Coffee Common has officially begun! After spending the last 48 hours unpacking boxes, transforming our space and orienting a new team of baristas, we’re ready to roll. If you’re in New York between today and Sunday, this shouldn’t be missed. Come try some great coffee, learn a lot from fabulous baristas and see what I’m doing when I’m not writing here on DCILY. This page will be dormant all week, but follow along over at Coffee Common for live updates.
The doors to Coffee Common have officially opened to the public here in NYC and we’re really excited to share these great coffees with everyone. For $5, you’ll be given a ceramic vessel to use while you’re in the space to visit each of our bars as often as you’d like.
Each bar features a different focus on ingredients, method, and taste where you can discuss all the details of brewing a great cup of coffee and learn to enjoy the differences between coffee varieties and brew methods. We also have a Breville brew station where you can work hands-on with one of our awesome baristas to learn how easy it is for you to brew great coffee at home.
All of the coffees we’re brewing can be purchased at the store along with the brew methods we’re using and limited edition Coffee Common merchandise. Come say hello, taste several great coffees and learn something new from a great team of baristas.
A month ago, Intelligentsia dipped its toe in the world of bikes with their BMX inspired Quintin snapback (now sold out) and have recently teamed up with Kyle from Trackosaurus Rex to create this rad three-panel cycling cap. Designed by Sean Talkington and Eric Vasquez of Team Dream, the Golden Saddle lid represents two great brands at once. Ride over to the nearest Intelli shop to get one before they’re gone.
Coffee is a wonderful thing. But it takes a vast amount of resources to bring us our daily cup(s). The least we can do is try to minimize that impact. In an ideal world, everyone has the time to sit down with a ceramic mug and enjoy their coffee until it’s gone. However, in real life people have things to do and places to go—so they take their coffee with them. All of those cups add up (500 Billion per year) and they do a great job of ruining the drinking experience as well.
For the last year, I’ve been trying to find the best travel cup for my coffee. Ceramic tastes the best, but it’s too heavy, too fragile and those rubbery lids are worse to drink from than plastic ones. Stainless steel would seem to be the most “sustainable” but you still end up drinking through a plastic lid and they’re a costly investment. So after weighing the benefits of several different option, including the overall design, cost, functionality, taste, etc.—the KeepCup is my favorite option available for mobile coffee drinkers.
So I partnered with the Mug Users Guild to bring DCILY fans a reusable cup that works great, looks great and lets the world know how you feel about all those paper cups.
The 8oz (black) is my favorite and holds the perfect amount for an AeroPress on the go. The 12oz (white) will let you carry a bit more but still has markings for both 8oz and 12oz volumes on the inside of the cup. These also fit under the grouphead of most espresso machines, which means the barista won’t need to waste a cup, just to transfer the drink. The lids are splash proof—not spill proof. So you can walk or drive around without spilling, but don’t take it rock climbing or throw it in a bag with coffee inside. [also great for poolside cocktails when there's no glass allowed]
While a KeepCup isn’t the same as drinking from a ceramic or glass mug, the taste differences are more of a perception than a reality and the rounded design of the lids make drinking from them far more enjoyable than a standard disposable one. KeepCups are BPA free, recyclable at the end of their life and have been tested for up to 1000 uses (more technical details).
The DCILY KeepCups are limited, so get them while you can! Make 2012 the year you stop throwing away coffee cups and damn thy disposable.
In the past we’ve seen robot ninjas making pourover coffee, but could a robot replace real baristas on a commercial scale? That’s the goal of a new startup called Briggo based in Austin, TX. The four co-founders, one being Patrick Pierce a barista from Caffé Medici who placed 2nd at the SCRBC in 2008, opened their first prototype this November inside the Flawn Academic Center on UT’s campus.
The robots behind a wall of flat panel monitors grind coffee to order, use a real tamper and stable 200° water temperature to make precise 2oz shots of espresso. The steam wand even emulates the angles that Patrick would use himself for lattes and cappuccinos. The grinders can also adjust automatically between shots as different variables change, staying dialed-in throughout the day. Sounds like the real deal.
Coffee can be ordered two ways, with a touch screen at the kiosk or with an app on your phone. It can also save your order for later visits. While you wait, one of the many monitors will display where your drink is in the queue and let you know once its finished. In many ways, it’s like a giant vending machine of the future, while also stripping every social aspect the coffee house is meant to engender—but is that bad?
