websites I’ve seen in the coffee industry, it’s just altogether pretty awesome. The websites kick-off coincides with a trip to Colombia by Tim Wendelboe, where you can follow his hub statistics, like how many hands he’s shaken, cups of coffee consumed and miles traveled. All of the dashboard information can be navigated with a timeline that allows you to go back to day one and view the progression of the journey.
When you sign up to become a “hubber” yourself, you gain access to your own widgets where you can post photos of your daily latte art, share about a new coffee you’re enjoying, and how much you’ve learned about Colombia during your time spent on the Hub. You can create new posts each day, while the dashboard keeps track of your coffee statistics. I did find a few bugs while playing around this morning, but overall it’s a great platform for the coffee community to share with each other.
The site is funded by Café de Colombia, an organization that represents the Colombian coffee industry, and features a lot of information specific to coffee in the region. There are also quizzes embedded around the site, that when answered correctly, add Colombian nerd-cred for your profile.
The Hub is also giving away a trip to origin in Colombia for one luck hubber. All you need to do is sign-up and participate in the fun. By following Tim’s journey and sharing with friends, you can gain multiple entries to win the coffee adventure of a lifetime.
On the 14th of September, a modified British Leyland Rover SD1 set a new landspeed record of 66.5mph—fueled by coffee. Using the process of “gasification,” which involves heating an organic fuel with oxygen at more than 1292°F (700°C), the car topped the previous gasification record of 47mph (powered by woodchips).
The same process, and fuel, was used by this team last year to power a 210 mile journey from Manchester to London and averaged 1.4 miles per pound of coffee burned. While I think my coffee to miles biked ratio may be much more efficient, I’m not setting any land speed records in the process.
The video below explains the vehicle modification and gasification process, and you can watch the highly dramatized landspeed bid over on the BBC. Congrats to the team for their World Record! Enjoy.
MadCap Coffee recently tweeted about an “announcement of epic proportions” along with the release of this video. With hints ranging from neighboring Detroit to far off Sao Paulo, your guess is as good as mine. More details will be announced on October 1, but until then let the finger-crossed speculation begin.
The growth of small roasters and independent coffee companies in the USA is a great thing. I remember a time when everyone thought Starbucks would put all the independent coffee shops out of business, and it some places they may have come close. But it also inspired a revolution among smaller companies to experiment, progress and offer something the chain coffee shops weren’t—better quality.
As these companies become more prevalent, more of the mainstream media outlets will attempt to write about them—generally using every coffee pun and nickname they can imagine. However, any press is good press and CNNMoney has recently prepared an oddly numbered list of the USA’s 17 best small coffee makers. Really, why 17? While I agree with most of the list, there are a few shockers as well as some glaring omissions.
Read more about the companies on the list at CNNMoney.
I’m not sure how I’ve never come across this hand grinder from Hario until now, but I love the way it looks. It’s a nice hybrid of the traditional Zassenhaus grinder and the more modern Hario Skerton. With its steampunk aesthetic and a price range that falls in between the other mills, it’s very enticing.
However, I could only find two reviews on it, so I’m not sure how well it actually works compared to the other hand grinders out there. Does anyone have any experience with it? Would love to know what you think.
A few weeks ago a new coffee shop opened in downtown Vancouver that’s moved the Canadian west coast even higher on my list of “places to visit soon.” Revolver is run by the Giannakos brothers, whose family also owns Café Crema, in west Vancouver. The new venture takes a refined approach to offering great coffee with little excess.
Aside from wanting to see the space itself, designed by Craig Stanghetta, the coffee line-up at Revolver is pretty stellar too. They’re serving coffee from Ritual, Coava and Phil & Sebastian on a brew bar lined with Chemex Kones, as well as offering tasting flights. One option includes three different coffees brewed the same way, or you can try the same coffee brewed with three different methods. The tasting flights seem like a great way to allow curious customers to explore and coffee lovers to indulge.
It’s exciting to see more coffee bars taking such a comprehensive approach to quality coffee. If you’re in Vancouver and haven’t been yet, you probably should.
In case you missed it on the runway in Bryant Park last week, I’m launching a new line of DCILY clothing. Since the sold-out success of the “No X in Espresso” shirt, I’ve had people requesting re-prints of that shirt and asking if I would ever put the “Enjoy Black Coffee” print on a shirt. I’m happy to finally answer yes to both.
I teamed up with Simon Ålander, who designed the amazing “Mr. Coffee” poster published back in May, to transform the “enjoy black coffee” phrase into something more appropriate for a shirt—he delivered in spades. Since it’s approaching fall and winter (for me at least), I thought it would also make a great hoodie, so I’m offering that as well. In the future, I plan to collaborate with more designers to offer new shirts, in different styles, to keep things fresh.
These will be printed and shipped from the USA on 50/50 organic cotton & recycled polyester tees. I’m still sourcing the perfect hoodie to ensure you won’t want to take it off until spring. Also, as always, 5% of DCILY sales are donated to Coffee Kids.
Almost a year ago, to the day, I visited Tim Wendelboe in Oslo for the first time. The Kenya, Mugaga I had on that trip is still one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had. While there was no Mugaga this time, there were two other kenyalicious coffees, Tekangu and Ndumberi, and lots of good company.
I finally met “the Tim” briefly as he was leaving for the Nordic Barista Cup and spent the following morning with “the other Tim” while he was roasting some fresh coffee. Chris Owens from Handsome Coffee was also in town, who I hadn’t seen since the USBC in Houston, so I caught up on Handsome progress while sampling the menu with him.
If you find yourself in Oslo, Tim Wendelboe should be number one on your list of coffee shops to visit. Until then, brew another cup and enjoy some more photos.