A Year in Coffee Consumption 2011

12.31

Originally inspired by Mike White’s “2010 Coffees,” (and now 2011) I began saving all the coffee bags I finished back in January. However, when June came and I decided to move to Sweden, I didn’t want to use limited luggage space to haul empty bags. The top image captures my coffee consumption from the first six months of 2011 and the bottom image captures the second half of the year after I moved to Sweden.

There were several bags left behind or shared with friends while traveling—leaving the second part of the year a bit incomplete. But the collection above still accounts for at least one bag of coffee a week. Not too shabby.

I also narrowed down a list of the 10 most memorable cups of coffee from 2011:

1. Finca San Luis: Libano, Colombia – Gimme! Coffee
2. Kieni: Nyeri, Kenya – The Coffee Collective
3. Luis Alfredo Rojas: Huila, Colombia – Heart Roasters
4. Katowa Don K Estate: Boquete, Panama – Koppi Roasters
5. Limoncello Pacamara Natural: Matagalpa, Nicaragua – HasBean Coffee
6. Worka: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia – Verve Coffee Roasters
7. Guji Natural: Sidamo, Ethiopia – Forty Weight Coffee
8. Finca Machacamarca: Sud Yungas, Bolivia – HasBean Coffee
9. Zirikana: Abangakurushwa, Rwanda – Intelligentsia Coffee
10. Elephante: El Porvenir, El Salvador – MadCap Coffee

I look forward to more great coffee in 2012. Have a safe and Happy New Year!

View the high res image

posted by on 12.31.2011, under Misc.

Starbucks “Sustainable” Container Drive-Thru

12.30

On December 13, just south of Starbuck’s hometown of Seattle, a new drive-thru location opened up in Tukwila, Washington. Unlike the other 17,000 locations though, this one is built from reused shipping containers. Green architecture isn’t new for Starbucks, last year they began opening LEED certified cafés around the world, but this is the first one utilizing cargotecture—the reuse of cargo shipping containers for architecture.

Starbuck’s isn’t the first coffee company to use shipping containers (Illy previously used a transforming shipping container as a café at the Venice Biannale and Ritual Proxy opened this summer in San Francisco) nor is their architect the first to design with them—though they speak as if they were:

We were able to open our minds to the use of very common elements destined for the landfill as structure for a high-quality, drive-thru coffee house design – essentially creating an industrial beacon for sustainable thinking. –Tony Gale III

I’m a big fan of shipping container architecture and applaud reuse in any form—however, I find it ironic that the modest green giant’s “beacon for sustainable thinking” is a drive-thru coffee shop in the suburbs. Maybe the sheer spectacle will introduce a unique perspective to a new audience, but I don’t see how a line of idling cars waiting for their trenta ice coffee is a beacon for anything other than the worst of American consumerism and suburban sprawl.

For being as large as Starbucks is, they aren’t entirely bad. I may not like their coffee, but I also won’t deny the trail they blazed for specialty coffee or the sustainability efforts they do make. Sadly, the reality of being a publicly-traded company too often encourages them to make decisions that counter all of their positive efforts (like joining the K-Cup trend) for the sake of maximizing profits.

In the long run, if this prototype became the new format for all future drive-thru locations, it could reduce the use of virgin material in construction and inspire other large companies to follow suit. But please Starbucks, show a bit of humility—shipping container architecture is not a Starbucks invention, nor is roasting “light.”

More photos and an interview with Starbucks on Inhabitat

posted by on 12.30.2011, under Design

A Merry Crafty Christmas

12.22

‘Twas a few nights before Christmas and all through the house, I have no clue if anything was stirring, because I’m off for a weeks vacation. I’m leaving you with this heart warming video from the Tims about faith, family, and coffee brewing devices. If you haven’t seen the original “Craft“, I highly recommend watching that first—posted below.

Merry Christmas, Festivus and Hanukkah from DCILY.

posted by on 12.22.2011, under Videos

Mighty Handsome Coffee Packaging

12.21

When I was last in the US, Handsome Coffee had yet to release their new packaging—so until now, I had only seen it via twitpics and Instagrams posted by all the lucky ones drinking it. But it was immediately obvious they made a fantastic choice working with Sissy Emmons, at PTARMAK in Austin, to capture the Handsome brand.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of browsing the aisles of the SCAA tradeshow with Tyler and we talked a bit about the importance of a brand and how great packaging can make a huge impact on a company. I knew then that Handsome was working with PTARMAK and I’m really pleased to see the the outcome of their relationship so far.

Yesterday, Handsome’s new bags were featured on The Dieline—the internet’s top package design website. The featured photos give a much better look at some details I hadn’t previously seen. The new packaging combines the right amount of handcrafted illustration and wit with enough modern typography to give the handsome ruggedness a refined feeling of quality. Great work to everyone invloved.

We employed color, shape and a little figure ground to differentiate between the lines and categories. The color system was developed loosely around a 1940′s craftsman—workshirt blue, denim, utility orange, metallic copper, crisp white, no-nonsense black and a rich black-brown… in honor of the coffee.

Illustrations line the sides and are what we like to call the manly-man items—objects that share the Handsome dedication to a by-gone era where handmade craft and a dedication to quality were a labor of love as well as a way of life. A dip of copper at the bottom of the bags is a continuation of the copper counters in the Handsome shop and on the Handsome Traveler. It adds just a touch of elegance to the otherwise practical bags. The system is intended to be humble and utilitarian with every detail lovingly applied. -PTARMAK

Read more about the design and see all the images at The Dieline

posted by on 12.21.2011, under Design, Recommended Roasters

World Record Coffee Mosaic

12.20

Continuing the DCILY series of world record coffee feats, the latest addition is a mosaic made with 1 million coffee beans (309 lbs) by Albanian artist Saimir Strati. The mosaic, titled “One World, One Family, One Coffee” was completed last week in Tirana, Albania. The image depicts five characters from different continents—an African drummer, Brazilian dancer, European accordion player, Japanese drummer and a country singer from the US. Strati wanted his image to convey how coffee brings us together:

I wanted to give the message that sharing love over a cup of coffee brings us closer, a cup of coffee brings us more love than a G20 meeting.