I haven’t tasted the coffee, but since most airport, hospital, and university coffee comes from sketchy vending machines left over from the 80′s or an unenthusiastic employee pushing a button on a super-automatic espresso machine, why not make those situations better? If I can get decent coffee at an airport, I really don’t care who or what makes it.
The current version of the Briggo is reportedly using coffee from local Austin roaster Third Coast Coffee. And though it can’t pour latte art yet, an update is being engineered to enable that talent in a later version. If anyone in Austin wants to visit Briggo, I’d love to know how it tastes. Maybe one day it will host its own Thursday Night Throwdown.
Koppi is one of my favorite coffee roasters in Sweden. Not only because the coffee is great, but its run by two of the nicest people to be around as well, Charles and Anne. Their roastery and café is just a short train ride south of me in Helsingborg, Sweden and I’ve been planning to visit for months.
This lovely video, made by Tim Ciasto, shows the Koppi team in action at their beautiful café. It’s all the motivation I need to book a ticket once I return from NYC. For those of you who aren’t in Sweden, Koppi recently opened a webshop as well. If you order 6+ bags for international delivery, shipping is free! I told you they were nice.
After two back-to-back events last July, in Edinburgh & London, Coffee Common is returning to the US. This time, setting up shop for 4 days in New York City. The team has partnered with Rachel Shechtman, founder of A Startup Store, to offer a pop-up coffee experience in a city whose access to quality coffee continues to grow.
Coffee Common has partnered with Google+ to broadcast “hang-outs” throughout the event and Breville will be giving away some of their latest home brewing equipment. There will be stations for comparative tasting, brewing demos and baristas to help troubleshoot home brewing problems and answer questions about coffee. On the weekend, there will be events scheduled in partnership with GiltCity and SkillShare.
Just like past events, this is more than a temporary coffee bar. Since coffee sales aren’t the goal, baristas and customers can engage without worrying about a line of people building up behind them. The atmosphere is designed to learn, share and discuss—all while enjoying some exceptional coffee (from Counter Culture, Gimme!, Intelligentsia, Heart and Ritual) prepared by a team of world class baristas. This event will be espresso free and focus solely on filtered black coffee. If you’re in New York, mark your calendar!
This will be an amazing event that I’m excited to be a part of bringing to NYC.
Curface is a composite material made from spent coffee grounds and recycled plastic. The nonprofit industrial design firm, Re-Worked, have been combining their creation with reclaimed wood to build some truly unique and sustainable furniture. Curface first debuted at the 2010 Ecobuild Conference in London, but have recently replaced their website with a vague message about halting all production.
The firm’s most recent project was the Google Coffee Lab, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. That project included large custom tables made from Curface and exterior panels for a Sanremo espresso machine, designed by Alessandro Milanese.
The material’s finish resembles a matte carbon, is waterproof and needs no sanding or finishing. Hopefully the production was only stopped to figure out how to keep up with demand. It’s an innovative material that would fit nicely in a café setting.
While everyone was fawning over the New Year return of James Hoffmann (guilty!) another voice quietly reemerged to the internet after nearly 20 months of silence. Like a small gift left unopened behind the Christmas tree, Stephen Morrissey—2008 World Barista Champion, Director of Marketing at Intelligentsia and a founder of Coffee Common—began 2012 with an honest post about his morning coffee routine.
I spend the entire brewing cycle dwelling ( sorry ) about variables. I wonder how much coffee should I use to purge. I wonder did I store the coffee properly, will 2 days off roast have a big impact – should I let the grounds sit a little before brewing or should I brew with hotter water? I wonder should I boil the water in the kettle, and then decant into the buono, or maybe bring all the water to a boil on the hob, I wonder how much water temperature matters anyway – I’m pretty sure Jen fills a cold buono with water 10 seconds off the boil, but her brews are always solid. Shit, what does Jen do agitation wise – why didn’t I watch her stirring technique instead of adding more butter to the scrambled eggs. – Flyingthud
Read the rest for yourself with a subtle Irish brogue: Flyingthud
After beginning a self-imposed digital sabbatical last August, James Hoffmann, the co-owner of Square Mile Coffee, 2007 World Barista Champion and a well regarded coffee blogger is back online. Now older and wiser, James is ready to share his insightful contributions with us once again. For that, many are thankful.
Just a day after his return, Time Out London published this nice interview with James who shares his thoughts on the improvement of London’s coffee scene and the importance of a pleasing mouthfeel. If you haven’t met James Hoffmann, now’s a good time to get to know him. Welcome back James!