It took Strati 31 days to complete this epic coffee image, measuring 25 square meters. This is Strati’s 6th Guinness World Record mosaic—past projects have used screws, paint brushes, corks, toothpicks and nails. Enjoy!

[Photos by Arben Celi / Reuters]

posted by on 12.20.2011, under Design, Misc.

Birds of Unusual Vitality: Portraits in Coffee

12.19

Despite what the recent Samsung commercial would have you think, baristas and so many others in the coffee industry tend to be a highly creative group of individuals. I’m not sure where the correlation stems from exactly, but DCILY was founded on the principle that coffee inspires creativity and each day I’m more convinced of that.

Eileen P. Kenny is one of the latest artist/barista (or is it barista/artist?) who I’ve discovered creating great coffee inspired art. She is a twenty-two year old photographer who’s been making coffee since she was sixteen. Part-way through getting a Masters in Advertising, she decided to leave school to pursue what she already knew she was passionate about and began working with Seven Seeds Coffee (and soon Market Lane).

The project, aptly titled “Birds of Unusual Vitality,” is a collection of portraits & essays about passionate and unique individuals in specialty coffee, beginning with Melbourne’s Angus Gibbs, Jason Scheltus, Talor Browne and Mark Free.

Specialty coffee is an industry filled with fascinating people from every corner of the world and every background you can imagine.

The aim of Birds of Unusual Vitality is to shine a light on these baristas, roasters, farmers, pickers, workers, and everyone involved the process of coffee production, from start to finish. I want the passion for great coffee and the pursuit of quality and sustainability to spread beyond those who work in coffee—I think that getting insight into the people who have that passion is a great place to start.

The project has no expected end date and Kenny’s growing list of desired subjects expands well beyond Melbourne to include such coffee notables as Susie Spindler, Ben Kaminsky and Brent Fortune. Kenny shared her project ambitions with DCILY:

In the long term, I’d also like to go to origin and interview farmers, tracing the coffee’s journey in reverse; essentially, starting at where I am now (making coffee and tasting it), all the way back to those who are harvesting and processing and basing their livelihoods on the quality of their next crop.

This is such a great project that can capture the true diversity of backgrounds within the industry. If there ever were a specialty coffee related project fit for Kickstarter (or IndieGoGo)—turning these photos and stories into a lovely book is one I think would garner a fair bit of support from around the world.

You can view select portraits and read their stories at Birds of Unusual Vitality. Below is an exclusive look at a few of the photos left on the dark room floor. Enjoy.

Birds of Unusual Vitality

 

posted by on 12.19.2011, under Interviews, Misc.

DunneFrankowski Transparently Track Sales

12.19

Last week, I wrote about the grand opening of the DunneFrankowski pop-up coffee bar in London. In an effort to foster conversation around the culture of coffee shops and the habits of customers, they are charting and sharing all of their coffee sales as they happen. This transparent tally will keep track of a daily and continuing sum of all the drinks ordered by customers during their time at Protein.

It will be interesting to see if certain beverages (like filter coffee) become more popular as customers begin to learn more about the coffees being served and have the opportunity to try new things. This is a cool experiment I look forward to following.

Explore the ongoing results at cafe.prote.in

posted by on 12.19.2011, under Design, Misc.

Oliver Strand does Japan

12.18

Oliver Strand published a great new article on Ristretto, his column for the New York Times, about his recent travels to Japan. Strand shares a bit about the history of Japanese coffee shops, called kissaten, and reveals where you can experience the next generation of coffee on your next trip to Tokyo—map included.

When I tell people that I went to Tokyo to check out the coffee, I get two reactions. One is bewilderment — as if I went to Denver for the surfing. The other is fascination: those who pay attention to coffee know that Japan is the world’s third-largest importer (after the United States and Germany), with obsessive buyers who regularly land the winning bids at Cup of Excellence auctions, and that it produces the coffee gear everybody wants. –Oliver Strand

Full article and interactive map at New York Times.

[ Photo: Oliver Strand]

posted by on 12.18.2011, under Coffee Touring

High-Speed Coffee Splash

12.17

Jack Long, a photographer from Milwaukee, has spent over a year developing a unique technique for capturing these cool organic splashes elevated above coffee cups.

Unlike typical “splash photography” these photos aren’t made from dropping objects into the liquid (it’s a secret), but Long’s technique has created shapes as large as a half meter in diameter and as small as just 5cm. Coffee was chosen as his medium for its universal appeal to both coffee lovers and splash photography connoisseurs—yes they exist.

Photos taken with a Canon 1Ds MkII and Canon 28-70 f2.8 lens at 50mm

[Photos: Jack Long / Rex Features]

 

posted by on 12.17.2011, under Misc.

MadCap’s Method: The Hario V60

12.16

Hario V60 from Hybrid Media Co. on Vimeo.

I’m a big fan of all the previous MadCap videos released in partnership with Hybrid Media Co. But until now, most of them have just been really pretty coffee footage. This time MadCap adds their own addition to the growing library of roaster produced brew method videos—starring the ever handsome 2011 NCRBC winner Ryan Knapp.

Like their other videos, it’s really well made with a great soundtrack. Be sure to stick around for the outtakes at the end—they’ll blow your head off.

Past MadCap videos:
Latte Art
Green Bean

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posted by on 12.16.2011, under Brew Methods, Brewtorial, Coffee 101, Videos